Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters - Court Reporting, Legal Videos, and Videoconferencing

For everything you need to know on court reporting, legal video, and videoconferencing.

Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (4 of 7)

Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (4 of 7)

Videotaped Depositions

 

Although videotaped depositions have been around for awhile, it is important to remember the tactical advantage they can provide an attorney in a case.   Advances in technology have only increased picture and sound quality, providing an even more powerful tool for trials and arbitrations.  Even the science shows videotaped depositions and other visual aids are more influential than just spoken words:

 

Video Camera

 

  • People forget about 2/3 of what they hear (The Wechsler Memory Scale - 1946).
  • "Trial attorneys unknowingly present arguments and issues that exceed jurors' capacity to understand . . . being confused or feeling intellectually inferior is psychologically uncomfortable, and jurors may respond with resentment and antagonism toward the presenting attorney."  Presenting information visually simplifies and reinforces your point (Enhancing Juror Comprehension and Memory Retention - 1989).
  • Those exposed to graphics are more persuaded to act than those who are not (The Persuasive Effect of Graphics in Computer-Mediated Communication - 1991).
  • Practicing attorneys and non-lawyers prefer to learn and communicate differently.  A majority of non-lawyers prefer visual communications.  A majority of attorneys prefer non-visual communications.  Thus, litigators should bridge the communication divide by using visual courtroom presentations (A2L's Communication Style Study - 2003).
  • Visual aids in courtroom presentations enhance juror attention and improve recall of key events (Visual Evidence - 2010).
  • An immersive use of graphics during courtroom presentations (as opposed to far and few between) yield the best result (Broda-Bahm Study - 2011).

 

Benefits of videotaped depositions include:

 

  • Expert Witnesses -  The cost of deposing an expert and then having that expert testify at trial can be cost prohibitive.  By videotaping your expert's deposition, you can simply play it back at trial for the jury and/or judge without incurring the cost of having the expert testify again.
  • Preservation - Witnesses are sometimes elderly, ill, or illusive, and may not be available for trial.  By videotaping their deposition, you ensure a visual representation of that witness's testimony for trial.
  • Visual Presentation -  Videotaping a witness's deposition also provides a visual representation of what the witness's demeanor and non-verbal cues were at a deposition.  When witnesses are aggressive or abrasive during a deposition, videotaping can get the witness to cooperate and answer your questions more freely.  If they do not, you are able to show that demeanor in court.
  • Day-In-The-Life Videos -  Visually capturing the physical nature of how your client was affected by the event in question can prove instrumental in obtaining a favorable verdict or settlement.  By laying out the background and facts, you are able to paint a picture in the light most favorable for your client.

 

Videotaped depositions provide an impactful and compelling story when presented at trial.  Not only do they keep the judge and jury focused on the case at hand, but they also increase the recall of the key events  that attorney wants them to remember.  Videotaped depositions also save attorneys and their clients money by not having to rehire an expert to come and testify at trial.

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Videotaped Depositions - An Attorney's Best Friend

Videotaped Depositions - An Attorney's Best Friend

Videotaped Depositions

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Video-Camera.jpg

 

Imagine yourself in the courtroom, you are cross-examining the plaintiff (or defendant), and he or she says something contradictory to her previously recorded deposition testimony. Normally, you would attempt to impeach that individual by having him or her read back his or her inconsistent testimony from the deposition transcript and the jury would get the general picture. But what if, instead, you were able to play back a video of the plaintiff making those same statements as if he or she had just said them? Not only would the jury SEE the text from the transcript contradicting the words she just said, they would also SEE the plaintiff making those conflicting statements right in front of them.

 

This is only one of many examples where video depositions can make or break a case, and although video depositions do not eliminate the need for a transcribed record, it does enhance it. Below are several other benefits to having your next deposition videotaped:

 

  • EXPERT WITNESSES: The cost of deposing an expert and then having that expert testify at trial can be cost prohibitive. By videotaping your expert witness's deposition, you can simply play it back at trial for the jury and/or judge without incurring additional costs.
  • PRESERVATION: Witnesses are sometimes elderly, ill, or illusive and may not be available for trial. By videotaping their depositions, you ensure a visual representation of that witness's testimony for trial.
  • VISUAL REPRESENTATION: Videotaping a witness's depositionalso provides a visual representation of what the witness's demeanor and non-verbal cues were at a deposition. When witnesses are aggressive or abrasive during a deposition, videotaping can get the witness to cooperate and answer your questions more freely. If they do not, you are able to show that demeanor in court.
  • DAY-IN-THE-LIFE: Visually capturing how your client was affected by the event in question can prove instrumental in obtaining a favorable verdict or settlement. By laying out the background and facts, you are able to paint the picture in the light most favorable for your client.

 

Visual Aids

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Visual-Aids.jpg

 

Whether you are impeaching a witness with a synchronized deposition or appealing to the emotional nature of jurors by showing a day-in-the-life video, the science shows that visual aids are more influential than just spoken words.

 

  • People forget about 2/3 of what they hear (The Wechsler Memory Scale - 1946).
  • "Trial attorneys unknowingly present arguments and issues that exceed jurors' capacity to understand . . . being confused or feeling intellectually inferior is psychologically uncomfortable, and jurors may respond with resentment and antagonism toward the presenting attorney." Presenting information visually simplifies and reinforces your point (Enhancing Juror Comprehension and Memory Retention - 1989).
  • Those exposed to graphics are more persuaded to act than those who are not (The Persuasive Effect of Graphics in Computer-Mediated Communication - 1991).
  • Practicing attorneys and non-lawyers prefer to learn and communicate differently. A majority of non-lawyers prefer visual communications. A majority of attorneys prefer non-visual communications. Thus, litigators should bridge the communication divide by using visual courtroom presentations (A2L's Communication Style Study - 2003).
  • Visual aids in courtroom presentations enhance juror attention and improve recall of key events (Visual Evidence - 2010).
  • An immersive use of graphics during courtroom presentations (as opposed to far and few between) yield the best result (Broda-Bahm Study - 2011).

 

Synchronized Videotaped Depositions

 

Whether your videotaped deposition is 10 minutes or 10 hours long, pinpointing a specific word or phrase can be difficult. Fast-forwarding and rewinding can be time consuming and frustrating. Synchronizing a transcript to the videotaped deposition eliminates all of that. Plus, it provides you with several other beneficial tools for viewing and playing your videotaped deposition.

 

Sync your next videotaped deposition and you will be able to:

 

  • Instantly search a video for a particular word or phrase
  • Easily create clips to impeach witnesses or to show to the jury
  • Easily create still images from the video
  • Show text and video at the same time to help provide clarity to a witness's testimony

 

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Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters has lead the way in court reporting technology and we welcome the opportunity to assist you with any court reporting issues you may have.  Please call our office to schedule a personal meeting where we can show you the benefits of a wide array of court reporting technologies.  We look forward to making your life easier.

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