Preparing Your Witness for a Video Deposition

Videoconferencing and video recording technology have made communication easier and faster than ever before. Today, testimony may be recorded via video for later submission during a court case, along with a written deposition. Because body language plays a vital role in the delivery of testimony, it's important to ensure your witnesses understand the behaviors they should avoid if their deposition will be recorded via legal videography in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Presenting a Professional Appearance

A witness or expert's appearance can heavily influence the assumed validity of his testimony. When preparing a witness for a video deposition, it's best to ensure he presents a clean and professional image, just as he would if he were appearing in court in person. Furthermore, holding the video deposition in a conference room or office will provide a professional but unobtrusive background that will allow viewers to concentrate on the testimony, rather than on any distractions a busier environment might contribute.

Avoiding Distracting Behaviors

It's important to consider distracting or nervous behaviors and how to avoid them during a video deposition to ensure your witness appears both professional and calm. Make sure all phones and PDAs in the room are turned to silent and put away during a video deposition, and ask that your witness be aware of his hands and avoid playing with pens or other objects during recording.

Preventing Long Pauses

During a traditional deposition, witnesses may be encouraged to take their time when remembering facts or considering the answers to certain questions. However, long pauses are often perceived in a negative light when viewing video testimony, as silence can make a witness appear unsure or evasive. Thus, prior to a video deposition, you may want to ask your witness to remain aware of the time he takes to answer questions. While pausing to recall facts or giving brief answers is not wrong, you may ask him to explain why he needs additional time to think during the video recording.

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