Don’t be thrown by video depositions

John J. Nazarian
January 23, 2008

videocameraOK girls and boys, the weapon of choice today, if you are dumb enough to pay for it, is the deposition on video! Yup, you walk into the conference room and we now have a set up that looks like a dimestore movie set. You get wired up with a mike, and are asked not squirm too much as you will get out of frame!

If you want to make a total pain of yourself, wait till you are all wired and everyone is ready, and say, “I need to use the restroom”…funny stuff. Or drink some water and drip some into the mike…ooops! You can also play with jewelry or your clothing, which will make scratching noises on the recording that will drive the videographer nuts!

I was deposed recently and they were silly enough to do this to me…someone should sell that video to some news network as I love the “camera”…at least it would be worth playing over again at parties, and this nitwit from the firm of Greencheese and Bluster got what he deserved in my depo! Believe me, I enjoyed it! BUT this “video voodoo” is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate you. Plain and simple, lawyers’ bullshit games! This is very expensive so you won’t see it in all depositions (not yet anyway), but its primary purpose is to intimidate and annoy you and to make you nervous. Many people don’t photograph well anyway, and video can be even worse. The old method of a stenographer tapping away was just fine…but no, now they want to be cute, and it is a great ego booster for the lawyer who pulls this crap on you, too. Sure, they can go back and see how brilliant they were and feel good about their theatrics! Now, on the other hand you have to be careful as the old system did not express emotions, but this tactic will, and you have to be composed and cool. Quite frankly, this is all to get you to say and do things you would not do under normal circumstances — that is all a depo is! Oh, they say it is for “the record” — whose record? Because when your side deposes the other side, it will all be just the opposite anyway…it is a search for the truth, with a twist…and at the end of the day isn’t this whole system “twisted?”

Tip: if you have a problem with eye contact, look at the person on the other side between the eyes and up a little…center forehead. Also, some look at people and imagine them naked and that comic relief can help keep you from feeling intimidated. However, I love to look at people straight in the eye, it is an old cop thing that I have still!

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