When you need to record a legal proceeding, you have several options. You can hire a legal transcriptionist, or one of six types of court reporters. You can also hire a legal videographer.
While you absolutely need a court reporter, you also need a legal videographer. An audio or written record of a deposition isn’t good enough for today’s remote proceedings.
A legal videographer brings body language to the jury
Remote trials make it hard for juries to get the full picture from a witness’ deposition. People need to see a person’s body language, not just hear their words. During a remote trial, it’s better to show video clips of witness testimony rather than simply reading a deposition into the trial record.
Body language can drastically alter the perception of witness credibility and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For example, a witness might show signs of deception like extreme nervousness or being fidgety.
It’s ultimately up to the jury to decide which witnesses are credible. However, seeing their body language helps to paint the whole picture.
People are primarily visual
At least in humans, vision is the dominant sense. This can be quickly proven by looking at the McGurk Effect. In this demonstration video, you can experience for yourself that what you see overrides what you hear.
With your eyes closed, you can hear the correct sound. However, with your eyes open, a trick visual can make you believe you’re hearing something entirely different. Even when you’re aware of the effect, you still can’t help hearing a different sound when presented with the trick visual.
With that said, visuals play a significant role in communicating messages. During a trial, body language is a key part of every witness’ testimony. If there are testimonies being read through depositions, it will be imperative to include a video rather than a simple reading.
Visual dominance helps experts spot deception
If you’re going to have experts analyze a deposition, visuals are key. Since vision is the dominant stimuli, witnesses who aren’t visible can more easily deceive with their words. For example, some people are master wordsmiths and can craft perfect testimonies intended to deceive a jury. These people can memorize and reiterate their stories with ease.
These same people, when seen by an expert, can be identified as potentially deceptive through their body language. For example, they might be wringing their hands, shifting their eyes, or moving around in their seat when asked uncomfortable questions.
Body language matters
With the exception of jurors who are visually impaired, visuals will play a significant role in a jury’s decision. Although jurors often misinterpret nervousness as deception, informed jurors will know to look at nervousness in the context of the question asked.
Having a legal videographer will ensure that a witness’ full testimony is documented on film and not just read from a transcript.
Visuals are critical in a trial
A professional legal videographer will capture witness testimony perfectly. They’ll pinpoint the witness in the frame to make sure nobody else is in view. When other people are in the frame, their reactions can influence a jury.
Another reason to hire a professional legal videographer is to have access to additional services that will help your case. Professional recordings will be easier to show at trial, and the quality cannot be disputed.
Videographers use dynamic software
Many legal videographers use dynamic software that allows you to annotate and bookmark each video. For instance, you can mark each video with keywords at various timestamps to indicate when a witness begins talking about certain subjects. Later, you can search for your keywords in the database to find specific sections of their testimony. This will help you create small clips on the fly to respond to the opposition.
If you want to win your case, you need a legal videographer
While having a court reporter is important, having a legal videographer is vital. A videographer will capture far more of a witness’s testimony than even the best audio recording or transcript.
Videotaped depositions can be an incredible asset while preparing for trial. When your goal is to win over a jury, a legal videographer will help you win your case.