Art of Facts

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  • What You Get When You Mix Timelines and George Orwell: Design, Intellectual Honesty and Control
    by Stacey Manela Originally published in The Art of Advocacy: Online with ACT of Communication August Issue 2011 Orwell said, “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” There is a certain curiousness to this quote when he speaks about controlling the past. It…
    Written on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 19:48
  • Secret Weapon Series #3: Videotaped Depositions—Pointers for Best Playback in Court
    As we all know, video in court can be a magnet for any number of possible failures and subsequent migraines. Here are some suggestions to help prevent disaster — because the most critical witnesses somehow always seem to have the worst videotapes. Here are some ideas to achieve success with…
    Written on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 19:45
  • Secret Weapon Series #2: Pitfalls of Powerpoint
    PowerPoint has become a standard, but not a very good one. Litigators should use caution when preparing critical presentations and avoid the software’s inherent problems. PowerPoint slide shows can shift focus to the presenter rather than the content of the presentation. The suggested structure of bullet point lists with multiple…
    Written on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 19:43
  • Secret Weapon Series #1: Getting the Most out of Data-Driven Graphics
    Statistical graphics are made to reveal data in a more sophisticated manner than spreadsheets or traditional formulas. These types of tools are commonly used in the damages portion of a case to demonstrate or repudiate values to the audience. These graphics should be done precisely with clarity, keeping in mind…
    Written on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 19:38
  • The Art of Facts Team
    The Art of Facts Team: Stacey Manela This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. During her seven year tenure with a Houston law firm Stacey earned a reputation for hard-hitting information graphics in high-stakes litigation and effective client communication materials in the mass-tort arena. In 1997, upon a strong desire to create an impact in the…
    Written on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 19:33

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Secret Weapon Series #1: Getting the Most out of Data-Driven Graphics

Statistical graphics are made to reveal data in a more sophisticated manner than spreadsheets or traditional formulas. These types of tools are commonly used in the damages portion of a case to demonstrate or repudiate values to the audience. These graphics should be done precisely with clarity, keeping in mind they should also remain as simple as possible. Some important rules to keep in mind are:

  • show the data
  • keep the viewer focused on substance rather than design, technology
  • avoid distorting data
  • make large data sets coherent
  • graphic should serve a clear purpose
  • display should be integrated with statistical and verbal explanations when possible

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A tasteful color palette can bring clarity and emphasis to your data without overpowering it.

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The use of basic design elements, such as color, line and font, can bring structure and relation to large amounts of data, making it easier for the viewer to process visually.

Remember statistical graphics, like statistical calculations are only as good as what goes in them. Don’t try to rescue bad data by producing a fancy graphic.

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