Depositions are where lawyers ask witnesses or parties to a lawsuit questions, under oath, for use in pre-trial discovery or for later use at trial. They are important to get the injured plaintiff’s story, so they cannot change it later, or make the negligent defendant driver explain why he did not follow the rules and the harm his actions caused.
While many of the television lawyer shows and movies have depositions, few portray "video depositions." Doug Landau and the ABRAMS LANDAU trial team make frequent use of videotaped depositions. While these "examinations before trial" (called "EBTs" in New York) are under oath and can be used later in court to impeach a witness, Landau finds that by taking the extra time, effort and money to have them videotaped results in more effective advocacy for his clients.
By investing in the cases early, experienced Herndon injury lawyer Landau has found that he avoids the problems that so many other so-called "personal injury specialists" seem to run into. If a witness disappears or becomes unavailable for trial, instead of simply reading the deposition to the jury, which is boring, ineffective and soon forgotten, Landau likes to play portions of the video that have "preserved" the witness’s testimony. If an dog bite, burn victim or bike crash plaintiff’s treating doctor cannot come to court, then videotaping her deposition can save the physician’s time, the client’s money and help the judge and jury with scheduling the trial (because you know exactly how long the tape is so it can be fit in without inconveniencing anyone !).
Most plaintiff’s personal injury lawyers do not videotape depositions because they:
- are afraid of how they sound on any recorded medium;
- are not well enough prepared to risk looking foolish when the tape is played back;
- do not want their own clients (or their families) to see how poorly they conduct discovery, and/or
- they are too cheap to do so.
At ABRAMS LANDAU, ltd., we routinely videotape depositions all over the country. Mr. Landau is able to bring the witness to court via videotape for the judge and jury to "see" as well as "hear." As Sportscaster Warner Wolf used to say, "Let’s go to the videotape !"