How Visuals Make Your Expert Look Like an Expert

Medical illustrations and animations are used regularly by top trial lawyers during their expert testimony. The question is WHY these top trial lawyers feel that it’s necessary to use medical illustrations and animations during trial with their experts. Can’t an expert explain it all without such visuals? The answer is simple, we want our experts to be teachers and to make complex issues easy to understand for the jury. One of the easiest ways to make your experts the best they can be is to work with them prior to trial on medical illustrations and animations that they can show while teaching the jury about whatever they are testifying about as an expert. I love to have my experts come into the well and educate the jury on whatever topic they are teaching about while showing it to them in pictures or videos…not just speaking in terms the jury won’t understand with nothing visual to help them gain the knowledge they need to decide the case. I have my experts work with me during the creation of the medical illustrations or animations so I know that the demonstratives they will use are accurate and they are comfortable with them when it is time for them to testify at trial.

An expert witness in a trial
Expert witness at Sean Claggett’s trial explaining ODS

I recently finished a medical malpractice trial that resulted in a $47,000,000 verdict, and like most medical malpractice cases, the medicine was complicated. The problem with complicated issues is that the jury does not trust complication, they trust simplicity. Knowing this, it was in my client’s best interest to have an animation made that simplified the concept of osmotic demyelination syndrome (ODS).  We used Focus Graphics to create an animation we used with our neurologist at trial. By the time our expert was done explaining the animation, our jury knew that ODS was a simple concept and one that all medical professionals should know and understand, too. There is no doubt in my mind that our animation showing how ODS occurs, and how simple it is to understand, was directly related to our firm obtaining the $47,000,000 verdict for our client.

Experts can talk all day about whatever it is you are paying them to explain…after all, they are experts. It’s whether they can explain it in a way that persuades the jury that your client deserves to win the case, whatever that means to you, and utilizing illustrations and animations makes their job much easier. Help your jury see things the way you want them to see them, and provide visual aids for your experts every time. 

By Sean Claggett

Sean Claggett, founding partner of Claggett & Sykes Law Firm, is one of the most successful trial attorneys in the country. A 2003 graduate of UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law, Sean was honored as Alumni of the Year by the Boyd School of Law in 2010; has been recognized by Legal Aid of Southern Nevada for his Pro Bono work; and was selected by his peers as Nevada Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2017.  Sean was also named to Courtroom View Network’s 2020 “Who We’re Watching” list and currently serves as an adjunct professor in Law Practice Management at UNLV Boyd School of Law. He is frequently sought after to consult or join as co-counsel on cases proceeding to trial due to his extensive experience and success at trial.

Sean Claggett, Esq., Las Vegas, NV


Our team of animators, illustrators and medical professionals are ready to make your demonstratives ready for your next mediation or litigation. Request a quote or give us a call at (702) 849-0090