Tech Tradeoffs in Litigation Presentation Tools: Pros and Cons of PowerPoint, TrialDirector, Video Formats, Timeline Programs and iPads


The benefit of the ongoing digital revolution in litigation is that so much more is possible than ever before for the creation and presentation of graphics for cases. But for every step forward with better technology and more precise apps, it seems as though these tech tools become more complicated and technical.

This article covers the pros and cons of several tools and formats for creating and presenting litigation graphics, including: PowerPoint, TrialDirector, off-the-shelf timeline programs such as BeeDocs, Adobe Flash, and the popular iPad. It also covers the issue of video resolution and file type--perhaps the most boring, yet crucially important factor of litigation graphics.

I've discovered many tradeoffs while using different presentation formats, which affects the process and end result for creating visuals to present your case. It also affects how you use tech tools to manage your law practice. The more familiar you are with these tradeoffs, the easier it will be to figure out what works best depending on what you need to accomplish.

About the author: Morgan C. Smith, Esq., is the owner of Cogent Legal (, a legal graphics and consulting firm that develops visual presentations and strategy for mediation and trial. Prior to founding Cogent Legal, Morgan was a partner at The Arns Law Firm in San Francisco, where he specialized in complex litigation, class actions, personal injury and products liability. Cogent Legal’s blog ( covers news, views and how-to’s in litigation strategy and legal graphics.

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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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