Are you accustomed to utilizing video as part of your depositions? If you haven’t been known to do this when it comes to legal depositions, it’s time to make that a thing of the past.
There are a lot of benefits that can come from making video depositions. Video killed the radio star, and let’s face it, ours is now a visual culture. The human brain processes images at the speed of light and living in a visual world is now part of everyday life. We watch videos on our phone, watch television at the end of a day, watch our friends laugh, go watch a movie.
There are a few advantages when it comes to involving visuals in the legal world. Video can do a lot to benefit you, especially when it comes to depositions. How can video benefit you and a client?
It can help show body language and demeanor of the witness.
Video depositions allow attorneys to present their case more compellingly. You cannot recreate all of the witness’s reactions and body language on your own– but a video can, and accurately. they say that seeing is believing; so, give the jury something to see and believe in. From fidgeting to defensiveness or crossed arms and glares, the video will show it all.
Hold the attention of the jury.
Make presenting evidence a bit more engaging and you may be able to keep the attention of the jurors too! We’re also conditioned to passively pay attention to everything from television to YouTube, even watching ads. If you have nothing else going on in a courtroom, it may be second nature to watch a video and pay attention and you may even be more successful than if they had been listening to some transcript being read.
You can bring a witness who wouldn’t be able to be physically present.
One of the benefits of using video for depositions can be having a witness there that would not be able to be there physically otherwise. This could be due to illness, poverty, age, the distance needed to travel, medical reasons, and more. Video equipment can be used to record the witness and set up and then bring them to the court and participate in the deposition without having to be there physically.
Save on witness fees or travel expenses.
For an expert opinion, the price can be quite high for their witness fees and more. Having their words on video is a way to have them there and you can repeat them as many times as you want without having to pay for one day or more of them showing up, which can be a big cost saver.
Let the jury see the physical evidence.
Video can allow the jury and the judge to see evidence and actually see it and get an idea of what you’re talking about. A transcript cannot allow the jury to get that same impact. Especially if the handling of an object and capturing that activity is critical then you need to let the jurors see that.
Use as a reference point for trial.
Depositions can be reference tools. You can review the video and make assessments while preparing for your trial presentation to make it better than it may have been without it.
Impeaching the witness.
If a witness changes testimony at trial but you have testimony on video, you may be able to use it to impeach them. This is frequently why so many people choose to use it because it can be such a valuable asset. Seeing the differing statement can make a huge impact.
At the end of the day, using videos in depositions could increase your effectiveness when presenting at trial. This could get you the result that you want, so why not use video during depositions? It’s not like video cameras are some foreign, tremendously expensive and unattainable tool that no one can get hold of.
If you do want to use video, a court reporter may be able to help you set up details. Or you can hire an individual or service to help you out. If you plan it right and use video, it may be the asset you really need.