A far-right activist who claimed to be a court reporter after being spotted taking pictures outside a courtroom has been jailed for 21 days for contempt.

How to Choose a Legal Video Specialist

Video recordings play a valuable role across the legal and business fields. From taped depositions to settlement documentaries and day-in-the-life videos, the applications of well-produced video content are constantly growing and evolving.

 

Check for certifications and experience. Since 2010, the National Court Reporters Association has offered training for Certified Legal Video Specialists. The CLVS program, “sets and enforces standards for competency in the capture, utilization, and retention of legal video and promotes awareness of these standards within the legal marketplace.” CLVSs have passed written and hands-on examinations and must participate in continuing education in order to renew their certification each year. Additionally, they follow the NCRA’s code of ethics and operational standards which cover everything from video camera settings to lighting to testing.

Ask if the videographers at the company hold this certification or have undergone similar training elsewhere. In the absence of official credentials, a firm should have at least five to ten years of experience working in the legal field plus plenty of references that can vouch for its capabilities and proficiency with legal proceedings. As any attorney knows, depositions involve specific protocols that cannot be anticipated by the uninitiated.

 

Get the details about their technology. You don’t want to hire a “state-of-the-art” videography team only to have the crew show up to a deposition with equipment from 1982. The best providers will use up-to-date technology and the right equipment (high-definition camera, wired and wireless microphones, sound systems, and lighting) to meet the high standards the NCRA specifies for resolution, sound quality, and visibility.

 

Ask essential questions about how many legal videographers are on staff and what sort of customer service the company offers. You want to make sure the company is accessible and available in emergencies. For a relationship that will cover all your bases, partner with a firm that also offers an extended network of partners across the country; this way you will have access to a verified video recording team no matter the location.

 

A final note: It might be tempting to DIY your recordings to keep costs low, but consider how important the recording is to your case or business matter and be realistic. You get only one shot to record a deposition or present a day-in-the-life video in court; do you really want to risk subpar sound quality or unreliable technology?

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