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DAY-IN-THE-LIFE Day-In-The-Life (normally reserved for trial) is a video that document activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, eating, and therapies)

They are 10 to 15 minute presentations like a news segment summarizing the case through narration, interview, & graphics.

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Video Depositions

Recording testimony for trial is one of the original uses of forensic video production. Objections are ruled upon prior to trial by the presiding Judge, therefore jurors are not distracted by the legal arguments and objections, and the testimony runs without interruptions. The edited testimony then allows fact-finders to see and hear the deponent's actual testimony and demeanor rather than a third party reading the transcript of the testimony into the record. Many nuances of communication are documented on videotape, including inflection, tone of voice and many other non-verbal expressions.

The Whys and Wherefores of Video Recorded Depositions:

In a recent case, a New York attorney was able to strongly suggest that an executive on the witness stand had misstated the facts he had offered partners in a proposed business deal. Waving a scanning wand over a list of bar codes, the attorney quickly selected from his index a damaging snippet from a video deposition the executive had given before trial. Suddenly, on a giant screen, the witness was contradicting his own court testimony. There were even subtitles underlining his admissions. The video reality has become more real than the live testimony. In this case, the video clips helped persuade the judge to throw out the suit midway through trial, a win for the client on the defense side.

Video depositions are transforming trials into teledramas as modem lawyers adapt the techniques of tough TV journalists. Attorneys are playing unflattering footage over and over and combining sound bites with documents in slick presentations.

Used Mostly During the Fact-Finding Phase:

Taken during the pretrial discovery phase of lawsuits, depositions give lawyers a chance to question deponents under oath. The sessions often involve endless legal parrying, since many lawyers advise clients to reveal little and take time before answering. But now, those tactics are changing because they can so easily make a witness look evasive on the video recording. Also fueling the revolution is new technology that lets lawyers pull up footage in seconds and use laptop computers to package video clips on the spot. The ABA this year even endorsed the practice of splicing clips from several witnesses into one smooth presentation, so jurors can compare testimony on the same subject.

Videos can help lawyers underscore points. In Minnesota's landmark trial against the tobacco industry to recover health-care costs of treating sick smokers, which settled a few years ago, the state played a large portion of a deposition of the Philip Morris Company's former research director invoking his Fifth Amendment protection 135 times. And sometimes, a damning video recorded deposition can precipitate a settlement. A New York jury consultant and settlement negotiator recalls a dispute between his client, an insurance company, and a real-estate developer. In a video-taped deposition, the developer appeared disheveled and rude and stormed off camera. When the case went into mediation, the insurance company pointed out that the developer came off as an exploitative slumlord. The attorney recalls that the mediator advised the developer's legal team that the video presented their client in an extremely bad light. The case settled that day.

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