The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
-Depiction of brain injuries related to head trauma
-Visualizing neurological injuries related to orthopedic trauma
-Getting the most from autopsy photos
Any case involving children gives me a sense of purpose, but one stands out in my mind because it was also a great collaborative effort with a talented legal team and a top notch medical expert. I worked with Miami attorney Art Garcia to tell the story of 18 college students involved in a rollover accident. Every member of the woman’s soccer team was seriously injured and one was killed on a road trip to game in Georgia. The dilemma in this class action suit was: How do we summarize so many serious individual injuries without overwhelming a jury?
We found the solution by imagining the event as a movie. We pulled together all the elements of the story: their individual plans after graduation, photos, news footage, CTs, and actual interviews with some of the survivors. The attorney refined his narrative as we went along.
The final presentation interwove the attorney’s voice-over narration with video testimony from neurologist, Dr. Nicholas Suite. I added hard hitting visuals to simplify the technical talk and reveal what was going on the brains of those women with slurred speech or trouble finding words. The overall effect was an engaging medical documentary. Then, at mediation the attorney didn’t need to say another word. They settled for an undisclosed amount just 3 hours after we rolled the DVD.
Practice tip for paralegals working with me:
The more information you give me, the more powerful the exhibit can become. So, submit the entire stack of medical records – I often find medical details that help build the case.
Favorite Internet Resource: http://emedicine.medscape.com/
Favorite Quote: “All I can” – Albrecht Dürer
Jen is an outstanding medical illustrator; our firm has worked with her on a number of cases. She will be speaking at the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Fall Conference about the role of a medical illustrator in civil injury cases. She plans to address key issues for paralegals working with medical illustrators, including how a medical illustrator can help your firm create highly effective demonstrative exhibits. If you have questions for Jen or issues that you think she should discuss, please post them in the comments. Jen appreciates your input, and answers to any questions will also be addressed in a future Practical Paralegalism post.