If a deposition is important enough to take, then it’s important enough to videotape. If you’re not videotaping the depositions of the defendant and non-party witnesses, now is the time to start.
But that’s just scratching the surface of an effective videotaped deposition. You need equipment that will simultaneously show photos, documents and the deponent during the video testimony, allow you to make annotations in exhibits in real-time and make everything easy and large for your audience (the jurors) to see.
The Equipment for a Perfect Deposition
You only need 4 things for the perfect videotape deposition: (1) CAMCORDER with the capability to time and date-stamp; (2) AV MIXER; (3) DOCUMENT CAMERA; and (4) MONITOR. Here’s what we recommend:
#1: Camcorder: Panasonic AG-AC30: Handheld high definition camcorder with superb low-light capability.
Camcorder comes with double SD card slots that enable concurrent super high resolution recording onto 2 cards. When the first card becomes full, the system automatically switches to the second card. Video is time and date-stamped, as required by New York for videotaped depositions. You only need to focus and zoom. Cost: $1,190.
#2: Audio and Video Mixer: Roland AV Mixer VR-3EX: Audio/Video mixer that is simple to use and streams directly to YouTube Live.
Just connect the camcorder to the AV Mixer. You easily switch the video recording from the deponent, exhibits/photos or simultaneously show the witness and documents with picture in picture, split screen or quad screen with the touch of a button. The AV mixer has 4 video screens that allow you to see what you’re recording. Cost: $1,590.
#3: Document Camera: HiteVision QView QD3900 (a/k/a “Elmo”): Document camera (a/k/a “Elmo”) that allows your audience (e.g., jurors at trial) to see exactly what you and the witness see.
With this 1080p high resolution document camera, you can capture images and screenshots from exhibits/photos during the deposition, and scan images to preserve deposition exhibits. This makes for easy sharing of electronic copies of the deposition exhibits.
This document camera has a 12x optical zoom and a motorized camera head, so you can easily zoom in and out with a touch of a button during the deposition. You can switch from the document camera to your computer to display images or video from your laptop (also works great for presentations). This document camera has built-in annotation capabilities, allowing you to easily mark digitally projected documents, e.g., photos of the scene of a wreck, on the spot. Cost: $1,250
#4: Monitor: Vizio D32F-E1, 32 inch with 1080p HD resolution and built wifi. Buy a stand to mount the monitor on a table. Cost: $159
Why You Should Get This Equipment
Yes, this equipment is a bit expensive ($4k), but it will last for 3-5 years and you can buy the equipment used for half the price. You can use this equipment for depositions, trials and public speaking presentations. After a dozen depositions, the equipment pays for itself and you’ve got easy to use and highly functional equipment that will be the envy of your peers.
Photo by Donald Tong from Pexels