“I didn’t say you stole my car.”
That’s a good fact, right? On paper it communicates a lot of information and answers quite a few different questions at the same time.
It’s in black and white, two-dimensional: “I didn’t say you stole my car.”
Written language leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s face it, the open-endedness inherent in the written word is why we have disagreements and lawsuits. Interpretations run the gamut and all of the good intentions, clarifications, and qualifying statements in the world don’t remove personal bias.
Read that sentence to yourself again. “I didn’t say you stole my car.” This time around, put the emphasis on the word you. Now put the emphasis on stole.
Can you hear what is happening? The entire meaning of the sentence changes based on the emphasis that you put on each of those words!
In fact, emphasizing each word separately will change the entire message of the sentence. It really is incredible the amount of information that you can glean from the intonation of one word!
You see, every reader introduces their own voice to whatever it is that they are reading, making it three-dimensional. A book, a contract, a deposition, it doesn’t matter, we all inject our own bias into the written words. Poetry nights and book clubs exist because each person in the room shares a common story (two-dimensions) with all kinds of different perspectives (the third dimension).
That third dimension can and probably will decide your case. Ask yourself this question: Can I afford not having access to that third dimension of information?
If you answered, Yes, then best of luck, because you are going to need it. Not having that information is like leaving your prized horse in the stable on race day. If you answered, No, then congratulations! Your cases are going to be more effective.
The only question left to answer is, How do you retain that third dimension? Here are five ways you can do just that:
Witnesses are foundational to your case. What they say and how they say it play a huge role in the discovery process. Capturing their testimony on video helps you retain all of the little details of the true meaning behind their words.
Evidentiary Photos & Video
A photo is worth a thousand words, and video is worth a lot more. Taking photos and video of accident sites, events, or demonstrations can go a long way to showing, not just telling, the decision makers of the case exactly what happened.
Showing activities of daily living and how they have been affected is much, much more effective than having a plaintiff simply tell their story. Words can be embellished, and so can video, but it’s a much more accurate medium with a lot of credibility bolstering aspects. Caretakers, nurses, and other family members all join in the process and add to the impact of the video.
Sometimes a response to a complaint, even before litigation, just isn’t done justice by the written word. Emotions run high and all of the nuances in body language need to be communicated. Recording a statement via video is incredibly effective, credible, and valuable. The use of video lets your audience know just how serious you are.
Expert testimony can be wordy, complex, and baffling. Cases can drag on for weeks with dozens of witnesses piecing together a story. Distilling those monumental words, numbers, concepts, and stories into easy to understand graphics and diagrams connect the decision maker with the theme of your case.
Adding visual information – retaining that third dimension – introduces depth, perspective, and context to communications. UCLA found that non-verbal cues can account for 93% of the value of communications. Are you really ready to leave that behind in a document, or deposition?
How else would you capture that third dimension?