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.