If you have not been using cameras to record your examinations, it may be a good time to start.
When deciding to use a video camera to record meetings, it provides a great advantage over anything that has been documented by yourself or the court reporter. Adding video can provide you with additional ammunition to build your case.
When you decide to take up the practice of videotaping, these are a few of the advantages:
Identifying Body Language
Having the ability to see how someone acts can provide you with more insight than what the transcript portrays. You can identify emotion through facial expression, tone of voice, habits that may expose a weakness that you can take advantage of to help build your questions and your examination tactics – all resulting from having them be recorded. Anything greater than ink on paper can contribute positively to your case when analyzed properly.
Video Review for Trial Preparation
In addition to identifying body language, it is useful to use video on yourself or your own client. Whether you record your client to prepare them for your questions or the opposing counsel’s examination, recording examinations is essential for trial preparation. You can analyze the video and fix everything before they become an issue in court. For lawyers, it can also be useful to practise and prepare their own questioning, opening and closing arguments, which helps them with their own professional development and confidence prior to the trial.
Displaying Physical Evidence to the Jury
When in court, technology is also useful to present evidence to the jury. Rather than reading a transcript, you have the ability to display images or video of the evidence – whether it be a physical item, pictures, or a statement from an individual. This assures the jury is seeing what you want them to see, rather than relying on them to put together an image or idea in their head – which is not always going to go your way. This limits the amount of information that the jury is required to process as it does not demand as much effort on their part compared to if you were reading a description or statement from a transcript.
Impeaching a Witness
In most cases, it may be difficult to impeach a witness. However, if you have recorded statements that do not line up with what is said in the courtroom, you have evidence request the witness be dismissed and anything they say be inadmissible in court. This could be the thing that allows you to win your case.
Keep the Jury’s Attention
With the amount of information influencing us today – billboards, commercials, radio advertisements, 6 second videos, YouTube videos, etc., our attention span has significantly decreased. If it does not catch our attention and keep us interested within a couple of seconds, we will ignore it. As technology has given us power, and ease of access to anything we want, on demand, it would make sense that it is the best tool to keep the jury’s attention. Technology does all of the work for us, we mindlessly consume content with little to no effort. When you can use a TV to display evidence, it fully immerses and occupies the jury. They will pay attention to it. If you were to try and present the same information by reading a transcript, it requires each individual’s full attention to listen to what is said, process it, organize their thoughts, and form an opinion on it – when you can simplify that process and have most of the work done already.
If this is not something you have thought of adding to your arsenal, it may be something you want to add. As the saying goes, “too much is always better than not enough.”, so why not give this a try for your current or next case, it may help you more than you think.
At On The Record (OTR) each of our 8 boardrooms are spacious allowing for a video camera to be set up anywhere in the room or on the table. If you are in need of a room for your next meeting, please visit our website to book a room, or give us a call at (289) 638-2020.