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Frequently Asked Questions for Legal Videography




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Your Most Pressing Questions About Legal Videography Answered Here

What is the purpose of videotaping a deposition, and how is it used in trial?

Attorneys may elect to videotape a deposition for a variety of reasons. One great use is to have the witness testimony available if the witness is unable to testify in court. This is especially helpful for expert testimonies, as it saves them time and alleviates any conflicts they may have.

Having a recorded deposition available is beneficial for attorneys to challenge a witness’ story. If they say one thing in the deposition, and another in trial, that allows the attorney to poke holes in the opposing counsel’s defense. These videos can be reviewed more than once for higher clarity.

Are deposition videographers certified?

Some states require deposition videographers to be “authorized to administer an oath,” such an a notary, court reporter, bailiff, or another legal professional. Videographers who advertise themselves as “certified” likely acquire the title through purchase or minimal paperwork. It has no connection with the government, and does not imbue legal status.

Can deposition video be used in place of live testimony?

If both counsels and the judge agree to it, this may be permitted, but most laws require a witness to be present in court if they are available. The regulations are more relaxed for expert witnesses, as they can be excused with a video deposition.

How should a witness prepare for their video deposition?

Witnesses should prepare their testimony with their attorney in the same fashion they would for a trial, but there are presentation issues to take into consideration. A few common presentation mistakes include wearing shirts with busy patterns and jewelry that is overly-shiny or too long, as it could cause interference with the lavaliere microphone if brushed. Witnesses should sit up straight and avoid fidgeting too much, as it can appear unintelligent or even suspicious to some. Avoid muttering under one’s breath, clicking pens, or doing anything that can cause excess noise, as the lav mic will pick it all up.

What is deposition synchronizing?

Synchronizing is the process of lining up the transcript with the deposition video file, so the transcript appears on the screen as caption. This occurs after the deposition takes pace with playback software, and allows viewers more clarity as to what was said and when it was said. This makes retrieving clips all the more easy. See our page on the topic.

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