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About this Program
This program will show attorneys the history, state of the art, and cutting edge use of real and demonstrative evidence in civil and criminal cases. In the 1930s, Melvin Belli, described by some as the “father of demonstrative evidence” dumped an entire box of prisoners’ weapons he had subpoenaed from San Quentin onto the clerk’s desk in front of the jury. Mr. Belli’s client, a convict on death row, was acquitted of murder based upon self defense. From the demonstrative evidence popularized by Melvin Belli, including blackboards, day in the life videos and video depositions, the current cutting edge use of virtual and multimedia displays including video montages of murder and wrongful death victims lives, computer animations to demonstrate expert witness reconstructions of accidents and crime scenes, to virtual reality, the options available to impact liability and guilt, or damages and sentencing, have never been greater. A growing body of experimental studies on the use of real and demonstrative exhibits, including its impact on findings of guilt, liability, punishment and damages will be addressed. Trial lawyers do not need to rely upon expensive consultants to produce these multimedia displays, they can do it themselves on a shoe string with software like PowerPoint.
Christopher W. Dysart has been the principal attorney at the Dysart Law Firm since 1988. He began his legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Charles B. Blackmar of the Missouri Supreme Court. He went on to practice as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, and then served as a federal prosecutor, with an emphasis on white collar crime. After leaving the government, he practiced law at Armstrong, Teasdale, Schlafly & Davis, the third largest law firm in Missouri, where he focused on the areas of commercial litigation, personal injury defense, and white collar criminal defense. He attended St. Louis University School of Law where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the St. Louis University Public Law Review and received the American Jurisprudence Award. He attended college at the University of Missouri St Louis where he graduated magna cum laude.
Alexander L. Braitberg is an associate attorney at the Dysart Law Firm. He represents plaintiffs in automobile, truck and barge accident cases, class actions, consumer fraud cases, toxic exposure claims, product liability cases, and insurance bad faith litigation. Alex joined the Dysart Law Firm after beginning his career at Brown & James, P.C., a large Midwestern regional defense law firm. He graduated magna cum laude from Saint Louis University School of Law after earning his undergraduate degree from Cornell University. While in law school, he served as a judicial extern for Judge Rodney W. Sippel of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, as well as serving as an editor of the Saint Louis University Law Journal.