By Debby Cavazos
When setting up a video deposition, there are several important components to consider. The first order of business is determining your client’s availability, as well as that of opposing counsel. Other considerations include preparing your exhibits and questions, organizing your cross-examination, scheduling a court reporter and videographer, and the list goes on! One item commonly overlooked is the room itself. As a videographer on the job, I’ve seen firsthand the impact a room can have on your deposition. Let me discuss the four important factors to consider for a successful videotaped deposition.
Lighting is important for many reasons. Not only can it impact the quality of your footage, but it also sets the tone for the deposition. The darker the room is, the harder it might be for some people to read exhibits that are presented. An overly lit room can also trigger headaches for some.
Are there large windows in the room? This can also have an impact on the quality of your footage because sunlight changes throughout the day. If the deposition is scheduled for several hours, consider how natural light will change on camera throughout the depo.
Noise can impact the quality of the audio. Is your room full of windows? Traffic sounds such as car horns, if loud enough, can be picked up on the audio. This can also prevent the witness and reporter from hearing the questions you ask and causing disruptions in the deposition. Be cautious of interior sounds, as well, such as loud air conditioning systems, which can be picked up by the mics, creating a hissing effect on the video record.
Outlets are necessary for your deposition! You’ll need plenty of outlets for the court reporter, videographer, and attorneys. Some rooms have limited outlets or have outlets that are completely out of reach. Too many wires on the floor can be dangerous if someone trips over them or if they are accidentally unplugged during the depo. This might sound silly, but make sure your outlets work; many offices have tables with built-in outlets that do not work.
Size of the room:
Last, but not least, the size of the room is critical! You’ll want all parties to be comfortable and have enough space for their personal items. Reporters and videographers carry a good bit of equipment; they take up a fair amount of space as it is. Keep in mind the amount of exhibits that are handled, as well. A room that is too crowded not only makes it uncomfortable for the participants, but it can also cause the room to get warmer. Alternatively, if you have a small group in a large room it can be chilly.
Consider each of these components in your planning to get the best quality video deposition!
Our court reporters, legal videographers, and trial services consultants are available 24/7 to assist you with your video depositions. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888.433.3767.