The question of using testimony from a video deposition in court depends on two factors: one, you must be sure the court allows video testimony in an opening statement, and two, you should ask yourself if video testimony is best used in the statement, the trial itself, or the closing argument—or a combination of the three.
In many cases, attorneys will want to use a powerful clip from a video deposition as a “silver bullet” for their case. While this testimony can be effective, there are actually several ways that relying on this evidence can actually work against your case in certain situations. Consider the following pitfalls of using video evidence in an opening statement:
- Content. Opening statements are meant to engage the jury, so the video clips you use to open should be more attention-getting than those used throughout the case. An outburst, a contradiction, or an effective use of non-verbal communication from a witness is likely to have a lasting effect on the jury.
- Repetition. Your strongest piece of evidence should not be your only evidence. No matter how compelling the testimony may be, it should be treated equally with other factors in the case. If you rehash the traumatic events in your client’s deposition every time you step up to question a witness, the jury may assume you are playing to their feelings, rather than the facts.
- Timing. The effect that your best piece of video evidence has will depend on when it is introduced. If you open with a compelling clip that contradicts the defendant’s story, you lose the emotional effect on the jury by playing it a second time during the trial.
- Opposing counsel. If you intend to use video testimony in an opening statement, you should be prepared for opposing counsel to follow suit. In many cases, attorneys can request to see the video clips that opposing counsel intends to use to prepare each attorney and ensure that no evidence that has been deemed inadmissible will be used in the opening statement.
Editing and Captioning Can Make Your Video Testimony More Accessible
At Casamo & Associates, we offer a variety of services to streamline your video deposition, including editing, captioning, adding transitions, and adding track breaks, allowing you to grab and hold the jury’s attention. Contact us today or read more about our Video Deposition Services to learn more about what we do.