Dos and Don’ts for Video Depositions

May 6, 2021 10:39 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Video depositions are a great tool for lawyers in Phoenix, AZ. Not only will you get witnesses testifying on the record, but you’ll also have the benefit of capturing their facial expressions and body language. These nonverbal cues can be quite telling, and aren’t available in a written record.

If you’ve never done a video deposition before, there are a few things you should consider before getting started. Following this list of dos and don’ts will help ensure a smooth experience:

  • Coordinate exhibits ahead of time: While you’ll probably present exhibits in much the same way as you would for a written-record-only deposition, it’s still useful to coordinate how exhibits will be presented ahead of time. You’ll want to make sure the exhibits are available to both parties as necessary, and are visible on camera.
  • Make it clear when you’re going on or off the record: Although seasoned court reporters can usually tell when you’re going on and off the record, it’s good practice to make it abundantly clear when you’re on or off the record—you don’t want the court reporter or videographer to record things that shouldn’t be part of the record.
  • Ask the witness to clarify statements and exhibits: When working with a videographer, you’ll need to pay special attention to whether the exhibits are going to be visible on the screen—especially if your witness is pointing to different parts of the exhibit or explaining things. Don’t hesitate to ask them to clarify their statements or hold exhibits in a more visible way.
  • Don’t shuffle documents near the microphone: The microphones used for video depositions are quite sensitive. Don’t shuffle papers near them, or the microphone will pick up that noise instead of your witness testimony. You should also be wary of adjusting your clothing if the microphone is clipped to your shirt or jacket.
  • Talk to the videographer about the layout: Before you begin, discuss the visual layout with the videographer and make sure it will capture everything you need. They’re usually happy to make adjustments for the most effective deposition possible.
  • Don’t use your cell phone: Everyone in the proceeding should turn off or at least mute their cell phones. Ringing, alerts and even vibrations can be incredibly disruptive. They also may drown out witness testimony, which can negatively affect your proceedings.
  • Spell out names and locations: Finally, make sure you spell out names and locations. This is something attorneys and witnesses should do anyway—and your court reporter will likely prompt you if you forget—but it’s still good practice during video depositions.

Keeping these tips in mind will ensure you get the results you need from your video deposition in Phoenix, AZ. If you have any other questions, talk to your court reporter and videographer before the proceedings start.

When you need to hire the best court reporting agency in Phoenix, AZ, reach out to the team at Bartelt | Nix Reporting, LLC. We have everything you need for a successful deposition.

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