A computer animation, if successfully admitted into trial, is likely the single most intuitive, compelling and memorable piece of information the jury will see (with the possible exception of the Plaintiff(s) or Defendant(s) themselves). As such, computer animation has become increasingly popular with attorneys and experts alike. As a litigation technology tool, computer animation has evolved and grown rapidly in both its quality and its utility, resulting in the full-featured analytical and communication tool it is today. Showing the jury your case, in conjunction with telling them, can offer more efficient, effective and compelling presentation of your expert testimony and case facts. However, the animation must be admitted to provide these benefits….
The admissibility of an animation is generally a pretty straightforward affair, provided the following rules are followed:
- The animation must be an illustration of the experts’ opinions.
- The experts whose opinions are being illustrated must act and testify as the “foundational sponsor” for all critical inputs to the animation.
- The animation adheres to the laws of mathematics and physics.
- The animation must be shown to maintain fidelity to the experts’ inputs.
- The animation scene must be shown to accurately reflect the known dimensions and layout, as it was at the time of the incident.
- The object models must be shown to accurately reflect the known dimensions of their real-world counterparts.
Following these rules presents the court with an animation that is akin to the experts themselves drawing on a white board, albeit with much better accuracy, fidelity to their opinions and graphic quality.