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Ex-insurance insider reveals why insurance companies undervalue your case and what to do about it.

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Insurance adjusters use algorithms to reduce a human tragedy to cold, quantifiable data. These numbers generally determine their view of what a case is worth, and inform the offer they’re willing to make.

“They’re all sad, all compelling, but they’re paper.” -Bill Ronalter

Plaintiff’s attorney Bill Ronalter of Shipman and Goodwin has insider insight into the process of insurers, having spent six years working in the large loss division of a major national insurance firm. In that environment he says, there are often a hundred cases vying for attention, “They’re all sad, all compelling, but they’re paper.”

“We wanted to show the insurance company the strengths of our clients, the types of witnesses they were going to be faced with.” -Gayle Sullivan

Charles Price and Gayle Sullivan of McEnery Price Messey & Sullivan believe those paper case files fail to convey a true sense of the human impact involved. When they need to bring special attention to a case, they bring in legal video experts. In a recent injury case they worked with Geomatrix to produce a Day in the Life settlement video. According to Sullivan, “We wanted to show the insurance company the strengths of our clients, the types of witnesses they were going to be faced with.” Apparently they succeeded, having settled the case for $13.5 million.

Bergenn and Ronalter have won over $60 million for their clients in cases where they worked with Geomatrix.

Ronalter and Shipman & Goodwin partner Jim Bergennn are masters of using video to take on the insurance companies. Over the past few years they have won over $60 million for their clients in cases where they worked with Geomatrix. Their strategy to achieve maximum effectiveness when presenting a case to the chain of insurance decision makers involves ensuring everyone involved gets a first-hand look at the videos they have Geomatrix produce.

Recalling his days working for the insurer, Ronalter said “What brings one case to the top of the pile is when we get video in. When I saw a video, well done, it really struck me.”

Call Geomatrix to find out how we can help bring your case to the “top of the pile.”

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Don’t Bring a Poster-Board-Knife to a Digital-Evidence-Gunfight.

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

No one wants to be outmatched when it comes to their evidence presentation, but a little planning is needed to most effectively use the powerful digital tools now available.

Multimedia technology has precipitated a revolution in the way evidence is conveyed to the courtroom. Video, high definition imagery, and diagrammatic graphics allow us to paint a clearer picture of a legal conflict than ever before, for both juries and judges. Running a successful electronic trial is a challenge that your predecessors did not have to face. But with proper coordination between litigator and technician, success is assured.

Establishing contact early is essential. Schedule an hour-long planning session with your trial tech; this way, you will be able to share media files, digitize hardcopy, and plan for the creation of any timelines, diagrams, or highlighted documents that the presentation will require.

“They’re used to being on their iPads and and computers and many times we feel if we’re presenting the evidence on paper, in sort of an old fashioned way,  people aren’t paying attention in the same way.” – Patrick Kennedy, RisCassi & Davis

Getting started is relatively simple, but as you begin to plan your trial, there are a few potential sticking points to be aware of:

When dealing with digital images and documents, always try to secure a copy of the original file. Scanning printed or copied documents can result in a significant degradation of quality. Although a degraded image might look fine at normal magnification, it will become pixelated or blurred if it is enlarged. This can become an issue at trial, when specific details of an image need to be scrutinized closely.

Digitize any exhibits you plan to display in court, and provide them to the technician. This will make it easy to display, highlight, and magnify the files at any time during the trial. Be sure that they are scanned at a resolution of 300 dpi or higher, to avoid the potential magnification issues discussed above.

“You’re putting them up visually in front of them, highlighting the words in the documents, pulling them up while the witness is on the stand… it’s just so much more effective.” – John Kennedy,    Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge

If possible, get your exhibits marked for trial before providing them to the technician. If the digital file names are consistent with hardcopy labels, the trial tech will be able to respond quickly if it becomes necessary to deviate from the planned sequence of slides and videos. Bates stamps are a good alternative if pre-marking is not possible.

