Legal strategies differ with each and every case, but no litigation attorney can expect to win at trial by presenting testimony from stammering, fidgeting, unkempt witnesses. Jurors rely on such nonverbal communication to determine whether a subject is believable. As reliance on video depositions grows — also increasing the number of nonverbal cues available to jury — it becomes even more crucial for litigation attorneys to prepare clients and witnesses before they give a video deposition.
A deposition is sworn oral testimony that takes place outside the courtroom to aid attorneys on both sides during the discovery process. This testimony, which later can be used in court, traditionally is recorded by stenographers rather than cameras. The appearance and body language of the subject giving a deposition are invisible to the jury, and eye contact is a nonfactor.
Just as a persuasive performance by your client on the witness stand can be the turning point in a case, so can a clip from a video deposition. Likewise, your adversary can replay an outburst or negative nuances from a video deposition in court, jeopardizing your otherwise solid case.
The accompanying guide provides tips for successfully preparing a client for a video deposition.