Many of the attorneys who use the demonstrative aids created by MediVisuals, or by others, are familiar with the technical aspects associated with “Laying the Foundation” of graphics for “Demonstrative Evidence.” Many attorneys using demonstrative evidence for the first time, however, are not so familiar with the process for laying the foundation for “demonstrative” evidence, and they may not be aware that the process is considerably different than the process involved with getting graphics or documents admitted as “actual” evidence.
As one might expect, a medical illustrator’s experience and knowledge regarding the law and processes of getting demonstrative as well as actual evidence allowed for use in court is generally limited. However, through experience with our attorney clients, we have become aware that counsel must have a testifying expert affirmatively respond to two fundamental questions in order to lay the foundation for medical illustrations and other graphics as demonstrative aids:
1) Is the graphic a fair and accurate depiction of the facts at hand? and
2) will the graphics help you explain your testimony to the jury?
An excellent legal reference for laying the foundation for many types of evidence can be found in the following authoritative source: “Evidentiary Foundations” by Edward J. Imwinkelried, the Edward L. Barrett, Jr. Professor of Law Emeritus at UC Davis School of Law (published by LexisNexis).