We develop the full range of Trial Graphics products, including court animations, courtroom displays, court scale models, HyperVideo, ePortfolios, and more. We provide consulting services for clients wanting assistance with developing a demonstrative evidence strategy. We have developed trial exhibits for many forms of complex litigation, including contracts, criminal, personal injury, property, products, medical, industrial, construction, and commercial vehicle.
Wolf has long been a leading developer of Trial Graphics, also known as Demonstrative Evidence. We work closely with litigation teams to support the testifiers' need to educate jurors. We understand how jurors best learn complex information so that they understand and remember our client's story. We prefer to deal with complex and technical issues because these are the ones where we can be of most benefit to our clients. We work closely with experts in- and out-of-house to ensure our portrayals' veracity. We excel at making the complex understandable.
Our experience and libraries of past work ensure efficient production. We understand issues related to admissibility, discovery, evidence spoliation, and confidentiality. We understand the laws of physics and do not break them. We are accurate and precise. We are accustomed to a litigation team’s need for timely performance and hard deadlines.
See samples at our YouTube channel.
Read an article (pdf) about us from Indiana Lawyer.
3D Laser Scan Crash Visualization
Wolf has always prided itself for our ability to integrate diverse talents and technologies to create new and useful tools for our clients. We are able to combine Faro 3D laser scans along with Zone 3D and Scene 3D software with simulation vehicle dynamics, camera motions, and computer generated objects.
What is HyperVideo?
Wolf’s HyperVideo is a type of Court Animation that blends site video footage or photographs with computer-generated elements, such as vehicles and pedestrians. HyperVideo is the next evolution of Court Animations, giving our clients a portrayal few firms can match and no viewer can dismiss. When you see it, you’ll believe it.
Why does HyperVideo work?
HyperVideo provides our clients unrivaled realism to trial graphics, particularly from the point of view of a driver or witness. Because we use video and photographs of the site, the credibility of the portrayals is increased. The level of realism for HyperVideo is so high that viewers become virtual witnesses to the event. Issues related to motion, timing, three-dimensional space, and what was available to be seen by a driver or witness are portrayed faithfully and compellingly.
How Wolf Develops HyperVideo
We work closely with your experts or ours to ensure our work fairly represents what it claims, is consistent with the evidence, and is consistent with the laws of physics. We use surveys, expert’s analysis and case evidence to develop the trial graphics. Because HyperVideo includes actual scene video or photos, admissibility concerns are diminished.
We love a challenge and excel at the most difficult cases our clients bring to us. Visit our YouTube Channel for current samples.
What are Trial Animations?
Wolf’s Trial Animations is a general term used for differing types of video-based motion trial graphics. They are particularly well suited at portraying issues related to timing and motion, three-dimensional space, and points of view (what was available to be seen by someone). They may be completely computer-generated, or they may be a HyperVideo portrayal, which blends site video or photographs with computer-generated elements, resulting in unsurpassed realism.
How Wolf Develops Trial Animations
Team Wolf has been developing Trial Animations for decades with emphasis on quality and service to our many satisfied clients. We understand the unique needs of litigation teams and are experienced testifiers. We work closely with your experts or ours to ensure our work fairly represents what it claims, is consistent with the evidence, and is consistent with the laws of physics. We have experience in a wide range of cases including:
- All types of vehicles, especially trucks and commercial vehicles
- Pedestrian incidents
- Visibility issues of all types
- Products and machinery
- Patent infringement
- Medical procedures
- Construction sites
- Railroad grade crossings
- Industrial and manufacturing incidents
Why do Trial Animations work?
Trial Animations help jurors visualize the often-complex verbal testimony they hear. Studies of human learning abilities and preferences consistently show that visual exhibits, combined with spoken information, are a more effective learning method than either method alone. Issues involving motion and timing are particularly well portrayed by Trial Animations. Besides the improved memory retention and learning characteristics, Trial
Animations also help to focus juror’s attention. Litigation teams throughout North America have benefited by using Wolf’s trial graphics services to facilitate juror’s tasks of comprehension and learning.
