In an example of what has been the most entertaining election cycle in history, yet another tidbit has been served up for all to enjoy - the deposition video of Donald J. Trump, taken June 6, 2016. Regardless of your political preferences, once I heard this news, I knew I had a little work to do. Here is a link to the CNN article.
On Friday, September 30, 2016, Washington, D.C. Superior Court judge Brian Holeman sided with news organizations, allowing the release of the deposition video from a $10 million lawsuit filed by Trump against chef Geoffrey Zakarian, who had signed a lease to run a restaurant in Trump's hotel in the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, near the White House.
One service we often provide while assisting attorneys with trial presentation is to sync the formatted text file version of the court reporter's transcript to the video file(s) for easy search and accurate playback. In depositions, the typical format is for a Certified Shorthand Reporter to "type" the entire conversation as it happens, while a Legal Videographer records the proceedings on video. This is not your father's VCR deck. Once a deposition video has been synced, all you need to do is go to the desired page and line number, and play from there. You can also create "clips" of desired testimony and save them for playback later.
So, with the deposition transcript and video now publicly available, we have the tools already in place to sync the two together - resulting in a video which looks the same as if you were watching TV with closed-caption scrolling text.
I will offer a somewhat technical walk-through for those that would like to have an actual working copy of this synced depo which I have compiled from publicly-available files, complete with search and playback, plus the ability to create and save clips.
For those less “tech-inclined,” I will share a way to view it without going through all of the trouble.
First, an easy way to watch the video:
|You may play the video here.|
You may play the video here. It does not have any news organization branding, unlike some you might find on other YouTube or news outlets. This is just the video file, and does not include the synced transcript.
Now for the tools we actually use in trial presentation. It’s not very difficult, but will require installation of a program called DepoView. To download this free software from inData (makers of TrialDirector), click here. You will find the following note: A fully licensed copy of this incredible software has been reserved for you, free of charge, courtesy of: Litigation-Tech LLC, 888-907-4434, www.litigationtech.com.
You may also use the “Autorun.exe” file found in the files set to begin the install.
Once you’ve installed the software, you’ll just need to download the DepoView file set. You can download the entire set here.
If you haven’t already installed the software, run the “Autorun.exe” file. Once you’ve completed installation, you can start the DepoView software by double clicking on the “DT061616.dvt” file.
You cannot run this from the web browser – you will need to download all of the files in order to run the software.
Once everything is downloaded and installed, you may search and play the synced video transcript to your heart’s content.
Even if you decide against going through the steps to install and run the software, you can easily see the potential for tools like this in litigation. This is not something futuristic – it is used to some extent in nearly every trial we support.
The image above shows the view a jury would see in court, without all of the extra options displayed. The closed-caption text may be set to display several ways, or may be turned off if desired. For additional info on this topic, see Using Deposition Video in Trial.
Feel free to follow up with any questions or comments, and let me know if something like this might be of help in your next trial.
About the author: Ted Brooks' noteworthy trial experience includes People v. Robert Blake (with M. Gerald Schwartzbach), Los Angeles Dodgers (McCourt) divorce trial (with David Boies), Western MacArthur v. USF&G ($3 Billion), May-Carmen v. Wal-Mart (Defense Verdict), PG&E v. U.S. (Power Crisis Litigation), and a recent matter involving 5 databases with over 1 million documents. Ted writes the Court Technology and Trial Presentation Blog, and frequently speaks on legal technology topics. Ted operates Litigation-Tech LLC, with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.