Legal procedures vary with each particular case, but no professional attorney can expect to win at trial with only testimony from mumbling, fidgeting, unprofessional appearing witnesses. Jurors utilize nonverbal communication to decide if a subject is credible. As remote depositions are employed more and more— also raising the amount of nonverbal signals available to jury — it becomes notably critical for lawyers to take the time and prepare witnesses before they are deposed on video.
A deposition is sworn spoken statement that is administered outside the courtroom to help attorneys from both sides during the discovery process. This testimony generally is recorded by stenographers rather than cameras. The appearance and body language of the person giving a deposition are hidden from the jury, and eye contact is not existent.
Just as a witness on the stand can be compelling enough to turn the tables in a case, so can individually selected clips from the full video deposition. Likewise, the opposing lawyers can focus on an outburst or negative remarks from a video deposition in court, jeopardizing your otherwise reliable case.
The accompanying guide provides tips for successfully preparing a client for a video deposition.