Video Depositions Tips
Videotape depositions are used to preserve the testimony of the witness when they are either not going to be available at trial or when the attorney wants other people to see the testimony while preparing for the case. When people use our Huseby video deposition services, we have some basic guidelines that they can follow that helps our legal videographer and the deposition court reporter to create a better product.
Be sure to spell your name for the court reporter. Provide your firm name, address and email. Allow the court reporter time to get the information from the attorneys by phone. This is especially important in a telephonic deposition. Do not be tempted to put it off to the end even if those calling in to the deposition are a few minutes late and you just want to get started and worry about the details later. Sometimes when people wait until the end to share that information, they accidentally forget and hang up. Our court reporting staff will have little idea who they are and will have to do a lot of legwork to track them down. This is time that could be better spent producing transcripts.
Be prepared for the videographer to put a mike on you. Microphones are not only used for the witness. Everyone participating needs to be heard clearly, whether they anticipate asking questions or not. Do not be shy about speaking into it. If you are sick, try to limit the amount of throat clearing, coughing and sneezing done directly into the microphone. This will show up on the record.
If you are using paper documents, organize your exhibits before you start. Shuffling paper near the microphone during the deposition will drown out people talking both on the record and may make you miss what the witness is saying as well.
Speak slowly and clearly. Do not mumble or interrupt anyone while they are talking, even if you think your point is very important. Remember, our court stenographer can only take down one person’s words at a time. As a rule of thumb, court reporters do not interrupt during video depositions. Don’t make us wish we could.
Before a video deposition is used in court, it is often edited so that there is a clean record for the jury to see. Objections and arbitrary comments may be edited out by our videographer as requested. Try to carry out the deposition as if it will not be edited at all. Do not make silly, off-the-cuff comments that you do not want people to hear. Request to go off the record as needed.
Keep in mind that the video record and transcript record, while they can be matched up by a time index, are still two separate records. Our court reporter will make every effort to match the video. Sometimes attorneys will go off the video record and stay on the written record. This is generally done when making a stipulation or clarifying which exhibit or piece of information is being used. Be sure to cue the videographer when that moment is over. Sometimes people forget, and our videographer may be waiting to go back on the record.
At Huseby, we do offer video synching services. Be sure to mention it when scheduling our court reporter and legal video specialist. This will ensure that we use the proper technological settings and software and have it set up before the video deposition begins.