We love a challenge and excel at the really difficult cases our clients bring to us.
Court Scale Models and Displays
What are Court Scale Models?
Wolf’s Court Scale Models take the place of objects and places too large to bring into the courtroom. Our scale models have been used by several crash reconstructionists and trial attorneys to help explain their analysis of litigation-related events. Our models have included:
- Railroad grade crossing
- Railroad yard with functioning train models
- Functioning warehouse loading ramp
- Interstate highway on-ramp with surrounding terrain
- Coalmine haul road with emergency runoff ramp and surrounding terrain
- Street intersection
- River barge vs. pleasure boat
- Functional truck brake system
- Airport luggage vehicle
- Residential homes for construction and arson cases
Court Scale Models bring the world to the courtroom because they are carefully built to accurate scale and appearance.
Why do Court Scale Models Work?
When a case can benefit from the visualization of large land features and physical models, our 3-D models are a proven solution. Our clients have benefited by providing clients AccuModels that help them understand three-dimensional spaces, how machinery operates, and the relative scale of large objects.
AccuModels benefit from being easily viewable by jurors, are simple to operate, and do not crash.
How Wolf Develops Court Scale Models
The AccuModels are built to accurate scale and appearance based upon surveys and case evidence. We add interactive features to facilitate their demonstration value. We achieve a level of realism that provides the viewer a comprehensive understanding of the event.
Why do Courtroom Displays Work?
Courtroom Displays help jurors visualize the verbal testimony they hear. Studies of human learning abilities and preferences consistently show that visual exhibits, combined with spoken information, are a more effective learning method than either method alone. Besides the improved memory retention and learning characteristics, Litigation Graphics also help to focus juror’s attention. Litigation teams throughout North America have benefited by using Wolf’s trial graphics services to facilitate juror’s tasks of comprehension and learning.
Courtroom Displays benefit from being easily viewable by jurors, do not need power, are simple to operate, and do not crash.
How Wolf Develops Courtroom Displays
Team Wolf has been developing Courtroom Displays for decades with emphasis on quality and service to our many satisfied clients. We understand the unique needs of litigation teams in ways no common print shop can. Our in-house large format printing capability ensures quality control and timely deliveries. We carefully listen to our client’s needs, thoroughly analyze the relevant case material, plan a solution that works, and provide the product our client desires.
Besides the traditional forms of Litigation Graphics described above, Wolf develops interactive trial exhibits. ePortfolios consolidate several media types into one easy to use computer-based package. We also make specialized print exhibits that include interactive features the testifier controls. We can print very large exhibits for use in large courtrooms with built-in easy to assemble features.
Read a case study about a large scale model of an operating railyard we built as an interactive trial exhibit.
What are Trial Graphics?
Trial Graphics are graphics-based exhibits used to facilitate the understanding of the complex information in litigation cases. This information is used by decision-makers to render judgment. Whether the decision maker is a juror, arbitrator or mediator, effective Trial Graphics are a proven means to facilitate their task of learning, understanding and remembering the complex issues and events surrounding a complex litigation case.
Trial Graphics are used by the testifier to support and supplement their testimony. Other terms include demonstrative evidence, court animations and trial exhibits.
Why do Trial Graphics work?
Trial Graphics exploit (in a nice way) human learning preferences to facilitate learning. Research supports the use of visual tools to deliver information to humans. Studies have found that, for users to retain information in memory, it had to be repeated less often when presented through visual means as compared to auditory means. Other studies have found that users retain information more effectively when presented both visually and orally. This attention to visual means of communication is hardly surprising when considering that humans have used their eyes to process information far longer than they have used formal language.
How do jurors make their decisions?
