3 Reasons To Use Video Depositions

Video depositions can be invaluable for legal professionals and their clients. The increased capabilities of video technology has made it even easier for lawyers to access enhanced deposition resources and to use video depositions in their cases. There are several reasons why lawyers across the country have begun relying heavily on this technology over the years, but here are just a few of the more common reasons:

  1. Initial witness testimonies can be documented effectively for later assessment.

This may be valuable if a witness tries to change his or her testimony on the stand. A personal injury lawyer Phoenix AZ relies on may reference the witness’ initial statements from his or her video deposition if there are any discrepancies in details. This may also help to determine if the individual will be a strong witness to place in front of a judge or jury.

  1. Witnesses can provide valuable testimonies regardless of where they are located.

Some cases are weakened because key witnesses cannot attend a deposition in person — whether it’s because of medical condition, a family emergency, or simply being out of town for an extended period of time. A dependable court reporting service may have numerous locations across the country, and sometimes even internationally. These services have the technical equipment required to record and share sensitive information that a witness might provide in a deposition. The witness doesn’t even have to be in the same city as the legal firm handling the case.

  1. Video depositions display body language, which may be very important when determining the authenticity of a witness’ testimony.

Small clues in a witness’ body language can provide a lot of information regarding his or her authenticity — sometimes more so than anything else he or she might say. Written depositions may be very valuable for straightforward testimonies, but if there is any reason to doubt that a witness might not be entirely forthcoming, a video deposition could be even better. These depositions may be recorded in a secure space and reviewed at a later time by psychologists or professionals who may assess the person’s body language. If the matter goes to court, such a deposition may help to cast doubt on a story in front of a judge or jury.

Video Depositions: A Growing Trend 

These three benefits are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the usefulness of recorded depositions. Visual presentations of witnesses, victims, and suspects can be a very powerful tool inside and outside the courtroom. Whether the goal is to establish the validity of a car accident claim or to investigate a serious criminal offense, you might just be surprised by how valuable a video deposition service can be.


ASThanks to our friends and contributors from Alex & Saavedra, P.C. for their insight into the value of video depositions in personal injury related depositions.

Depositions 101: What you need to know

As every experienced trial auto accident lawyer New York, NY knows, the deposition a very important discovery device in the litigation process of a personal injury matter. A deposition can single handedly determine the outcome of a trial or the ultimate settlement value of a case. The attorney must not only be aware of deposition strategy and tactics, but must also have a full understanding of the rules governing depositions. The client must be adequately prepared as well, both mentally and substantively. In this article I will outline some basic rules and suggestions for getting the most out of your depositions in a personal injury case, for both the attorney and the client.
The Client
I have found that when preparing the client, the most important goal should be to alleviate as much of their anxiety as possible. Meet with the client well in advance of the deposition day and set aside time immediately prior to the deposition to review and answer any of the client’s last minute questions. Explain to the client exactly what will take place and who will be there. If the deposition will take place in your office, prepare the client in the conference room where the deposition will take place and seat them in the seat they will be sitting. Make sure they understand and can repeat the rules below.
1)     Don’t try to answer a question that:
a.     you don’t know the answer to;
b.     you don’t remember (the answer) or
c.     you don’t understand (ask the questioner to rephrase);
2) Only answer the question that is asked;
3) Take your time and proceed at your own pace;
4) Don’t guess or speculate;
5) Be Honest;
6) Dress appropriately and comfortably. The opposing attorney will be evaluating your appearance as well as your demeanor.
Do not underestimate the importance of putting in the time to properly and thoroughly prepare your client for the deposition. Remember, in most cases this will be their first deposition. Use example questions to get them used to answering consistent with the rules you have given them. You must get to know your client. Are they overly “chatty?” Do they have difficulty articulating or recalling facts? Soft spoken or out spoken? Does he or she have a short temper or tend to be impatient? Stress to the client not to think about the reason for the question, but just to think about the answerto the question. Also, remind the client that the deposition should not be a hostile or adversarial event. It is an opportunity for the other side to learn more about the claims the client has made and that we will have the same opportunity to ask their witnesses probing questions as well.
The Attorney
To get the most out of the deposition and put your client’s case in the best position possible, the lawyer must know two things: the rules and the case. First, the rules. Each state has rules governing the conduct of the deposition as do the federal courts. The lawyer must be familiar with these rules and be confident in citing them during the deposition if necessary. In New York, for example, CPLR 3115 provides that all objections, other than as to the form of the question, are preserved for trial, so there is no need for the attorney object to most questions at the deposition. This rule is generally incorporated into the “usual stipulations” which the parties enter in to prior to the deposition. However, the lawyer should know that proper objections under CPLR 3115(b) include:
1.     Ambiguous questions
2.     Argumentative questions
3.     Questions which assume facts
4.     The mischaracterization of prior testimony
5.     Compound questions
6.     Harassing or vexatious questions
7.     Questions which have been asked and answered
Can an attorney direct the witness NOT to answer a question? Generally speaking, the answer is yes. It is permitted in four instances when: asserting an attorney-client privilege; asserting a physician-client privilege; asserting the Fifth Amendment privilege; or when a question is palpably irrelevant or unduly burdensome. These are but some of the deposition rules that the lawyer must know and be comfortable citing during a deposition.
Second, the lawyer must know the facts of the case cold. That means recognizing the issues in the case, whether they be factual or legal. This will not only help the lawyer prepare the client, but will also aid in the overall organization of the deposition, guide decisions regarding exhibits as well as formulating lines of questioning. You must know all prior statements made by all parties and non-parties. You must know the medical records and treatment history of your client. You must know the “good” and the “bad” facts of your case. Remember that the bad will not disappear if you simply ignore it. Is there a notation of alcohol on client’s breath in the emergency room record or crossing against the light in the police report? These issues must be attacked head on and honestly. What are the legal elements of our claim that must be met for us to be successful? What additional evidence do we need to prove them?
The deposition can make or break your case. Following some simple rules, and thinking through your theme of the case, can go a long way to making the deposition go smoothly for the client and for the case.

