Ideas and Advice for Demonstratives In Employment Litigation


I recently had the pleasure of giving a presentation on demonstrative graphics for the State Bar of California’s Employment Law Division in San Francisco. In giving this presentation, I wanted to make sure it was not simply an ad for Cogent Legal, but that it gave practical and strategic advice for all the participants. This post shares some of the advice I gave on this subject, and at the end you’ll find the SlideShare of the whole presentation.

I started with the basic advice that an org chart is generally important in any employment case. It is very easy for attorneys to forget how hard it is to keep names and companies straight for jurors when they have not lived with a case for years on end. A simple chart that shows all the key players, preferably with a photo of each of them for the benefit of the jury, is a great simple graphic. I also recommend making a blow-up board of the graphic to have in front of the jury for the jury’s reference during every witness’s testimony.

Timelines remain the most important and common demonstrative for an employment case, whether for plaintiff or defense. Employment cases are all about what happened at which time. Being able to lay out a chronology that develops your story is absolutely critical for jury understanding. While there is an unlimited number of ways in which to create a timeline, I gave a couple of main examples that attorneys should consider.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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