Greetings from Stockton Legal Video!  I have a couple of questions for my fellow CSR-Nation-ers:


For those of you who work with Legal Videographers (such as myself) ...

  • How many of you require that they be certified (i.e., by American Guild of Court Videographers)
  • How many of you generally require that the video be captioned with the transcript text?

Thanks in advance!



Jeff DeMello, CCVS

Stockton Legal Video Services


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Comment by Melania D. Streski on August 23, 2011 at 13:53
Oh, and we sync all of our videos in-house.
Comment by Melania D. Streski on August 23, 2011 at 13:51
Jeff, we just require that you send us an MPEG 1.  All of my videographers are certified by NCRA, including me.   I also belong to AGCV to keep track of what they are doing.  We have been in the video business since 1983 and my videographers hold degrees in communications.  Even if I hire a new videographer, they need to be trained by my videographers and go with them for quite sometime before I let them fly solo.  Then they need to be certified by NCRA.  
Comment by Terry Harrison on July 15, 2011 at 16:11

I agree with Dennis.  I've seen guys certified that produce not only appalling products, but lack professionalism as well as the inability to handle their own equipment when there is a malfunction.

That said, there's also guys that are certified who do a good job on all counts, but the certification itself is meaningless to me.

Initially, it was and is a great way to network, but now with all of the social networking options, I find no reason to be certified unless your state deems it necessary.

Secondly, the option for for synchronization does fall to the client as noted above.

And finally, anyone getting into this business needs to know the golden rule as it was passed on to me; keep the reporter happy  :-)


Comment by Dennis Zambataro on May 31, 2011 at 8:35

I have worked with many overqualified videographers who are not certified "legal" videographers.   I am thinking of five, in particular, two in Atlanta, one in Minneapolis, one in the Caribbean, one in Asia and one in Europe.   When I say "overqualified," they have degrees from a film school and have worked in the commercial video world for years, filming and producing commercials, documentaries and even motion pictures.   Their film experience far exceeds that of most Certified Legal Videographers.  They know their equipment and possess all of the software necessary to produce not just a deposition but a feature film or commercial.    They have learned the nuances of legal videography from court reporters prior to filming depositions and by sitting in on depositions.

Bottom line is other than the few areas of protocol and ethics that a legal videographer must learn and be cognizant of, the most vital aspect of filming is KNOWING YOUR EQUIPMENT inside out and being able to troubleshoot when a problem arises.  And that's what these non-certified professionals bring to the table.   My clients love these guys and request them by name.   I will take these guys any day over a videographer that has spent a couple of weeks in a crash course to become certified.  Just my opinion, for what it's worth.    

Comment by Rosalie DeLeonardis on May 27, 2011 at 17:42
What is really helpful is to have the videographer plug right into my laptop for recording so I don't have to take the tapes at the end.
Comment by Janiece Young on May 14, 2011 at 4:55

The attorneys really determine how they want the finished product to appear (captioned with the transcript text.)  

What I care about is getting the audio back-up from the videographer.  I like to be able to get that at the end of the depo or have them email it to me shortly after the depo is over.

If they can't give the digital audio back-up, I like to get it on tape right after the depo.

Comment by Kelli Combs (admin) on May 10, 2011 at 14:38
This may sound stupid on my part, but I let my office deal with those questions.  I do know the videographers  are certified, though.   I know our office also does require that the videographers have the capability to have the video be captioned with the transcript text because you never know what the client will want and you have to be ready, willing and able to provide anything.

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