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Viewing posts from: December 2015
Answers to making the right choice when planning your litigation video.

Five Essential Legal Video Questions Answered

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

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She has a story – choose the right video company to tell it.

Not everyone with a camera can produce a video that will stand up in court. Video
prepared for

litigation has the Rules of Evidence to consider. A firm that specializes in legal
video production will provide a level of service far different than the videographer
who takes on a “legal job” to fill in the time between weekend wedding gigs or “other
stuff.” A legal specialty company should ask you a number of probing questions
to help determine what you need, and most importantly, what it will cost.

The following will help you make the right choice as you plan your litigation video.

Is your video a deposition?

This means that someone (usually a court reporter) must be on hand to swear in the
witness and create the transcript. Today’s litigation videographers work closely
with court reporters to provide such services as real time transcription and CD
synchronization of the video and text.

Scheduling the video deposition should include planning for the videographer to
arrive about one hour earlier to be set up and ready when all parties arrive.

The videographer should assure you that there are simultaneous recordings in case
of technical failure, and that there is an archive system in place.

They should be able to see the job through, providing copies and the flexibility
to edit and play it back in court on YOUR schedule.

Is the video for use at trial or will it be used for settlement negotiations ?

This is a very important distinction when scheduling a video that is not a deposition.
Video prepared for trial must conform to the rules of evidence. However, video
designed for use in settlement negotiations can be created with persuasion in mind.

If it is a trial video, is it a Day in the Life documentary,
or is it demonstrative evidence ?

The Day in the Life documentary is a carefully prepared video of the condition of
the plaintiff at a given point in time. It is generally recorded in one day and
is well-crafted to both tell the story and meet the rules of evidence.

Demonstrative evidence may include, but is not limited to, a simple recording of
a therapy session, an actual or animated accident reconstruction, an interview,
a site survey and more.

If it is a settlement video,
will it cover liability as well as damages?

Successful settlement videos can be designed to tell the entire story of the case
or they may be limited to a compelling re-telling of the damages suffered. If liability
is included, the resulting video is more comprehensive, often requiring a narrative
to be drafted by the attorney and then turned into script format by the production
company.

Be prepared to discuss resource material with the video producer. Evidence such
as 911 recordings, accident photos and family photos provide a creative producer
with a wealth of material to prepare a comprehensive and effective program. If
3D animation is considered or recommended, provide police diagrams and reports; connect the motion
graphics artist with the engineer.

Are you comfortable with how you are treated as a prospective client?

Some video companies have a casual approach to business and their clients. If your
calls are not returned within 24 hours, your emails are lost and the above questions
are not addressed, we suggest you continue searching.

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At Geomatrix, we make the video production process simple, with a laser focus on
your goals and objectives. For over 35 years, we have approached each case as unique,
understanding key messaging and nuances, while applying tried and true techniques.

Call us about your next case. We’d love to brainstorm with you.

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Geomatrix Productions, let us tell your story.

Geomatrix Video Production Moves a Case to Settlement–With Impressive Results

by Geomatrix Productions in Geo Happenings

Project-Magriplis

May 6, 2015

Geomatrix Productions produced a video mediation statement which helped plaintiff attorney Patrick Kennedy of RisCassi and Davis recover $1.18 million for his client Dimitrios Magriplis, for injuries sustained after being struck on the head by a 200 pound pallet from 20 feet in the air at Restaurant Depot, a restaurant supply facility in Orange, Connecticut.

 

Due to the incident, Magriplis experienced brain injury, behavioral change, a fractured and dislocated ankle and post-traumatic stress disorder amongst several other ongoing injuries.

 

According to Kennedy, when he came to Geomatrix, he had two concerns.  The first was that “the accident was difficult to explain and visualize.” His second concern was “some of the damages suffered by his client were invisible.”

 

Geomatrix’s professional video production team created a video that satisfied those two concerns by using 3D animation, documents and photographs, combined with interviews with family members, close friends and professionals about how the plaintiff was a “changed man.”

 

In preparation for Kennedy’s case, as in any successful settlement video, the following items were addressed:

 

  1. Identifying the Video Production Objectives

Working with Attorney Kennedy, we identified two primary objectives. The first objective was to explain the mechanics of the accident, how it occurred and why the incident was particularly egregious.

