This blog will introduce a few video deposition tactics we have seen used in court or other legal proceedings.
1.Impeaching a Witness
Impeaching a witness during a trial is a game changer. Attorneys can take advantage of this powerful technology to turn the tables in their case. By comparing the answers from a statement made during a video deposition to the statements made in court, you are more likely to catch the witness in a lie or notice any inconsistencies in their testimony.
2. Getting Clients Prepared for Trial
In the preparation for trial comes the responsibility of assessing whether or not to use a witness or if their testimony will be beneficial to your case. Video depositions are a valuable tool when used to view the actions and attitude of the deponent. Will they be nervous or difficult to crack? The more you work with clients beforehand the more they will understand about the video deposition process. Therefore it is imperative you take the time to work with them.
3. Viewing of Physical Evidence
Let’s say that the witness is asked to hold or handle a particular piece of evidence at a deposition. The benefit of video is that the judge, as well as the jury, can view it for themselves instead of hearing what is happening from a paper transcript being read out loud. The visual component is an excellent source of information and powerful tool many attorneys use every day when making preparations for trial.
4. One at a Time Please
Be sure to only take one person’s statement at a time. This means less confusion and fewer people trying to talk at one time. There will also be less noise and fewer disruptions. The number one thing you can do to throw off the flow of an attorneys line of questioning is interrupting to clarify who is saying what for the record.
Call us today to gain the competitive advantage and to better serve your client through our professional and affordable video depositions.
Remote Counsel is a powerful all-in-one platform with the added benefits of world class services and training
Featured on the Remote Counsel webpage you will find the user friendly free videoconferencing room locator. There are two ways to search. You may enter the city, state or Zip in to the search bar then adjust the range of distance within 10-100 miles. Then there is also the option to browse their database. This is also where you can reserve and book the room of your choice. You can also check the video feeds of any one of their certified videoconference rooms from their website.
Here is a short list of what they offer:
Live video steaming and text from any device.
Security- All connections are encrypted and guaranteed secure.
Availability- View or participate in any deposition live from anyplace in the world.
Scheduling– Easy access to the online scheduling service found on their website seven days a week and 24 hours a day. You can also call the number provided and speak with a concierge scheduling team member to schedule and coordinate your events for you. They will also include end user testing and event day monitoring.
Case Management– Manage all depositions for your case and get notification when the court reporter connects and disconnects.
Simple setup– From any CAT Software court reporters can stream. It is built into the most popular CAT software, CaseCatalyst and you are two steps away from complete setup.
Text– Stay up to speed with Remote Realtime, while working in your browser using search and annotation. Compatible with all software you can output to any text viewer software live, such as LiveNote, Summation or Trial Director.
Exemplary support – The platform they have made is backed with premier support and top-notch customer care by trained technicians available throughout the day whenever they are needed.
You can find the full list of features visit www.remotecounsel.com. If you are looking for the very best in Phoenix court reporters, then look no further than Phoenix Deposition Services.
Video Depositions: Five Best Practices Every Paralegal Should Know.
In this blog we will be talking about video deposition’s five best practices. When preparations are in order for an upcoming trial, there may be a witness or witnesses that cannot attend in the courtroom itself. This is where you would normally call upon your court reporter to set up a video deposition. There are many advantages of having the ability to not just read the testimony but to gain a visual of the witness as he\she answers each question under oath.
Ask that all other electronic devices be turned off. To ensure the clearest sound and best playback for the record, ask that all cell phones and unnecessary technology be turned off. Also keep any paperwork from being in the way of microphones. Believe it or not, shuffling paperwork can cause interference to the recording.
Reserve enough space for everyone to be comfortable. When booking a room for a Video deposition, keep in mind that you will need to let your court reporter know how many people will be in attendance outside of the attorney, the videographer, the court reporter and the witness. This will be a good time to address any special needs of anyone attending also. Be sure to state special needs a couple days before to ensure everything goes smoothly and as planned.
