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Seeing is believing; or is it? An emperical study of computer simulations as evidence.

Robert B. Bennett, Butler University
Jordan H. Leibman
Richard Fetter, Butler University

Article comments

Copyright Wake Forrest Law Review. Republished with their permission.


Relying on the old adage, "seeing is believing," we conclude that the jury may give undue weight to an animated reconstruction of the accident .... It would be an inordinately difficult task for the plaintiff to counter, by cross-examination or otherwise, the impression that a computerized depiction of the accident is necessarily more accurate than an oral description of how the accident occurred. Because the expert's conclusion would be graphically depicted in a moving and animated form, the viewing of the computer simulation might more readily lead the jury to accept the data and premises underlying the defendant's expert's opinion... than it might if the jury were forced to evaluate the expert's opinion in the light of the testimony of all of the witnesses, as generally occurs in such cases.

Suggested Citation

Robert B. Bennett, Jr., Jordan H. Leibman and Richard E. Fetter, Seeing Is Believing; or Is It? An Empirical Study of Computer Simulations as Evidence, 34 WAKE FOREST LAW REVIEW 257 (1999).