A Witness’ demeanor in today’s society has become a critical aspect for jury’s across the country. Our society today is accustomed to watching sitcoms, news and entertainment via the television in an increasing fashion. We gain our insight and news through media outlets from television, handheld PDA’s and cell phones nearly twenty fours a day.
Trials are based upon evidence which is gathered during the discovery phase of civil litigation and the attorneys, paralegals and legal secretaries disseminate the evidence by pouring over thousands of pages of documents, written depositions and pleadings all submitted to the courts for either the defense or for the plaintiff regarding a cause of action a jury will sit and listen and render a verdict either for or against the claimant or the defendant. The trial lawyers’ job is to create a plausible and understandable presentation for everyone to clearly follow and determine a just outcome for one side or the other. The attorney’s job is give their client the best possible presentation of evidence and clearly using every means available to bring all evidence to the court’s eyes and ears.
During a trial, either by judge or jury, the record becomes the critical evidence the court will utilize in determining guilt or innocence. The attorneys and their staff have the daunting task of making the evidence understandable and clear for the lay jury to mentally and concisely make a just decision.
During the trial, the defense or the plaintiff counsel have the ability and legal right to either read the written transcript or play the deposition testimony in the form of video recordings to the court to be admissible as evidence for the court to hear and weigh the evidence presented. The option of video recording in conjunction or simultaneously to the written record, performed by freelance court reporters, is predetermined prior to the notice of deposition (NOD) when the witness is summoned to present themselves for questions and answers (depositions). Most of the time, deposition notices (NOD’s) are served upon the witness with wording that allows for both a court reporter and a legal videographer to be present. This gives the noticing party the right to choose how the deposition or statement is to be recorded.
Whether or not both forms of recordings are actually performed simultaneously are normally determined by the ordering attorney; where many different factors can determine the outcome of this decision one way or the other or both. Some frequent reasons a legal videographer is used in conjunction to a certified court reporter taking down every word is; the witness is gravely ill, the witness may not be able to attend the trial, the witness is hostile and the attorney may want the witnesses’ demeanor shown to the court for their client’s benefit, etc. In a famous case where a witness was videotaped for demeanor and where no doubt upon what was said and how it was said was in the case of Monica Lewinsky vs. US, President Bill Clinton’s famous videotaped deposition and his infamous answers to direct questions regarding the subject matter.
There is positively no doubt video recordings capture not only demeanor and clarity of speech and a leaves little to no room for errors in questions and answers but it brings to life the words and meanings of words of how they are spoken, tone, voice inflection and most importantly; brings the most important facet of face to face eye contact to the audience; the truth factor and body language. The written word/record or transcript can never portray these aspects of the record.
Legal video records and in specific expert legal video specialists who are formerly trained by the National Court Reporting Agency (NCRA) and become Certified Legal Video Specialists (CLVS by NCRA training) capture and preserve the video record holding their jobs to the highest form of standards and importance with capturing and maintaining the integrity of exactly what was asked and answered during legal proceedings without missing a single word, grunt or groan.
Legal Video specialists take their jobs seriously and bare in mind the record they are creating is as important as the written transcript and in some cases, become more important.
We are committed to excellence and integrity when it comes to legal videography. We have been transcribing and legal video recording since 1972 with an impeccable reputation.