If you’re trying to save money on litigation, you might try to cut corners whenever possible. Recording depositions should not be one of those cuts. Videotaping depositions is necessary for a few very important reasons. In fact, some people argue that if a deposition isn’t important enough for you to videotape, then it’s probably not important enough for you to take in the first place.
Thinking about skipping a video recording? Here are three reasons why videotaping depositions is so important.
You—and the jury—will get a sense of tone
Court reporters provide accurate and detailed written transcripts of proceedings. Unfortunately, there’s no way to capture tone and nuance in a written transcript—at least not the way videotaping can achieve. There’s a big difference between reading the words, “No, I didn’t do it,” versus watching someone sniff, roll their eyes and actually say the same sentence.
When you’re deposing witnesses, you’re not just finding evidence for your own theory of the case. You’re also looking for information that can be used to convey that theory to the jury, or provide damning impeachment evidence if you suspect the witness is lying. Juries will have a harder time dismissing the witness testimony if there’s a video and a transcript. You’ll have their words written in black and white—and a video of their tone and delivery to back it up. If the witness is acting cagey or otherwise untrustworthy, videotaped depositions can hammer that point home.
Use it to great effect at mediation or trial
Speaking of juries, recording depositions is necessary because they can be used effectively at mediation and trial. You can prepare ahead of time to ensure the most relevant clips are available at the touch of a button. Your closing argument will be that much more effective.
Videos hold jurists’ attention better than reading back transcripts. If you have a particularly expressive or untrustworthy witness, seeing their reactions on video will do a world of good during the mediation or trial.
The video can also help you prepare for mediation and trial. When you’re conducting a deposition, it can be difficult to watch the witnesses and opposing counsel at the same time. You might miss out on key facts or other small nuances that only become apparent after you review the tape. Many litigators find that having video testimony makes it easier for them to put the pieces together.
Save time and money on witness travel and appearances
Finally, video recording depositions is necessary because it allows witnesses to be deposed wherever they’re located, rather than paying for travel. This allows lawyers to save more time and money on the whole—and your witnesses will almost always be more cooperative as a result.
Whatever your reasons for videotaping your depositions, it’s an important part of your litigation process. For assistance with recording and transcribing proceedings, reach out to the court reporters at Bartelt | Nix Reporting, LLC today to learn more about how we can assist your practice.
Categorised in: Video Deposition
This post was written by Writer