Taking Your First Video Deposition? Here’s a Pre-Deposition Checklist
Filming a deposition can prove useful for a number of reasons. If the witness is elderly or in poor health and they may not be able to appear as a witness at trial, a video of their deposition can be far more effective to a jury than simply reading a deposition transcript. When you’re conducting a deposition of an out-of-state witness, taking that deposition by video can save you and your client thousands of dollars in travel costs, not to mention the saved time and effort involved in travel. When taking a video deposition, there are several issues to keep in mind that don’t typically present themselves during a deposition. You’ll find a checklist for issues to keep in mind before a video deposition below. Contact our seasoned Arizona court reporters with any additional questions or to schedule a video deposition in our Phoenix offices.
- Make sure the room provides adequate light. A conference room may seem suitably bright for regular business purposes, but it may seem dark and dingy on film. If the room in which you plan to shoot does not have an abundance of natural light, make sure the videographer knows to bring artificial lighting with them to the deposition.
- Ensure that the recording location is quiet and adequately insulated from outside noises or distractions. A buzzing phone or noisy conversation in the hallway outside of the room where you’re taking a deposition would not be recorded in the transcript of a traditional deposition. However, these sounds and distractions could appear in the background of a videotaped deposition. They could also draw the witness’ attention, making them appear distracted or even dishonest.
- Prepare the witness for the realities of a videotaped deposition. Appearing on video means that the witness’ behavior during the deposition can be repeatedly viewed and critiqued by lawyers and juries alike. If you’re preparing the deponent, make sure they understand the need to dress appropriately and that they remain mindful of how they come off on camera. Encourage them to speak confidently and clearly and to make eye contact with the attorney taking the deposition, rather than the camera.
- Check to see whether the room you’re using is appropriate for a video deposition. Filming a deposition requires a good deal of room for video, sound, and lighting equipment, in addition to the space needed for the court reporter and any attorneys who will be in the room with the deponent. Make sure that the room you choose is both large enough and provides an adequate number of power outlets for the deposition to be filmed there.
If you need expert court reporting services or a sophisticated facility in which to hold your video deposition in Arizona, contact the Phoenix offices of Ottmar Court Reporting at 602-485-1488, or toll-free at 866-485-1444.