Video depositions held in San Jose are quickly becoming standard practice. By recording the deposition, you can use impactful visual evidence in court, rather than simply instructing a witness to read the court reporter’s transcript out loud. Arrange to meet the court reporter for the deposition in a conference room rental that already has the audiovisual equipment you’ll need. Then, allow plenty of time to prepare your witness for the camera.
Let your client know that although the legal deposition will take place outside of a courtroom, it’s still imperative to dress in a professional, formal manner—especially since the deposition is being recorded. If your client is male, instruct him to wear a conservative suit. Ladies may wear a skirt or pants suit. If they choose a dress, it should be a conservative style and color.
Video depositions can be effective evidence, but unfortunately, this means they can also work against your case. Jurors watching a portion of the deposition can see if your client slouches, looks nervous, or appears combative. None of these problems will support your case. Remind your client to sit up straight, but to look relaxed and natural. He or she can avoid engaging in nervous habits like finger-tapping or hair-twirling by keeping the hands folded in front of him or her. Your client should look alert and attentive to convey the impression that he or she takes the case seriously.
Tone of Voice
When under stress, many people tend to talk unevenly or too rapidly, or to punctuate sentences with nervous laughter. Instruct your client to practice speaking in a measured tone of voice while you ask the types of questions he or she is likely to encounter.
While preparing for a deposition that will not be videotaped, lawyers often instruct their clients to pause when necessary to choose their words carefully. During a video deposition, unusually long pauses are not desirable because the jurors may interpret these unfavorably. Remind your client to answer the question honestly, but to avoid volunteering information. It’s acceptable to ask for clarification if the question is confusing.
Before setting up a legal deposition in San Jose to depose an expert witness, it’s essential to confirm the individual’s qualifications. The transcription provided by the court reporter will reflect questions and answers about the expert witness’ education, knowledge, skills, training, and experience. During a legal deposition , an expert witness may be asked about any relevant scientific studies or publications he or she was involved with.
Watch this brief video to learn more about the qualifications of expert witnesses. This video reminds viewers of the differences between eyewitnesses and expert witnesses, and provides an example via a fictitious shooting case. Whereas a fact witness might testify what the victim was doing before being shot, an expert witness can testify as to the muzzle velocity or the trajectory of the bullet.
Since legal depositions in San Jose are less formal than court appearances, they are sometimes thrown together haphazardly. This is unfortunate, since deposition services play a crucial role in the trial preparation process. Instead, arrange to meet the court reporter, witnesses, and opposing counsel in a rented conference room. There are several benefits to renting a conference room to depose witnesses . Compared to holding the deposition at a law office, a rented conference room provides neutral territory to put all involved parties at ease. Furthermore, conference room rentals elevate the level of privacy during depositions, which is a key factor in coaxing sensitive details out of a reluctant witness under oath.
Conference room rentals can be set up with the latest state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, which is particularly important for law offices that haven’t yet made substantial investments in this technology. Rented conference rooms allow you to conduct remote depositions with ease. You can also record the entire deposition for more efficient trial preparation.
When a deposition transcript needs to be corrected, there are specific rules that must be followed. Failing to do so can jeopardize all of the testimony included in the deposition and may lead to a case being dismissed. Because deposition corrections can be time-consuming, it is important to hire court reporters in San Jose who are experienced to minimize the risk of errors. Here is what you need to know about the federal rules for making deposition corrections.
When can corrections be requested?
After being notified by a court reporter that the transcripts are ready, deponents have 30 days to review them and ask for any necessary corrections. If the transcripts are delivered to the deponent’s attorney, the 30-day clock begins, even if the lawyer doesn’t immediately tell his or her client that the transcripts are available. Within that 30-day period, the deponent must submit the changes to the court reporter and certify those changes. Failing to do so will mean that the corrections cannot be made. Some attorneys may wish to ask deponents to review testimony before the deposition has ended. These reviews are on the record.
How are changes made?
Changes to deposition transcripts, whether in form or substance, are listed, with explanations for the changes, and then signed by the deponent before being submitted to the court reporter. Reasons for the changes must be given, or the transcripts may not be changed. The court reporter then attaches the changes to the transcript. Both the original testimony and the changes are kept as part of the record.
Why is it important to review transcripts?
Even if no changes are actually made to deposition transcripts, it is important to review them. Reviews must be requested formally before any corrections can be made. Although reviews are not required, they can be especially helpful for attorneys who plan to use the testimony to impeach the witness at trial. When a deponent has reviewed a deposition and certified it as correct, changing his or her answers in the courtroom is more problematic.
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