If your evidence includes video depositions, it is best to pursue a judge’s ruling on any potentially objectionable testimony in advance of the trial, to give the technician time to implement edits. If it is not possible to get an early ruling, be sure to request synchronization of the video and transcript well in advance of the playback date in order to minimize delays during in-court editing.

“I don’t want the attention to be on me. I want the attention to be on the evidence. And that’s what the juries want too.”  – Bill Ronalter, Shipman & Goodwin

After you have provided the necessary materials and planned your digital presentation, it’s time to resume your usual pre-trial routine. Remember, the purpose of employing a trial tech is to take the task of running the visual side of the presentation off your plate, so that you are free to focus on the content of your argument. In addition, even if you manage to maintain your concentration, amateurish posters and technical delays can detract from the jury’s comprehension of your case. To minimize uncertainty and keep your head clear during arguments, it is highly advisable to delegate the operation of all multimedia technology to a dedicated professional.

Make sure you have the visual-evidence firepower to win your case.  Download our white-paper “Litigation in the Software Age” which presents everything you need to know about successful litigation in the digital-age. From preparations and video depositions to equipment recommendations and securing permissions, this guide is a must-read for all litigators.

Download “Litigation in the Software Age” Now

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Medical Malpractice – Early Mediation – Know When to Show Them

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Sometimes it makes sense to show your cards as quickly as possible, and save everybody’s time. This was the decision Attorney Pam Cameron, of Moore, O’Brien & Foti arrived at recently as she brought a medical malpractice case to mediation.

This was a tragic case of an expectant mother who desired a home birth, only to have things go horribly wrong.  The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants’ decisions fell below the standard of care and ultimately led to the death of the baby. The details of this case were complicated and technical and based largely on the interpretation of fetal monitor strips.

Cameron decided to have Geomatrix produce a video to clearly and concisely explain the essential facts of the case. The video included Cameron’s three experts, who were revealed for the first time in the video. The story of the case was told through their testimony, accompanied by the hospital records that depicted the minute by minute warning signs that the plaintiffs alleged the defendants ignored.  The presentation of this alleged failure to take the appropriate actions that could have saved the life of the decedent is clear, comprehensive, and moving.

[The video] gave the adjusters and the mediators a complete understanding of the case, and it gave them a preview of how my experts would come across at trial.

Cameron presented the video to opposing counsel very early in mediation. So early in fact, that only one defense witness had been deposed in the matter. According to Cameron “This case was so technical that it would have been almost impossible to explain clearly in a position statement.  Having the experts discuss it on video with visual assistance was very effective. It gave the adjusters and the mediators a complete understanding of the case, and it gave them a preview of how my experts would come across at trial. They could see and hear the evidence the way a jury would see it and hear it.”

The three defendants had agreed to a “global settlement” that required them all to approve of the outcome, and soon after they viewed the video the mediation took place and the case resolved. The case was settled to the plaintiff’s satisfaction, swiftly and confidentially.

If you have a complicated case that needs to be communicated clearly, contact Geomatrix to see how we can help.

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Billy B

Update: New Evidence Presented in “The Mysterious Case of Billy B”

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Billy BAn elderly Connecticut woman suffers from dementia and is moved into a nursing facility. Her home is left abandoned by her conservator when he moves to California. Eventually the house becomes dilapidated and the town sends the conservator a notice because the property is now violating a blight ordinance, but there is no follow up. Unexpectedly the conservator dies. Three teenage boys (Billy B., his brother & a friend) get into the vacant home & proceed to smoke marijuana on the property. The house catches fire & and Billy dies.

This is a brief synopsis of “The Mysterious Case of Billy B.” If you don’t remember ever hearing about this tragic case, it is because it never actually happened. It is a hypothetical case that was constructed for the CLE portion of Connecticut Paralegal Day 2019. Multiple individuals from all aspects of Connecticut litigation & law shared their expertise on key issues of this fictitious matter & focused on what they would address in these circumstances.

