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A Proper Recorded Deposition

Deposition Defined with law book
Deposition Defined with a law book

Video has revolutionized courtroom proceedings, allowing every sound and emotion to appear clear as day to both judge and jury. The power of recording a deposition cannot be underestimated and serves as a vital portion of your case. The ability to properly conduct a statement recording can make an impact at every stage of your proceedings and could be the make or break moment.

For attorneys, there are several critical differences between traditional forms of court conduct, even if they seem subtle.

These can include:

  • Lawyers must make sure that they correctly engage any witnesses. Specific actions, such as heated arguments with those in the case can detract from the proceedings at hand and turn judge and jury against you.
  • The tone of voice, body language, and non-verbal communication are all amplified by this type of case. Coming across as condescending, aggressive, or without tact can help sink a case.
  • Preparation is key. Making sure that all documents are in the correct order with the proper passages highlighted makes a difference. Practicing what you will do and can be vital– just as on TV or radio, stammering, silence, or confusion can help destroy your point.

What are Some Special Challenges Presented For Injury Victims as Deponents?

In some injury cases, in addition to Subrosa, the defense may attempt to video the depo of your client, the victim. A few of the challenges faced are clients with neck and torso injuries and movements they make that may cause a juror to feel the damages are less significant. If a client is on pain meds, he or she may appear not to grimace from pain when they should.

So for example when they are being handed a document, they should be wincing in pain right? These tips also can be applied to countersuing defendants, so pay close attention.

Another unique situation has to do with the infamous two-way mirror deposition. Some slick defense firms will send out a depo notice, and notice that it may be recorded.

  • But when the deponent and attorney arrive, there is a room with an innocent looking mirror, picture, and a conference table.
  • In most videotaped depositions, the person taping the depo is in the same room physically.
  • So the attorney knows when the client and attorney are on tape.

Be Careful, You May Be Revealing Strategy.

Always read the notice, and never assume you are not on tape.  The attorney could be revealing strategy, having confidential conversations. Plus, the deponent could be picking up heavy folders and objects and recorded all the time.

Attorneys should always ask if they are being recorded while in the offices of the defense attorney. If you wish to speak to your lawyer, step outside and whisper.

  • Make sure the attorney demands to see the credentials of the video recording specialist, and request that the camera gets turned off when the deposition is not in progress with all parties present.
  • Otherwise, you may end up with every little thing taped so long as you are in the conference room.

Sometimes the defense will invite you to lunch in that same room with your client. So that potentially is being recorded too. Imagine your client is recorded that whole time and having snippets of that tape used against you. No thanks.

While these changes and challenges may seem daunting, with proper practice and a helping hand, you can have precise and expert presentations for the court. These can become a great asset to your firm and one that your clients will appreciate.

The reputation gained by the proper use of these methods is another edge that you may need in court. Call us today for more information.


Michael Ehline - PI Law Tutorials

Michael Ehline is a highly trained personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, CA. He writes educational articles to help injured consumers.

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