Researchers Pennington and Hastie proposed the "story" concept to model the process of juror decision- making, theorizing that a juror will construct a tenable story to make sense of the evidence. This story is a narrative summary assembled around the more understandable events and information remembered by the juror from the trial process. A juror will discard those elements that do not fit the story. The researchers then set out to verify their model using mock trials and juries. Consistent with the model, they concluded that jurors were more likely to decide a case based on whose presentation of the evidence made it easiest to construct the story.
A decision-maker needs to have complex issues presented in a manner that makes them understandable and usable as elements in the construction of his story. The role of expert witnesses in the trial is to present the information, based on the evidence, in such a way that the decision-maker can integrate it into the construction of his story. If there is conflicting information from another expert witness or attorney, the decision-maker will use whatever information makes the most sense to his evolving story. The expert witness can tailor his presentation to make it easy for the decision-maker to understand and integrate the testimony into his "story". The team that provides the story elements the decision-maker use as a basis of their story will be the team most likely to prevail. Using the concept of “story” provides a simple yet powerful structure to build the demonstrative evidence strategy.
Depending on budget and strategy, these example portrayals can be presented using a combination of two or three-dimensional video graphics, anatomy models, traditional medical illustrations, enhanced medical film (MRIs, CAT scans, etc.), “Day in the Life” video and print exhibits.
What admissibility issues need to be considered?
Although it is beyond the scope of this document to analyze court decisions or cite precedents, fundamental issues related to the admissibility of demonstrative evidence are useful to discuss.
Recent court decisions have given trial judges discretion regarding issues related to demonstrative evidence admissibility. Paying attention to the fundamentals will greatly reduce the chance of any problems. The most fundamental concern for probative demonstrative evidence is foundation. Just as an expert has to have a legitimate, scientific basis for his opinions, the demonstrative evidence needs to be developed based upon and be consistent with these opinions. The Trial Graphics developer has no opinion, and bases all of his work on the work of the testifying expert. The expert or developer needs to be able to provide the data to prove this. The Trial Graphics developer needs to be chosen as carefully as the expert to make sure they understand these issues and can accurately create the demonstrative evidence to represent the expert’s testimony.
Note that non-probative demonstrative evidence, sometimes referred to as illustrative evidence, does not have the same burdens of admissibility as demonstrative evidence used as part of the proof of the case, but it still must be accurate and useful. For instance, portrayals of vehicle dynamics must follow the laws of physics. Fact witnesses may need to testify to the accuracy of a portrayal. For example, the husband of the deceased may testify that the “Day In The Life” portrayal of his wife is factual. All Trial Graphics must assist the trier of fact. If it does not contribute to the process at hand, it may be excluded.
How are Trial Graphics used differently for alternate dispute resolution?
Trial Graphics can be used in alternate dispute resolution for the same reasons it is used in trial – to facilitate the comprehension and memory retention of complex information. The issues and evidence for arbitration or mediation are of course the same as they would be for a trial, but the presentation methods may vary. Because the experts whose conclusions are central to the case are typically not present to testify, alternate tactics need to be used. A similar situation may occur if you want to present your client’s case to a focus group or mock trial, or while creating a settlement portfolio.
A “Mediation Portfolio” can be developed to present the testifying expert’s work. This Mediation Portfolio is a multiple media presentation of information, organized and produced in such a way that an attorney can easily and effectively present a technical expert’s work when the expert is unavailable. In addition to the demonstrative evidence and evidentiary exhibits, it can include the videotaped testimony of the expert presenting the exhibits, or an accompanying voice-over of the video exhibits. It contains in one package all the media elements the attorney and expert would want to present to a jury at trial.
What issues related to human learning are useful to know?
Understanding how humans learn and remember is helpful when planning Trial Graphics. The first time a viewer is presented an information point, it goes into their short-term memory. There are several strategies to use to ensure the point then goes into their long-term memory, accessible when the decision-making time comes. For instance, the viewer needs the point repeated. The more times they see and hear the information point the more likely it will be retained in their long-term memory. Using different media to repeat the information ensures that it will be stored in different parts of memory, thus making it easier to recall.
