Litigation media portfolio

This page presents snapshot summaries of legal projects that employed my creative skills, and client comments on the impact of my work.  At the bottom of each summary is a link to the complete project documentation.

  1. Land Use Dispute – The impact of a $100 million condominium complex
    How analytical graphics & visualizations helped a prominent Ft. Lauderdale developer to overcome a falsehood-riddled public propaganda campaign.
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  2. $800,000 Property damage claim (house explosion)
    3D models helped to secure an insurance settlement for a fabric artist whose home and art studio exploded and burned to the ground.
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  3. Defense of “Big 3″ automakers (class-action litigation)
    3D animations and analytical graphics helped one of the world’s largest law firms to defend major U.S. automakers from asbestositis claims.
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  4. Wrongful death – product liability (Ford)
    Fast-turn analytical graphics helped a prominent product liability attorney to pursue a claim against Ford, for a speed-control cable that got stuck in the wide-open throttle position.
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  5. Wrongful death – auto accident
    A series of analytical graphics that depicted where and how a young woman was killed by a vehicle that crossed a road’s center-line.
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  6. Auto accident – Injury
    A series of analytical graphics that depicted where and how a man was injured by a vehicle that crossed a road’s center-line.
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  7. Auto accident – Serious injury
    A series of analytical graphics that depicted where and how a man was injured by a vehicle that crossed a road’s center-line.
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  8. Premises liability – Fall
    Analytical graphics that explain where and how a man tripped over an 6″ curb that he could neither see nor avoid.
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  9. Premises liability – Hole
    Analytical graphics that explain where and how a man fell into a hole gouged into an asphalt parking lot, that he could neither see nor avoid.
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  10. Premises liability – Fall (2)
    Analytical graphics that explain where and how a woman slipped on black ice that she could neither see nor avoid.
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  11. Wrongful death: Tractor trailer strikes pedestrian
    Analytical graphics that explain where and how a tractor trailer ran down a man who was attempting to clear a fallen tree from a roadway.

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Case Study 1: Land Use Dispute – The impact of a $100 million condominium complex

Background: Yale Properties International (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), the developer of a proposed $100 million oceanfront condominium tower, worked with neighboring homeowners associations (HOAs) over eighteen months to develop a design that they would approve of, and support before a city council.  After approving Yale’s design, but just before the final city hearing, the boards of these HOAs instigated a falsehood-riddled propaganda campaign against the project, claiming it would cut off their ocean views, etc.  Yale’s attorneys and allied professionals were unsuccessful in establishing the facts.

The Challenge: I was retained by the Yale to (a) analyze the project and the failings of his communications program, and (b) design and produce analytical graphics and visualizations that firmly articulate the truth about the proposed building – and demolish the HOAs’ propaganda campaign.

The Result: With the aid of the presentation that I created, and negotiating additional concessions, Yale was granted its construction permits.

“Jon’s unique combination of creative research, analytical writing, graphic design and presentation development skills were successfully utilized in our communications programs, in achieving the governmental approvals we sought.  Jon’s innovation, attention to detail, and ability to digest extremely complex/abstract legal provisions, concepts and arguments, and translate them into clear, impactive visualizations, were integral parts of our presentations.”
Morris Richter, President, Yale Properties International

See the complete project file here.


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Case Study 2: $800,000 property damage claim (house explosion)

Background: A fine artist’s home, art studio and finished creations were destroyed by an explosion and fire, which she alleges were caused by an improperly-installed propane system.  There were only a few interior photographs (no exteriors) and no blueprints of her home-studio.

The Challenge: I was retained by the law firm of Martin & Raynor (Charlottesville, VA) to develop an extensive array of technical illustrations and 3D graphics depicting this facility, scientific diagrams and a timeline of events.

The Result: With the aid of the 25-page presentation that I created, Martin & Raynor obtained pre-trial settlements from all three defendants.

