An important function is the ability and fluency of the lawyer in handling the introduction of exhibits. At the beginning of each trial, I require each side to hand me an exhibit log listing the exhibit numbers and a brief description of the exhibit. I am looking for the following:
- Did you handle the exhibits in a professional manner? Were they properly marked? You must mark your own exhibits and do so with a clearly understandable method. When was the exhibit published to the jury? Was the admission suitably timed?
- Do you understand the rules of authentication? See Rule 901, et seq.
- How logically and persuasively did you argue relevancy? Once again this requires mastery of Rule 401.
- Did you effectively use demonstrative evidence? Sometimes no amount of words can communicate information as effectively as a photograph, videotape or DVD, chart, graphs, diagram drawing, film and model. Look for places to use demonstrative evidence and use your imagination to create persuasive exhibits.