Many attorneys have embraced the use of video depositions for use in court. It’s a simple, cost-effective way to collect testimony from out-of-town witnesses and depose those who may not be available to appear at the trial.
But what many lawyers have not considered is that video depositions have a wealth of uses, many of which could be the difference between victory or defeat in court. For example:
- Homework. Video depositions are an easy reference tool for time-crunched attorneys who would otherwise have to sift through pages of testimony to build their case. Video can also make the decision to use a particular witnesses at trial a snap, as well as providing insight for cross-examination questions based on a witness’s body language.
- Candid camera. The presence of a camera during a deposition can bring out a witness’s true behavior. For example, nervous opposing witnesses may fidget or look away during questioning, making them look less trustworthy. Witnesses are also less likely to refuse to answer questions on video, as they are afraid they will look like they have something to hide.
- Less manipulation. Attorneys have suggested that opposing counsel is not as belligerent or disruptive when interviewing the witness when the session is recorded for fears that the jury will interpret his actions as manipulative tactics.
- Sound bites. Juries will often tune out during long days in court, and trial can last for days or even weeks, dulling their attention spans even further. During your closing argument, you can recall particularly powerful phrases or “sound bites” from each of your videotaped clients and use them to remind the jury of the details that will best suit your case.
If you’re ready to begin taping your clients’ testimony, we can help. We’re experienced providers of video deposition services throughout the entire Washington, D.C. metro region; visit our video page to see a few clips on preparing your witnesses and maintaining a high ethical standard in court.