“This was a very difficult project, because of the fact that you did not have the ability to do a site inspection, or even look at high-quality pictures…. [T]he work you did has been extremely effective in presenting our arguments, in such a way as to take viewers ‘inside’ our client’s home-studio, to ‘see’ for themselves what we allege occurred. The 3D graphics… were just spectacular, and worked well for us.”
Jonathan Wren, attorney, Martin & Raynor

.See the complete project file here.


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Case Study 3: Defense of “Big 3” automakers (class-action litigation)

Background: A class of plaintiffs consisting primarily of brake technicians alleged that the “Big 3” U.S. auto makers’ use of federally-mandated asbestos brake pads caused them to develop asbestositis, a respiratory ailment.

The Challenge: I was retained by the Richmond, VA world headquarters of top-10 law firm McGuire Woods to consult on, design and direct the production of a series of 3D computer-animated visualizations, to demonstrate simulated braking dynamics of 1960s-era domestic autos.

The Result: The animations that I designed and directed the production of were integrated into a larger multimedia presentation that was shown to juries nationwide.

“We cannot be happier with the quality of the animations
you produced for us. (They will) help tremendously in this national litigation and I expect juries will relate well, regardless of their geographic location.”
Samuel L. Tarry, Jr.
, attorney, McGuire Woods

See the complete project file here.


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Case Study 4: Wrongful death – product liability (Ford)

Background: The speed control cable of a Ford Explorer got stuck in the open-throttle position, preventing the man who was driving it from being able to decelerate.  He lost control in a curve, and was killed when his vehicle struck a tree.

The Challenge: I was retained by the law firm of Michie Hamlett Lowry Rasmussen & Tweel (Charlottesville, VA) to consult on, design and produce analytical graphics to “take the jury inside” the structure of this speed control cable, and depict how it may have gotten stuck in the open-throttle position.  This work needed to be done on a rush basis.

The Result: With the aid of the presentation that I developed, Michie Hamlett was able to convince the jury that Ford’s Next Generation Speed Control System was defective.

“You undertook this difficult task and, working under a very tight deadline, produced graphical depictions of the mechanical components that very accurately show their functions and operating ranges. The federal judge deemed them reliable and, in a startling courtroom admission, Ford’s own expert acknowledged their accuracy and effectiveness. This is a tribute to your quick grasp of the specifications and your tireless work in getting the job done.”
Edgar F. Heiskell III, attorney, Michie Hamlett

See the complete project file here.


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Case Study 5: Wrongful death – auto accident

Background: A young couple was traveling along an unmarked two-lane road when without warning, a pickup truck turned directly in front of them, causing the driver to suffer serious injury, and the death of the front-seat passenger.

The Challenge: I was retained by Marks & Harrison (Charlottesville, VA) to conduct a detailed site analysis, and produce a presentation with a sequence of multi-feature graphics, depicting how the accident occurred, including from the perspective of each driver.

The Result: With the aid of the presentation that I developed, Marks & Harrison was able to obtain a pre-trial settlement from the defendant’s insurance carrier.

See the complete project file here.


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Case Study 6: Auto accident – Injury

Background: While merging onto a two-lane road in Virginia, unmarked by a center line, the victim’s auto was struck by an oncoming vehicle that he alleges was traveling on the wrong side of the roadway.  Virginia’s contributory negligence standard bars recovery by a personal injury plaintiff if he/she was even 1% at fault.

The Challenge: I was retained by Marks & Harrison (Charlottesville, VA) to produce a presentation with a detailed site analysis and time-line-based accident recreation, to prove that the defendant was 100% responsible.

The Result: With the aid of the presentation that I developed, Marks & Harrison was able to obtain a settlement from the defendant’s insurance carrier.

“Jon’s graphics, insight, and willingness to go the extra mile were second to none.  He was able to comprehend a difficult fact pattern and illustrate the scenario in a method that was both easy to follow and efficient.  His input and work product made all the difference in settlement negotiations. […]”
Eric Yost, Attorney, Marks & Harrison

See the complete project file here.


