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Video Depositions Bring Advantages and Disadvantages

Video camera

 

 

Whether you’re deposing a witness or your client is being deposed, video depositions can hold both pros and cons for parties on both sides of a case. If you’re deciding whether you want to obtain video of your upcoming deposition, consider the following points when making your decision:

 
 

    • Videos help hold the courtroom’s interest: Reading from a transcript can cause even the most attentive judge or jury to lose interest. By offering the courtroom something to watch, a videotaped deposition will keep the room engaged with the testimony.

 

    • Videos allow the court to see the witness’ demeanor: A skilled court reporter can capture everything that a witness says during a transcript, including pauses or filler words. It is impossible, however, for a written transcript to provide an accurate depiction of the witness’ body language, eye-rolling, or look of fear while answering a question. A video of a deposition also allows the court to see the interaction of the witness and their attorney, such as any subtle witness coaching that may be occurring. If the videotaped deposition is of your client, this could be a good or bad thing, depending on whether your client seems at ease with testifying and is well-prepared for their deposition. Likewise, video of opposing parties can show them to be unresponsive, evasive or hostile in dramatic fashion.

 

    • Video depositions may provide greater flexibility when selecting expert witnesses: Expert witnesses often have very full schedules, either replete with other trials in which they are serving as witnesses or with work in their field of expertise. By choosing to videotape a deposition rather than requiring them to testify in person at trial, you will have greater flexibility in scheduling the deposition. You may also reduce their travel expenses and avoid paying a higher rate for in-court testimony.

 

    • There may be greater expenses involved: Creating a video in addition to an official transcript may make your deposition costlier. Your expenses can include the price of the videographer and the cost of any equipment or video materials, as well as the potential costs of renting a space suitable for videography. However, if a videotaped deposition allows you to avoid additional travel expenses, then it may still be to your financial advantage to use a videotaped deposition.

 

If you are searching for a skilled court reporter in Maryland, including expert videography services, contact the Baltimore offices of Evans Reporting to discuss your needs at 800-256-8410.

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