 

The second objective was to demonstrate both the physical and emotional damages suffered by Magriplis.

 

  1. Collecting Demonstrative Evidence or “Asset Material”

Documents, including doctor reports and specialist summaries, helped explain the injuries sustained by the client from the accident.

 

Photographs taken before the accident illustrated how the plaintiff was an avid semi-professional soccer player, while post accident photos contrasted the struggle for him to perform everyday tasks, even walking.

 

 

Eyewitness and police reports provided data pertaining to the incident. Kennedy hired an expert witness who described the proper procedure for pallet loading, and opined that Restaurant Depot was in violation of industry standards. Documents detailed previous lawsuits with similar fact patterns that had been filed against Restaurant Depot.

 

  1. Establish Interviewees

In a relaxed on-camera interview at home, the plaintiff described the daily struggles caused by the injury.  He revealed his concerns about his work, his family and his capabilities.  Though subtle, the effect of the head injury was revealed in his demeanor and speech.

 

Interviews with his wife and brother gave a first hand account of how the client and his family have suffered financially and emotionally. They detailed how Magriplis was changed, that the confidence he once had was gone and the physical toll was evident.

 

  1. Prepare New Evidence for Animated Video Production

Although photographs captured the aftermath at the scene, it was a 3D animation of the pallet falling on Magriplis that illustrated the mechanics of the accident.

 

Working with the theory that the fallen pallet had been improperly loaded,

Tom Coben, Geomatrix Productions’ in-house animator, reviewed investigator reports and eyewitness testimony to create a very clear and compelling picture of how the pallet fell.

 

Once all the evidence was gathered, the pieces were edited into a cohesive and unique story that met the video production objectives.  In this case, the objective was to visualize the accident and make the effect of head injury visible.

 

There is no question that a compelling settlement video can help explain the facts, reveal the clients’ pain and suffering, and clearly demonstrate changes in the daily life of injured plaintiffs as a result of the negligence of others.

 

However, this is not a substitute for good lawyering.  Good lawyers are well-prepared, hire experts and have a complete understanding of the case.  Though this video service was narrated by a professional, it was Attorney Kennedy who wrote the script.  He had a clear vision of his case, and it was our job to tell the story visually.  Working together, we had great success.

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In today’s visual society, presenting evidence through digital video production has become essential.

How Do I Prepare for an Electronic Trial?

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Electronic evidence lets everyone in the courtroom see exhibits simultaneously. Evidence comes to life as key information is presented through our legal video services. In today’s visual society, presenting evidence through digital video production has become essential.

  1. Contact your trial technician early.

In a simple one hour meeting we can form a presentation plan to fit your video production needs for your case.

  1. Prepare video depositions

We understand that you can’t always get the judge to rule on evidence & testimony beforehand. Editing video depositions can be done during a trial, but in order to have that ability, we need time to synchronize the video to the transcript.

  1. Pre-mark your exhibits.

If exhibits are pre-marked, then the electronic document can be named by the exhibit number. This allows for very easy communication with your trial tech.

  1. Bates Stamps are a good alternative to pre-marking.

Bates stamping allows for every page of every record to have an individual name. They are especially helpful with records with hundreds of pages.

  1. Use the original digital files for photos.

A scan of a printed photo will never look as good as the original file. Many digital photos have such high quality that you can zoom pretty far in without losing any detail.

  1. Don’t change your routine.

The only change in conducting an electronic trial is that when you are speaking about an exhibit everyone will be looking at it.

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In today’s visual society, presenting evidence through digital video production has become essential.

How Do I Schedule a Video Deposition?

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Savvy litigators are using video depositions as a powerful discovery tool.  At trial, jurors rely heavily on nonverbal communication like eye contact and body language to judge the veracity of a witness, making video testimony invaluable.

 

A video deposition is like any deposition.  A court reporter is normally present to swear in the witness and take the stenographic record.  A simultaneous digital video record is taken with the time and date display in the lower portion of the screen.  As a precaution, we record redundant systems in the case of equipment failure.

 

Setting up a video deposition is as simple as picking up the phone and calling Geomatrix anytime between 8 and 5 Monday thru Friday.  You can also fax or email your notice so we get all the details needed.