Early access for the videographer. At least one hour is the common standard for the videographer to set up his equipment and run all necessary tests, adjust lighting and to troubleshoot any technical issues that may arise beforehand.
Make it clear when you’re off the record. Microphones are extremely sensitive. Always remember that until clearly instructed that it is off the record, the video and audio are being captured. Another important factor in conducting great video depositions is to instruct everyone to speak one at a time. Try giving 2-3 seconds after being asked a question to give your response. This will also help you keep your cool and think before you speak.
Keep the space being recorded clean and free of clutter. You want to be certain that all things obstructing the clear view of the witness be removed. The jury’s attention is to remain on the testimony and not on distracting objects that do not belong there in the first place.
Booking a conference room offers convenience and allows all parties to gather at one place so that more can be accomplished in less time.
When exploring your options for a conference room to hold an upcoming deposition or interview it is important to think about the features that you’ll need in the space.
Is the Conference Room Wi-Fi and Technologically Capable?
Conference Rooms should have available Wi-Fi connectivity. The ability to use laptops and tablets that are logged onto the internet are a must have for conferencing and recording of video depositions.
Is it Cost Effective?
Cost-effectiveness is another consideration that can guide you to the right conference space. When you are scheduling phoenix court reporting services for your meeting, a conference room may be available free of cost for added convenience.
Audio/Visual Equipment for Video Conferencing
When it comes to video conferencing, it is important that the room has the necessary equipment in place to be able to record both audio and visual data. It is important to have features such as adequate seating, whiteboards, charts, Wi-Fi connectivity, televisions and monitors, and recording systems in place so that the deposition can be accurately recorded for future use by the courts.
The conference room must be large enough to be ADA compliant. This means that there is room for all parties to be present and that all ADA guidelines are met in the way of confidentiality and professionalism.
The right conference room will also be conveniently located so that it is accessible for all parties involved in the meeting.
If your in need of Phoenix court reporters who can get any size job done accurately, affordably and the way you want it, then look no further . Call us today at 602-230-2499 or visit our websites schedule a deposition page.
As a paralegal, part of your job entails preparing the client and other witnesses for deposition. In a written deposition, the deponent’s body language is not reflected on paper, and any evidence is evaluated only on the basis of the witness’s recorded words. However, in the case of video depositions, the deponent’s testimony also includes physical gestures and other visual cues that can be beneficial or detrimental to your client’s case.
Giving evidence in any legal setting can already be taxing enough without the presence of videographers and lighting professionals. So as one might expect, a videotaped testimony requires even more work, which invites a greater degree of stress. In addition to the regular deposition preparation process that you’d ordinarily carry out, you may also want to share a few tips with your client on physical appearance, body language, and vocal expression.
The Deponent’s Physical Appearance
While the focus of a deposition is the evidence that the witness presents, it is natural for the judge and jury to notice your client’s physical appearance when watching a video statement. Hence, it’s important to help coach your client on making a great impression during the video deposition.
Your client’s clothing choices are crucial not only for the viewing audience but also for the overall video quality, so encourage your client to wear clothing that is both comfortable and professional. Likewise, it’s best to encourage your client to avoid loud colors or wild prints. Plain pastel colors are excellent choices because they help the videographer achieve color balance.
Good posture is always encouraged in formal settings. The same applies to video deposition. Your client should look as comfortable and natural as possible while also displaying confidence and professionalism.
Body Language Can Affect a Deposition
Body language can speak volumes in video testimonies. Often, jurors make assumptions about the witness based solely upon body language. Here are several useful tips you can give your client to ensure that they convey the right messages:
Be cognizant of facial expressions – The client’s face will be the focus in a video deposition. Accordingly, your client should avoid eye-rolling, brow knitting, and other facial expressions that may distract the viewer or send the wrong message.
Avoid fidgeting – Fidgeting is often associated with nervousness. Unfortunately, a nervous looking witness may be viewed as being someone with something to hide. Despite the anxiety that most individuals experience when sharing evidence, you want to encourage your client to avoid fidgeting.
