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The Pros and Cons of Videotaped Depositions

Woman holding video camera

When you’re making arrangements to depose witnesses in a case, you may be weighing the option of videotaping your deposition. Video depositions can bring certain advantages and disadvantages, both in terms of logistical and financial issues as well as ones going toward the ultimate success of your case. Read on to learn about some of the considerations to weigh when deciding if a video deposition is right for your case.

Allowing the court to watch the witness testify could be a good thing or a bad thing.

Using video depositions will allow the judge and/or jury to watch witnesses as they provide answers – or a lack thereof—to your questions or those of your opponent. If you feel that the witness for which you’re considering using videotaped deposition testimony will be unresponsive, or you feel that their testimony will not be truthful, using video may allow the factfinder to see for themselves that the witness is being dismissive, hostile, or evasive. If the witness is your client and you feel confident that they are well-prepared for your opponent’s questions, allowing the court to observe them as they testify can only support your argument.

Video depositions will cost more than those that employ only a court reporter.

Obtaining a video of your deposition will require greater expense than simply hiring a court reporter, including the costs of the videographer, costs to reproduce the video for the court, and any equipment or room rentals you may need on the day of the deposition. However, obtaining a video deposition could reduce costs associated with travel for a witness if the alternative is to have them testify in open court, and video could make it easier to obtain testimony from an expert witness with a packed schedule.

Videotaped testimony will keep the court’s attention more successfully than will reading from a transcript.

It can be difficult for even the most seasoned jurist to maintain attentiveness while listening to someone read from a transcript. Providing a video of testimony will be far more engaging for a judge or jury—a fact which can cut both ways, depending on whether the videotaped testimony supports or conflicts with your arguments.

For skilled, experienced, and dependable court reporting services in Arizona, including video depositions and videography as needed, contact the Phoenix offices of Ottmar & Associates at 602-485-1488, or toll free at 866-485-1444.