After the hypothetical was presented, the CLE truly began. Plaintiff’s counsel commented on how they would approach the case and Defense counsel explained what action would be taken to counteract these claims. An elder law attorney spoke on key conservator issues. A state attorney addressed criminal prosecution, which of course brought in another counsel to discuss criminal defense.

From private investigators to a retired Connecticut Superior Court Judge, it continued, experts weighing in on concerns & actions to be pursued in “Billy B’s” case.

Geomatrix Litigation Support Specialist, Walter J. Stopka, addressed what was to him an audience with many familiar faces, and presented Geo’s take on the case.

“Hi, I’m Walter from Geomatrix. Some of you may already know me. Did you know Billy B. was a straight “A” student? He had a full ride to MIT. Billy also volunteered at the local soup kitchen & sang in his church choir. On top of that Billy B. was a champion clog dancer, and all of this will come out in the Wrongful Death settlement documentary we are producing.  Defense will get a powerful preview of what the jury is going hear when weighing damages.”

“That said, defense counsel has decided to refute the claim of pain & suffering. They found an expert who will show exactly how marijuana blocks pain receptors in the brain and we are collaborating with him on a demonstrative 3D animation that will prove it.”

“Defense counsel also found photos & video on social media of the boys playing with fire. These kids would actually draw pictures with gasoline then set them ablaze. The trouble is there’s difficulty getting these files offline, so Geomatrix will download and capture all of that.”

“In addition, the private investigators discovered, the next-door neighbor has surveillance cameras all over their property. The boys can be seen on video literally throwing lit matches at one another as they enter the home. However, it is an outdated system and doesn’t export files, so Geomatrix will be needed to capture that video as well.”

“We have also been secured to videotape all depositions in this case, because the demeanor of those involved needs to be captured with the testimony. Geomatrix is synchronizing these depos as well, which will be great for impeachment, as the remaining boys have repeatedly changed their stories.”

“Geo’s FAA certified drone pilot is recording aerial footage showing the proximity of the firehouse to the property where Billy B. met his untimely death. The firefighters could have arrived on the scene unbelievably quickly & extinguished the flames, had the fire chief not decided to call off his crew and “Let that eyesore burn.”

“Much of this will be used at the trial, where our technicians are meeting the trial presentation needs of both sides.”

“The winner of this case will undoubtedly secure us to produce a press release video, discussing their success in such a complex litigation. It will be released on social media & posted on their website.”

Did you think of something else you would have had us do in this case? Better yet, is there something Geomatrix can do for your case?



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SIG Sauer animation

Dueling Animations

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Geomatrix recently worked with Westport attorney Jeffrey S. Bagnell to out-gun SIG Sauer, Inc, one of the world’s largest gunmakers, in a product liability lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Virginia.

Bagnell originally filed the $10 million suit in federal court in April 2018 against the gunmaker after Loudoun County Virginia Sheriff’s Department

officer Marcie Vadnais said her department-issued SIG Sauer P320 handgun fired while she was removing her fully holstered weapon from her duty belt.

Vadnais, who had served seven years with the department, never drew or touched the weapon, and suffered a completely severed femur, embedded shrapnel, and serious blood loss as a result of the bullet’s impact.

“The x-rays of her leg showed a femur shattered so completely that surgeons had to insert a titanium rod through the broken halves of her femur, and secure it with screws to her pelvis and knee,” said Bagnell, “otherwise she would not have been able to stand. The pain she had to endure from the bullet, and before and after her surgeries, was unspeakable.” Bagnell had previously sued SIG Sauer in Connecticut over a similar incident in 2017 involving a Stamford SWAT team member, who was shot in the knee by the same gun without a trigger pull.

SIG tried to paint a picture of his client’s actions as an “accident,” and downplayed the damage caused by the bullet. During opening statements, SIG’s counsel announced that she was fully ‘healed’ – – while minutes later she limped to the stand and was assisted by the U.S. Marshal to raise her leg so she could testify with less pain. The optics of that moment were terrible for SIG, according to Bagnell.

