Q: What Do I Do If An Attorney Wants to Record Through the Zoom Platform Rather Than Hiring a Legal Videographer?
A: If an attorney does want a recording of any remote deposition, we recommend that you advise them to contact your Calendar team and let us arrange for one of our certified videographers to video record for them.
The reporter is always the host on a Zoom deposition for many reasons, one of which is so that no one else has the capability to record directly through Zoom. And, though you might think that’s because we don’t want anyone recording the deposition and, therefore, not ordering a copy, there are more important and logical reasons involved.
You can tell the requesting party that WE DO NOT RECORD THE ZOOM DEPOSITION because:
1.ZOOM RECORDINGS CANNOT BE USED AS EVIDENCE AT TRIAL BECAUSE THEY CAN BE MANIPULATED BY ANYONE WHO HAS ACCESS TO THE RECORDING
Zoom recordings can easily be edited. Even on the Zoom website, they state: “Lucky for you, the Zoom recording formats – MP4 and M4A – are easy to edit in virtually any editing software. Here at Zoom, we’ve used ScreenFlow, Camtasia, and iMovie, and have been happy with the results every time.” Even if their IT departments load screen capture software like Bandicam, the same rule applies; These recordings cannot be used as evidence at trial.
2. THERE IS NO IMPARTIAL PARTY MONITORING THE RECORDING FOR SOUND LEVELS AND QUALITY
3. ZOOM RECORDS THE ENTIRE SCREEN WITH EVERY PARTICIPANT VISIBLE RATHER THAN JUST FOCUSING IN ON THE WITNESS
4. ZOOM IS NOT TURNED ON AND OFF WHEN THE PARTIES GO ON AND OFF THE RECORD. IT RUNS CONTINUOUSLY.
Therefore, private conversations can be recorded when the parties have asked to be “off the record.” They would be off the reporter’s official record, but not off the Zoom recorded record.
If an attorney does want a recording of any remote deposition, we recommend that you advise them to contact your Calendar team and let us arrange for one of our certified videographers to video record for them. They announce the full case information at the beginning, go on and off the record when told, designate times for being on and off the record, and also closely monitor the audio to make sure everything is clear and audible on the final video product. They also have equipment to only record the witness, just as an in-person video would be handled. A video from a remote video deposition will present in trial exactly as an in-person video deposition would present.
Your client is most certainly looking for a professional, quality product to present to a jury at trial and that can only be provided by a CLVS-certified videographer.
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About Judy Stevens – RPR, CMRS, CPE – Principal, Colorado
Judy Stevens has been a firm owner in Denver since 1994 before becoming part of Veritext in 2019. She began her career as a court reporter in Tucson, Arizona before moving to Denver, Colorado. In 2000, Judy earned the highly coveted designation of Certified Manager of Reporting Services (CMRS) by the National Court Reporters Association while building her firm, mentoring her team and also serving on the board of her state association and volunteering through the Alliance of Professional Women.
Over the years, Judy and her firm have been recognized by the Denver Business Journal as one of the “Top 10 Fastest Growing Denver-Area Private Companies” and she has been nominated by the Denver Business Journal for its “Outstanding Women in Business” award on numerous occasions. In addition, Judy was recognized by NCRA with its prestigious “Excellence Award for Leadership and Team-Building” and has authored many articles for the JCR magazine. Judy is also quite active in her teaching/mentoring role as a regular guest lecturer at both Arapahoe Community College and the University of Denver Law School.