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Old January 12th, 2004, 12:27 AM   #31
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Hey Paul

Thanks for discouraging most of us with zillions of DV equipment away from it. I think I will do it only if some lawyer BEG me to.

BTW, OT, some patent lawyer called me up out of the blue from your area, asking me to be a "witness" in defending a very large computer company from a lawsuit from some patent litigation company. They think one of my Internet postings long long time ago, describing a piece of technology I invented ("backyard" invention), invalids the plantiff's patent.

I answered all his questions 100% truthfully, but since I see nothing to gain for myself other than perhaps forced to fly there to testify, wasting my time and money, I was very discouraging. He kept asking for permission to call me back but I told him, truthfully, that I no longer have the invention (loss during house move) and was even surprised that I did talked about it publicly (it was on the Internet, I checked it myself). He asked and I answered him truthfully that I do not recall making the posting, but admit it looked like mine. He since had not call back.

My question is, could he have hired me as a paid "expert witness"? If so, would he have said so on the phone? How much does that pay any way? I did not like the company his law firm was working for any way, don't feel like being attacked and ridiculed by rival lawyers for nothing.

Boy, you people can get so damn desperate and creative sometimes.
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Old February 13th, 2004, 07:24 PM   #32
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Video University has a tape course on depostions. Not bad but not state specific.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 10:58 PM   #33
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Quote:
Thanks for discouraging most of us with zillions of DV equipment away from it. I think I will do it only if some lawyer BEG me to.
I'm not saying don't do it. I'm just saying, I have concerns about digital.

Quote:
My question is, could he have hired me as a paid "expert witness"? If so, would he have said so on the phone? How much does that pay any way? I did not like the company his law firm was working for any way, don't feel like being attacked and ridiculed by rival lawyers for nothing.
An expert witness is someone who has specialized knowledge that could assist the trier of fact. Without knowing more about what you were asked to testify to, I can't say, but it's possible you could have been an expert witness. However, when I hire expert witnesses, I tell them up front that's what I want. Sounds like he would (and may still) tag you as a percipient witness. He can do this with a subpoena. Best advice: NEVER talk to someone else's lawyer -- trust me, there's nothing in it for you.

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Nigel said: but then at least I never have to pretend to like lawyers!
Fair enough. And I won't pretend to like you. ;)


Quote:
Bryant said: What is the purpose of the mixer?
You'll always have a minimum of three live mikes for a depo -- one for the attorney asking the questions, one for the witness, and one for opposing counsel. You need to mix them as you would any multiple-mike shoot.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 06:37 PM   #34
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video depositions

As a court recorder for 30 years, freelance for 21 I'd like to get into video depositions. Most of the time the parties pay for the videographer AND the court reporter. As a certified court recorder (Audiotaping the proceedings) I can prepare and file the transcripts so clients would be paying for only one body to show up (me!). As a 'newbie' to videography can anyone help with cameras? Paul's comments on digital are noted and very valuable; but now years later still applicable regarding digital? I'd like to convert the 'recording' down to a simple .WAV or similar file, and I can transcribe the audio testimony using various transcription software with my foot petal. I'm looking seriously at Panasonic AG HMC 70 or HMC 150. It can accept XLR microphones, record to SD and by saving to the chip hopefully record up to about 6 hours without interruption. I have received various video recordings such as interviews and converted down to a .WAV file and typed without problem. Just would appreciate some input on equipment. Thanks.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #35
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Very interesting, but a bit dated, thread.

So to bring this topic into the new decade, a few questions, if the experts here would be so kind to chime in, again, about this profession:

- AGCV.com - American Guild of Court Videographers - Has anybody heard of this organization and if so, recommendations?

- Recommendations for possible other schools? Online vs. Classroom (live)?

- Digital Format - Trying to understand something here; is it the digital recording format that is not a preferred format for the recording of the depositions or is it the medium recorded to that is the concern (i.e., HDD's, Flash Media, vs. Tape based). Because nowadays, it seems like a great majority of the video cams out there are either recording to HDD's or some flavor of Flash media.

- Certification - Required? Helpful?

This definitely seems like an interesting field / career.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 09:59 AM   #36
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certifications

To my knowledge there is not a requirement to be certified as a videographer in any state. There are at least two organizations that offer a certificaiton process; American Guild of Videographers and National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). You can take their workshop or course and get the final certification, Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS), I believe they call it. The certification is not necessary but some law firms and attorneys prefer you have attained it to show serious desire to know the field and understand the process rather than showing up with the camera ready to shoot. Some states have specific rules about procedures, playback in court, retention period of the recording and so on.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 10:14 AM   #37
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digital format

Thank you for your input, by the way. Appreciate it. As newbie to digital formats am very green. In the old days the deposition was recorded to videotape, perhaps onto 3 tapes simultaneously during the proceeding, to ensure a backup, and one tape for requesting party and retain an original . Attorneys or the videographer could play the videotape in court as necessary. That technology of course is way out the window so am having to research and learn the new formats. The digital recording would be great as long as I can access the audio tracks to be able to transcribe from. I have a USB foot pedal that goes into the computer and use the transcription software such as ExpressScribe or FTR Gold. So need to be able to convert the digital to a format that the software can read. I listen through the headset and type along in a Word document, advancing the recording using the foot pedal.
Yes, interesting field. There are on-line schools but the two programs I mentioned previously will probably offer the most insight and preparation for getting into the field, and are most nationally recognized.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 12:04 PM   #38
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AFAIK no state requires certification. In fact I'm almost positive. Most lawyers could care less about it, but as Amy said it shows effort. NCRA-CLVS is done thru the National Court Reporters Association and emphasizes siding with court reporters during deps whereas I've heard AGCV focuses on dealing straight with lawyers. Neither are required, but can be helpful in demonstrating it, depends on your comfort level. otoh they are also basically a business, and can be pricey. Some states do have nuances about procedures, laws etc (I believe FLA, CA, & Mich) not sure what they are but keep hearing them mentioned but none require certified.