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Case Study 7: Auto accident – Serious injury

Background: Two vehicles were approaching each other on an undivided two-lane roadway in rural Virginia.  One driver skidded, crossing the center line, and struck the oncoming vehicle in its proper lane, severely injuring the victim.

The Challenge: I was retained by the law firm of Buck Toscano (Charlottesville, VA), representing the victim, to develop a timeline- and photo-based graphic reconstruction of this accident.

The Result: With the aid of the presentation that I created, Buck Toscano was able to obtain a pre-trial settlement from the defendant’s insurance carrier.

See the complete project file here.


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Case Study 8: Premises liability – Fall

Background: On his first night in a rural apartment complex that he’d just moved into, the plaintiff tripped over a 6″ unpainted asphalt curb that had been installed across the sidewalk, which he could neither see nor avoid, in part because all the lights in that area were inoperable. His resulting injuries included the fracturing of half the ribs on his left side, leaving him with a partially-disabling neuromuscular disorder, fibromyalgia.

The Challenge: I worked with the plaintiff’s attorney, Martin & Raynor (Charlottesville, VA), to construct a comprehensive presentation containing graphics documenting where and how the accident occurred, the location and status of lights, etc.

The Result: With the aid of this presentation, a pre-trial settlement was obtained from the defendant’s insurance carrier.

See the complete project file here.


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Case Study 9: Premises Liability – Hole

Background: Stepping off the sidewalk in front of a Starbucks at night in a dimly-lit shopping center, the plaintiff inadvertently stepped into a large hole in the abutting parking lot surface, that he could neither see nor avoid.  The accident tore the tendon/ligament in the victim’s ankle and severely aggravated a prior medical condition.

The Challenge: To conduct a detailed accident-scene analysis and investigation, and produce a technical illustrations that demonstrates where, how and why this accident occurred.

The Result: With the aid of my presentation, a pre-trial settlement was obtained from the defendant’s insurance carrier.

See the complete project file here.


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Case Study 10: Premises liability – Fall (2)

Background: An apartment tenant slipped and fell on black ice that she could neither see nor avoid, due to inadequate lighting conditions, which broke her leg and caused various other injuries.

The Challenge: I was retained by the Ritchie Law Firm (Harrisonburg, VA) to review photos that had been taken of the scene shortly after the accident, take additional site photos, and create a graphical presentation that would show how, why and where this accident occurred.

The Result: With the aid of the presentation that I developed, the Ritchie Law Firm was able to obtain a pre-trial settlement from the defendant’s insurance company.

“I appreciate your willingness to come to the site and walk through the scenes with the client, so as to make sure that the presentation was accurate and effective.  Also, I found you to be prompt in your edits and easy to work with through email and phone calls.  The final product was very informative and instructive to our firm and the insurance company.  It all worked out very well for our client.”
Roger Ritchie, Jr., attorney, the Ritchie Law Firm

See the complete project file here.


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Case Study 11: Wrongful death: Tractor trailer strikes pedestrian

Background: A driver traveling on a two-lane highway got out of his small pickup truck to attempt to clear a fallen tree from the roadway. A tractor trailer, apparently traveling at a high rate of speed and unable to stop in time or swerve out of the way, struck the man, killing him.

Warrentruckaccident2-1024x791The Challenge: I was retained by The Warren Firm (Charlottesville, VA) to conduct a detailed accident-scene analysis and investigation, and produce a technical illustrations that demonstrates where, how and why this accident occurred.

The Result: The client law firm claims that my work was critical in presenting an effective case during mediation with the defendant’s insurance carrier.

“Jon’s ideas and insight helped create images that were more powerful than I had envisioned. The illustrations were a powerful part of our multi-media mediation presentation.”
Vaden Warren, attorney, The Warren Firm

See the complete project file here.


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More: See this archive of one-frame analytical graphics that I developed for legal applications..

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