Understanding the Power of Video Depositions

April 3, 2019 9:09 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In an age where cameras are everywhere, it may not be a surprise that they are commonplace in courtrooms across the country. One way video is used in court proceedings is for depositions, or oral statements a witness makes under oath. Depositions are a key part of the legal process, and more are being recorded offsite on video, rather than simply in the courtroom via a stenographer.

So why would lawyers use video depositions in Phoenix, AZ? Read on for more information:

  • The power of the moving image: One thing many lawyers try to do during a trial is discredit a witness by revealing inconsistencies in testimony. Exposing a lie is often effective, but it packs more of a punch when lawyers can show a tape of the witness during the deposition—either to illustrate the witness’s unbalanced personality or trap them in exposing a lie. Audiences generally tend to connect more with video footage than with someone reading a transcript from a deposition, so it makes the point more sharply.
  • Cutting back on the bills: Lawyers often rely on expert witnesses during a trial to do things like discuss gunshot residue or analyze a company’s financial records. Bringing in these expert witnesses to testify during trial is costly, and one way law firms could save money is by having an expert witness deposed on film and then showing that film in court. Not all states allow this, but many have opened up restrictions on having the witness physically present in the courtroom.
  • Protection during the worst-case scenario: It might sound morbid to think about it, but when something happens to a witness that would prevent them from testifying—including something as tragic as death—the lawyer might lose that witness’s testimony. This can prove problematic for cases relying on that specific testimony. Videotaping depositions helps to preserve witness testimony in a permanent and effective state, thus protecting the lawyer’s plan of action during the trial.
  • Video affects people’s behavior: When you have a camera pointed at you, you are more likely to “behave” because it feels like you’re being watched. This holds true for witnesses during a stressful deposition, when the opposing counsel is trying to trip them up and gain important information. Because being in front of the camera encourages camera-worthy behavior, lawyers will sometimes use it to contain a witness’s or lawyer’s reactions.

These are only a few reasons why video depositions in Phoenix, AZ can be an effective choice for a particular lawsuit. Still, there is an art to producing video depositions, so it pays to hire the best company around to conduct yours. Bartelt | Nix Reporting, LLC has over 40 years of experience in court reporting, and our wealth of knowledge ensures we can assist any cases we work on.

Since 1972, Bartelt | Nix Reporting, LLC has served the state of Arizona by offering court reporting, video conferencing, videography and virtual depositions. We even have legal court reporters to help you with the legal details. Call to learn more!

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