The Influence of Technology on Court Depositions

The Influence of Technology on Court Depositions

Technology changes rapidly, and this often has consequences in just about every area of life, including how legal proceedings are performed. Attorneys who are savvy about this know how important it is to appropriately prepare witnesses for depositions through the use of a Texas court reporter and videographer. In Texas, the admissibility of a video deposition can be a bit tricky, but it is usually a good idea to use a Texas court reporter in order to give the proceeding a legitimate stand. In the eyes of some judges, a video deposition absent a Texas court reporter may be easily thrown out as inadmissible.

If the video deposition is used as evidence in lieu of live testimony, or if there is any chance of that occurring, it is necessary to prepare your witness as if they are in court before a jury. Therefore, a certain protocol and formality should be used when videotaping a deposition, much of which can be mitigated and arranged by a seasoned Texas court reporter that has likely been trained in managing depositions and can work well with an experienced videographer, as well. It’s probably not the best idea just to use your own handheld camera and informally interrogate the witness, in other words.

A video testimony may give you and the witness some semblance of control in a courtroom setting, but there are also some factors that should be seriously considered. For instance, in a courtroom setting that accepts a video deposition as testimony, the record can be rewound on the spot, replayed, and revisited. A camera catches and magnifies telling twitches, throat-clearing, hands that emphasize language perhaps too erratically or in exaggerated gestures, and so on. So in preparing your client, be sure to emphasize moderation, emphasizing the need to refrain from nail-biting on camera, playing with hair or earrings, fidgeting, and other possibly distracting behaviors. Exaggerated by the camera, these may be mistaken for nervousness due to being deceptive, or guilt, or shame or any other number of factors that may not actually be present.

Staying composed and following the directions of the Texas court reporter and the videographer should suffice to make the deposition presentation clear and work for your client rather than against him or her.

Other components of a deposition video include background and volume. A professional videographer will, of course, encourage you to have either a blank wall, a curtain, or perhaps a bookshelf as a background for a deposition in order to prevent potential juries from being distracted. Volume and sound integrity should also be addressed by the videographer, and should include separate microphones for participants in order to ensure the best possible sound quality.

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