When it comes to tips for video depositions, it really boils down to communication. If your legal team and the deponent know the when, where, and how, it should be a fairly efficient process.
Start by making sure the deponent knows it is a video deposition so they can prepare, especially if they’re a first-time deponent, and also dress appropriately on deposition day. Next, hire a legal videographer and connect them with the court reporter so they can coordinate scheduling and technical aspects. Keep everyone updated on changes and expectations.
What is different about a video deposition?
Rather than providing only a spoken testimony, the witness will be recorded on video. That video could be used in court at a later date.
While we always recommend a deponent dress in business attire, they don’t always do so unless they know they will be on video. I recommend staying away from patterned clothes as they may not appear visually appealing. Instead, opt for solid colors. Women should keep jewelry to a minimum not just for how it could appear on video but because bangles make noise that can be distracting.
Are they a first-time deponent?
This is an important question for two reasons. First, if they are a first-time deponent, you will need to prepare them more in-depth than someone who has already given a deposition. Second, you or someone from your team will need to give them tips for video depositions.
Consider a mock deposition to get them comfortable with the process prior to the actual event. Ask potential questions, especially anticipated questions from opposing counsel. Remind them to answer only what is asked, nothing more, and that, “I don’t know,” is a valid answer. It may be helpful for them to see the mock recording in order to coach them on facial expressions, body language, and clear verbal responses.
How can the court reporter be of assistance?
As the attorney, you’re the leader of the legal team. The more you can prepare ahead of time and delegate to the court reporter, the more efficiently the deposition will run. For example, ask them to mark anticipated exhibits ahead of time, test equipment prior to the deposition start time, and coordinate with the legal videographer especially on technical aspects.
While the process of a video deposition is no different than a traditional, there is more communication that needs to happen on the legal team. Managing through that and making sure the deponent is ready will go a long way to making sure you’re not spending more time than is necessary on deposition day.
If you’re seeking a legal videographer or Sacramento court reporter for an upcoming video deposition, give us a call to schedule!