“After defeating SIG’s summary judgment and Daubert motions,

I brought in Geomatrix to produce a video to show SIG Sauer the devastating effect that a shattered femur from the bullet had on my client Marcie.

The video showed her not only as an experienced officer, but as a wife and mother of young children. It was important for me to humanize her, but also convey that I was willing to spend whatever was necessary to help her.”

Working with Geomatrix, Bagnell was also prepared with a 3D animation for trial.

“I made it clear to the jury that SIG was asking them to believe that my client, who had qualified on the weapon three times, randomly decided one morning to just draw her weapon and shoot herself in the thigh, for no reason. My experts had presented reports showing that gun not only fired in its holster (which made a trigger pull impossible), but contained a manufacturing defect after being CAT scanned.”

SIG Sauer lawyers presented a 3D animation during opening statements which demonstrated their version of the incident. They maintained the untenable position that Marcie drew her weapon, found the trigger, and pulled it hard enough to shoot herself, all in one quick motion.

“I showed the jury another 3D animation, produced by Geomatrix, that showed what actually happened that morning,”

 said Bagnell. “It showed that the weapon discharged while Marcie was jostling it to remove it from her belt, consistent with our expert opinions. We were able to get that admitted as demonstrative evidence and I used it in direct examination of the plaintiff.”

The matter settled for an undisclosed amount on day two of the trial.

“Although no amount of money can fix what happened to Marcie, the settlement brought a sense of relief and closure for her,” says Bagnell. “I can’t thank Geomatrix enough for their timely and skilled assistance with the electronic evidence we presented.”

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How to Help an Insurance Adjuster Sell Your Case

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Attorney Joseph G. Walsh wants to give the insurance adjusters looking at his cases as much help as possible.
For nearly thirty years, Walsh, of Cohen and Wolf, P.C. in Danbury, Connecticut has been helping obtain appropriate compensation by trial or settlement for his clients. For many of these cases he’s counted on a strategy that gets his message in front of the insurance companies’ settlement committees. That strategy involves working with Geomatrix to produce settlement video documentaries.

“I don’t want to let the adjuster sell my case alone. And since I can’t talk to these groups directly, videos are the way to get through to them.”

“I don’t want to let the adjuster sell my case alone. And since I can’t talk to these groups directly, videos are the way to get through to them.” “My goal through video is to get all the right information directly to the people making the decision on resolving the matter.”

Ideally an injured party’s painful recovery will be captured step by step on video, but that isn’t always possible. In two recent projects with the Geomatrix team, Walsh has proven that videos need not always be the traditional “day in the life” story of the injured party to be successful monetarily. For both plaintiffs, videos were produced more than one year post injury, which made enough of an impact on the decision makers to garner substantial awards.

Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 10.13.18 AMThe cases were very similar: Each plaintiff suffered severe broken bones, one as the result of a motorcycle accident, and one as the result of a retailer’s lack of attention. Each plaintiff had to endure multiple surgeries and complications as a result of his or her injuries. And because both plaintiffs did not recover quickly or well, they could not return to the life they led before their injuries.

Attorney Walsh worked with the team at Geomatrix to produce a video for each plaintiff that was told in the plaintiff’s words and in the words of their loved ones. The interviews were unrehearsed and at times, raw and emotional.

“The videos really personalized the cases. They showed the amount of suffering my clients went through immediately after their injuries and what they still endure today,” said Attorney Walsh. “Additionally, my clients’ relatives shared their observations about things that my clients either didn’t recognize or couldn’t talk about.”

Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 10.17.38 AMAnimated reenactments of the incidents along with photos of the injuries and images of medical records added to the effectiveness of each video. Combined, these elements told a story, brought it to life, and helped the decision makers realize the enormity of each case.

