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Beyond the Bio: A Spotlight on Dan Martin & Katlyn Sidfrid


At IMS, we believe our people are our greatest asset. In honor of our incredible team, we are thrilled to go “beyond the bio” and share the personal stories of employees across our organization.

The IMS trial graphics department works collaboratively to create powerful visuals that help decision-makers understand complicated matters and see our client’s side. As members of this close-knit team, Dan Martin and Katlyn Sidfrid “Honor the Relationship” and provide “Quality & Excellence” in every case. Read on to learn how Dan and Katlyn found IMS, what they enjoy most about their work, which cases have been their favorite, and more!

Dan Martin, Trial Consulting Lead

Q: How did you get into this industry?

A: I almost literally stumbled into it. To date myself severely, it was in 1997 when I ran into a friend pushing a cart full of video gear through the financial district of San Francisco. I had just quit a sales job I hated, and my friend told me his employer—a tiny litigation video company—was hiring a tape operator to run the dub room. I got the job and it suited me perfectly. I copied and distributed VHS copies of video depositions—that’s how it used to be done! From there I became a video editor, and when software made depo video editing obsolete, I got into graphics. That experience was great because I saw firsthand the incredible technological changes going on in the legal services industry, and San Francisco was at the epicenter. We were digitizing video for commercial distribution very early—as soon as the technology was available.

Q: How did you find IMS?

A: I was very aware of The Focal Point [pre-merger with IMS] at my previous job. We were often hired to do the video work on their cases, so I got to know and respect people like Guy Grogan and Jeremy Young for the amazing and creative work they were doing in trial graphics, and with some art background myself, I was a fan. When the opportunity arose to join them in 2010, I jumped at the chance. So here I am, and luckily, Guy and Jeremy still are too!

Q: What do you like most about your specific department and/or role?

A: In trial graphics, our job is to help clients visualize their arguments, themes, and ideas, which I love. I realized long ago that, for many clients, meeting with the graphics team is sometimes the only fun part of their day—it’s a privilege to be a part of that. We are professional storytellers. It suits me to help clients work the story out and remind them to stay out of the weeds. Most of us have been at this a long time. If we don’t understand the complexities of a particular case or argument, then the jury probably won’t either. Our skills combined with a layperson’s perspective are of huge value to our clients. It enables us to provide them with exactly what they need: compelling graphics, done professionally and often in a very short time. I like delivering that.

Q: What internal accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: I’m most proud of the virtual tour we produced for [rural county] v. Freeport-McMoRan. It was a huge production that combined video, photography, graphics, maps, and geotechnical data in a totally interactive Flash presentation that was produced as evidence in the trial. That meant that the jury would have access to it in deliberation: a demonstrative with hours of content that (we were convinced) destroyed the plaintiff’s arguments completely. Whatever the cause, the case settled heavily in our favor right after we produced the virtual tour. This was a unique project and one that we did 100% in-house, including media production and post-production.

Q: Are there any stories/memories you’d like to share?

It seems like almost everyone working in this industry in the early 2010s got swept up in the Deepwater Horizon litigation, and of course, we were no different. Under the terrific leadership of my great friend and colleague Jill Kustner, that case broke all kinds of records for the company at the time. The workload was insane but so was the level of achievement and innovation that was going on, some of which is reflected in our work to this day.

Q: What do you think sets IMS apart from competitors or other companies?

A: The insistence on a culture of cooperation among colleagues, the focus on work-life balance, and the total devotion to excellence in our work product are a few of the things that set us apart. Integration is hard—I have been part of mergers and acquisitions that have not benefited employees. I see the opposite effect at IMS. I feel genuinely supported by all levels at the company. It comes down to people and IMS is great people.

Q: How do the IMS core values align with your own?

A: Without listing them all, for me, you need look no further than the wonderful and inspiring work our DEIB team does. The programs they have put together for us and the discussions that they have sponsored actually make a difference in people’s workday and their lives. And IMS is a proven supporter of these efforts, which makes me proud of the company. I think back to my wonderful colleague Ashley Ahn’s efforts at getting the original DEI committee off the ground successfully at The Focal Point to what DEIB is today at IMS, and I marvel at how far it has come.

Q: If you were an attorney-client, what would you find most valuable about the process at IMS?

A: It’s just the opportunity to work with and develop trust in the professionals who have been working in this odd niche for so long. The process is different for different cases and clients, but we bring a level of expertise that our clients really need. We do this stuff every day, thus we can do it a lot faster and more efficiently (and better, one hopes) than they can do among themselves or in-house. But we aren’t just a production shop—we are collaborating to ensure the client is putting the best possible presentation forward. I think our clients appreciate the questions we ask, the guidance we offer, and ultimately, again, the quality of the work product.

