Taking depositions is an important step in the litigation process and, occasionally, one side or the other chooses to take a video recording of the deposition. This isn’t always done as it’s not always necessary, but at times, a video deposition can be a powerful tool.
A deposition is a chance for the opposing counsel to ask questions of key witnesses and parties under oath. This gives them the answers to a number of relevant questions and gives the opposing lawyer an idea of how that person will do as a witness when the case goes to trial. These question and answer sessions happen with both attorneys present and accompanied by a court reporter. While generally the court reporter records and types up responses into a transcript of the event, it is also an option, for an additional fee, to get a video recording of the conversation.
If a witness is particularly elderly or ill, a video deposition can be used in trial, as can their written testimony, if they are no longer able to testify by the time the case goes before a jury. For a sympathetic witness, having a video can be a powerful way to communicate with a jury, just as a good witness can sway a jury of their peers.
For certain types of cases, your witness may live out of town and have trouble traveling to suit the court schedule. This could be due to age, work requirements, costs, or military service. In these cases, like in the case of an aging witness, having a video to show the jury can be a powerful way to get the person’s message across.
Similarly, expert witnesses who only need to testify to a narrow portion of the case, can provide video deposition testimony after hours or around their schedules that can be used later for trial. Video testimony also lets experts show machines that could not otherwise come into the courtroom and manipulate parts of the machine to explain to the jury what they are discussing.
Impeaching a Witness
Deposition testimony, both written and in video, can be used in trial to impeach a witness. While written testimony absolutely works for this purpose, being able to pull up a video of a witness saying something completely different under oath can make a powerful statement to a jury. If a witness keeps changing what they are saying, are unclear, or are likely to change their story, a video deposition can be a useful tool.
If you’re facing a civil lawsuit, experienced business litigation lawyers, like the team from Dunn Law Firm, can help you argue and defend a variety of business and civil litigation issues. When it comes to depositions, we’ll discuss with you whether we think video depositions would help your case, particularly if there are aging witnesses or complex technical issues. Reach out to the Dunn Law Firm by calling (435) 628-5405 and set up a free consultation today.