Should Depositions Be Videotaped?

By: Frank H. Bailey, Attorney, Co-Founder & Partner

Notice of Deposition

Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules provide that a party desiring to take a deposition of any person upon oral examination shall give reasonable notice in writing to every other party to the action.  The notice must state the time and place for taking the deposition and the name and address of the person to be examined, if known, and if the name is not known, a general description of the person.  The notice shall also state the method by which the testimony shall be recorded. ARCP 30(b)(1)

Method of Recording

Unless the court orders otherwise, the deposition may be recorded by sound, sound-and-visual, or stenographic means.  Most lawyers have a court reporter record the testimony by stenographic means.  At Bailey and Oliver, we have a videographer also record the deposition. 

Use of Video Deposition

The video can be used later to impeach the witness at trial, or if the witness is unavailable actually played at trial.  At Bailey and Oliver we play parts of the video deposition at mediation so the insurance adjustor can actually see and hear what the testimony will be at trial if the case does not settle.  We also play parts of the deposition when we are deposing other witnesses so they can see what other people have said about a particular fact.

Cost

The Rules of Civil Procedure provide that the party taking the deposition pay the cost of recording the deposition.  If a party wants another method to record the deponent’s testimony in addition to the method specified by the person taking the deposition, then that party must pay the additional expense of recording.

30(b)(6) Deposition

A party may in the notice of deposition name a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency and describe with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested.  In that event, the organization must designate one or more officers or other persons to testify on behalf of the organization.  That testimony will then be binding on the organization.

Telephonic Deposition

In some cases where the deponent is located out of state, the parties may stipulate in writing that the deposition be taken over the phone or by other electronic means.  A court reporter at the place where the deponent is located will record the deposition in addition to a videographer.

Bailey & Oliver Law Firm

As you can see, depositions are critical to your case.  If you are involved in an accident, we understand you are in a lot of pain, you are nervous about how you are going to pay for your medical expenses, you are nervous about giving a deposition to the other side.  The Attorneys at Bailey and Oliver Law Firm have over 60 years combined experience in taking and defending depositions.  If you or someone you know has a personal injury case, we can help.  Contact us at (479) 202-5200.