Video Depositions

Making Video Depositions Work For You

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Consider regularly videotaping your depositions: see how a witness looks and talks before a trial; reduce your witness expenses during trial.
Use demonstrative evidence (e.g. x-rays, photographs, medical illustrations, 35mm slides, 3-D scale models, graphs, charts, technical illustration, diagrams) along with a head and shoulders view of the witness. A "talking head" with hand puppet gestures doesn't hold a juror's interest for long.
A color TV monitor should be used to see how the witness appears on-camera before recording begins.
Select a neutral, non-distracting background behind the witness.
Have your witnesses organize their notes before the camera rolls.
Extra lighting should be used to avoid harsh shadows on the face or behind the head of the witness. Bright, soft, even lighting improves the juror's ability to comfortably look at the face of a witness.
Use one microphone for the witness and each attorney to eliminate hard to hear, uneven audio.
Consider using excerpts from video depositions at your mediation, or settlement conferences. Trial Presentation Software allows side-by-side display of the court reporter's text and your video deposition on CD-ROM
Try to get your objections disposed of before trial day; editing out testimony live by turning down the sound is very distracting to jurors
Playing back video depositions at court should be kept simple with a minimum of equipment and cables. Consider using one large TV monitor for the jurors and small ones for the judge and the attorneys. Give the videographer your tape so he can check it out, adjust the sound level, and if necessary, rewind or advance the tape.
Consider using a live TV camera for displaying 3-D evidence, photos, x-rays, 35mm slides on TV monitors.
Drive home your points by using a video marker to point and draw live over video or computer images while highlighting with color.

If you are using Trial Display Software on a computer, consider putting your video depositions on CD-ROM for easier playback in court.