In her opening statement at trial over the death of Brandon Harris, Jane Lamberti uses a soda bottle to describe how water can build up in the lungs of a person suffering from pulmonary edema. Watch the full opening statement here.
By the time opening statements begin, the average juror has already been overwhelmed with information. Voir dire, instructions from the bench, even the courtroom environment are all new and confusing to many jurors, making it difficult for them to fully understand details delivered in an opening. Under these circumstances, too many charts, models, and graphs intended to explain key terms can, in the wrong circumstances, confuse and distract the overwhelmed juror. Particularly where complex terms and ideas are central to a case, opting for a basic, simple demonstration of a theory can often be a powerful tool. That's the route The Cochran Firm's Jane Lamberti took in explaining the deadly buildup of fluid in a sleep center patient's lungs.