Oracle v. Google part 2 is raging on in California. This second trial in the saga again alleges copyright violations against Google in the creation of Android. Oracle is seeking damages for the “theft.” (Ars Technica has a great daily play-by-play summary.) I’m not too interested in the trial, since I think that Google’s engineers probably used Java code in development of Android. But Java isn’t the reason that Oracle II just got exciting. The excitement comes from Oracle’s slides from its 90 minute closing arguments.
The slides are beautifully designed, focusing only on relevant facts to help tell a story.
I think that you’ll notice some of the great principles of slide design:
- Telling a story
- Minimalism (3 images/words to a slide; although I’ll admit some have way too many words and pictures)
- Relevant (you’re citing the evidence; you’re telling your story)
Most trial lawyers know how effective closing arguments are on juries’ opinions of the case. Thus, Oracle gives a great lesson on making sure you reframe your closing arguments to remind the jury about the evidence they’ve viewed. There is no way that Oracle created these slides the night before closing arguments. Oracle’s slides teach lawyers that you must plan your closing arguments. Quite simply, the best recommendation I received from a veteran trial lawyer was to outline your closing arguments at the beginning of your case — when you sign up the client — and then make the evidence fit your arguments — i.e. you already know what you need to prove your case, so use discovery to expand and gather that evidence.
As Oracle’s slides show, the trial team gathered the evidence they needed to prove their case. And just because the Oracle (and Google) trial team had millions to spend, the slides show they diligently pursued the information they needed and then placed it in a visually pleasing manner. The team understands the importance of the case for their client — a fact I think many attorneys, especially solos, sometimes forget — so they worked at helping put their client in the best light possible.
The next time you’re preparing your presentation, take a look at these slides. And for additional information, check out these simple tips from PowerPoint guru, Garry Reynolds, and then try telling me Oracle didn’t follow the rules.
Source: Ars Technica
Update (05/26/16): I guess the fact that Google won is a bit of irony, and just goes to prove that even the best looking presentations don’t always sway the jury.