Give Punch to Impeachment with Visuals

Our co-author Bill Bailey and his brother Robert have just had their book SHOW THE STORY: The Power of Visual Advocacy published by Trial Guides. This is the quintessential trial advocacy guidebook on how to bring the trial story alive in the courtroom through visuals.

This includes cross-examination. One example of how visuals can have impact during cross is offered during Bill Bailey’s informative interview of Federal Court Judge Marsha Peckman, as follows:

“WB (William Bailey): Have you seen any effective impeachments in trial by video-deposition excerpts?

“MP (Marsha Pechman): Only one time, in a patent case. One of the key issues was who designed the invention first. At trial, the lawyer put up the video clip of the same question being asked in the deposition, along with the transcript. I got to see not only the words but, side by side, what the witness looked like the first time the question was posed.

“WB: That must have been devastating.

“MP: It was, absolutely convincing me that this witness was lying about when it was that he invented this thing. He was rolling back the clock to try and beat the other guy’s invention.”

Show the Story has drawn praise from many of the best:

“It’s easy to convince lawyers that visuals are important. It’s not easy to teach lawyers how to create and use visuals well. Show the Story is the fix. This book is beautifully designed and written, and teeming with essential guidance. In the best tradition of Trial Guides, it is a crucial read.”
David Ball, author of Reptile and David Ball on Damages 3

“If lawyers employ the sophisticated visual strategies presented in this book, they will have a distinct advantage over those who do not. All will benefit greatly from this text. Bravo!”
Kathleen Flynn Peterson, fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, past president of the American Association for Justice

The authors certainly know their subject. Bill Bailey is an outstanding trial lawyer in Seattle, author of articles on trial techniques and adjunct professor at Seattle University Law School. His numerous awards include Best Lawyers in America, WSAJ Trial Lawyer of the Year, and National Law Journal Litigator of the Month. Bill teamed with his brother, Robert, to produce the book. Robert, who lives and operates his consulting business Trial by Design ( in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a nationally recognized trial consultant who concentrates on story development and visual communication.

Show the Story can be obtained by clicking here for Trial Guides.


Part I: Visual Learning
1. Our Visual World
2. Communicating Visually

Part II: Show the Story
3. Thinking Like a Film Director
4. Establishing the Story’s Settings
5. Introducing Characters Visually
6. Presenting the Story’s Rule of Theme
7. Setting Up the Conflict
8. Showing the Standards
9. Identifying Character Choices and Actions
10. Re-creating Climactic Moments
11. Seeing the Big Picture

Part III: Visual Tools and Techniques
12. Making Your Case Stick
13. How Tech Savvy Should I Be?
14. Employing the Locus in Quo
15. Building the Theme
16. Creating Computer Illustrations and Animations
17. Working with Computer-Graphics Specialists
18. Avoiding the Pitfalls
19. Exmaining Computer-Illustration Case Studies
20. Creating Illustrations from Source Material
21. Using Google Earth

Part IV: Visual Foundation
22. Hearing a Judge’s Perspective
23. Dealing with Evidentiary and Ethical Issues
24. Enhancing Reality
25. Expanding Traditional Evidence Rules
26. Winning an Admissibility Knife Fight
27. Turning the Weapon Around: Defense into Offense
28. The Future Is Now

A. Defending with Visuals
B. The Defense Playbook