Answers to the Top Questions About Legal Videography
Why videotape a deposition and how is it used in trial?
Attorneys may choose to videotape a deposition for a number of reasons. By filming a deposition ahead of time, attorneys are able to challenge a witness if the story changes in court. If a witness is unable to testify in court, having a video deposition allows for the witness’ story to have the same impact as it would with them in person. The same goes for expert witnesses– if the expert witness has another obligation to tend to at the time of the court date, their testimony can be recorded and still utilized. Videos can also be reviewed more than once for better clarity.
Are deposition videographers certified?
Some states require a deposition videographer to be “authorized to administer an oath,” such as a notary, court reporters, or bailiff, but these professionals do not have to be licensed with a videography certification. A “certified” videographer likely acquired the title through purchase or minimal paperwork.
Can video depositions be used in place of of live testimony?
Only under certain circumstances. Most laws require witnesses to be present in court if they are available, but a video deposition can be used if need be. This is only allowed if both counsels and the judge agree to a video deposition. The rules are more relaxed for expert witnesses, as they can more easily be excused with a video deposition.
How should a witness prepare for their video deposition?
Attorneys should prepare their witnesses the same way they would for a court case, but there are a few presentation issues they should concern themselves with. A witness should not wear busy shirt patterns, as they can be warped and distracting on camera. A witness should avoid overly shiny jewelry, or jewelry that could brush the lavaliere microphone and cause interference. Witnesses should avoid rocking in their chair or fidgeting too much, as this too can cause interference and even look suspicious to the view. Avoid muttering, clicking pens, tapping fingers, or doing anything that can cause excess noise, as the microphone will pick it all up.
What is deposition synchronizing?
Deposition synchronizing is the process of lining up the deposition file with a transcript, so that the transcript appears on screen as captions. This occurs immediately after the deposition takes place with playback software. Deposition synchronization proves to be a great resource for the retrieval of clips, as well as clarifying what was said.
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