If you plan on having an expert witness give testimony to benefit your client, you can either videotape his deposition or ask the witness to appear in court.
Many attorneys make the mistake of asking the expert witness to appear in person if he is available. However, a recorded deposition can be used in lieu of an appearance in court even if the witness could potentially appear in court—and it offer significant advantages:
- Lower price. While you may have to hire a camera operator to record the deposition, these costs are usually minimal—and are often significantly less than paying the professional’s hourly rate (such as with doctors or nurses) for witness to appear in court.
- A better chance to get the expert you want. Many potential expert witnesses will have hectic schedules and cannot spare the time to take off work, wait for a trial, and give testimony in court. Videotaping a deposition allows you to gather testimony with minimal disruption in the expert’s schedule, increasing the chances that you will be able to us the expert you want, rather than the one who is available.
- Better timing. Doctors and other expert witnesses may be reluctant to disrupt their duties to their patients, and may have to appear at a time where their testimony will not be as effective. A doctor who will be rushed, distracted, or tired between patients may not have an optimal effect on the jury. However, a testimony that has been recorded can be presented at any point during the trial.
Although it can be cheaper and more convenient to use video testimony, it will take more than a point-and-shoot recording session order to make a compelling deposition. Your office may not be suitable for recording video depositions, especially if you do not have microphones or recording software. In addition, you will need to be able to present the material at trial so you should have the basic technical knowledge to present a digital file or DVD in court.
At Casamo & Associates, we can help you record, edit, copy, and caption your video depositions, and can offer onsite technical help to ensure your presentation goes smoothly. Contact us today to find out how we can help you and your clients.