12 important tips when preparing for video depositions (updated) | Planet Deposits, LLC

12 important tips when preparing for video depositions (updated) |  Planet Deposits, LLC

We share a list of important tips for you as you prepare for video depositions:

  1. Include “Video Recorded” in your notice of deposition
    • Note in the deposition notice that testimony will be videotaped, whether for convenience purposes and/or whether telepresence is available. Check your state’s rules to see if you must include the reason for the videotaped deposition note and whether the evidence must be “repeatedly presented at trial.”
  2. Organize everything!
    • Organize your materials and witness materials. Case management software is excellent for this purpose and allows documents to be obtained with just a click of the mouse. Witnesses who cannot quickly locate materials appear disorganized and may be unable to answer questions without long pauses. They may also lose the judge and jury’s interest and confidence in their testimony.
  3. Fictitious deposits
    • Consider holding mock depositions with your witness to help train them on facial expressions, unsafe body language, and poor verbal responses, and to help them prepare for potential questions from opposing counsel. A mock deposition can be very helpful for a witness to see what they look like on camera, and can give them a better understanding of what an actual deposition will be like.
  4. Give contact information to the telepresence
    • For remote attendance, let the court reporting agency know the attendee’s name and email address so they can receive login credentials well in advance of the proceeding. This will allow the agency to communicate and test the connection to avoid recorded delays.
  5. Arrive early to get the real time
    • If you have requested a live transcript feed locally or remotely, you must arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start time to ensure you are connected and receive the feed before the proceedings begin.
  6. Avoid bright colors or designs
    • The witness should wear solid pastel colors and avoid bright colors or designs that include polka dots, patterns and stripes. These patterns can sometimes be a distraction to the camera. If your witness is not comfortable in business attire, make sure he or she is dressed appropriately so he or she will look attractive on camera.
  7. Bring extra copies
    • Provide all parties with digital and/or printed copies of all materials in advance. This will eliminate the need for non-registration to photocopy, scan and/or email documents that will be referenced in the register.
  8. Ask the reporter to pre-tag the exhibits
    • Ask the court reporter to pre-mark expected exhibits before recording them in the record. If the deposition will be conducted for instrumental purposes, work with e-trial counsel in advance to ensure that documents that will be digitally referenced and relied upon during the deposition can be clearly seen on camera and can be filed electronically.
  9. Test the video/audio before you start recording
    • Test all audio and video connections – local and remote – before you start recording video to avoid lag and ensure a clean record.
  10. Prepare your objections
    • As Michael A. wrote: Verscher wrote in Law Trends & News, “Anticipate and carefully prepare for your objections before deposition” because “your tone of voice and the manner in which your objections are presented will be carefully scrutinized by the jury if they are presented at trial.”
  11. Bring your own power cord
    • Keep the power cord(s) with you and preferably connected to your electronic device(s) to ensure connectivity.
  12. Silence your phone
    • Turn off ringtones on all devices and do not answer phone calls or text messages and emails during the deposition as this may interfere with the audio recording.

Finally, be prepared to proceed with testimony at the same pace you would at trial. The jury expects and looks forward to the pace being fast, thanks to television and technology.

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