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Brett Emison
Brett Emison
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Deposition Gone Wrong: What Is A Photo Copy Machine?

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What Is A Photocopier?


If you’ve been a practicing trial lawyer for more than 10 minutes, you’ve likely sat through a deposition from hell.  They don’t happen all that often, but they happen.  They can happen for a variety of reasons.  But one of the more frustrating reasons is when a witness – usually one of the parties or an employee of the a party – has been “overly prepped” by opposing counsel to the point of ridiculous evasion.  Most of us have been there.  It happens.

And it is wonderfully illustrated as part of new series from the New York Times, called Verbatim.  The premise is that the author/director, Brett Weiner, recreates a deposition in which the dialogue is taken, verbatim, from the transcript.

The dialogue was so sharp, inane and fully realized that I assumed it was fiction.  I traced the deposition back to the Ohio Supreme Court and downloaded hundreds of pages of legal documents from the case.  To my pleasant surprise, it was as strange as it was true.

In this short film, I sought to creatively reinterpret the original events….  My primary rule was the performance had to be verbatim – no words could be modified or changed from the original legal transcripts.  Nor did I internally edit the document to compress time.  What you see is, word for word, an excerpt from what the record shows to have actually unfolded.

– Director, Brett Weiner

Enjoy.  And if you’ve had a similar experience, please share in the comments.

© Copyright 2014 Brett A. Emison

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