Not every witness needs to be deposed but there are times when it is not only beneficial but it makes sense to record a deposition. As much as 93% of communication is non-verbal (Source). It’s not just the words that matter, it’s intonations, facial expressions, gestures, and posture. If that can be captured by a legal videographer to show a jury, it could be the difference in the outcome of the case.
I used to work for a manager that absolutely hated when people crossed their arms in a meeting or casual conversation. To him, it meant they weren’t happy with the conversation and were closed off from giving or receiving feedback. For me, I was just cold! The office was kept at arctic temperatures under the belief that a cold office was a productive one. My arms were crossed to stay warm but the perception of my arms crossed relayed a very different message.
It’s similar for witnesses. Their words on a page may not reflect their emotion but a video may reflect their uneasiness at particular questions or a perception that they may not be telling the whole truth. For some witnesses, it might make sense to record the deposition.
Not only does a video show witness body language to a jury, it can be used to prove a witness is lying. If you suspect someone isn’t being entirely truthful, a video may be the most effective way to show a jury the versions of their story. A jury that can see someone may be more influenced than if the attorney were to just read the transcript.
People tend to behave better when they know they’re being watched or recorded. This is especially true for witnesses and attorneys. When the cameras are rolling, there tend to be less objections and interruptions and more getting to the point. As court reporters, we’re grateful!
When people aren’t talking over one another and yelling objections, it makes it easier for us to capture what’s being said. That, in turn, makes it easier to get the final transcript to our clients. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Next time you have a deposition in the Pittsburgh area, consider hiring a legal videographer!