Difficult Video Deposition Witnesses: Knowledge and Reporting

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on how to deal with a frustrating or intentionally misleading witness during a video deposition. Such witnesses are always a headache, but remote depositions present a few different potential issues than live ones in these cases, and there are often different solutions you may focus on for a troublesome witness.

At Phoenix Deposition Services, we offer not only a wide range of video deposition solutions and related court reporter services, but also assistance for attorneys in a number of related situations. What are some other methods we tend to recommend to attorneys dealing with difficult witnesses during a video deposition? Here are several.

Be Familiar With Technology

One broad approach that shows immense value in many areas of video depositions, including dealing with tough witnesses, is a robust understanding of the technology behind the deposition and your court reporting equipment. For example, if you — or your court reporter — suspect that a remote participant is using video streaming software (which could be used to artificially increase volume levels), there is a device offered by some manufacturers to determine whether such programs are being used.

In addition, understanding how to adjust or cut off video feeds can take an unpredictable deposition and make it more manageable for you. This is particularly true if the technology being used doesn’t offer any obvious ways to do so, which could be the case with certain chat-style applications being used for depositions.

No one is saying you have to become an expert in remote video technology overnight, not by a long shot. Rather, a simple familiarity with the basics of deposition technology (and how it’s meant to work) can make all the difference.

Ensure Proper Recording and Documentation

Finally, the use of professionals for reporting and documenting the deposition often plays a role of its own in limiting issues with tough witnesses. Some witnesses are only behaving badly because they don’t think their behavior will have consequences; the deposition recorder and reporter are two people that should be able to hold them accountable if their actions cross any lines.

If a witness perjures himself or herself, for instance, your documents (and your court reporter) will provide invaluable evidence of the incorrect statement. There will be no debate or deniability. In such cases, you may want to seek the assistance of a third party to serve as an official stenographer for your deposition, no matter how it is being conducted – remote or otherwise – and utilize their services for any follow-up meetings that result from the deposition. This way, you’ll have a verbatim record of the conversation from beginning to end, which can be a powerful tool for your particular case.

For more on how we’ll play this vital role for you, or to learn about any of our Phoenix court reporters or video deposition services, speak to the staff at Phoenix Deposition Services today.