Video Deposition Tips for Attorneys and Their Witnesses

Video depositions can be very helpful to your case and they are sometimes even necessary to be used during trial.  For these reasons, it would be to your benefit to make sure you get the best quality video you can.  Here are a few key things court reporters and videographers have learned over the years that will help with this and hopefully keep your video off YouTube with the search term “worst video deposition”!

1.  Reserve a conference room with adequate space to accommodate all the parties and the addition of a videographer and his/her equipment.

2.  Make sure all parties are aware the videographer will need access to the conference room one hour prior to the start of the deposition so they can set up and test all equipment.

3.  The sound quality is best when the microphone is placed in the center of the shirt, about three inches below the chin.  Some attorneys place their microphone too low on their tie and this will affect audio quality and tends to add background noises, like paper shuffling or the microphone hitting the table.

4.  Please provide the videographer a copy of the notice prior to the start of the deposition.  This will give them helpful information to include at the beginning of the video to identify the case and parties.

5.  Remember to state clearly and loudly when you want to go off the record and confirm that the court reporter and videographer heard you; otherwise, they will continue recording the conversation.

6.  Always remove your microphone when standing up to leave the table or the room. Forgetting to do so can result in damage to the microphones as well as recording conversations you may not want on the video.

7.  As in any deposition, please speak one at a time.  This is especially important during a video deposition because court reporters try to interrupt as little as possible so they don’t leave you with a video for a jury that is full of unnecessary colloquy or that requires a lot of editing.

These tips should be helpful in ensuring your video deposition is valuable to your client and their case and one you would be pleased with presenting to a jury.




Angie Starbuck is a court reporter in Columbus, Ohio, and the owner of PRI Court Reporting, LLC. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Google+.

Photo courtesy of NCRA.  Also, thanks to Matt Aurigema with Gema Video for his videography tips.

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