The Court Technology and Trial Presentation Blawg features articles, reviews and news of interest to lawyers and other legal professionals. This blog is published by Ted Brooks, a Trial Presentation and Legal Technology Consultant, Author and Speaker. Ted's trial experience includes the Los Angeles Dodgers McCourt divorce trial (with David Boies), People v. Robert Blake murder trial (with M. Gerald Schwartzbach), and a large number of high profile, high value and complex civil matters.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Edward Tufte: The Godfather of Information Graphics

In a recent post by Matt Shipman, "Chart junk? How pictures may help make graphs better", he states, "Some experts describe these graphic embellishments as "chart junk," which they argue detracts from a graph or chart's effectiveness."

The "expert" he is referring to is none other than Edward Tufte, as that is one of his favorite and most-quoted terms.

Having been one of the fortunate ones who have had the opportunity to attend Tufte's seminars and read his books, I can tell you that while he may not condone the practice of gratuitously inserting graphic illustrations into demonstrative exhibits, I do believe he would understand and agree with the principles of proper layout, color usage and contrast to bring out a particular point.

Upon checking his web site, I noticed that he is offering some seminars in the coming weeks. I would strongly encourage anyone involved or interested in visual communication to attend. 

I still recall when I found out that my former law firm (Brobeck) was sending me to this course, I was a bit disappointed, not really having an interest in learning more PhotoShop or PowerPoint techniques. In retrospect, I am so glad I was able to attend, and I rely on this material in nearly every trial in which I am involved.