Terrible Legal Animation Features That Can Hurt Your Case

Attention to detail is crucial when it comes to legal animation. There are standard features you shouldn't compromise on if you want to make the best out of it.
Legal Animation
Photo by Tim Doerfler on Unsplash

Legal animation is a great way to turn your court time around. However, with a single mistake, the whole case can go wrong. Like every other form of evidence, some rules must be followed for the animation to hold water before the court. More often than not, legal animation is always the biggest weapon in a court case. Losing your best shot at success in a court case equals losing your best ammunition before the battle even started. Therefore, you must check for some errors or jeopardize your case. Here are some of the features of your legal animation that should be corrected immediately to save your case:

1. Failure to accurately depict the facts of the case

As a general rule, any animation evidence that would be adduced before the court must adequately depict the facts of the case without bias. Therefore, if you are using legal animation, you must be careful to illustrate the case’s facts to the jury truthfully. 

In the case of Sommervold v. Grevlos, there was a collision of two bicycles which led the plaintiff to sustain injuries that cost him $3,600.00 to treat. Legal animation was used for accident reconstruction in this case. However, the animation depicted that both parties were traveling 25 miles per hour when the evidence formerly adduced by both parties stated a varying speed of 28 to 40 miles per hour. As a result of this, the animation was deemed inadmissible, thereby affecting the claim’s credibility.

2. The irrelevancy of the legal animation

Legal animation is relevant when it relates to other admissible evidence in the case and will aid the trier of fact in understanding the related evidence. If your proposed legal animation is irrelevant to the case’s progress, then there is something wrong with it. 

In the case of Clark v. Clantrell, it was stated that “an animation is relevant when it has a direct bearing upon and tends to establish or make more or less probable the matter of controversy.” 

In the case referenced above, a car accident occurred, which led to the death of a man and damages to vehicles. The defendant adduced trial animation. It was held to be relevant because the animation evidence “was related to the testimony of several witnesses about the accident.” If the animation had not led to substantial progress of the case, it would have been deemed inadmissible.

3. Prejudicial content

Many scholars contend that legal animations are prejudicial and, therefore, inadequate in court proceedings. This is because of the belief that the jury can represent the animation as the facts of the case instead of mere illustration or reconstruction. As a result, the court has taken it a duty to warn the jury that the animation is merely prejudicial. 

In the case of Dunkle v. State, four legal animation videos were used as evidence to depict a shooting incident and were held as irrelevant and highly prejudicial. The court found that “the state’s use of the four animation videos in the current case was inappropriate and potentially highly misleading to Dunkle’s jury.”

Therefore, when using trial animation in a case, it must be free of any prejudicial and misleading properties.

4. The use of specific animations without an expert witness

An expert is not needed in all cases where legal animation is used. However, there are some circumstances where using an expert witness is vital. This is in the use of forensic animations. Forensic animations are created with the help of scientific data and professional figures to get the appropriate facts. In adducing such evidence, the use of expert witnesses is inevitable. This kind of animation needs an affirmation from a person deemed to be an expert in such a field to be ascertained.

 The use of expert witness was emphasized in the case of State v. Farner.

Legal Animation
Photograph by CDC (unsplash.com)

In conclusion, no matter how excellent your animation is, with the features mentioned above, it can be rendered useless. This can also jeopardize the success of the case. Therefore, you have to pay attention to these features. With the help of an experienced legal animation company, these issues will never show up in your animation.

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