Video Depositions: Five Best Practices

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.

Video depositions are a very useful tool to save time and money.

 

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