 

It’s best if you can give us several days’ notice in advance of a deposition, but we are happy to accommodate the frequent “emergency” situation.  We are also well-accustomed to cancellations!

 

We always confirm the video services with a phone call on the day before the recording as well as on the scheduled day.  One of our videographers goes to the location, one hour in advance, so we are ready to begin when you, the deponent and other counsel arrive.

 

At the conclusion of the deposition, we take any copy orders from counsel, who are required by statute to pay for their own copies.

 

The original recording is returned to Geomatrix for processing, and is released to the noticing attorney on receipt of payment.

 

We strongly suggest you synchronize your video to the text, but that is discussed in our blog, “Five Reasons to Sync Your Video Deposition.”

 

Recap:

 

  1. Pick up the phone and dial (203)389-0001. The Geomatrix Productions office is staffed 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

  1. Email a copy of your Notice of Deposition to: claire@geomatrixproductions.com or infor@geomatrixproductions.com

 

3.  Fax your Notice of Deposition to:  203-387-8558

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In today’s visual society, presenting evidence through digital video production has become essential.

How Do I Edit a Video Deposition for Trial?

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

When playing a video deposition in court before a jury, attorneys are faced with the questions of how to edit the objections.

 

Advance ruling the judge and video editing provides for the most seamless presentation to the jury.  That said, there are 3 ways the editing can be done.

 

  1. Electronic Editing Done in Advance.

You provide our office with a marked transcript for redactions and our video production technician removes the objections prior to the date of the playback.  This allows for the least amount of interruptions in the proceedings and not “down time” during the playback.  Estimate that it will take approximately two times the length of the deposition for the actual work to be completed.  Please note that once the video editing is done, it is nearly impossible to make additional edits live during trial.

 

  1. Synchronize the Video Deposition to the Transcript Electronically.

We can create a DVD which marries the video with the transcript, making keywords and page/line numbers searchable.  This allows us to make the edits more quickly, but also changes the way it is played back in court.  However, the advantage to this method is that it allows for last minute changes to be made in court, with minimal interruption to the proceedings.

 

  1. Low Tech in Court Video Editing.

With this method, our technician can perform the edits from a marked transcript – during the court session, by muting the sound to the courtroom and fast-forwarding the video beyond the objectionable material.  However, this creates considerable down time and may be quite distasting if there are many objections to redact.  In addition, the jury becomes very aware of the video editing process.

Read more
In today’s visual society, presenting evidence through digital video production has become essential.

How Do I Work With a Trial Technician?

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Learning how to utilize electronic evidence such as video depositions at trial is much easier than you might expect. Directing your trial tech to an exhibit is not any harder than directing your witness to one.  The difference is that everyone in the room will be able to see it, which will make questioning a witness about it much easier.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Learn the lingo. Asking for an exhibit is as easy as directing a witness to look at it, simply refer to it by name and page number.
  2. Focus everyone on specific parts of the records. If you need to enlarge a portion of a record, ask your tech to “call it out” or “blow it up.” If you want to further focus a witness and/or jury on a specific word or phrase, ask your tech to “highlight” it. The tech will change the color, just as easily as if using a traditional yellow highlighter—and you get to choose the color!
  3. Get comfortable with the laser. Laser pointers are a great way of getting everyone in the room to focus exactly where you want them. You can direct your trial tech to call out a key phrase or image, then ask the witness to explain.

In no time you will wonder why you have not done it sooner!

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In today’s visual society, presenting evidence through digital video production has become essential.

How Do I Get a Deposition Synchronized?

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Synchronized video depositions are a useful tool!  The video and transcript will show simultaneously on the screen and the software included allows easy keyword and page/line searching.  You can also create clips of pertinent sections of the deposition.

 

These clips can be used with other witnesses

With opposing or co-counsel

With other experts

With the plaintiff, judge and more.

 

The ease with which you can create clips means that you can present a variety of ideas to focus groups for feedback and reaction.

 

You will need to provide the following to synchronize your video deposition:

 

  1. The video. If Geomatrix recorded the video deposition, you’re halfway there!  If recorded by another company, simply send the DVD to our offices for our video production services.

 

  1. The transcript. The fastest way is to ask your court reporter to email a .txt (ASCII) version of the transcript to:  claire@geomatrixproductions.com.

