Videotaping a deposition can be very valuable. Unlike a written transcript, a video will capture much more than what was said. Video depositions capture a witness’s body language such as facial expressions and posture. They even record a witness’s tone of voice. Such details are often lost with a written transcript, and these details can be very important to a case.
There also can be some limitations with video. If a witness becomes emotional, talks too fast, or mumbles, it may be difficult to understand what they’re saying. Additionally, it can be difficult to quickly find relevant parts of a video. There is, however, a way to mitigate these limitations and combine the positive benefits of both video and written transcripts. This is done through synchronized video.
This technology allows for the deposition’s video footage and the audio to be sync’d with captions from the written transcript. Therefore, when the video is played, all parties will be able to hear what the witness says, read what the witness says, and see his/her body language all at once. If any part of the audio is difficult to hear during the playback in the courtroom, the transcript captions will help mitigate that problem. Additionally, when the transcripts are sync’d with the video and audio, it is much easier to search through the file, locate specific parts, and present them to the jury. For example, a specific word can be searched and then the word’s location in the video would automatically be found.
Along with these benefits, synchronized video depositions can be especially useful when a witness cannot attend the trial in person. Also, if some members of the legal team are unable to attend the deposition, they can review the video and get the whole picture, just as if they were there. Furthermore, video depositions can be a powerful impeachment tool when dealing with the credibility of a witness. A witness would have a hard time denying what he or she had said when the video of the testimony is replayed.