At his website, Cliff Atkinson, the author of the Powerpoint book Beyond Bullet Points, reports that he went to Texas before the first Vioxx trial to give plaintiffs' lawyers Mark Lanier some special Powerpoint training.
Once the trial began, the approach to Powerpoint by the plaintiff and defense differed enough that Fortune magazine commented on it--
Speaking in state court in Angleton, Texas, without notes and in gloriously plain English, and accompanying nearly every point with imaginative, easily understood (if often hokey) slides and overhead projections, (the plaintiff's lawyer Mark) Lanier, a part-time Baptist preacher, took on Merck and its former CEO Ray Gilmartin with merciless, spellbinding savagery...
But in contrast to Lanier... (defendant Merck's lawyer David Kiernan) seemed to read much of his presentation and illustrated it only with stodgy, corporate headshots of Merck officials or hard-to-read excerpts from documents whose meaning was shrouded in medical jargon...
The trial offers jurors a stark choice between accepting Lanier's invitation to believe simple, alluring and emotionally cathartic stories versus Merck's appeals to colorless, heavy-going, soporific Reason.
According to Atkinson, it was the first time that he had "put the Beyond Bullet Points approach on trial in a courtroom." Speaking of Lanier's style, Atkinson had this to say:
We used the 3-step approach in the book, then Mark's flawless delivery took the experience beyond what I imagined was possible. He masterfully framed his argument with an even flow of projected images, and blended it with personal stories, physical props, a flip chart, a tablet PC, a document projector and a deeply personal connection with his audience.