Thank to our friends and contributors from Okun, Oddo, and Babat P.C. for their insight into depositions.

I’m about to have my deposition taken. What should I know?

Steve Harrelson, a car accident lawyer Little Rock AR trusts, provides each of his clients with a preparatory brochure and session in getting ready for a Plaintiff’s deposition, and here are some valuable excerpts from that session.  First, you should know that you will be asked about the preparation itself, as if it’s being insinuated that your lawyer is instructing or coaching you how to answer questions on your case.

First, the most important thing to do in a deposition is listen.  Listen to the question be asked.  Don’t anticipate, don’t assume, and don’t just start answering what you thought you were going to be asked.  Consider each question being posed to you, answer that question, and stop.  It’s that simple.  Don’t offer color commentary to the questions – simply answer them and wait for the next question.  Don’t invite tangential lines of questions or allowing the other lawyer to carry you down some rabbit hole by offering more information than what is being sought.

Deposition Prep: 

Second, allow the other lawyer to ask you the question.  While listening to the question being asked, take some time to consider the question.  This will ensure that you and the other lawyer don’t step on each other or talk over one another.  The deposition is being reported by a court reporter, and it’s impossible for him or her to take down what is being said if two people are speaking at the same time.  Allow the other lawyer to finish his or her question before you answer it.

Audible responses: 

Speaking of the court reporter, he or she cannot properly record a shaking or nodding of the head, so it’s important to audibly voice your responses.  If you’re pointing at something while responding, remember that body language is not recorded, and if the transcript of your deposition is read aloud to the jury, they won’t get the entire picture if you were pointing during your response or referring to something in the room or on the table.  Additionally, uh-huhs and huh-uhs can be confusing when transcribed, so it’s important to audibly voice yes or no to straightforward questions (and going back to rule number one, if it’s a yes or no question, answer that way and stop).

Confusing Questions: 

If you do not perfectly understand the question being asked, or if the question can be interpreted in more than one way, ask the other lawyer to rephrase the question or ask it again.  The last thing you want to be faced with is trying to explain to a jury that you answered wrong in your deposition because you didn’t understand what was being asked.

It’s important to go over every single scenario of the basis of the lawsuit over and over in your head to be able to recall all facts.  Once you provide an answer in deposition, it is very difficult to change it or to give a different answer at trial without facing a serious (and potentially fatal) cross examination.

For these reasons, it is imperative to hire a veteran litigator and experienced trial lawyer who has been involved in representing victims of negligence for years.


Thanks to Steve Harrelson and our friends and co-contributors from Harrelson Law Firm, P.A. for their added insight into the discovery process in motor vehicle accidents.