Presenting the information in small, easily “digested” chunks, rather than as a continuous stream of data, also facilitates learning. Each information chunk is related to and builds upon previous chunks, all leading to an inevitable conclusion. This method not only makes it easier to remember new chunks of information, it reinforces the learning of the previous chunks. It is the same reason that ten digit telephone numbers are divided into three chunks, and books are divided up into chapters and paragraphs rather than one continuous stream of text.
In addition, when the viewer is presented the information as part of a unified structure, where all the information is related to each other and builds upon each other, the viewer stores it in their memory as patterns. This organization of the stored information makes it easier to recall.
Properly designed and developed Trial Graphics facilitates all of these processes by presenting information using graphics, by presenting it using information chunks, and by presenting it systematically and as a part of an overall pattern structure. All of these characteristics support and reinforce the testifier and assists the trier of fact as they try to understand what happened.
What issues are important when choosing a Trial Graphics firm?
For simpler cases, anyone with basic graphic arts skills can design Trial Graphics such as text-based posterboards or computer slides (such as PowerPoint). For complex litigation, you need to consider hiring an experienced Trial Graphics developer. Successful developers are a combination of artist, physicist, medical expert, engineer, and storyteller (depending on the case and their focus). They of course don’t need to be recognized experts in all these fields, but they do need enough competency to be able to communicate with those who are experts and to be able to create demonstrative evidence that accurately portrays the expert’s opinions.
When evaluating a prospective Trial Graphics developer, review relevant samples of their work. If they work for a graphics house that only occasionally does forensic work, make sure they have a proper understanding of the litigation process and working with litigation teams. If they do not, expect to train them to ensure there are no admissibility problems and to keep your case on track. Ask for references.
Get multiple quotes for the work, but make sure you are comparing “apples to apples”. Unfortunately, until you have a specific idea of what you want, describing your apple can be difficult. Asking how much a Trial Graphics production costs without providing specifics is like asking a car dealer “How much is an SUV?”. It is also very much like having a client ask an attorney what the cost will be for a complex litigation case.
One way to get an idea of a firm’s capabilities and fees is to choose a sample from one of the firms you are considering that is similar to what you need. Ask each of the firms if they are able to create the same portrayal, what information they would need from you to do it and what the cost would be. While you are at it, ask them if they see anything wrong with the sample, and if they could have done it better.
If you just want to do some initial screening of potential developers, do not ask them the cost of a particular portrayal. Instead, briefly tell them what your client’s case is about, your position, and the opposition’s position. Then ask them what they would recommend for an initial demonstrative evidence strategy. You can learn a lot about a developer (and perhaps your client’s case) with a fifteen minute telephone call.
Appropriate credentials, experience, and willingness are important in case the Trial Graphics developer needs to testify. Successful developers are team players, and are not intimidated by repeated changes, tight deadlines, and big egos.
An experienced demonstrative evidence developer is comfortable reviewing a large body of complex and technical evidence and information, and breaking it down into a clear and concise story, understandable to a non-technical audience. These skills can be particularly valuable to the litigation team if the expert struggles with communicating technical issues. An experienced developer may be an asset to the litigation team’s efforts at understanding the technical aspects of their client’s case.
Since the Trial Graphics developer will be portraying the expert’s opinion, it is important that he has an excellent working relationship with the expert. They must be able to communicate with each other without misunderstanding or confusion. Sometimes experts who are use to presenting their opinions only in reports and through testimony struggle with their opinions now being portrayed in three- dimensional living color. They may not appreciate the value of using demonstrative evidence the way the Trial Graphics developer and litigator does. The developer must be able to work well with the entire litigation team to be effective. In addition, the developer must be able to prove to the expert that he is using the expert’s data correctly and accurately.