After being qualified as an expert in 3D animation and graphics in the early afternoon hours of May 6, 2014, and enduring much debate while on the stand concerning the admissibility of the 3D visual demonstrative created using the RTI 720°™ Smart Animation™ , I was both relieved and elated to hear The Honorable Judge Handy of the Baltimore City Circuit Court, 8th Judicial Circuit, rule to allow our work to be used as evidence in this case. The visuals served to illustrate the client’s testimony regarding a specific event that was difficult to verbally describe or to portray through the use of photos. Have you ever tried to follow someone’s story and not quite get the image in your mind to synchronize with what the storyteller has in their head? It can be as frustrating as communication between two people who do not speak the same language. Our client had this exact problem and was experiencing a bit of frustration when trying to explain the story to us using the available photos from the scene. The photos were misleading due to the angle at which they were taken and the reflecting sunlight. No worries however, having the smallest amount of info and a less than stellar photo provided enough seed to plant in the Google search engine and see the rest of the information flourish. The search results revealed the details necessary to execute a visual demonstrative that proved to perfectly portray an element in our client’s story and completely clarify their client’s testimony. Judge Handy was very impressed with the RTI 720°™ Smart Animation™ and stated it aided her understanding of the explanation in the testimony, leading to the favorable decision for its admissibility.
The second battle came on the first day of trial. The opposing counsel once again vehemently argued the grounds for admissibility and strongly proclaimed the animation was prejudicial. This time, a separate judge, the Honorable Judge Sfekas, overruled the objection after consulting with Judge Handy and reaffirmed the admissibility of our work product, claiming that the visual more clearly explained the details of the claimant’s testimony. Problem solved!
As can be seen in the image above showing our original blog in October of 2012 about the road less traveled of real-time immersive visual demonstratives, our question has been positively answered! While we have been using the RTI 720°™ Smart Animation™ on past, current and developing cases, it had not yet been tested through the entire process of actually going to trial and being successfully admitted as many of the cases we work on typically have favorable settlements for our clients prior to trial. Having admissibility approved on the first try is a testament to our experience with developing media that can withstand the demands and challenges of litigation. While this particular evidence only played a small role in the case, its acceptance in court, as well as having myself qualify as an expert witness in 3D animation and graphics, was a significant benchmark for the RTI 720°™ Smart Animation™ and the team of digital content creators that make up the RTI Imaging Sciences Group. It is gratifying to know that our aggressive approach to developing a real-time interactive animation solution for use by attorneys and expert witnesses within the litigation arena has received approval.
RTI is fortunate to have leadership with the vision and desire to move ahead of the status quo and typically standard operating procedure “tried and true” demonstratives. Our clients are visionary in their forward thinking and willingness to explore new methods to explain their stories as well as to actively seek innovative solutions to their problems that will generate favorable ROI for their law practice and their clients.