 

That’s it!  You can expect to receive your synchronized deposition on DVD with 5 business days.

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In today’s visual society, presenting evidence through digital video production has become essential.

How Do I Play a Video Deposition in Court?

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

  1. Plan Video Production Ahead of Time.

    Call to schedule the playback a week before your trial. In addition to helping the techs plan their schedules, it also allows time for video editing.

 

  1. File the Video Production Equipment Permission Form.

    JD-CL-90 is the form you need to file with the court in order to bring electronic equipment into a courthouse.

 

  1. Video Editing Before Trial.

    Work with your opposing counsel to come to an agreement on material to be admitted. Have the judge rule on objections in advance. Explain to the judge that the rulings will allow you to have a more seamless presentation during trial, limiting wasted time for in-court editing.

 

  1. Plan to Finish the Legal Video in One Day.

    You will know the length of the edited video. If possible, allow for enough time to play the video in one day. This will save the added cost of bringing in a tech for a second day, and will leave a stronger impression on the jury.

 

  1. Mornings are Better than Afternoons.

    If you have a choice, play a video deposition in the morning. After jury eats lunch, it may be harder for them to focus on a legal video for a long period of time.

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In today’s visual society, presenting evidence through digital video production has become essential.

Questions to consider producing your Day in the Life Documentary

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

The Day in the Life Documentary video production is an essential piece of evidence in personal injury litigation.  It not only captures the extent of the damages suffered by the plaintiff, but, done over time, can chronicle recovery.

 

There is nothing more compelling than “being there” as a severely injured client struggles to learn how to walk again for the first time, or learns to adapt to life with diminished capacity.

 

Preparing a successful and compelling Day in the Life Documentary, while still considering the rules of evidence takes careful planning and a skilled video production crew.

 

Before discussing your Day in the Life Documentary video production, you should be able to answer the following:

 

Is your client at home or in a facility?

Can he/she speak for himself or will a care giver do that?

Who is the primary care giver?

If at a facility – have they given permission for us to videotape staff?

What is the level of care required?

Is the client undergoing any kind of therapy?

Where is therapy done? Do we have permission to videotape the therapist?

Who else should be included in the video? Family? Professionals?

Do you know the client’s schedule?  For ex. if aqua therapy is important, when is it?

Who will do the voice over?

Has the client been informed of our video production services?

What is the client’s level of comfort with the video?

 

 

 

 

In addition, please consider:

 

Will the attorney be present during the recording?

What is the deadline?

How will the video production be presented to the opposition?

 

Geomatrix Productions has produced nearly 1,000 Day in the Life videos.  Our professional video production team will be happy to help.

Read more
In today’s visual society, presenting evidence through digital video production has become essential.

5 Reasons Why You Should Sync Your Video Deposition

by Geomatrix Productions in Legal Video

Synchronizing a video deposition to the transcript is a necessary step to enable “final hour” video edits to be done at trial. However, “syncs” are also a great tool for trial preparation.

Having a sync of your party opponents and their expert witnesses allow you to identify and create relevant video clips to use for impeachment. You can also review the video production to see how witnesses react to your questions. This may help you strategize your questioning at trial.

  1. Evaluate Witnesses. Video depositions can be extremely valuable. You can learn a lot by reading a transcript, but you can’t read tone and body language and you get no sense of timing. Sometimes a long pause to a simple question can be more persuasive than the actual answer.  Our video production can help solve these problems.
  2. Strategize Trial Questioning. Because you can evaluate how a witness responded to your questioning at the deposition, you have a good idea of how they will react to your questions at trial.
  3. Find Best Clips for Impeachment. It can be pretty hard for a witness to argue with a video production of themselves. And it can be even harder for them to maintain their credibility while doing it.
  4. Utilize the Party Opponent Exception Rule. Since witnesses are often not prepared as well for their deposition as they are for their trial testimony, playing some clips from their video deposition may be helpful. If they are a party opponent, you can do this instead of or in addition to questioning them live.
  5. Video Edits at Trial. It is best to plan what portions of depositions you want played at trial. However, even if you get surprised with a witnesses answer, or
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Geometric Productions
270 Amity Rd #222 Woodbridge, CT 06525
(203) 389­0001