As with any other testimony, opposing counsel is allowed to object to the presentation of any portion of a video deposition as long as he has legal grounds to do so. In order to avoid unnecessary delays in court proceedings, most courts require attorneys to submitted a written transcript of the video testimony they intend to use to the court and to opposing counsel before trial begins, to allow sufficient time for objections and rulings.
However, the rules governing the approval of testimony can be tricky—and any testimony ruled to be objectionable can be suppressed at the trial or hearing. Keep in mind the following regulations for use of testimony during trial:
- Sufficient time. The court requires that testimony be submitted within sufficient time for objections to be made and ruled on, and to allow for any necessary editing of the recording. However, the amount of time considered sufficient may vary from court to court, ranging anywhere from hours to a week.
- Objections in writing. Courts may dictate that objections to testimony be made in writing, with little or no guidance as to when a written objection may be submitted. In these cases, opposing counsel may wait until the day you expect to play your excerpts to object to testimony, leaving the judge only moments to rule on the objection (and even less time for you to edit your clips).
- Impeachment. Any video testimony may be played during trial if it is used to impeachment preceding testimony, whether or not opposing counsel has objected.
The best way to ensure that your testimony will be admitted is to determine the schedule for testimony submission with the judge and opposing counsel long before trial. Work together with opposing counsel to adhere to specific rules of testimony delivery (such as concrete dates or within a certain number of days before you intend to play the video in court), and get a commitment from him to do the same. Finally, make sure you adhere to the dates you agreed upon so that the judge will have no reason to delay ruling. Remember, a little legwork before trial can prevent surprises and delays when the jury is watching.
At Casamo & Associates, we know that admissibility of video evidence can change at a moment’s notice. That is why we offer captioning and synchronization for our video depositions, allowing you to jump from one portion of testimony to the next with the click of a button. Contact us today at (877) 837-0077 to find out how we can be of service to you and your clients.