You’ve got the master copy of your video deposition in hand, and you’re about to send it back to the office for editing before running off a copy for the opposing counsel. Your staff can be trusted to remove segments of testimony that are inadmissible, and will likely have them done by the end of the week—and paying someone to edit your video depositions just seems like an unnecessary expense.
Why You Should Add Chapters and Titles Into Your Video Deposition File
Video depositions have come a long way since camcorders and VHS recordings. Many videographers use digital recording devices to deliver a recording in a variety of formats, including DVD, MPEG-1, MP4, and other file types. Unlike VHS, digital recordings are easily edited and can be augmented with titles, chapter breaks, and even synchronized with the written transcript.
Some attorneys prefer to merely take out inadmissible evidence and skip the rest of the editing process, particularly if the deposition is not long. However, this small savings can have big costs later in court, as leaving a video “as is” will often sacrifice:
- Effect. Attorneys will often use video depositions to impeach a witness who has given evidence that is contrary to what has been previously presented. In most cases, attorneys will show video evidence of the witness giving a different answer to the same question, bringing the accuracy his testimony into question. While attorneys may plan to use contradictions in evidence ahead of time, many arise during court proceedings, making it necessary for the attorney to locate the relevant section of video testimony quickly. With every second that the attorney spends searching the video for testimony, the effect of the contradiction on the jury is at risk.
- Attention. One of the biggest benefits of using a video deposition in court is its power to capture the judge and jury’s attention. However, attention tends to waver as attorneys rewind, fast forward, and scramble through a deposition to find the evidence they want. Adding chapter breaks and titles to your digital recording makes finding the piece of evidence you want much more efficient.
- Speed. Adding titles to chapter headings may seem unnecessary, but it isn’t easy to find the section you want quickly without them. The picture is always the same: a deponent sitting in a chair in front of a plain background. There are no clues as to the questions being asked or the chronology of the conversation when skipping from one chapter to the next.
At Casamo & Associates, we are happy to provide clients with linear and non-linear editing for all video files associated with their cases, and we may be able to be complete the job the same day as ordered. We also offer transcript synchronization with your deposition video, making it easy to import your deposition into Sanction Solutions, Trial Director, Visionary, or another trial program. Contact us to find out how we can be of service to you and your clients.