A trial can determine someone’s fate; therefore it is highly important that all details of the case are recorded accurately. New technology has provided courtrooms with many more ways to obtain legal depositions and enhance the trial procedure. Below are some of the advancements in technology that will hopefully improve court reporting and trials as a whole.
Legal depositions recorded with video
While legal depositions can be recorded steno-graphically, they can also be recorded with video equipment. These options both offer pros and cons. When recording a legal deposition steno-graphically, clients may take their time when answering a question. With legal video depositions, a long pause may cause the client to appear as if they are being evasive. This can be both a positive and a negative thing as video recordings may pick up on clients actually being evasive where a written legal deposition may not. It has also been found that the jury is much more likely to pay attention to a video deposition over a written transcript.
Reporting from home
Recent court trials have tested out the technology of virtual depositions. In other words, the court reporter works from a separate location and has the court trial streamed to them. The trial would be nearly live, but it would allow the court reporter to speed up the footage when there are breaks, or slow down the footage when the client is speaking quickly.
Videoconferencing and remote testimonies
Another use for video in a courtroom is with video conferencing. For witnesses who may be young or risking their safety by coming into the courtroom, they are now testing out video conferencing. Courtrooms are also trying video conferencing out with expert testimonies, allowing courts to hire the most relevant experts who normally could not commute to testify. These conferences would be recorded, allowing to be later used for legal depositions.
Real time transcripts
With the ability to have Wi-Fi nearly anywhere, court reporters are now able to provide real time transcripts to lawyers. This means that when there is a break in the trial, legal teams can review the transcripts immediately.
One evolving form of technology that would change courtrooms forever is holographic technology. This technology is expensive, so it may not make its way into most courtrooms for a while, however, it could lead to trials that are fairer. In fact, about 86% of jurors who were surveyed agreed that when technology is used to display exhibits or audio, they better understood the evidence. This technology would be difficult to report on a legal deposition steno-graphically, so in these cases, video depositions would likely have to be used.
What do you think of this new technology? Do you think it would help clients to have a fairer trial? What do you think this technology means for court reporters? Let us know in the comments.