Video camera

As the owner of a court reporting agency, we see our clients order videos & videotapes for their depositions for many reasons:

  • To have the impact of playing videotape in a trial to impeach a witness. Nothing is more impactful than hearing a contradictory statement right from the mouth of a witness. You don’t get the same ‘wow’ effect as reading it from a transcript.
  • To keep opposing counsel in line. We hear this one a lot! An attorney will order a video because the video will capture any ‘shenanigans’ opposing counsel may offer up during the deposition, thus, opposing counsel will be on his or her best behavior.
  • To see how the witness looks when being questioned. Some of our clients want to know how the witness will look to a potential jury, their facial expressions, do they appear ‘likable’. Seeing the person answer questions will give them great insight.
  • The witness may live out of state and may not be able to testify in the event the case goes to trial.
  • The intimidation factor. Some attorneys believe in a tactic to ‘intimidate’ the witness with the camera and lights shining brightly on them.

Ok, so there are many reasons why an attorney will order a video. I’ve mentioned several above and there are many more if you survey attorneys who use video depositions.

What about the prices, though? It is true, adding videotape will likely add 40% more to the invoice for a particular deposition. Are the benefits enough to outweigh the additional costs? Maybe or maybe not. It sometimes depends on the judge. We had a client who took 20+ video depositions in a case only for the judge to rule that they couldn’t use any of them during the trial.

So, what if you want to be able to see what your client looks like while answering questions, but don’t want to absorb the 40% uptick in your invoice? There is a solution. All you need is a laptop with a webcam feature. Through web-based technology, we have recorded live testimony for our clients that captures both audio and visual; we send them a link to that video within minutes after the deposition concludes.

Now, since this video was not conducted by a Certified Legal Videographer, this particular videotape would not be able to be shown in a trial; but, sometimes showing the video at trial is not the end game.

Whatever your motive is for ordering your deposition as video, there is potentially a way to accomplish your goals while getting your video quicker and with fewer costs. Contact us to learn more!

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