3 Key Business Relationships for an Attorney to Build

Building Relationships

As Roseville CA estate planning attorneys, the relationships we build with clients can be pivotal to our success. However, there are many other professional bonds we must foster to conduct business successfully.

Below are three business relationships we should all consider strengthening to excel in our practices.

Couriers

Trusting an experienced courier service to pick up, deliver, or ship important documents means we need to identify a trustworthy courier or courier service, and build a good working relationship with them. If a certified copy needs to be in our hands by 4:59 p.m. during Friday rush hour in a thunderstorm, we’re not going to ask just anyone to do it.

Attributes of a Great Courier

  • Reliable tracking service offered
  • Cooperative with requests
  • Responsive and timely
  • Efficient
  • Insured

Couriers are used to move our pertinent, time sensitive deliveries fast. Being particular when choosing a service to build your relationship with helps your firm to be polished and qualified, and in the long run, helps build clientele.

Paralegals

Whether it’s maintaining organized files for an upcoming trial, drafting documents, or doing courthouse research, we put a great deal of trust in our paralegals. Thus, this professional relationship choice is one where we cannot afford to settle on the mediocre. It is imperative that we have a positive business relationship with our paralegals, and that they too add to our team.

The American Alliance of Paralegals, Inc. reinforces this high level of integrity and professionalism in their Code of Ethics for paralegals.

What Makes a Terrific Paralegal

  • Dedication to completing challenging tasks
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong communication and writing skills
  • Positive demeanor
  • High standard of ethics

Even the toughest litigator will struggle without the support of a meticulous paralegal at their side. This person often represents us in the office, at the courthouse, and with clients. Choose this individual wisely, and work well with them.

Court Reporters

Practicing law, we know the value of getting accurate transcripts of proceedings. While we as attorneys create the record, a stellar court reporter preserves that record and takes it down verbatim to produce a readable transcript. Court reporting requires a great deal of skill and experience.

Identifying a Strong Court Reporter

  • Produces a complete record
  • Excellent command of the English language
  • Meets tight turnaround deadlines
  • Punctual
  • Professional appearance

A top-notch court reporter may also be able to provide realtime services, a feature through which testimony scrolls in a live feed on participant’s laptops or tablets. Many attorneys, and judges too, find this very helpful in proceedings.

An excellent reporter can be an extension of your firm, helping you to build your cases efficiently and accurately.

As busy as we are, a friendly attitude goes a long way in a professional environment. Remember, these are the people we work with and put our trust in daily. Surrounding ourselves professionally with the right people guarantees our practices will grow and thrive.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Meyer & Yee, LLP for their insight into important business relationships.

Celebrity Video Depositions: Respect for the System?

Depositions are a key part of the discovery process in civil lawsuits and generally make the headlines in high profile cases of celebrity legal news. Most of us have a sense of what a deposition is. After all, we’ve seen them on TV and in films. In fact, in the Facebook movie, the Social Network, depositions get a big chunk of screen time. My favorite deposition scene is when Jessie Eisenberg, who plays Mark Zuckerberg, mocks the questioning attorney by checking her simple math and then sarcastically advising her that she is correct.

So, first, what is the discovery process of a lawsuit? Discovery is basically the investigative part of a case after a complaint and answer to that complaint is filed. It is when both sides get to ask questions in writing (Interrogatories), request documents (Document Requests) and seek admissions (Request for Admissions). Depositions take place during discovery and are the oral, generally in person, questioning of witnesses. Oftentimes those question-asking sessions are videotaped. Sometimes lawyers seek to have those tapes protected from public view and prevent them from being released, but not always. And, also, as you can imagine, sometimes even when there is a protective order in place someone, whether at the law firm or the court reporting company, leaks them. But, this post is not going to address leaks and who is legally responsible for them or who can/should be punished for them. What we are talking about are the ones that the public has seen—whether properly or improperly released into the media. And, boy, the ones highlighted below are not like any deposition I have been part of!

1. Justin Bieber: Clearly Bieber was not comfortable in the deposition setting, he was fidgeting, making odd facial expressions and swiveling his chair non-stop. His entire demeanor was one of combativeness and immaturity so if his goal was to come off as if he didn’t care or was not bothered about the situation or the underlying lawsuit the result was the opposite. His lawyers should have prepped him better (or maybe they did but he ignored their advice) then maybe he would not have come off looking like such a little brat. Not that there is much empathy for the plaintiffs—a paparazzo claiming Bieber’s bodyguards assaulted him and stole his camera equipment in June 2013.

