Are you accustomed to using traditional written transcriptions to record depositions? If so, you may wonder whether recording in a video format is worth the slightly higher cost. The short answer is yes—video depositions are almost always more desirable than a transcription alone. Legal experts recommend video depositions if you hope to accomplish the following:
- Captivate the jury: Video is a more popular medium for conveying information than text. As such, a video recording of a deposition may be more effective at capturing and holding a jury’s attention.
- Bring the testimony to life: A witness’s facial expressions, hand gestures, tone of voice, and other nuances cannot be conveyed in a transcription. In this way, the ability to visualize the written record turns a good testimony of a credible witness into a truly powerful testimony.
- Depose important witnesses who can’t attend trial: Ideally, your strongest witnesses should testify in person before the jury. If this is not possible for whatever reason, the next best thing is to video record the deposition to show in the courtroom.
- Serve as a valuable reference tool: Legal counsel can assess video depositions when deciding whether to use a particular witness at trial or when preparing for the direct- or cross-examination of those witnesses.
- Keep everyone on their best behavior: When the camera comes out, the attitude in the deposition room tends to change. Knowing that everything they do and say will be caught on tape, hostile or abrasive attorneys often hold back to avoid being seen in a negative light. This can help prevent your client from being bullied into volunteering facts that could damage their case.
- Help the proceedings go more smoothly: Having a camera present makes everyone more likely to “stick to the script.” The proceedings go more smoothly and with fewer interruptions, potentially shaving hours off the deposition time.
- Speed up the trial process: In cases where numerous witnesses need to offer testimony, video recording their depositions prevents the need to recall everyone to appear in court individually. Many times, testimonies can even be compiled into a single, concise video segment, saving hours of scheduling and court time.
- Present conflicting testimony to great effect: If an attorney finds video footage of contradicting facts from a single witness, they can play one part of the testimony followed immediately by the conflicting statement. It’s possible to point out contradictions in written transcripts as well, but pausing a video recording with a caption of misinformation directly below the witness’s face has a much greater impact.
Once you understand when to use video depositions, you may be prepared to secure a professional video reporting service. At Talty Court Reporters, we utilize the latest technology to deliver the very best results in your legal case. Turn to us for top-quality court reporting and transcribing services, video and audio conferencing, and remote depositions in San Jose, CA. For additional information about our services or to request a cost estimate, please contact us today.