Answers to the Most Common Legal Videography Questions
Q: Why record a deposition and how is it used?
A: Attorneys record a deposition for a number of reasons. Because they are recorded, the deposition can be reviewed more than once for higher clarity. When a witness cannot testify in court, a recorded deposition can serve in their place– and the same goes for an expert witness. The deposition can also be used to challenge the opposing counsel’s witness if the story changes between deposition and trial.
Q: Are deposition videographers certified professionals?
A: Some states do require a deposition videographer to be “authorized to administer an oath.” This could mean a notary, a court reporter, or bayliff, but there is no standard of videography certification. Certifications can easily be acquired through paperwork or even purchase.
Q: Can a video of a deposition be used in place of live testimony?
A: If both counsels and the judge agree to using video deposition in place of live testimony, then it is usually fine. Many states, however, require a witness to be present in court if they are available. In the case of expert witnesses, however, laws generally allow a video deposition to take their physical place in the courtroom.
Q: How should a witness prepare for a video deposition?
A: Attorneys should prepare the witness the same way they would prepare the witness for any other deposition. However, there are presentation issues to take into consideration. Advise your witness against wearing shirts with busy patterns, as they can be warped on camera. Avoid jewelry that is overly shiny or dangles, as any bump to the lavaliere microphone can cause interference. Instruct the witness to sit with proper posture, avoid fidgeting, and to not mutter under their breath, click pens, or do anything that can cause excess noise.
Q: What is deposition synchronizing?
Synchronization is the process of lining up a video file of a deposition with the recorded transcript. This allows the text to appear on scream as someone is speaking, similar to the function of captions. this is done with playback software after the deposition takes place, and provides clients more clarity about what was said. It allow allows for easier clip retrieval if an attorney is looking for a specific time-frame in the deposition.
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