The use of video deposition testimony at trial has been developing dramatically since its introduction decades ago. Over the years, video deposition technology has changed considerably and has now even developed into a very useful and efficient process of synchronized video-deposition testimony. Want to show that excerpt? Place your cursor on the question in the digital copy of the deposition and the video will fast forward to that exact spot in the videotaped deposition.
There are many different situations where a video deposition can play a significant role during the trial as well as preparing for the trial. Here are some such situations:
The unavailability of witnesses on the day they are needed is a constant problem, and the best option prior to videotaped depositions was to read long passages of deposition testimony to the jury at trial. The introduction of videotaped deposition testimony allowed the jury to see the witness as they testified, adding the dimension of demeanor for the jury to consider.
Prior to playing deposition testimony at trial, all objections that were registered at the deposition must be brought before the judge for ruling. Providing video excerpts for consideration by the judge makes it faster and easier for the judge to make a ruling, again adding the dimension of demeanor for consideration.
Do you question how your witness may appear on the stand? Or do you know how they will appear and want them to see themselves on the stand before they testify? Set up a videotaped deposition with court reporters and a videographer and then play it for the witness before trial as a coaching tool.
Playback at Trial
There are several benefits to playing testimony back instead of reading it:
- Video is much more interesting than listening.
- When we read, we try to add inflection to make the reading more interesting. In the case of reading testimony, this could give a misleading impression of how the witness presented the testimony.
- Nothing is more effective than witnessing body language on video.
Witnesses and even attorneys often act very different in a deposition setting than they would on the stand. The written word does not capture sneers, disdain, and arrogance. As they say, it’s not what you say, but how you say it.
Stevens-Koenig Reporting offers state-of-the-art deposition video services and court reporting services for the Denver and Colorado metro area. Contact us at (888) 728-3356 or (303) 988-8470 to schedule your deposition.