Answers to All Your Questions About Legal Videography

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Why record a deposition and how is it used in trial?

Video depositions can prove beneficial for a number of reasons. By recording a deposition, attorneys have a witness’s testimony at hand in case that witness is unable to testify in court. Attorneys can also use video depositions to poke holes in the opposing counsel’s testimony if the video deposition doesn’t line up with what is said in court. These video can be reviewed as many times as an attorney likes to ensure clarity.

Prerecorded depositions prove to be a great resource for expert witnesses. By recording the expert’s testimony ahead of time, it saves the expert time and allows the court to see and hear the testimony even if the expert witness is unavailable during the court proceeding’s scheduled time.

Are deposition videographers certified?

While some states require deposition videographers to be “authorized to administer an oath,” (such as a notary, court reporter, bailiff, etc), deposition videographers are not required to be legally certified. A “certified” videographer likely acquired the status through purchase or minimal paperwork.

Can deposition video be used instead of live testimony?

When it comes to witnesses, video depositions can only be used in place of live testimony if both counsels and the judge agree to it, but most laws require the witness to be present if available. In the case of expert witnesses, video depositions can excuse these professionals.

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How should a witness prepare for their video deposition?

Witnesses should prepare their testimony as they usually would, but there are presentation issues that should be taken into account. Do not wear shirts with busy patterns, as they can be warped on camera. Avoid jewelry that is overly shiny or could cause interference with the lavaliere microphone if bumped. Sit properly and avoid fidgeting, as this can appear suspicious to some. Do not mutter under one’s breath, click pens, or make any other excess noise, as the sensitive microphone will pick it all up.

What is deposition synchronizing?

Synchronization is the process of lining up the deposition video file with the recorded transcript, so to overlay the transcript on the screen. This way, the transcript appears as captions on the video, making it easier for viewers to understand what is said, as well as serving as a great tool for retrieving clips for playback.

 

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