They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is very true in the courtroom. You could read your expert witness’s deposition testimony to the jury and watch their eyes glaze over or you could show a video of their deposition. A video will capture a jury’s attention in ways that reading a written transcript out loud cannot. As well as capturing the jury’s attention, videotaped testimony can be used to explain and demonstrate complex subjects and also give the jury an opportunity to evaluate the witness’s demeanor and body language. Showing a videotape at trial can be very compelling for a jury, but there are a few more reasons why you might want to consider having a videographer at your next deposition.
- Be efficient and reduce costs. Videotaping an expert witness is not only less expensive than having them wait around at the courthouse to testify, it’s more efficient. No more trying to coordinate schedules or trying to estimate just how long everything is going to take. The video is ready whenever you are.
- Antics and shenanigans minimized. Perhaps with a video record your opponent may be better behaved and less disruptive. The prospect of having a video record may help to settle down opposing counsel and produce more positive behavior. And if it doesn’t, then you have a video record of everything.
- Prepare for trial. A videotape deposition may give you a better idea of how your client or witness will perform at trial. Do they get so nervous and self-conscious that they forget to answer the question and instead offer their full life history? There’s something about sitting down in front of a camera that changes everything.
- Impeach a witness. When a witness changes their testimony, seeing them contradict themselves on video has a greater impact than simply reading the written transcript testimony. For a jury to actually see and hear the witness give different answers to the same question can be very compelling.
- Enhance the written record. Synchronizing the written transcript to the video testimony can make preparing presentations easier with the ability to jump to specific clips based on page and line number. Showing the jury written as well visual testimony can enhance communication.
A high-quality video record can be a powerful addition to the stenographic record, both in the courtroom and deposition process, as well as preparing for trial. By scheduling a legal video specialist to capture crisp video images, sharp audio quality, fulfill court requirements and provide the video format you require, as well as synchronizing transcripts, now you should have the ability to put the power of pictures to work for you.
In another article, we discuss High-Definition Videoconferencing: Making Things Simple for Paralegals, Legal Assistants and Attorneys.