In addition to the employees and regular contributors profiled here, Cogent Legal enlists the talents of numerous freelancers who specialize in informational design and trial tech support.
Morgan C. Smith, Esq., president and partner
Morgan founded Cogent Legal in early 2011 to build a distinguished firm that specializes in litigation graphics and case consulting. He began his career as a trial attorney in 1993 and was a founding partner at The Arns Law Firm of San Francisco, where he excelled at complex litigation, class actions, personal injury and products liability. Morgan and his partners tried many cases with multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements. He also handled over 30 appellate matters in State and Federal court, with numerous amicus briefs before the California Supreme Court. Morgan frequently presents to fellow attorneys, trial consultants and judges on informational design for litigation, case presentations, and new technology for use in litigation and law practice. Morgan also shares his advice and commentary through Cogent Legal's Blog.
Michael Kelleher, Esq., partner and litigation consultant
Michael is a partner at Cogent Legal and a registered patent attorney who helps clients on cases involving patents, technology and high-stakes business disputes. Throughout his career, he has worked at the intersection of technology and law. Michael was a longtime partner at Folger Levin & Kahn, general counsel for an advertising tech startup, and also is the editorial consultant for the Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California E-Discovery and Evidence. He provides invaluable direction on the most effective and persuasive ways to understand, visualize and present the complexities and nuances of an IP case. Michael shares news and advice on the topics of IP and business litigation, e-discovery, and informational design for litigation on Cogent Legal's Blog.
Dave is an expert in litigation production, design and consulting. For over 12 years, he has crafted winning litigation media presentations for trial and ADR, ranging from single hardboards to DVD-deliverable interactive programs and videos. Dave's experience covers all major practice areas, from high-stakes national profile cases to Superior Court matters. Prior to developing his specialty in litigation presentations, Dave worked as an award-winning writer-director-producer of film and video, managing educational, broadcast, documentary, corporate and commercial productions from pre-production through to post-production and delivery.
Joyce is an interdisciplinary artist and designer with backgrounds in both art and architecture. She received her Master of Fine Arts at the San Francisco Art Institute and her Master of Architecture at California College of the Arts. It is through her tenure at various design studios that she developed her skills in visual diagrams and 3D animations. Besides legal graphics, Joyce is also an accomplished artist. She has exhibited throughout California and increasingly internationally. Recent exhibitions have taken place in the US, Hong Kong, Seoul and Taiwan. To date, Joyce has received several public art commissions, including a major work at the San Francisco International Airport and an upcoming project in downtown Sacramento.
Carin has an in-depth understanding of anatomy and physiology, cell biology and the life sciences, and 12 years of experience designing graphical materials and conceptual diagrams for lay audiences. Carin's professional and educational background make her a qualified expert to provide a foundation of the admissibility of her work. With a Master's degree in Biomedical Communications from the University of Toronto, she can easily comprehend technical, scientific and medical content and communicate effectively with professionals from various disciplines such as engineers, attorneys, research scientists and medical experts.
Georgia Clark, associate graphic designer
Georgia graduated in 2009 from the University of California, Berkeley, with her Bachelor of Arts in Art Practice. She previoiusly worked as a designer and illustrator for marketing agencies and small companies as an in-house artist. Georgia also brings her experience in character animation to Cogent Legal. Georgia is passionate about the outdoors and spends as much time as she can skiing in the winter and backpacking in the summer.
William is a licensed architect familiar with all phases of construction methods, processes and procedures. He has consulted with trial teams and previously worked at one of the Bay Area’s largest architectural and engineering firms. A longtime modeler, draftsman, technician and graphic artist, he contributes a diverse skill set and deep knowledge in design and construction.
Sarah manages communications and marketing for Cogent Legal and assists Morgan Smith, Cogent's president (and Sarah's husband), in the areas of client development and administration. Sarah's professional background is rooted in print journalism and branched out to include magazine feature writing, manuscript editing and blogging. In 2009-10, Sarah and Morgan traveled around the world with their two children and developed a family travel blog that was syndicated by Lonely Planet. In addition to her work for Cogent Legal, Sarah blogs about her twin passions of travel and trail running at The Runner's Trip.
The artists and thinkers at Cogent Legal are superb. They have three essential qualities for the creation of excellent graphics in court: they are highly creative, detail-oriented, and you can absolutely depend on them to be completely prepared in court. When it comes to complex issues, they understand the importance of storylines, and they know how to educate decision-makers—juries and judges alike.
I had the pleasure of working with Cogent Legal's Dave Nugent on a significant hospital construction defect case. Their work was superb. Under intense time pressure we put together a comprehensive 'Day in the Life' video of the facility, interspersing visuals with percipient witness interviews while coming up with creative ways to demonstrate defects that were not intuitively apparent. I look forward to working with Cogent Legal and Dave again.
Chair, Construction Practice Group, Wendel Rosen Black & Dean
Dave Nugent and the team at Cogent Legal have proven to me that interstate, California-to-Texas trial graphics support is a seamless and successful collaboration with them. They are highly responsive, quick to 'get it,' and their contribution is invaluable.
Founding Partner, Stanley Iola LLP, Dallas, TX
Cogent Legal was particularly helpful in my defense of a product liability case with its rather technical defenses. Morgan Smith’s insights and suggestions helped to refine our demonstratives and exhibits, and simplified our message. The jury certainly heard that message, with its defense verdict after a 30-minute deliberation.