Video depositions create a visual record of the deposition testimony. They go beyond typical written transcripts because videos convey emotion and inflection, silences and sighs that are all lost in text recorded via traditional depositions. Videotaped depositions often become the tipping point toward trial or settlement of a case.
For better results, follow these video deposition tips:
Ask for your needs to be accommodated
When scheduling your video deposition, let the agency know of any specific needs or special instructions you may have. Do you need a DVD right after the deposition? Do you need a projector? A livenote court reporter? A video conference connection? If so, let the agency know, and they will be glad to accommodate you.
Bring business cards and notice
Bring several business cards to the deposition. This helps the court reporter keep name spelling accurate. In addition, bringing a case notice can be very helpful to both the legal videographer and court reporter.
Check out your videographer’s video framing
Before the deposition actually starts, ask your videographer to show how he or she framed the witness. If you don’t like something about the shot, ask your videographer to alter the framing before starting the deposition.
Ensure that only one person speaks at a time
Just as it is hard for a court reporter to capture everything correctly when multiple participants speak at once, videos can also become confusing when there are many voices speaking at the same time. Another reason to take turns speaking is to get your video deposition back more quickly. Videos will take longer to edit if multiple people are speaking over each other. Also, cuts may not be smooth in this case.
Keep your mic on if you plan to speak
Don’t take off your mic when you finish your line of questioning. If you do, the court reporter and videographer may not accurately capture your comments, objections or questions.
Cover your mic if you don’t want to be recorded
Videographers will make every attempt to not record sidebar conversations, but the safest bet is cover your mic if you plan on saying something that you don’t want to be included in the record.
Cut out distracting noises
Avoid touching microphones with paper or fidgeting with papers near microphones because the sounds distort the audibility of questions or answers. Ask witnesses not to fold their arms over mics, cover mics with exhibits, touch mics or have hair that would brush up against the mic.
Properly record exhibits
Hold up exhibits individually for the camera so that the videographer can zoom in and record each. The attorney presenting the exhibit should wait for the videographer to give a cue that the exhibit has been recorded before putting it away.
Video depositions offer the opportunity for attorneys to better convey witness testimony in either trial or settlement settings. For more tips on conducting depositions, check out our previous blog post on witness preparation tips.
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