If you’re like most attorneys, you probably want to explore every possible angle when you take on a new case. Unfortunately, your options may be constrained by your client’s budget or even by limited manpower at your firm. Throughout the litigation process, you need to constantly consider the costs and benefits of services such as exhibit solutions, records retrieval, and arbitration before making a recommendation to your client. To help you make an informed decision, we’re going to analyze the costs and benefits associated with legal videography.
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Disadvantages to Deposition Videography
Barriers to Entry
There are two primary barriers to recording your deposition: the cost of filming and the time required to review and synchronize the footage. While legal videography has become increasingly advanced and affordable, it may still strain client finances. In some cases, videography costs are also billed separately from synchronization costs.
If attorneys elect to forgo synchronization services, they are left with the difficult task of manually reconciling video footage with transcript printouts and exhibit binders. This process can be very time-consuming and can hinder deposition analysis.
Unpredictable Witness Response
Before they are faced with a camera, it can be challenging to predict how a witness will react. Some attorneys believe that people are less candid when they are being filmed. Unless you are already familiar with the witness, you will need to make an educated guess about whether they will be comfortable and forthcoming while being recorded.
Advantages to Deposition Videography
One of the most compelling reasons to record deposition video is to capture each moment for the jury. Although most cases don’t make it to trial, for those that do, playing video testimony is far more impactful than reading excerpts from a transcript. By presenting the designated testimony to the jury, you have the chance to put your best foot forward and hold their attention.
In daily life, a large percentage of our communication occurs through body language and nonverbal signals. Witness behaviors such as sweating, pausing, mumbling, or stammering will not be captured in the transcript but can provide valuable insights about their mental state. Deposition video allows you to review these behaviors after the deposition, which may reveal new information that can further your case.
Despite the rapid increase in remote depositions, some attorneys may have lingering concerns that virtual proceedings could invite fraud. Fortunately, legal videography can be highly effective as a deterrent. While your witness may not be physically in the presence of an officer of the court, the act of filming functions as a clear reminder that their actions during the deposition could be replayed later. If the witness behaves unusually, it will be perfectly preserved for future examination by a judge or jury.
Encourages Civil Behavior
While some attorneys believe that filming will be disconcerting for the witness, there are some cases where the presence of a videographer can encourage civil behavior. Contentious, emotionally charged cases often lead to heated testimony during a deposition – but some witnesses will be more agreeable when they know they are being filmed.
Thanks for reading! We hope that we’ve helped you decide whether you’d like to proceed with deposition videography. Although it may not be the right fit for every case, video can also provide a decisive advantage at trial or settlement negotiations. When you partner with an experienced legal support company like First Legal Depositions, you’ll get all of the benefits of deposition videography with none of the technological headaches.
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