Cal. Litig. 2022, Volume 35, Number 1

5 Ways to Optimize Your Video for Depositions

By Shelley Golden

As Zoom trials and depositions continue to be conducted online in this COVID era, it’s critical to control how you, and everyone involved in the case, show up. Whether it’s you, your client, your deponents, or expert witnesses, each must come across polished, credible, and trustworthy.

Since people decide within 100 milliseconds whether to trust another person, according to the 2006 Princeton University study by Todorov and Willis, it’s important to be intentional in aligning all the visual aspects in the Zoom box, which can make or break your court case. Willis & Todorov, First Impressions: Making Up Your Mind After a 100-Ms Exposure to a Face (2006) 17 Psych. Sci. 592. Credibility is more challenging on Zoom since you usually don’t generally see one’s entire body, thus, making it more difficult to read the non-verbal cues.

Your expert witness knows that opposing counsel is scrutinizing every behavior, comment, and gesture, and you’re paying them for their professionalism, not just their expertise. And they may not be aware that being deposed on Zoom requires that they pay additional attention to how they show up.

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