2. Lil Wayne: I think Bieber may have watched the video of Lil Wayne’s 2012 deposition before Bieber sat for his own 2014 deposition but believe it or not Bieber actually came across looking worse than Lil Wayne did. Yes, Lil Wayne had a hoodie pulled up over his head, appeared to sleep on his folded arms for a bit, and also threatened the questioning attorney by saying “In the real world, that guy right there [referring to a third party present at the deposition], he can’t save you in the real world, just so you know.” But, in parts of the deposition Lil Wayne is very lucid, clear and repeats pretty lengthy questions back to the attorney. And though he did make the obtaining of information very, very challenging, he wasn’t as impetuous and immature as Bieber. A small shout out of congratulations is due to Pete Ross, the lawyer conducting the deposition for maintaining his cool throughout. Not sure how many other lawyers, even very experienced ones, would have sat so calmly through Lil Wayne’s antics.

3. Tupac Shakur: On the other end of the spectrum is Tupac Shakur’s video deposition in connection with a 1992 lawsuit filed by the wife of a deceased state trooper who claims Tupac’s music caused her husband’s death by inciting violence against police. Throughout the deposition, Tupac is mild mannered, respectful, and calm. Though it is worth noting that at the time of the deposition Tupac was incarcerated for a sexual assault conviction so though the attorney questioning Tupac suggested that Tupac’s answers made him seem like a choir boy, if relevant and deemed admissible by the judge in the case underlying the deposition, then clearly that choir boy image would be quickly erased and neither Tupac’s demeanor or answers in that video deposition would affect that too much—a conviction, a finding of fault beyond a reasonable doubt is pretty convincing information.

If you have the time, watch these depositions or at least the highlights of them and decide for yourself: Disrespectful celebrities, game players or individual seeking to protect their rights?


Thanks to our friend and contributor, Jill Stanley of Proof with Jill Stanley, for her insight into celebrity video depositions.

The Importance Of A Video Deposition In A Car Collision Injury Case

What is a Deposition?

Depositions are one of the basics of injury litigation.  A deposition is basically a series of questions an attorney asks the other side’s witnesses to answer under oath.  The question and answer are transcribed by a court reporter.  The questions can be wide-ranging and cover all sorts of ground because the only limitation is that they must be “reasonably calculated” to lead evidence that is admissible at trial. Your answers count as sworn testimony just like you are in a courtroom.

Depositions commonly take place at an attorney’s office or at a court reporter’s office.  Even though the witness is sworn to tell the truth there will be no judge present for the deposition.

The fact that no judge is there means that you even have to answer questions to which your own attorney objects.  But, before the jury would hear that testimony at trial, the judge would have to overrule the objection raised.

What is a Video Deposition?

Just like any other deposition a video deposition is transcribed word for word by a court reporter.  Everything is the exact same as at a deposition that is not videotaped. Except, there is a video operator there and you, or the witness on the other side, get video and audio recorded while answering questions.

The big difference is that in a non-video deposition a person’s demeanor and mannerisms, their non-verbal communications to use another term, are not available for the jury.  In contrast, in a video deposition everything the witnesses does is recorded for the jury to see.   This can include hand gestures, facial expressions, physical tics and the like.  Importantly is can also give clues to whether the witness is telling the truth or not.

Both the injured plaintiff and the defendant driver are often deposed using a video deposition in car crash cases. Many plaintiffs’ lawyers agree that the defendant driver is often far less well prepared for the process of questioning at the deposition and their honest selves will shine through.

Because the video testimony of an opposing party can be shown to the jury, getting that honest snapshot of the defendant can really help “make your case.

Capturing the true defendant is a primary reason for a personal injury attorney to choose to take a video deposition.  For the defense attorney, a video deposition can help with the basic reasons that they are taking your deposition in the first place.  Those reasons are:

  1. Locking in your story. The other lawyer wants to be sure that they know what you will day at trial.  So they want to lock down your story and eliminate wiggle room, It is harder to lie and conceal when in video camera particularly in response to follow-up questions
  2. Evaluating your answers and effectiveness as a witness at trial. The lawyer (and the insurance company and adjuster with which the lawyer is working) want to know “how you will be” as a witness at trial. Answers to questions such as will the jury like you? Do you come across as honest?

