The deposition format is one of the key factors affecting legal videography rates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when courtrooms closed and court proceedings halted, the popularity of remote depositions spiked. So did the demand for certified videographers who made them possible.
Even though remote depositions have been around for quite some time, legal professionals mostly favored in-person interactions over video. However, after the pandemic, 20% of attorneys preferred remote depositions over in-person or hybrid options.
As the pandemic started to subside, in-person depositions made a comeback. However, remote depositions managed to hold on to their popularity. The convenience and efficiency of this cost-effective deposition method helped attorneys streamline litigation and achieve faster and more effective results. Meanwhile, the rising demand for remote depositions affected legal videographer rates.
What Affects Traditional Legal Videographer Rates?
Thanks to their unique skillset, certified videographers have always been in demand for different aspects of litigation. Since their services are often compulsory, attorneys are always looking to find cost-effective options for their clients. Knowing the key factors that define legal videographer rates can often help you make the right choice.
All legal videographers need to pass a Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS) exam to offer their services in the legal industry. However, getting an education and passing the exam usually doesn’t mean that a videographer can do their job perfectly. For that, they need experience.
Experienced videographers work faster and save you time while charging more for their work. A flat fee for a beginner is usually different from a flat fee charged by a true expert.
If the deposition runs too long, it keeps the videographer from completing other projects on the same day. That’s why these experts tend to charge overtime fees. These fees are usually set on an hourly basis. If the deposition runs 20 minutes late, you may have to pay for an extra hour. The size of the overtime fee also depends on the videographer’s experience and availability.
Videographers often need to travel to record depositions. If the deposition takes place several hours away from a videographer’s home or office, they may charge a travel fee. Depending on the videographer’s preferences, the rates may vary. These professionals may charge travel fees in two different ways:
- Mileage – you pay a fixed fee for each mile traveled up to a certain distance. For example, you could be paying $1 for each mile traveled within a 20-mile radius and another $2 for each mile beyond 20. Beginners may set lower travel fees or waive them altogether.
- Hours – you have to pay a preset fee for each hour traveled. Videographers who live in high-traffic areas often charge hourly travel fees.
To save on videographer fees, many lawyers are searching for local professionals. This factor makes it harder to match the schedules of court reporters, witnesses, and videographers. Eventually, this causes delays.
When it comes to remote depositions, the cost of all-inclusive deposition services is significantly lower. That’s why the virtual deposition process is becoming an integral part of the modern legal system.
The True Need for Remote Depositions
The cost-efficiency and convenience of remote depositions made them an effective tool that legal professionals use to streamline litigation. Even in the post-pandemic world, the problem with distance remains. Travel costs and videographer fees are a substantial part of legal expenses for attorneys and their clients.
The problem is especially acute with expert witnesses, who charge high fees for testimonies. Adding travel costs to the list of expenses can turn expert witness deposition into a serious toll on the client’s budget.
The COVID-19 pandemic gave a push to something that was long in the making – virtual testimonies. It could have taken a few more years for them to become mainstream in the American court system. The pandemic expedited the process. Remote depositions solve a variety of additional issues that legal professionals face when handling complex cases.
Court Reporter Shortage
The lack of court reporters is affecting the entire legal industry. The average age of court reporters is higher than in any other law-related occupation. As a result, the retirement rate is higher as well. Coupled with low enrollment rates in programs for this profession, this leads to a significant shortage.
Besides a high demand for court reporters in the courtroom, their skill sets have value outside the legal system. Court reporters can provide transcripts of conferences, seminars, and videos for sports and medical industries. They are also in demand for politics and business needs. To gain court reporter time, lawyers are often competing against other industries.
The shortage of these experts has the potential to cripple the legal system by delaying court proceedings. That’s where remote depositions come in. By cutting travel out of the picture, court reporters can work on multiple assignments daily.
Lack of Expert Witnesses in a Particular Location
Many litigators face the tough choice of either paying a significant amount for expert witness travel or choosing a local witness with insufficient expertise or credentials. Since these witnesses can make or break the case, clients often bear a significant addition to legal expenses.
Meanwhile, not all expert witnesses are ready to travel to a remote location in order to provide testimony. They are usually busy with their day jobs, which require full dedication. Depositions come with a high inconvenience factor. Legal testimony keeps the expert witness from handling regular tasks. This comes with financial implications that turn into higher fees.
Virtual depositions provide an opportunity to choose an expert witness based on their ability to contribute to the case. A large selection of these witnesses can benefit the quality of case presentation and outcome.
Deposition-related travel issues aren’t just costly, they are time-consuming. In many cases (e.g., medical malpractice cases) speed is essential to the client. When busy expert witnesses have to travel to another state to testify, the client faces significant delays.
Trying to juggle the schedules of attorneys, expert witnesses, and court reporters to advance litigation is a complex task. By taking the travel factor out of the picture, it’s possible to expedite the processes significantly.
Preparing a transcript of the deposition can take a court reporter twice as much time as the deposition itself. Meanwhile, the average time it takes for an attorney to gain access to a deposition transcript is around seven to ten days. In some cases, it can take weeks.
Today, it’s possible to arrange a remote deposition on a dedicated platform that uses top technologies to ensure accuracy, speed, and accessibility. Legal professionals gain access to the deposition within minutes instead of weeks.
Remote depositions conducted by a court reporter and a legal videographer on a dedicated platform usually take less than 24 hours to become accessible for the litigation team to use. If needed, a certified transcript can be ordered afterward.
Related: Pros and Cons to Remote Depositions
Legal Videographer Rates for Remote Depositions
Traditional legal videographer rates can be high. When combined with travel expenses and scheduling issues, the deposition can end up costing thousands of dollars. Since many legal clients can’t handle the costs, the lack of the necessary depositions hurts the case.
Remote depositions revolutionized the deposition process and minimized its cost. This made it possible for lawyers to hire the right witnesses, expedite cases, and achieve better results in the courtroom. According to Bloomberg Law, the cost of remote deposition, including travel expenses, can be cut by up to a third over the cost of traditional depositions.
When hiring different specialists to conduct a remote deposition, the price reduction is obvious but not as significant as with all-inclusive services. Today, remote deposition services are gaining popularity. However, many service providers still require the attorney to make a number of time-consuming arrangements.
The best way to cut costs and ensure the lowest rates is to find an all-inclusive remote deposition platform with legal-standard security and features that offer such options as
- Court reporter services
- Videographer services
- Timestamped witness video capture
- Customizable video layout
- Instant video uploading
- Certified transcript (if necessary)
With the right web-based platform, an attorney needs only a desktop or mobile device, a webcam, and a microphone. This time-saving option allows legal professionals to focus on finding witnesses and building strong cases instead of searching for videographers and juggling court reporter schedules.
Cutting Deposition Costs with a Remote Deposition Platform
In the legal world, time is money. That’s why, even after the pandemic, remote depositions are cementing themselves into the legal system. By opting for virtual testimonies that include a court reporter and HD witness video, you are cutting costs, saving time, reducing pressure on the witness, improving accessibility to deposition materials, and much more.
Remote Legal is a provider of a unique all-inclusive remote deposition platform built for the legal industry, with all the special features needed for an effective and efficient remote deposition, including legal industry-standard security. It allows you to streamline deposition efficiency while adding convenience and cutting costs. To see how Remote Legal can help you save on legal videographer rates and improve many other processes, contact our team today to schedule a demo.
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