When to use a legal animation.
Consider a legal animation any time that your need to explain a complex idea and/or catch the jury’s attention. As noted by the court in Pierce v. State way back in 1997, “Computer animations have been used in the courtroom by civil litigators for reconstructing accidents, including automobile and truck accidents, aircraft collisions, construction equipment accidents, and industrial accidents, as well as in patent litigation.” 718 So. 2d 806, 808 (Fla. 4th Dist. App. 1997).
For today’s juror, television and computers have largely replaced books, newspapers and radio as the mediums of choice for conveying news and information. Not only does a legal amination offer you a chance to tell the story of your case more clearly and efficiently than a mere verbal description or a static trial graphic, but it may also allow you to customize the information in a way that is more comfortable for your audience – the jury.
A courtroom animation is excellent for explaining an idea, event or sequence of events, or to show a complex product or biological system. In addition to simplifying your presentation, an animation can enhance a story or event, or can be used to draw the jury’s attention to an important point.
Potential admissibility issues for a legal animation.
We have been producing animations for many years and have seen why they sometimes do not make their wayt to the jury.
A demonstrative aid can be used if it is relevant to the issues in the case and it is a reasonable and accurate reproduction of the original. See Walker v. State, 82 So. 3d 115, 117 (Fla. 4th Dist. App. 2011). Courts have grown accustomed to the use of electronic evidence, and the use of a legal animation or courtroom animation will no longer be a novelty for your judge. See Chamberlain v. State, 881 So.2d 1087, 1102 (Fla.2004) (finding that permitting the use of a demonstrative aid is within a court’s discretion).
Generally, you will be using your trial graphics to explain and in conjunction with a witness’s testimony, and therefore will not need to meet the burden for admitting it into evidence. See Walker v. State, 82 So. 3d 115, 117 (Fla. 4th Dist. App. 2011). Also, as explained in more detail below, our presentations do not need to meet the standards required for the admission of an expert opinion.
Difference between a reenactment and a reconstruction.
Infomedia creates computer animations for use as demonstrative aids at trial. As noted in the 2014 Florida Bar publication “Evidence in Florida,” demonstrative evidence is “neither defined nor separately addressed” in the Florida Evidence Code (F.S. Chapter 90). “However, it has been described…as evidence ‘addressed directly to the senses.’” Id.
Infomedia creates legal reenactments, not “reconstructions.” Although they can be used to visually present a lay opinion or an expert’s opinion, our legal reenactments are not themselves used by experts to formulate those opinions. They are used only for demonstrative purposes, therefore, Frye or Daubert analyses are not required for our courtroom animations. Pierce v. State, 718 So.2d 806 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997).
When is the cost of an animation justified?
Only you can decide whether an amination will fit within your budget, but we do offer several animation options that makes them feasible for most cases. We perform work for attorneys on both a contingency and hourly rate basis and can advise you in advance on the scope of work at a prearranged budget. Consult with us rather than assume you don’t have the resources to use a legal animation. We regularly work on cases for individuals, institutions, and insurance companies.
How long does it take to create a trial animation?
Generally, we will be able to create a legal animation / courtroom animation within one to four weeks, depending upon the complexity. We also provide emergency and rush services, and sometimes are retained on that basis. However, those services are more expensive for us to provide and are therefore more expensive for our clients. If you have a flexible schedule for the services you require we can accommodate your budget accordingly.
What are some alternatives to a legal animation?
Legal animations are not always necessary or even useful for explaining your case to a jury. However, Infomedia offers much more than courtroom animations. We create presentation boards, blow-ups, 3-dimensional models, timelines, presentations, and other types of trial graphics, trial exhibits and demonstrative aids. To manage and present these graphics and exhibits we provide electronic trial services (trial technicians / hot seat operators) at trial.
You need to communicate with your jury, and we have many ways to help. If you’re not exactly sure what you need, call us for a consultation. We have been involved in many trials, for all types of clients. We work with both new and veteran attorneys, including some of the county’s most successful litigators. Whatever you need to communicate to the jury, we know a way to present it.
*Disclaimer: We can offer you advice as the professional creators and managers of demonstrative aids. We cannot offer legal advice. The information provided and cases cited on this page are intended as useful reading to provide you more information on those issues. This information is not legal advice, however, and the cases cited may not be current, complete, or appropriate for your jurisdiction.