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We live in a visual age where photographic and videographic imagery have become indispensable, and expected, trial evidence. Unfortunately, we also live in an age where critical visual evidence is "Photoshopped" or otherwise "enhanced" beyond appropriate ethical and evidentiary grounds. Where is that line drawn and how can a modern litigator authenticate their own visual evidence and detect impermissibly images and videos, whether offered by opposing counsel or one's own witnesses?
This three-hour long, two-session CLE introduces practicing attorneys to the use and misuse of visual evidence and how to authenticate or challenge visual evidence, including examples taken from actual litigation.
Using a variety of visual examples, our first 1.5 hour session examines some pertinent photographic aspects and the ethical and evidentiary considerations arising in connection with those uses.
Program Table of Contents:
1. General Ethical issues involving visual evidence and the "enhancement" and alteration of visual images offered as evidence.
2. Understanding how composite human eye-brain visual perception differs from the more physically objective imaging of a photographic instrument, and how visual eye-brain differences affect witness perception and evidentiary value of photographs.
A. Major visual differences between eye-brain and camera imaging
B. Major principles of how our brain organizes its perception and how these affect visual evidence and persuasion:
C. Visual examples of differences between camera and eye-brain imaging and how these affect evidentiary value and apparent veracity of photographic images
3. What is "metadata" as it applies to digital photography and how can it be used to authenticate or reject digital images offered as evidence.
4. Difference between JPEG and RAW photo format files and why that's evidentiarily important
5. Examples of highly persuasive visual evidence, including case law about experimental reconstructions and re-enactments
6. When is digital "enhancement" too much of a good thing?
7. General evidentiary foundation issues