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.
Lawyers should be mindful of the use of video deposition when it comes to how their clients and witnesses present themselves to the jury. Stenographers used to draft written statements for depositions. Contrarily, the subject’s image and voice are included in the deposition on video. Every nonverbal cue, such as body language and physiological mood, has the power to support or undermine the subject’s case, so to speak. Jurors will be able to observe any expression or apparent lack of emotion, so the subject’s performance during a video deposition may have a big influence on the jury. Even opposing counsel can gain insight into a client’s or witness’ nonverbal cues if the circumstances warrant it.
In order to prepare a client or witness for a video deposition, attorneys should invest the same amount of time and effort as they would for a live deposition. The appearance and manner of witnesses and clients during the video deposition may be just as important to the jury as their testimony.
To prevent the subject’s appearance from excessively influencing the jury, the person should be dressed professionally and photographed against a plain background. Additionally, the subject should be taught proper body language, such as avoiding slouching, fidgeting, or making too animated facial gestures. Additionally, it should be taught to subjects how to ask for clarification when unsure about a question.
The way testimony is presented to juries has changed thanks to video depositions, but the way testimony impacts a jury’s judgment has not. Client and witness preparation for video depositions is just as important as witness preparation for the witness stand. Using the following material, lawyers can learn how to assist their clients and witnesses in giving their best video testimony.