5 FAQs about Picture-in-Picture

5 FAQs about Picture-in-Picture

If you’re not yet familiar with the technology that provides Picture-in-Picture(PiP), you soon will be. It’s being used more and more for depositions when exhibits need to be viewed or written on by the deponent. This technology is extremely beneficial in cases that are exhibit intensive or when one particular deponent reviewing one specific exhibit is key to a case. We all know the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, if that’s the case, what is a picture-in-picture worth?


Imagine a doctor who’s drawing on an x-ray while he or she is describing how they ran the wire through the vertebral spaces of L3-4 and then into the abscess located on the left side of the spine. Then, imagine them holding up that document to the video camera so everyone could see what’s been drawn. Now imagine that same doctor drawing on that same x-ray which is displayed using picture-in-picture technology so everyone in the room or on the jury can see AS the drawings are being made. The visual is very different.


Or, visualize an accident victim drawing the path that his vehicle took after impact and describing it (as often happens) by saying, “The car went over here and then hit right here before coming to rest over here.“ You’ve all heard answers like that where you’ve had to then ask the witness to explain what they meant by “here” because the written record can’t show that. Now envision that same witness verbalizing that same answer while the picture-in-picture screen shows the intersection diagram AND shows him drawing the path of the vehicle. The ambiguity of “here” is completely removed.


Let me answer some common questions so you can make an educated decision whether this state-of-the-art technology could be a valuable tool in one of your depositions.


1. What is the advantage of scheduling Picture-in-Picture services for depositions?

Exhibits displayed using PiP are displayed with exact lighting, exact exposure and are presented in a format that can be displayed utilizing Trial Director or iAnnotate during the deposition just as you would display the exhibit at trial. Details can be drawn on an exhibit, then further markings can be made during further questioning. PiP allows the jury to see the interaction between the witness and the exhibit.


2. Do I still see the witness on the screen while they’re marking an exhibit?

That’s exactly what PiP does. It contemporaneously displays the witness as he’s marking on an exhibit AND shows the exhibit while it’s being marked on. It’s an added dimension to a visual presentation.


3. What if an exhibit is not allowed by the Court but the testimony is allowed?

PiP depositions are recorded on two video cameras so they can be synced with the transcript and the exhibit, or later, if a document is not allowed into evidence, the synced deposition remains without the exhibit being shown. You have that flexibility as trial prep progresses. In a standard video deposition, if a document is held up to the camera and they continue talking and pointing, that entire segment of testimony would need to be edited out if the document is not admissible.


4. Is PiP something that would be advantageous to use on all depositions?

There will only be a very few depositions where you’ll want to incur the expense that comes with PiP. It will need to be a deposition-by-deposition decision based on the exhibits needed and whether the witness will be making notations on the document. Doctors’ depositions might be ones you’d want to consider using the technology because it can certainly simplify their descriptions in testimony if they can point to and write on a document or x-ray. Visual learners will appreciate seeing exactly what the doctor is pointing to or referring to.


5. Can PiP be used in conjunction with video conferencing?

This is the situation where many of our PiP depositions are done. For an expert engineering witness who lives in Wyoming, for example, who is demonstrating how an oil rig latch failed, PiP can have the piece of equipment on screen so it’s visualized with exact clarity while also having the witness on screen explaining the failure. The attorneys in Denver see him talking while also seeing the equipment he’s referencing and pointing to.


William C. Bradford in his article entitled Reaching the Visual Learner stated that:

Learning theorists have demonstrated that people vary in the manner in which they absorb, process, and recall what they are taught. Verbal learners, a group that constitutes about 30% of the general population, learn by hearing. Experiential learners – about 5% of the population – learn by doing and touching, and clinical work and role-playing exercises are their best instructional modalities. Visual learners – the remaining 65% of the population – need to see what they are learning.”


65%. That means that 65% of judges are visual learners and 65% of those on your jury are visual learners. Let us help you play to that advantage.


If other questions come to mind, call or contact us for additional information or a demonstration of the technology. We’d be happy to meet with you and your team so you have the information necessary to determine when Picture-in-Picture would be a beneficial tool in your next deposition. (303) 988-8470