Amy you're attempt sounds quite cumbersome tbh. While shooting a dep isn't surgery I'm not sure I'd want to be doing 2 things at once. I'm not familiar with court "recorders" but is all they do is record the audio to tape? Otherwise if an attorney has to wait or is interrupted due to you doing two things at once I don't think you'd get a call back. Myb I'm missing what you're saying. Also, sounds like alot in post to rip the audio into a WAV file. Can you just get a WAV recorder & use a line out from your mixer or camera?

To answer your questions, things have loosened up re; digital. Most deps are shot to tape, with a dvd burner for backup. Some even use memory cards as a 3rd backup. It's rare they ask for the DVD when they leave, but can happen on occasion. In which case burn extra & opposing clients dvd from the original tape source. ALWAYS keep some form of Master copy. For years. Andrew I would try getting a camera with tape. Sometimes you'd get calls from other videographers or large firms to cover for them & take a job. They may need it in a specific format (mini DV, DVD etc). If you can only shoot to mem card you'd then have to transfer it to send it to them. Just my opinion. Also HD is not used hardly ever. So SD is more than enough.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 03:21 PM   #39
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I agree with David on all counts -- I'm aware of no state that requires certification, nor is certification required for federal matters (remember that these are two totally separate court systems). As a lawyer, I always contract for videographers through the court-reporting service. I rely on them to vet the videographer -- I have no interest in doing so and, indeed, I can't recall a single instance in which I was aware of an individual videographer's qualifications. HOWEVER, I've recently gone in-house where, among other things, I conduct litigation for my company. I have a couple of active matters for which I might consider identifying and working with a specific videographer directly, rather than going through the court reporting company -- IF it will save me a substantial amount of money. In that case, the extent of my vetting will consist solely of "which court-reporting companies do you contract with, and what equipment do you have?"

As for digital, the original concern was that a video may be altered. However, given the prevalence of digital video gear and the almost complete disappearance of analog, the concern over digital is far less important. As noted, HD is not used and not considered a "bonus." Many courtrooms have their own video setups these days, but they're still sufficiently behind the times that they won't incorporate HD.

I want to join David in emphasizing the importance of keeping master. If there is ever a dispute over authenticity, the videographer will testify as to the accuracy of the video record. To do that, you need the master in your possession (chain of evidence). If the noticing attorney requests the master, make sure you get a release.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #40
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In California you have to be a Notary Public to videotape doctor testifying as an expert.

Eventually, IMO, depositions will be taped in HD for courtroom playback in HD. Storage is a big issue right now as many depositions go over 7 hours. Seven hours of HD files is going take up a lot of space on your e-Discovery server, on your network hard drives or on your trial presentation laptop. Also, industry standard trial presentation apps like Trial Director and Sanction don't support playback of MPEG-2 with a synched transcript. They will play MPEG-2, but not synched to the transcript. They can only handle MPEG-1 and possibly MPEG-4 with the right codec installed.

Everyone has HD at home in their living room but when they are called to sit on a jury in a multi-million dollar lawsuit they are presented with fuzzy 4:3 standard definition MPEG-1 video that makes their eyes hurt. It simply cannot remain this way forever.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:50 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Josh Fenton View Post
In California you have to be a Notary Public to videotape doctor testifying as an expert.
Sorry, that is not correct.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #42
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I beg to differ

California Statutes
Audio/Video Addendum

2025.220(6)

"The deposition notice shall state all of the following:
(6) Any intention to reserve the right to use at trial a video recording of the deposition testimony of a treating or consulting physician or of any expert witness under subdivision (d) of Section 2025.620. In this event, the operator of the camera shall be a person who is authorized to administer the oath, and shall not be financially interested in the action or be a relative or employee of any attorney of any of the parties."

Key words: "Authorized to administer the oath"

A Notary Public can administer the oath and this is the most logical certification a videographer can get that allows him or her to do so.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:17 PM   #43
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ahh, the esoterics of the law... looks like a VERY narrow statutory construct, not one likely to be well known unless practicing in medical malpractice? Although the words "or of any expert witness" would open that up significantly, wouldn't it?
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Old January 15th, 2010, 03:23 AM   #44
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Thank you all for the informative replies. This definitely helps shed some light on this profession. Seems very interesting.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Fenton View Post
I beg to differ

California Statutes
Audio/Video Addendum

2025.220(6)

"The deposition notice shall state all of the following:
(6) Any intention to reserve the right to use at trial a video recording of the deposition testimony of a treating or consulting physician or of any expert witness under subdivision (d) of Section 2025.620. In this event, the operator of the camera shall be a person who is authorized to administer the oath, and shall not be financially interested in the action or be a relative or employee of any attorney of any of the parties."

Key words: "Authorized to administer the oath"

A Notary Public can administer the oath and this is the most logical certification a videographer can get that allows him or her to do so.
And you are still mistaken. This is not a requirement that a deposition videographer be a notary.
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