In the end, a video deposition is a more powerful tool to use against the opposing party than a mere transcript.  You need to be sure your lawyer spends the time to prepare you to shine for your deposition in your injury case.


Thanks to our friend and blog author, Kurt Holzer of Holzer Edwards Chartered, for his insight into the importance of video depositions in a car accident case.

5 Key Questions to Ask in a Divorce Deposition

Many divorce lawyers conduct depositions of opposing parties to discover important information prior to trial.  A deposition is a sworn statement taken out-of-court before a court reporter.  If desired, a transcript of the testimony can be prepared and used later at the trial to impeach or discredit the opposing party if their statements vary from the time they originally gave the deposition.

Any contested divorce may present one, or two, and sometimes 3, major points of contention, such as child custody and support, spousal support or what is known as maintenance, and division of marital assets.  A deposition is an excellent opportunity to obtain a preview of what to expect from the opposing party before the case makes it to trial.

Good divorce lawyers worth their salt will take advantage of scheduling a deposition of the opposing party for these very reasons.  Depending on what major contentions are included in a divorce, there are 5 key questions to ask in a divorce deposition.  A brief description of each of these key questions follows.

1. Parenting Skills?

If a divorce action involves contested custody of minor children, one key question to ask of the opposing party is to describe what good parenting skills my client possesses.  This often takes the opposing party off-guard; why, they may wonder am I asking them to say something nice about my client?  This is, after all, a divorce.  Keep in mind, that at a deposition of the opposing party, my client has the right to be present, and normally is, sitting right next to me.  This makes it even harder for the opposing party to say something unpleasant when my client is sitting directly across from them at the table.  You’d be surprised at how often the other party says nice things about my client.  Once these answers are given however, they become part of the recorded transcript and can be brought up at the trial when the issue of who is the better parent is determined.

2. Support System?

A second key question to ask when child custody is involved in a divorce is to inquire about the support group the opposing party has available locally to assist with care and maintenance of the children.  When married, the parties had each other to step in if a need arose.  Maybe one of the children gets sick at school and needs a ride home or to the babysitter.  In the absence of the now departed spouse, who can the opposing party rely on to fill this role.  The larger the support group, the better.

3. Non-Marital Property?

If martial property division is a major issue, most divorce lawyers consider a third key question essential to their case.  That is: what does the opposing party believe to be his or her non-marital property.  Normally, divorce estates are divided 50/50 with half the total amount of property going to each party.  Non-marital property, such as an inheritance received before or during the marriage remains the separate property of the party who can prove that it came from a non-marital source.  Therefore, it is important to ask the opposing party if he or she believes certain property is non-marital, and if so, to list what proof they have to establish it as non-marital.

4. Timeline?

A fourth key question divorce lawyers ask related to property issues is when does the opposing party consider the marriage to have broken down, and whether they wasted or misapplied marital assets knowing that the marriage was more than likely to end in divorce.  This concept is known as dissipation.  Dissipation is the wasting or misapplication of marital assets that occurs at or soon after the virtual breakdown of the marriage.  If it can be proved that the opposing party dissipated assets at this relevant time, he or she will be required to reimburse the marital estate for the value of the property that was misappropriated.

5. Finance Discrepancy?

A fifth and final key question related to payment of child support or spousal maintenance (what used to be called alimony) can be asked of an opposing party who is self-employed, or who is part owner of a small corporation, sometimes closely, or entirely family owned.  Prior to the deposition, I will have reviewed the opposing party’s tax returns, paychecks, and bank and investment accounts.  If the opposing party is living high off the hog while reporting meager income on tax returns, I ask them how are they able to square the discrepancy between the two.

In high dollar cases, I may even employ a forensic accountant to audit the source of the opposing party’s income, as well as how and where it is spent.  Even though parties to a divorce are required to disclose under oath the amount and whereabouts of assets acquired during the marriage, good divorce lawyers know that people will go to great lengths to keep their soon to be divorced spouse from sharing in the wealth that was created during the marriage.  If an opposing party is not able to explain why there is a substantial discrepancy between their life style and their reported income, further exploration into their financials is required.

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A special thanks to our friend and blog author, Edgar Weer of Smith & Weer, P.C., for his insight into taking a strong deposition during a divorce case.

