A video deposition isn’t a new concept to any experienced attorney. However, the rise of remote depositions during the pandemic led to an increase in the use of recorded video testimony in legal matters. According to a report, U.S. attorneys conducted 90% of their depositions remotely during the pandemic.
This automatically led to an increase in video transcription services to present recorded testimony in a legally-acceptable format. While COVID-19, lockdowns, and travel restrictions are mostly behind us, remote video depositions are still being used by lawyers due to preference.
About 83% of lawyers expect that a minimum of one party in every case will continue using them. That’s because video depositions remain a cost-effective technique to capture expert witness testimony and can influence the outcome of any court or judicial proceedings in an important way.
However, how can you effectively leverage video depositions as the deposing attorney? You have to adequately prepare and coordinate the process with all parties involved, including your videographer, witness, and even provider of deposition transcription services.
A video deposition is a process of capturing sworn verbal and visual testimony by a witness for use in a legal matter. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then video testimony is a much more compelling way to add credibility to your case and grab your audience’s attention in court.
The idea is to capture every moment in your interaction with the deponent, not just words. With legal transcription services, you can then synchronize the recorded testimony with a high-quality transcript to build your strategic advantage in a case.
The video deposition process involves multiple key parties, starting with you, the deposing attorney, and the expert witness. At the very least, a videographer and court reporter or provider of deposition transcription services will be involved.
Your respective roles in a remote or in-person deposition are as follows:
You can then play your video deposition to the jury.
You know the saying “It’s not what you say but how you say it”? Video depositions have proved their enormous value for legal matters due to their ability to effectively convey the tone in a deponent’s statements.
Here’s a look at the strategic advantages a video deposition can provide to attorneys and juries in a court matter:
In other words, a video deposition conveys more information beyond the words that the witness said. As the deponent answers your questions (or not), their mannerisms, facial expressions, and other subtle signals are on record, too.
To get this complete picture of the witness’s demeanor and put their statements into a more accurate context, you need more than just a written transcript. Video deposition transcription provides the best of both worlds. You get a visual record as well as a transcript you can quickly reference at any time, before, during, and after court proceedings.
How accurately the jury interprets the witness’ words can make or break your case. Again, this is about capturing the witness’ micro-expressions, voice tone, and other visual mannerisms that the jury cannot see on a deposition transcript alone.
Keep in mind that any other person reading the transcript aloud will have a tone or body language of their own. Their mannerisms could lead to misinterpretation and may not be an accurate representation of the witness’ actual behavior during the deposition.
You should use a video deposition if you want the jury to see the witness for what you saw when deposing them.
When it comes to capturing a moment, video wields unrivaled power. It’s the most engaging medium to maintain an audience’s attention for longer, including in court.
Generating a transcript that you, your team, or jurors can reference shouldn’t be a problem with video deposition transcription. What’s important is that you have videotaped expert testimony to play in court and keep the jury interested and attentive throughout the trial.
As a litigator, chances are you have a few points to use against the opposing counsel’s witness through impeachment. A video deposition can strengthen this strategy in a case where you intend to question the credibility of a witness before a jury.
You may find evidence of contradictory or dishonest statements in the witness’ overall posture, momentary facial expressions, or hesitation to answer straightforward questions–all caught on camera. Most of these captured scenarios need no further explanation as the jurors can see it on video and decide for themselves whether or not to trust the witness.
Litigation is often a collaborative process that involves close coordination with multiple consultants and experts. Travel expenses can quickly build up if people have to fly to your office to record a deposition.
Why not depose some witnesses virtually whenever possible? This also works for any expert legal consultants you want to look at the testimony. You can send them a copy of the video deposition if they can’t participate in person.
This way, you not only save money and time but also involve as many participants as needed in building a solid case.
A video deposition can be useful when a witness is unable to testify in person in court. You know there are many unexpected circumstances that could make this necessary, such as the deponent’s untimely death or hospitalization. If the court allows it, you may present the recorded testimony with a powerful impact on the outcome of the case.
Once you’ve videotaped a testimony, there’s only so much deposition transcription services can do to get you a reliable legal transcript. Extensive preparations involving the attorney, deponent, and videographer are necessary if you want to produce a highly persuasive piece of evidence in court.
The point of involving your videographer in deposition preparations is to make sure the technical set-up is perfect for recording the formal session and capturing any exhibits. This is important for getting your point across later in court.
Include these considerations in discussions with your videographer:
You want your video deposition witness comfortable with your line of questioning, honest with their answers, and composed in front of the camera. Preparing them adequately for this and clarifying some ground rules will determine how their testimony eventually plays out before a jury.
Video deposition witness prep involves:
Deposition questions vary widely by case. However, there are common introductory inquiries just to be sure the witness is well set up for the formal session.
Here are some standard examples:
You can learn more about deposition questions here. It will help you perfectly prepare for your deposition.
Regular court proceedings have resumed, but video depositions are here to stay. You never know which part of a deposition will sway a jury’s mind in your favor and win your case. This is why extensive preparations are necessary during video deposition, where there’s a possibility of the jury missing out on some of your statements.
If you need a deposition transcription service to transcribe your video deposition recording for future use, we can help. At GMR Transcription Services, Inc., we provide video deposition transcription services that are top-notch with the help of our US-based transcriptionists. We are always thorough, and because we rely on human transcribers, we guarantee up to 99% accurate transcripts for your legal deposition.
Furthermore, our legal transcriptionists come with complete background checks and are ready to sign any confidentiality agreement to protect the integrity of your firm. Whether you need the transcript in a custom format or want it delivered within 24 to 48 hours, we can fulfill all your requests. Register today to get started!