Given the limited resources and odds they frequently face, lawyers need every advantage they can get when defending clients against powerful businesses. This entails making sure that witnesses and clients don’t give information to the other side’s attorney that can sway the verdict of a jury.
When it comes to how their clients and witnesses appear to the jury, attorneys should be aware of the usage of video deposition. Written deposition statements were once prepared by stenographers. In contrast, the videotaped deposition features the subject’s image and voice. The subject’s case can be strengthened or weakened by any nonverbal cue, such as body language or physiological state. The subject’s performance during a video deposition may have a significant impact on the jury because jurors will be able to see any expression or seeming lack of emotion. If the situation calls for it, even the opposing attorney can learn about a client’s or witness’ nonverbal indications.
Attorneys should put just as much time and effort into preparing a client or witness for a video deposition as they would for a live one. The way that witnesses and clients conduct themselves in the video deposition could be just as crucial to the jury as their testimony.
The person should be clothed professionally and photographed against a plain background to prevent the subject’s look from unduly influencing the jury. Proper body language should also be taught to the student, including how to stand straight and not slouch or fidget or make too active facial motions. In addition, subjects should be taught how to ask for clarification when they are unsure of a question.
Thanks to video depositions, the way testimony is presented to juries has changed, but the manner testimony affects a jury’s decision has not. Just as crucial as witness preparation for the witness stand is client and witness preparation for video depositions. The following information can help attorneys understand how to help their clients and witnesses give their best video testimony.