Presenting Witnesses at Trial or Hearing using Skype, Facetime, iPad, etc.

 

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In the relentless drive to reduce litigation costs, it is becoming more and more common for witnesses to testify at trials and hearings via two-way video/audio feed as opposed to travelling long distances to testify in person.  At the same time, the technical challenges and costs of live video feeds have fallen drastically– to the point that they are hardly a consideration.   I have presented witnesses at hearings and bench trials using various combinations of Skype, FaceTime, GoToMeeting, the iPad, projectors, electronic courtrooms, etc.  With proper prior planning, adequate backups, the cooperation of the tribunal and opposing counsel, video testimony can be almost effective as live testimony.  The converse is also true, as was evident in the high profile Zimmerman trial where counsel did not understand the necessity of turning off the notification features in Skype, and the testimony was so disrupted by text messages that the court was forced to shut it down.   See Skype Fiasco.

In the below linked video, I demonstrate several configurations of video feeds, and share some of my experiences using them.  For questions or to share your own video witness presentation experiences, please comment to this post.

Video Presentation of Witnesses


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