ATTORNEYS AT BARRERA & ASSOCIATES...
videotape all of our depositions, and we complete over fifty depositions per year. We even videotape depositions noticed by other parties, such as a deposition of a friendly witness who will be unavailable to testify “live” at trial. Since 2014, I have served as a consultant to Trial & Depo Services LLC (TADS). We rely on TADS to videotape our depositions.
TADS employs certified videographers who use the latest technology including wireless microphones and digital recordings (which means you do not need to stop to “change the tape” when your deposition is going well, as with every other videographer I have worked with over my 27 years of experience). TADS prepares your edited designated video clips for use at trial.
TADS offers reasonable, hourly rates and flexible terms, accepting payments over time, to assist clients and plaintiff attorneys who advance costs under contingency fee arrangements.
Is the cost of videotaping depositions worth it? Absolutely. 100%. Personally, I attribute several of my firm’s seven-figure verdicts to playing clips from videotaped depositions.
In one case, I represented a wealthy but naive immigrant investor who was befriended by a Beverly Hills realtor. My client loaned the realtor $800,000 for a down payment to purchase a Beverly Hills mansion for her family. It was an oral, shared-appreciation loan. When the property purchased with the $800,000 had substantially appreciated, my client requested that the realtor sell the property so that the parties could take their profits from the sale. The realtor rejected my client’s request, claiming that the $800,000 was a “gift.” My client sued for professional negligence, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty. In discovery, we videotaped the defendant realtor’s deposition. She changed her testimony regarding the reasons for the $800,000 “gift,” first claiming it was in appreciation for professional advice given by the realtor and her husband to my client, then tearfully testifying in the second, videotaped deposition session that the gift was based on my client professing his “love” for the realtor following a fling between the two. At trial, the defendant realtor presented herself very well. She appeared calm and professional. Since we were relying on an oral loan transaction, establishing liability was a close call. What made the difference? When we showed the jury the video depo clips, the jury saw the realtor in a different light. The jury saw that she was argumentative and defensive when asked the same questions about the reason for the “gift.” Thanks to the video depo clips, my client was awarded $2.5 million, including punitive damages.
In another case, a FEHA-based retaliation case against the County of Los Angeles, the biased supervisor, aka “the Villain,” proudly testified in her videotaped deposition that she alone made the termination decision. At trial, the Villain softly testified that she merely recommended the termination of my client and the ultimate decision was made by the Villain’s boss, the Department Head, who was very likable and had no retaliatory motive. We would have lost the case had the jury believed the Department Head made the decision. If we had simply read the deposition transcript, the jury would not have known how she looked when she aggressively answered the question in her depo. Thankfully, we played the video clip showing the villain’s demeanor when she testified that she alone made the decision. The jury awarded $1.6 million and Judgment was entered for $2 million with fees and costs.
Based on these successful trials, I videotape all depositions in my clients’ cases, whether the witness is the Villain, the company CEO, or “Dottie from Accounting” who is testifying for an hour about one particular element of the case. I wholeheartedly endorse TADS for your videotaped depositions.
- Pat Barrera, Barrera & Associates