Q: Do you have any predictions or comments on industry trends?

A: I was asked about this in a semi-recent article. I felt a little silly about mentioning the potential future existence of virtual reality in the courtroom, including headsets for the jury, advanced courtroom tech to support it, etc. But then, sure enough, a few months later someone filed a motion to allow use of virtual reality in a Florida court. I was thinking, “Wow that was fast.” I’m not sure what came of it but that’s how quickly the ground can shift these days. I will also say IMS is right on the cutting edge of drone video capture for litigation, featuring the talents of our very own certified drone pilot Andrew Buckley!

Q: What has been your favorite case to work on so far?

A: I’ll say Hero Lands v. Chevron in 2021. For a highly valued client, it was the culmination of years of similar environmental matters that never made it all the way to trial. This one did go to trial. We got a 100% defense verdict and the plaintiffs got nothing. It’s rewarding when years of working with loyal clients bear fruit. It takes time to develop those relationships so that victory was especially sweet. Graphic designer extraordinaire Jerry Williams also really rose to the challenge as creative lead on the case and did some amazing, innovative work that still inspires me.

Katlyn Sidfrid, Graphic Designer

Q: How did you get into this industry?

A: I was fresh out of college and had a hard time finding an entry-level job that utilized my graphics degree without requiring years of prior experience. After a few months of searching and filling out what felt like endless applications for graphics jobs, I decided to check out a job fair that was being held at the Overland Park Convention Center. I met a staffing agency, and they found an opening at Litigation Insights for an administrative assistant (prior to their acquisition with IMS in 2021).

I remember when I went to the job interview, I had no idea what litigation even meant. I met with Jennifer Basch and Merrie Jo Pitera (former CEO of Litigation Insights) and our personalities just seemed to click! I brought in both my standard resume and my graphics resume, which featured more of my style and personal brand (and a photo of myself in a very pink wig), and they mentioned that they had a small graphics division out of Minneapolis that I could possibly assist from time to time.

So, after being hired as the administrative assistant, I slowly started assisting the fellas in Minneapolis with marketing materials and then got into some overflow billable work. When the acquisition with IMS was announced to the LI team, I was presented with an opportunity to be an associate graphic designer. Luck be it, the administrative job got my foot in the door to now being a full-time designer here with IMS!

Q: What do you like most about your specific department?

A: The IMS trial graphics department is more than just a group of people all doing the same job. We are a family. Everyone has each other’s back and truly cares for one another. Our department also really encourages growth—they want you to ask questions, make mistakes, and learn from them. It’s a positive environment with a thoughtful group of intelligent and creative people. Coming in as an associate and learning from senior members of the team who know the tricks of the trade has been incredible! I continue to learn something new each and every day, whether that be a new legal term, something case-related, or new tools and ways to elevate my design.

Q: What internal accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Getting promoted from an associate is probably my biggest internal accomplishment thus far. Seeing the confidence that my coworkers had in me to be the lead designer on a case was very empowering.

Q: Are there any stories/memories you’d like to share?

A: One of my favorite memories is from my first on-site last September in Waco, Texas for Ravgen v. LabCorp. The entire experience was something I will never forget, but a few days before openings, the entire “Ravengers” team (the clients, our experts, and IMS) had a cookout together outside the hotel. I was able to sit and chat with all our experts, which felt surreal because I had been working on their presentations for so long at that point!

Q: What do you think sets IMS apart from competitors or other companies?

A: The IMS team has a wealth of knowledge and resources to solve our clients’ challenges. When clients choose IMS, their cases become our cases, and we will stop at nothing to deliver the best work product possible.

Q: How do the IMS core values align with your own?

A: “Humble Confidence” is an essential value of mine. I think it is so important to remember that no matter how good you are at something, you can always learn more. I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so many amazingly talented designers and I love learning from each of them.

Q: What has been your favorite case to work on so far?

A: The most meaningful case I’ve worked on to date would be the State of MN v. Derek Chauvin trial. Working on the graphics for that case was emotionally challenging at times but I knew the work I was doing was for the greater good It helped push me through on the harder days. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the world.

Learn More

Thank you to Dan and Katlyn for your thoughtful responses and invaluable contributions to clients and colleagues.

Visit the links below to meet the IMS team and read more about our culture and career opportunities.