“These types of videos make the plaintiffs real people,” said Attorney Walsh. “Even the most hardened decision makers have to feel some empathy watching them.”

“These types of videos make the plaintiffs real people,” said Attorney Walsh. “Even the most hardened decision makers have to feel some empathy watching them.”

As professionals in business for forty years, Geomatrix works with each of their clients as a team to assure a successful outcome, whether it’s right from the start or a year down the road.

Attorney Walsh: “Great experience leads to great outcomes – they know what works.”

Regardless of your timeline, trust the team at Geomatrix Productions to work with you to achieve the outcome your clients deserve.

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Kritzman mediates wrongful death case

Maximizing Non-Economic Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Calculating economic damages is pretty clear cut. Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity is a mathematical equation. The figure arrived at is hard to dispute.

Non-economic damages are much more subjective and require a completely different approach in order to ensure fair compensation.

Dave Kritzman of Beck & Eldergill recently shared his experiences in successfully mediating a wrongful death case. The case involved a sixty year old gentleman who was not a high wage earner. Because of this, Kritzman and his team focused on the non-economic damages, which they believed had the greatest potential for recovery.

According to Kritzman, because non-economic damages are subjective, their perceived value is much more dependent on the emotional reactions of the mediators rather than rational, analytical calculations, and this is where an experienced attorney can very effectively bring the power of a well produced video documentary into play.

He also discussed the importance of projecting confidence in a case, and how he uses video to accomplish this.

Top attorneys use Geomatrix Productions’ powerful video services to Win More Cases and Win More New Business. Contact us to find out how you can too.

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The 60 Million Dollar Men

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Shipman and Goodwin attorneys, Jim Bergenn and Bill Ronalter use video as a tool to reach a settlement on every significant case.

According to Ronalter: “I think for attorneys that handle larger cases catastrophic injury and death cases, if they’re not doing some type of video, I think they’re missing the boat. Without question you’ve got to spend some money to make some money for your client.”

Before joining Shipman and Goodwin, Bill Ronalter spent six years working in a large loss unit for a major national insurer. This experience gave him a unique perspective on how cases are evaluated. “A handful of people sit down and they evaluate the liability causation the damages, and when you’re looking at damages, there is nothing better than to have a roundtable of human beings look at a well-done video. The damages can go up dramatically.”

Jim and Bill teach trial practice at UConn law school and they emphasize to students that the attorney should not be the focus of attention. It is far more effective to show a jury or an insurance company the evidence, and let them draw their own conclusion, rather than to tell them what to think. Jim Bergenn sums it up this way. “Every Geomatrix video that we’ve had, the value goes up substantially because lawyers are much, much better shutting up and getting out of the way and letting the facts power through. And that’s what these videos do.”

This approach has been extremely effective for the firm. In eight recent cases alone, Bergenn and Ronalter have used video to recover over $60 million for their clients.

The smartest investment you can make when handling a personal injury case is in Geomatrix Legal Video Services. Our premier production team will help you get the best outcome for your client.

There is no business affiliation between Geomatrix and Shipman & Goodwin. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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Three Pronged Legal-Video Strategy Leads to Successful Mediation of Fall-Down Case

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

The litigation-video “toolbox” has a variety of powerful tools available to lawyers. Top attorneys know what is available and when to use each one for maximum effect. Attorney (and mediator) John Kennedy, of Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge recently planned a triangulated video offensive in an attempt to bring about a successful outcome for a client who was injured when she slipped on ice in a parking garage.

The ambitious video plan included a three pronged legal-video attack.

1-Use video to prove that the location in question was defective as claimed. According to Kennedy, “One issue was liability, and we used video to demonstrate how the garage leaked because it wasn’t constructed properly, when it rained.”

“we used video to demonstrate how the garage leaked because it wasn’t constructed properly”

2-Use video to convey the lack of credibility displayed by the defendant. Kennedy, “We used video to depose the defendant, and he was not a good witness on video. It wasn’t so much what he said, but the way he acted on video.” In this way the video deposition did what the written transcript never could have accomplished.