A Good Court Reporting Relationship Is Critical to a Law Practice

Legal practices today rely heavily on having a quality relationship with a reliable and dedicated court reporting service. Court reporters are not just quiet stenographers on the sidelines anymore. They now have the ability to hugely impact the outcome of case, whether it is won or lost. Just as important, the relationship a personal injury law firm has with its court reporting service can benefit the firm’s clients. When building relationships with one or more court reporting services, it is very important that each relationship is founded in integrity, mutual respect and a mutual sense of ownership over client outcome.

All parties must understand that the court reporting service relationship must be at its best. To build that relationship, a law firm should work with a court reporting service that understands the following points:

Transcripts hold the power to make or break a case.
During a deposition, attorneys are tuned into specific points and objectives that must be covered during the limited time period with the deposed individual. In the process, the deposed party may say things that are missed or skipped over at the time of the deposition. These things may be discovered in the transcript when that document is being reviewed by the legal team at a later time. Because lawyers are human and may miss small details at first, it is critical that all of the details are captured in the court reporter’s transcriptions.

Travel to witnesses may be required.
Travel restrictions placed upon court reporters by their service will make some cases more difficult to navigate, as not all witnesses are local to the law office. It is important that the court reporting relationship specifies how out-of-town, interstate and international travel will be handled and that the service is included in the court reporting relationship.

Translation services may be needed upon short notice.
A quality court reporting service will have the ability to provide translation services when the witnesses and clients are not as comfortable conveying their points in English. Language cannot be the barrier hindering the outcome of a case.

Lawyers cannot rely upon court provision of a court reporter anymore.
Courts no longer provide reporters for each and every case. Quite often, court reporters are contracted by parties in the case and not the court, itself. A local court reporting service will know that there may be times that their law firm client needs their reliability in the court during hearings.

Knowledge and use of emerging technologies can be important.
Basic transcription is not the only service provided by quality court reporting services today. Video, audio and other technologies allow for consultation among case parties without everyone being in the same room. Such consultations can make or break a case, making important information, document reviews and other activities possible across multiple geographies. Because of regulations regarding secure transmission of personal information, the court reporting service must understand associated regulations and provide these services accordingly.

Maintaining the Quality Court Reporting Relationship

Maintaining a quality relationship with a court reporting service comes down to mutual respect among the parties. Our respect of court reporters is based in understanding of the valuable service they provide. We understand:

  • Sometimes court reporters must work long hours with few breaks and they often do so with a genuine desire to meet client needs;
  • When attorneys are hard at work on a case, there are many things they must focus upon and court reporters enable that focus with diligent service that protects and captures records critical to the case;
  • Using the equipment court reporters use is not as easy as it looks, these services at times being taxing on the court reporter’s mind and body while they must keep up with live interactions of high importance with accuracy;

To ensure we maintain the best possible relationship with our court reporting services, we work to adhere to the following guidelines of this mutually respectful relationship:

  • We try to communicate as fully as possible with the court reporting services regarding our needs in advance, such as for real time transcripts, expedited work or rough drafts;
  • We are as courteous to our court reporters as we are to any other key member of our staff, always knowing we must forge a quality relationship before it may be at its best;
  • We speak as clearly and succinctly as we can, reading other documents with the knowledge that these readings must be captured accurately and allowing the court reporters adequate time to note exhibits;
  • We understand the court reporter is consistently performing focused mental and physical work that often involves translation of accents and adjustment to varied patterns of speech while others in the room may be merely listening or speaking, with our attorneys thus providing consistent breaks for court reporters to rest, regain strength and ready for continued deposition or other activities;
  • We work to consider our court reporters’ personal needs before making decisions to abstain from meals or skip breaks;
  • We understand that court reporters schedule their personal lives around work hours and that if we are going to run later than expected, we need to coordinate this with our court reporters along with other affected parties;
  • We appreciate the service court reporters provide for us and we always strive to be grateful and courteous in our appreciation of their long hours and hard work.

The staff of Cantor Crane injury lawyers understands the importance of the relationship we have with our court reporting services. We use services we trust and this trust enables us to focus on the details of your case, not whether all details were accurately captured.

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Special thanks to our friend Aaron Crane, of Cantor Crane Personal Injury Firm, for providing some insight into the benefits of building a lasting relationship between law firms and court reporting companies.

How Depositions Can Make or Break Your Personal Injury Case

When in need of a great court reporter Washington DC businesses trust and respect, Capital Reporting Company has become one of the top choices for reliable reporting and deposition services. In our experience, the goals of many personal injury case deposition are simple: the lawyer wants to get an accurate and complete picture of what happened during the accident, and also to evaluate the witness and determine if he or she could be a reliable witness to have in court.

