What is the purpose of a video deposition

What Do Depositions Accomplish? Everything You Need to Know

What Depositions Accomplish 

The word deposition can sound complicated and intimidating. However, breaking down what a deposition is and what it accomplishes makes them far simpler.

So, what do depositions accomplish? A deposition is the giving of testimony before a trial takes place. Depositions are done under oath, with the purpose of discovering the true and accurate testimony of witnesses, and accurately documenting testimonies so that they can be referenced throughout the duration of a case’s legal proceedings. 

While all depositions serve the same essential purpose, there are several different means by which a deposition might be documented. They include video, written, and phone depositions. You may be wondering why one type of deposition is used over the other, or what each kind entails. We will answer those questions and delve into some details. 


What do depositions accomplishA video deposition is the most common type of deposition. As attorneys are work on the investigative portion of their cases, they will often draw upon video depositions to study the various testimonies included in the case. The main reasons that video deposition are used more commonly than the other types of depositions are explained more below: 

Body Language

With a video deposition, the parties involved in the case will not only hear the statement, but they will also observe body language. Sometimes, body language can confirm or contradict a testimony. 

Enhancement of Written Record

It is often impactful when a recorded deposition is shown to the jury. This video affirms the written testimony and shows the body language, tone of voice, and human response to questions. 

Preserving the Testimony

A video deposition preserves the deponent’s testimony. In case the witness is in ill health or won’t be able to travel, a video testimony will ensure that they can testify at trial. It also ascertains that the witness creates clarity surrounding their testimony and not change anything during the trial.


Video depositions are often simpler, in the long run. Witnesses can save money, if they are not required in the trial, by giving their testimony via video. Video depositions can also bring clarity to complex situations by brining expert witness in to give testimony on certain 


Unfortunately, a video deposition is not always possible. In this case, often a written deposition, also called DWQ, will be employed. The reasons a written deposition might be used are below: 


Written depositions are often used when witnesses do not have time to participate in an in-person interview. Witnesses may be high-ranking officials, have little information to convey, or be incarcerated or in prison and so cannot attend the trial or conduct an in-person deposition.


Typically, attorneys will write their questions down and must receive approval before a witness can write their answers. This is very cost-efficient and saves both attorneys and witnesses much time and money.


A telephone deposition can be a direct method of gathering a testimony. These are unique; some states have their own rules surrounding telephone depositions. The difficulty in these, however, is the necessity of having a person present to verify and swear in the witness. For telephone depositions, it is imperative to use the highest quality equipment to ensure a good and clear recording.


Telephone depositions are focused on active listening and might draw out more detail than other types because of this. Attorneys must be intent on the questions they ask and the answers they receive for an accurate testimony. 


Some lawyers prefer telephone depositions so that witnesses who are required to be in court are not accustomed to their type of questioning. Conducting an interview over call can give lawyers the advantage of a surprise approach. 


Real-time reporting is a live translation of the deposition on-screen which attorneys and other parties can stream in to view and share with others on their team. The other benefits of real-time reporting are listed below:


Realtime reporting can enable the counsel to view a deposition as it is occurring, no matter where or in what language. 


These realtime reports enable attorneys to check a witness’s testimony easily with a few taps on their iPad or laptop. This can help when trying to clarify or point out something that a witness has said. 


Remember, a deposition is not a trial. The purpose of depositions is for attorneys to gather evidence. Often in the cases of personal injury claims, the deposition process may allow enough evidence for the case to be settled entirely.

In others, depositions are just the beginning of a trial. As a trial progresses, witnesses may be called to appear in court. If they are unable to, their recorded deposition can be used in place of their appearance. 


If you will be participating in a deposition, we have some points below for you to experience a smooth process. 

Preparation For You Deposition is Key 

Before a deposition, you should always meet with your attorney a few days before and at least 30 minutes before the interview. If you’ve been requested to bring documents or think they could be helpful, make sure you review them with your attorney. Be sure to review any other statements or interrogates you have previously answered. 

Stick with the Facts When Doing a Deposition

A deposition is not necessarily story-telling time. Stick with the facts of what happened. 

Pay Attention to Your Attorney During a Deposition

Your attorney is there to protect you. Never speak when they are, and listen carefully to their advice. If they object to a certain question, don’t speak until they can advise you. If you have a question, you can ask to consult with your attorney. 

Dress Neatly For Your Deposition

You don’t have to dress to impress, but be sure to look neat and orderly. the other attorneys will be considering everything. 

Temper Your Pace During a Deposition

During a deposition, you will want to look directly into the questioning attorney’s eyes and answer in slow and concise sentences. Thoroughly think through your responses before you answer and try not to speak more than three consecutive sentences. This will allow you to truly think through your responses. 

 Stay Calm While Being Deposed

It’s natural to be nervous at a deposition. All eyes are on you, and it can feel like a lot of pressure. But stay calm. If you are telling the truth, then there is no reason to panic.

If you feel that the opposing attorneys are questioning that you are telling the truth, remember that it’s a normal tactic. Think through your answers to make certain they are correct from your memory and look the attorneys calmly in the eyes. 

Whether you’re a local business owner or student, with some preparation and thought, depositions don’t have to be scary. Think through your testimony as thoroughly as you can and consult your attorney. If there are time or money inhibitors, ask for a type of deposition that works best for you.

Video depositions might be the most common, but can be replaced by written, telephone, or realtime depositions. Remember to stay calm and answer in short concise sentences. The purpose of depositions is not to intimidate you, but for all parties to come to the best understanding of the case. 

Matt McWilliams

Deposition Academy is an online website created to guide those in the legal videographer industry or those interested in starting a legal videography business. The site has expanded to cover a variety of legal topics that are related to depositions and the deposition process. Our team of writers have written for a variety of legal blogs and website.