If you are a witness in a legal case and have been informed that you need to attend a deposition that will be recorded by a legal videographer, then there are certain things you need to keep in mind. Since a video-recorded deposition will be used in court and shown to a jury, both what you wear and how you answer questions are very important.
Below are some tips to help you prepare for your upcoming video-recorded deposition:
Tip: Dress Properly for the Camera
While you should always wear professional clothing to a deposition, this is especially important for depositions that are being video-recorded. In addition, the camera has some quirks that you need to work around by doing each of the following:
- avoid white or black clothing
- avoid clothing with wild patterns or stripes
- avoid excessive jewelry
- wear a simple dress shirt
- wear pastel colors
In addition, if you have any tattoos that will be visible in the recording, then you should cover them with either clothing or makeup.
Tip: Store All of Your Personal Belongings out of Sight
During your deposition, you should keep all of your personal belongings out of sight of the camera. Place your bags on the floor and leave only pertinent documents on the table in front of you so you can easily refer to them. Put your cell phone in your bag or pocket and make sure that you turn it off during the deposition. Don't leave your sunglasses on your head; instead, place those into your bag as well.
Tip: Answer the Questions in a Natural Voice Without Fidgeting
When you are being deposed, make sure that you take a moment to think about each question you are asked and then answer them in a clear and natural voice. Even though you will likely be nervous, make sure that you do not fidget or move around a lot in your chair. These motions will be distracting to the jury who views your recorded deposition. If you do not understand a question, then ask politely for it to be repeated.
Tip: Don't Look Directly into the Camera When Answering Questions
Finally, when you are answering questions, you should not look directly into the camera's lens. Instead, you should look at the person who is speaking to you. If you look into the camera, then your recording will not look natural and you will look more confrontational.