Things To Consider Before Booking A Court Videographer For Your Next Deposition
Good video depositions are all about efficient communication. The whole deposition process becomes much easier when the legal team and the client know all the details. A good video deposition must always be done when both parties know what they are doing and both understand the goal of the whole process.
But before booking a videographer or services company, there are a few things you need to think about. If you are able to find the answers to these questions, you’re more likely to experience a successful deposition.
What’s So Special About A Video Deposition?
Unlike other types of witness depositions, video depositions are done when a special type of deposition is required. Essentially, this type of deposition includes a video of the witness. The deposition can be used in court at a later date if needed. Typically, the video depositions are done by professional court videography services. These companies have the equipment, experience, and knowledge of the legal procedures of depositions.
Preparing For The Video Deposition
The deposition should always start after a short preparation. During this stage, the witness or the deponent is informed about the upcoming deposition and what it means. He or she will be asked to prepare for this meeting and act accordingly. This is particularly important if the deponent doesn’t have experience with video depositions. The court reporter will know how to interact with the deponent and create a calm atmosphere.
When it comes to clothing, deponents should be dressed in business attire, if possible. This is important if the video deposition is highly relevant for the case. If business attire is not possible, a simple, solid-colored shirt is the most appropriate. Deponents should not wear checkered or patterned clothes, as the design can interfere with the video, making it difficult to watch and study later. Women are advised to not wear excessive jewelry, as it can interfere with the video and the bangles can affect the audio quality. All in all, deponents should wear comfortable clothing, as depositions can sometimes be stressful, particularly for inexperienced deponents.
Tips For The First Time Deponent
If you want to hire a videographer for the video deposition, you must first know who your deponents are. For instance, if the deponent has no experience with this process, the preparation must be more detailed. This should be organized by the lawyer or the defense team, depending on each case. The lawyer or someone else from the legal team should give the deponent tips about the upcoming deposition – how to prepare for it, what to wear, what to say, what not to say, how to move and how to answer questions. The entire process might be overwhelming for the new deponent, but it must be done.
If you want the best results, consider setting up a mock deposition. This will help the new deponent better understand what a deposition is all about. Try to make it as similar as possible to the actual event. Schedule it before the actual event, as close as possible (2 to 3 days before the actual video deposition). Try to organize it in a conference room to mimic the interrogation room. Remind them to only answer the questions that they are asked, to answer elusively to questions they don’t know the answer to and to act reserved, without an excessive emotional response. A mock deposition is also a great opportunity to coach the deponent on facial expressions, para-verbal language, and body language. These are very important in any video deposition and can affect your case.
Think about the location you want to use during a video deposition. A neutral environment is the best option, such as a conference room. The size is good, it is ample enough to not cause distress, but also small enough to create a high-quality audio track. If you’re not sure where to create the video deposition, ask a court videography services company. They will surely be able to recommend a good location that will do the job well. Even if you don’t have a location in mind, the video deposition can be done in virtually any room, as long as it is comfortable, secure and safe. In most cases, the location is determined by the deponent’s location and predisposition.
In some cases, court videography services are used when an expert witness deposition is made. Make sure you inform the video reporting company about this aspect. This is because the videographer, in this case, must also be a notary, and legally approve what the expert witness is saying. Essentially, the expert’s credentials must be approved before the video deposition. This is particularly important if you want to use the video deposition later – if done properly, the other party cannot block the video from being used in court.
In most cases, not all witnesses must be videotaped. This is true, especially in larger cases, where there are a lot of witnesses. Only the most important ones should go through the video deposition process. Make sure you inform the video reporting company about this and let them know which witness is important to the case. The videographers must also prepare their setup and equipment for this process. For instance, the conference room must be set up for multiple interviews or for only one. What’s more, the videographer must organize multiple sessions to videotape all witnesses. If they are located in different areas, the logistical issue must be solved as quickly as possible.
While videographers know how to set up their equipment in order to get the best angles and information from the video deposition, some lawyers may have special requirements. For instance, a lawyer may want to make the video deposition from a certain angle, or from a multiple-camera setup. If this is the case, the videographer must know these requirements before the deposition starts. The reporter must have sufficient time in order to prepare the setup and organize the session. This is very important if you want to have a great result and get the right information from your witnesses.