In a previous post about do's and don'ts in opening statement, I noted that lawyers should "use visual aids and portions of depositions" in their opening. In his online "Advanced Trial Handbook," Florida lawyer Ervin Gonzalez agrees:
Demonstrative evidence should be used during the opening. This will greatly increase the jury's understanding of what the evidence will actually show. Moreover, it directs the jury's attention to important evidence and allows them to recognize it once it is introduced during trial. For example, in a breach of contract case, you should blow up the relevant portion of the contract around which the dispute developed. Show that portion of the contract to the jury and read it to the jury during the opening statement. The opposition has no valid basis to object to your doing this provided that the portion of the contract that you are showing to the jury will be accepted in evidence.
In a personal injury case, you should use diagrams, charts, and/or photo enlargements showing how the incident occurred and what injuries were sustained by your client. Use the charts to explain the complex engineering and medical terms that will be heard throughout the case.
If the judge will allow it, key portions of videotaped depositions can also be used to very good effect in opening statement.