Legal Video FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Legal Video

Why videotape a deposition? How is it used in trial?

First and foremost, videotaping a deposition gives attorneys the peace of mind knowing that their witness’ testimony has been recorded just in case they cannot testify in court. This is especially helpful when it comes to expert witnesses. It allows the court to see the expert’s testimony even if scheduling conflicts make the expert unable to attend the court date. 

Legal video can be reviewed more than once so the attorney can form the most consistent testimony with their client. It also works conversely– allowing attorneys to see if the opposing counsel’s story changes during trial.

Are legal videographers certified?

Some states require a deposition videographer to be “authorized to administer an oath.” This means they could be a notary, court reporter, bailiff, or another legal professional. Some videography services advertise themselves as “certified,” but they only achieved that certification through purchase or minimal paperwork and has no connection with the government. Clients should confirm how their videographer was certified to be confident they are hiring quality professionals.

Can deposition video be used in place of live testimony?

Deposition video can take the place if live testimony if both side and the judge agree to it. However, most laws require a witness to be present in court if they are available. It is more relaxed for expert witnesses, as most can be excused with a video deposition.

How should a witness prepare for a video deposition?

Preparing for a video deposition is generally the same, but there are presentation issues to keep in mind. Advise your witness to not wear clothing with busy patterns and to not wear overly shiny jewelry or jewelry that could brush the microphone and cause interference. They should sit with proper posture and avoid unnecessary fidgeting, as it can appear suspicious to some. Avoid doing anything that could cause excess noise (such as muttering or clicking pens), as the microphone will pick it up.

What is deposition synchronizing?

Synchronization is the process of lining up the transcript with the video file so the transcript appears on screen as captions. This occurs after the deposition has taken place with playback software. Synchronization is a great resource for the hard of hearing, and allows for easier retrieval of clips. 

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