C V N   D I S C O V E R Y

Lloyd Bell & Michael Geoffroy Do a Deep Dive into Demonstratives 


"The courtroom is the place for drama... it's the place for taking chances and giving the jury a memory, an impact - physical or otherwise - of the incident."


The right demonstratives can be critical to ensuring your jury connects with your case. But choosing those demonstratives and incorporating them effectively can be a challenge.

Lloyd Bell is famous for his powerful demonstratives that help set up blockbuster verdicts. Using video from his biggest trials, and joined by veteran trial attorney Michael Geoffroy he breaks down his approach to demonstratives. 

The hour-and-a-half webinar focuses on the keys to incorporating demonstratives that can make your case more vivid and persuasive.

Click the play button below to watch the full webinar on demand, or use the index to jump directly to any topic that Bell and Geoffroy discuss. 

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Demonstratives Deep Dive With Lloyd Bell & Michael Geoffroy

Demonstratives Bell Geoffroy Play

 

Lloyd Bell

Lloyd Bell, the founding partner of the Bell Law Firm, has spent more than 25 years in trial practice. He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, and the second Georgia attorney ever inducted into the organization, comprised of the nation's best plaintiff's attorneys. His notable trials include a $26 million verdict for a woman who suffered brain damage after complications with a blood clot, and a $15 million award for a man paralyzed in a fall from a medical exam table.

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Michael Geoffroy

MG Law’s Michael Geoffroy is a trial lawyer practicing in Atlanta, Conyers, and Covington, Georgia for more than 20 years. Michael was a founding instructor of the State Bar of Georgia Leadership Academy and founding Chair of the Georgia Trial Lawyers LEAD program. He has been recognized by the Georgia Pro Bono Legal Project and Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia with their Signature Service Award. He adds that he is a bad golfer but a good cook.

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Topics in "Bell & Geoffroy's Deep Dive Into Demonstratives"

Click each topic below to skip directly to the discussion. 


Introduction

Lloyd Bell and Michael Geoffroy introduce the discussion and talk about the power demonstratives can have in a trial.   

What you'll learn:

  • Why taking a broad view of demonstratives can be important. 
  • The various ways demonstratives can impact a case. 

Quotable moment:

Every time that I have used demonstrative evidence and reached back and pulled that [demonstrative] out in the courtroom, I have never been disappointed. Geoffroy on the power of using demonstratives. 


Anatomical demonstratives 

Bell and Geoffroy break down Bell's use of an anatomical demonstrative in Williams v. St. Francis Hospital, a medical malpractice case that led to a $26 million verdict for a woman's catastrophic brain damage. . 

What you'll learn:

  • The importance of demonstratives in introducing jurors to complex subject matter. 
  • How to give an opening that connects with jurors coming from different educational backgrounds. 
  • Ideas for an ideal equipment setup to support an opening.  

Quotable moment:

Demonstratives need to be simple and they need to show immediately the point that you want to raise — Bell on critical considerations when choosing demonstratives. 


Common Items as Demonstratives

Bell breaks down his use of non-anatomical models in openings of the Williams trial, including common items such as a loaf of bread and a cardboard tube, and the pair discuss the use of timelines to support your case.

What you'll learn:

  • Why using common items jurors see every day as representative demonstratives can be powerful.
  • Why Bell believes a timeline is critical to nearly every trial. 
  • The most effective way to use timelines and how not to use them. 
  • How to build credibility with demonstratives. 

Quotable moment: 

A timeline should not be a collection of data points. . .  The purpose of a timeline is to show relationships between events.  Bell on the approach to take when setting up a timeline. 


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Demonstratives in Lockhart v. Bloom and Lavania

Bell and Geoffroy discuss Bell's use of demonstratives in openings of a medical malpractice trial in which jurors handed down a seven-figure verdict for a patient forced to undergo a leg amputation. 

What you'll learn:

  • The importance of getting to the point early in your opening statement. 
  • How to powerfully establish the high stakes of a case. 
  • When to use physical versus digital demonstratives. 

Quotable moment:

The first five minutes of opening statement is the golden five minutes. That’s the golden time when the jury is curious, engaged, and you don’t want to waste that with nonsense and fluff. Bell on making the most of the first five minutes of your opening statement. 


Telling a powerful story with demonstratives

The attorneys discuss how to use demonstratives to make the story of your case more vivid.

What you'll learn:

  • How movement can hold a jury's interest. 
  • How to use demonstratives to build intrigue and anticipation in the case. 
  • The importance of returning to demonstratives throughout the trial to reinforce a theme. 
  • How to deal with technical difficulties.

Quotable moment:

If you can get close physical proximity with the jury and show them something interesting and see their body language, [how they] kind of lean in, it further creates connection, credibility, and understanding.  Bell on how to connect with jurors through movement and demonstratives. 


Demonstratives across a range of cases

Geoffroy gives examples of demonstratives he has used in trial and the two discuss the ways in which demonstratives can be used across a variety of cases.

What you'll learn: 

  • How to use demonstratives to discuss the impact of an injury. 
  • When to begin selecting demonstratives as you prepare for trial.
  • The power of using demonstratives pulled from a plaintiff's life. 

Quotable moment:

One of the things that we always. . . try to look for is 'What was the impact of this injury? How did these damages really affect the real day-to-day life of your client?' — Geoffroy on how demonstratives can be particularly useful in cases that do not involve catastrophic injuries. 


The body as a demonstrative 

The two attorneys discuss Bell's opening in Nelson v. Emory Healthcare, in which Bell reenacted his client's fall from an examination table. 

What you'll learn:

  • When using your own body as a demonstrative may be the most impactful. 
  • Considerations in using your body as a demonstrative. 

Quotable moment:

The courtroom is the place for drama… and it’s the place for taking chances and giving the jury a memory, an impact -  physical or otherwise - of the incident. — Bell why creatively using demonstratives is so important to tell a compelling story that connects with your jury.  


Demonstrative analysis

Bell shows examples of demonstratives he has used, and the two attorneys break down why they were effective.  

What you'll learn:

  • What constitutes a memorable demonstrative.
  • "Domino" demonstratives, and how they can be powerful in showing a causation chain. 

Quotable moment:

You want [your jurors] to be at a point where they say, 'What's coming next?'" — Geoffroy on using demonstratives to hold a jury's attention throughout a trial. 


Q&A

Bell recommends additional resources and the pair take questions from viewers.


Next Steps

Here's where to head next in our library. 


See all of Lloyd Bell's trials covered by CVN. 

Watch an in-depth interview with Lloyd Bell on his trial approach.

Watch Michael Geoffroy and Gordon Glover discuss the keys to building and maintaining a successful solo practice.