“In this way the video deposition did what the written transcript never could have accomplished.”

3-Use video to maximize the damages value of the case. According to Kennedy, “We did a day-in-the-life film which demonstrated the significant injuries and disabilities that our client had.” This powerful legal documentary illustrated the plaintiff’s challenges with compelling scenes from her daily routine.

“Video to maximize the damages value of the case.”


According to Kennedy, his three-pronged legal-video strategy produced the results he was aiming for. “We went to mediation and we sent the judge clips of the video deposition. We sent the judge clips of the garage, the premises. And we sent the judge the day-in-the-life film. And I’ll never forget the first thing that judge said was, ‘This defendant’s never gonna be believed, after seeing the video deposition.’ He was very impressed by the disabilities of our client, and by the video presentation. Those three clips essentially gave him the entire case, and what he needed to know.”

“Those three clips essentially gave him the entire case, and what he needed to know.”

Video has repeatedly proven itself to be an effective tool in litigation, and got the job done in this case, but what about the expense? Attorney Kennedy addressed this, “I’m a believer that the video presentation of your client’s injuries generates dollars. It generates dollars because the defendant is now seeing what the jury is going to see. The claims people are seeing what the jury is going to see. And they’re visual people – they need to see what’s what’s gonna be presented at trial. So I think it’s money well-spent. In fact money you have to spend.”

 “the video presentation of your client’s injuries generates dollars.”

The smartest investment you can make when handling a personal injury case is in Geomatrix Legal Video Services. Our premier production team will help you get the best outcome for your client.

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Halloween Horror Story Humanizes Case with Video and Reaps Rewards

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

stairwell“I thought I lost her that day. I thought she was going to die.” (Plaintiff’s husband)

In 2015, a Halloween outing turned into a real-life horror story for a West Haven woman and her family.

After stopping at a popular Newtown restaurant for lunch, it wasn’t long before the active grandmother’s life was turned upside down. While walking over to her table, she fell through an open hatch in the floor, landing in the basement wedged between the stairway and a cement wall. Her horrified husband rushed to her aid, slid her out and sat her down as paramedics were called. Her physical injuries included fractures of her right leg and left ankle, but her emotional injuries were just as serious.

The victim’s attorney, Pam Cameron of Moore, O’Brien, and Foti in Middlebury worked with the professionals at Geomatrix Productions who created a video that conveyed the story in the family’s own words. Attorney Cameron’s client described a harrowing tale of her fall as she heard her own screams, and how she felt her father with her, telling her to tuck in her head. She told of how her surgeries and missed work affected the family. And she and her family spoke about the precious and irreplaceable time with her grandsons that was lost.

“I avoid a lot of things now. I just feel like an old lady. There are times when I just break down and cry.” (Plaintiff)

The plaintiff’s family went on to talk about the stress they experienced watching her suffer, and how they had to become her caregivers and alter the house to accommodate her injuries and limitations. Her daughters detailed how their father neglected his own health, and how to this day their mom is in constant pain. These emotional interviews combined with compelling video of the victim’s injuries and of her trying to cope day-to-day sent a strong message to the mediators in the case.

“I am confident that the money spent on the video resulted in substantially more money for our client as to the settlement amount.”

“I was hesitant about spending the money for a video, but we used it at the mediation and I think it helped immensely in resolving the case and getting our client fairly compensated,” said Attorney Cameron. “The video showed the impact the injuries had on our client, her husband, and her kids. It humanized the case and gave the defense an opportunity to see how trial testimony would go and how compelling this family’s testimony would be to a jury. I am confident that the money spent on the video resulted in substantially more money for our client as to the settlement amount.”

There is no other way to convey the raw emotion a victim and her family are going through than by going straight to the source. The smartest investment you can make when handling a personal injury case is in Geomatrix Legal Video Services. Our premier production team will help you get the best outcome for your client.

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