Sometimes, in an effort to keep court costs low for the client, many attorneys will opt out of more expensive options for trial preparation. In doing so, many times, lawyers will simply have depositions transcribed by a court reporter. However, it is crucial to videotape every deposition.
It is initially important to review the rules in your state to determine whether it is necessary to hire a videographer. If not, there are several inexpensive options, even down to placing an iPhone on a tripod.
Here are four of the many solid reasons to videotape a deposition:
- A transcript does not convey the tone used at the deposition.
It is really amazing to consider all of the expressions lost when a transcript is merely read by an attorney or witness at trial rather than allowing the jury to view the deposition. It is important to see the tone used and to allow the jury to judge the credibility of the witness from their video. First, reading the transcript does not convey the tone used, and the rules don’t really allow for emphasis to be made. If they are, objections can be raised if an attorney or transcript-reader uses an inflection as an attempt to emphasize certain words. And most of the time, because reading a transcript is boring, jurors are often not paying attention during what can be critical deposition testimony.
- Replaying critical deposition testimony in short clips is highly valuable.
Videotaping a deposition allows for critical testimony of the video footage to be cropped and played in segments at mediation or pre-trial. This can dramatically affect the value of the case at mediation, and it can also help in assisting the court in determining legal issues at pre-trial.
- It shows preparation
Videotaping a deposition shows the opposing side a vigorous level of effort on your part, and it shows to the client, the defense, the court, the mediator, and the jury that you are methodically preparing to put your best foot forward at trial. This can be very effective when evaluating the claim.
- Preserving crucial expressions and anguish for possible valuable testimony
What if a crucial dies before trial? Or cannot be found? Depending upon the jurisdiction, it may have saved your case to preserve their testimony through an evidentiary videotaped deposition.
Videotaping depositions has now become one of the essential elements to effectively and competently present a case at trial. When selecting an attorney, you should consider hiring a veteran trial lawyer who has experience in presenting a case to juries. Steve Harrelson has successfully navigated these issues all over Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to the negligence of another person or company, the lawyers at the Harrelson Law Firm stand ready to help.
Thanks to Steve Harrelson and our friends and co-contributors from Harrelson Law Firm, P.A. for their added insight into videotaped depositions.