Expert Witnesses & Audio Video Equipment
Expert Witness & De Bene Esse Zoom Depositions
You pay your expert a lot of money for their testimony, oftentimes, thousands of dollars. You should expect your expert to purchase and use a quality web camera, with quality audio and a stable internet connection. Using a computer or laptop’s built-in web camera with a built-in microphone is not good enough, and recording a deposition using an iPad or mobile phone is also not sufficient enough for trial. For less than $70, your expert can purchase a reliable web camera that will provide a good video image and clear audio. Insist that your expert takes their deposition in a well-lit room, using stable internet on a computer workstation or laptop, with an up-to-date webcam, and stand-alone mic, if possible.
NJL Recommended Webcam
This webcam is an affordable, mid-range quality camera that will provide an all-in-one solution for video and audio.
Attorneys Need Good Audio
To a jury, hearing questions in a deposition is as important as hearing answers, which is why it’s important that the attorney has clear audio as well. Although being on camera is not as important as obtaining a clean audio record, sitting too far away from your microphone will cause your audio levels to be soft and low, and sound like you are in a room with a distracting echo. By the time the deposition video is played back in a nonsound-proof courtroom using stereo speakers, the audio can lose much of its clarity. To avoid this, make sure to use a good quality web camera with a built-in or standalone mic, and make sure to sit close to your microphone and speak up when asking questions. Remember, if the video was being recorded in-person, the videographer would mic every person with professional lapel mics and use an audio mixer to adjust audio levels. However, in a remote Zoom deposition, it’s entirely up to the attendee to use quality equipment and to follow some basic Zoom tips.
Deposition Witnesses and Eye Contact
When a jury watches a live or recorded deposition in court, they are judging the character of the witness in an effort to determine whom they will believe the most. It’s important that when recording depositions your witness looks professional, has a professional background, clear audio, and most importantly, good eye contact. The eyes are one of the most important ways a jury can characterize a witness and having the witness too far away from the camera makes it hard for the jury to see the eyes, especially when considering the jury is oftentimes watching a recorded deposition on a projection screen many feet away.
Importance of a Stable Internet Connection
Zoom will automatically adjust the quality of the recorded video depending on the internet speed and connectivity of the pinned individual/witness, and even if your witness is sitting right next to their router and receiving a maximum WI-FI (wireless internet) signal strength, the upload and download stream will still not be as good as if the person had a computer that was plugged directly into a LAN line (internet/ethernet cable).
NJL Court Reporting Services
Although there are many more rules to consider when recording a quality deposition for trial, if you follow the above-mentioned tips, you’ll be much more prepared for creating a recorded Zoom deposition that plays well in court.
Does your firm need help or guidance with your next in-person or remote Zoom deposition? For almost thirty years, NJL has offered court reporting and video services that will surpass your firm’s expectations of service and professionalism! Contact NJL today to schedule your next deposition!
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