For lawyers who are handling a very sensitive personal injury case, it is invaluable to work with a company that offers some of the most reliable deposition services Washington DC can provide. Using a top court reporting service can ensure that your deposition makes your case rather than breaks it.

So why exactly can one deposition have so much influence on a personal injury case? It’s all in the details.

  1. Body language matters. Personal injury lawyers often analyze the body language of a witness to determine the overall possible value of that witness in court. When you work with a great court reporter Washington DC has to offer, such as Capital Reporting Company, videography services are easily accessible as well. These recordings make it easy to analyze a witness’ body language even after a deposition has happened. As many great lawyers know, body language often says a lot more to a jury about a witness than the words that person speaks. If an attorney puts someone on the stand who comes off poorly to the jury, it may not matter what their testimony is — their body language may influence the jury’s first impression leading to an unfair, unfavorable opinion of what the witness has to say
  2. Witnesses don’t always tell the whole truth. As many law firms advise their clients, it’s essential and required by law to tell the truth during a deposition — but clients should stick to the facts and only provide answers for the questions a lawyer asks. Providing too many details without being asked could lead to an objection. It’s up to the legal team to catch important details and points in a testimony. Having the verbatim text of the deposition at their fingertips can help an attorney catch details they may have missed at the taking of the deposition that can influence the trajectory of the case.
  3. Frenzied Q&A’s can lead to inaccurate transcriptions. The purpose of a court reporter Washington DC can trust is to note — as accurately as possible — everything the lawyer and witness say during a deposition. When the witness speaks over the lawyer (or vice versa), the court reporter may not be able to catch everything that both parties say. It’s easy for lawyers to miss small details during a deposition, which is why a full transcript of the conversation is so beneficial. When this transcript cannot reflect everything both parties say, it’s possible for the legal team to miss an important detail that could make or break the case.

Your Trusted Source for Washington DC Court Reporters

Personal injury cases can be very complicated and may involve several important parties, especially when the defendant and plaintiff cannot reach a settlement outside of the courtroom. Small details can have a tremendous impact on the value of a witness’ testimony in court and it is essential for lawyers to have a trustworthy reporting service so that no detail is accidentally ignored.

If you’re looking for a reliable court reporter Washington DC companies turn to for personal injury deposition services, contact Capital Reporting Company today.


Thanks to our friend and contributor, Wayne R. Cohen, a DC, VA, and MD personal injury lawyer at Cohen & Cohen, P.C., for his added insight into personal injury practice.

Who Do Court Reporters Work For?

Court Reporter Washington DC

Are you wondering where to find a great court reporter in Washington D.C.? Maybe you are wondering, “Who do court reporters work for?” The answer varies between independent reporters, and government employee reporters. Court reporters mostly work for government officials in government courtrooms, although many also work freelance throughout the country. At Capital Reporting Company, we have thousands of court reporters located all over the world, dedicated to our team, that are well versed in all court proceedings. Not only do we have professional court reporters in Washington D.C. ready 24/7, we offer videoconference rooms in Washington D.C., legal translation in Washington D.C., and deposition services in Washington D.C. All of our services are available 24/7, all over the world via our Capital Reporting Company Portal, which allows our clients access anything and anyone involved in their cases no matter where they are. If you need a court reporter in Washington D.C., choosing one from Capital Reporting Company won’t be a disappointment, as we were voted the Best Overall Providers of Court Reporters and Deposition Services in the National Law Journal/Legal Times by our clients.

We only hire the best, meaning any court reporter in Washington D.C. you hire from Capital Reporting Company will get the job done right, the first time. We have over 3,500 court reporters all over the world, making Capital Reporting Company a leader in comprehensive litigation support. All of our court reporters can type 225 words a minute, with 95% accuracy or more, using the most advanced technology to enhance their proficiency.  Many lawyers who need a court reporter in Washington D.C., also need services such as videoconference rooms in Washington D.C., legal translation service in Washington D.C., and other deposition services in Washington D.C.  All of these services make it easier and more efficient for our legal clients to do their jobs, and make sure their information is correct and available to their clients. Capital Reporting Company knows how stressful it can be to keep track of everything, and to make sure your court proceedings are properly managed and documented. Let a court reporter in Washington D.C. from our services help you stay on track, and keep your clients and cases organized and accounted for.