Avoid excessive hand gestures – Similar to fidgeting; gesticulation can be distracting. In your preparation time, it may help if you videotape your client so that he or she has a better understanding of their general appearance on camera. Ultimately, your aim is to help the client understand that their body language can significantly alter the way that a judge or jury interprets the evidence.
How Vocal Expression Can Impact the Jury
Vocal expression is as important to a video deposition as the client’s physical appearance. A written transcript will not include the varying attributes of your client’s articulation. This is not the case when your client is giving evidence in a video deposition. The long pauses, soft tones, elevated volumes, or frustrated tones will all be self-evident to the persons viewing the video. Encourage your client to remain calm and speak clearly.
Video depositions offer multiple advantages when presenting evidence to a jury. They have the ability to bring the testimony alive, and many jurors are more inclined to watch a video deposition than to read a long transcript.
However, in preparing your client for this type of deposition, don’t forget to highlight the pitfalls associated with appearance, posture, and articulation. Your job is to help the client avoid any such pitfalls. In doing so, you do a great service to both your client and employer.
As a court reporter, I’ve seen firsthand the extent to which video testimony can improve depositions by cutting costs and improving trial effectiveness. Indeed, this has a lot to do with the rising popularity of the practice and it’s why you, as a paralegal should familiarize yourself with best practices for video depositions.
Video depositions are quickly becoming commonplace in litigation. While the attorney and the witness are the stars of the show, the paralegal has an important role to play in several aspects of the video deposition, before and during the procedure. Here are several ways the paralegal can help the attorney manage a successful video deposition.
Preparing for the Deposition
Preparing for a video deposition can be an involving process. There are so many moving parts to manage and as a paralegal much of it will fall on your shoulders. Here are some of the steps that you may want to take to ensure that the ordeal goes smoothly.
Getting Organized – You should have the file organized and know where to find everything, just in case the attorney asks for it. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the general order in which the questions will be asked. This can help you determine what ancillary materials may be necessary at the deposition, such as prior pertinent depositions by the witness.
Secure the important parties – Paralegals are also tasked with ensuring that important parties attend the deposition. This includes contacting and possibly subpoenaing witnesses, hiring a videography team, as well as the court reporter.
Choosing a Room – The room that you conduct the deposition in will need to be large enough for the stenographer and videography team, along with the attorneys and the witness. You will also want to make sure that the room has comfortable seating, surfaces, easily accessible electrical outlets and good lighting (the video team will thank you for this later).
Getting the Room Ready – After you’ve chosen a room you can begin making it comfortable. A big part of this is stocking the room with beverages prior to the start of the deposition. You should also work to create an unobtrusive background. Blank neutral colored walls are actually preferable. Also, make sure that any video that is taken is timestamped and dated. If you’d like, you could even ask the sound person to allow you to do a sound check prior to the start of the proceedings.
Prepare the witness – Staring into a camera can be a frightening experience; even to the most outgoing of extroverts. This is why many paralegals often confirm that the witness is comfortable before starting the deposition preparation. The next thing that you want to do is guide the witness in how to remain focused throughout the process. Also, don’t forget to remind the witnesses to be truthful and polite and avoid being adversarial or anxious.
When filming begins, don’t forget to keep those water bottles and cups away from the witness. A witness might play with a bottle cap or take a drink when questioning gets tough. This is exactly what you do not want to capture on video, so it’s best to try and avoid these situations altogether.
Other Video Deposition Tips
Take thorough notes; observe the witness and the opposing attorney for nonverbal clues. Paralegals should listen intently and think on their feet. A witness or an attorney could expose relevant and material facts during a deposition that may have been missed elsewhere.
Remind the attorney that the camera is always rolling and everything is on the record unless the parties agree to go off record. The microphone may pick up any side conversations, even when you’re not directly in front of it.
In this day and age, it’s important that paralegals be prepared to coordinate video depositions. The good news is that if you can use the tips above to help anticipate the needs of the witness, while also giving careful consideration to what’s ahead of you, handling these sorts of depositions through completion should get easier over time.