The Case for Legal Video?
Updated: Jan 16, 2020
Legal Videography can add an expense to your case; right? Well, yes and no. In this article I will state the case of why it actually can save you money and help tremendously to win your case.
True it's an added expense. but in many circumstances the costs of taking a video deposition are much less than if you were to skip it.
Lost non verbal testimony:
So there you are taking a deposition and you are on a roll. The questions are flowing out of your mouth, and you have the witness right where you want them. You can see the discomfort in the witness's body language and face. Sweat begins to bead up on their forehead, squirming and fidgeting in the chair as the questions get harder and harder to evade. They can no longer keep eye contact with you. A partial slip of the tongue occurs, a eye twitch tick develops as you are catching them in their web of lies. Finally when the proceeding wraps up, it's so obvious you have caught them in the act that you can't possibly lose; right?
You review the transcript and you think you have some relatively damning material, but somehow the written testimony lacks the obviousness of the witness's discomfort in answering your questions. Without all the twitching and uncomfortable motions, it just lacks the same conviction. What you thought was a slam dunk doesn't quite have the same punch without seeing the ticks, tongue slips, and beads of sweat. What you once thought was a slam dunk is now realized as more of a maybe.
"Oh @$%!#&* if I would have just videoed that depo"! Opposing counsel would have been calling you on the way home crying uncle and wanting to discuss a settlement. But because the footage was never captured they feel they still have a case. So you now find yourself scheduling more depositions, hearings, and hiring experts for a case you're relatively sure you can win, causing you and your client exponentially more money than if you would have just sprung for the video in the first place. Instead of enjoying your settlement fees on a beach sipping Mai Tai's, you find yourself sitting in yet another fact witness deposition spending money that you think you may get back. Do yourself and your client a favor. If it's an important witness that can make or break your case, don't be penny wise and pound foolish. Video that witness!