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Be ready when defense goes to the videotape.



No plaintiff lawyer trying a traumatic brain injury Traumatic brain injury (TBI), traumatic injuries to the brain, also called intracranial injury, or simply head injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes brain damage. TBI can result from a closed head injury or a penetrating head injury and is one of two subsets of acquired brain  case should be surprised when the defense presents a well-edited videotape videotape

Magnetic tape used to record visual images and sound, or the recording itself. There are two types of videotape recorders, the transverse (or quad) and the helical.
 of the plaintiff performing everyday activities that most reasonable people would assume he or she cannot do. Your job is to make it clear to the jury that the tape offers a very limited--and misleading--look at one part of your client's day. To do so, take these steps:

* Obtain all the original footage, not just the edited version. You can probably argue that the videotape is biased because it shows only carefully selected scenes, reflecting the defendant's effort to refute re·fute  
tr.v. re·fut·ed, re·fut·ing, re·futes
1. To prove to be false or erroneous; overthrow by argument or proof: refute testimony.

2.
 the claim. What has been omitted? What do the surveillance notes say?

* Find out the circumstances, date, and time of each taped scene and how many hours were spent on the investigation. In many cases, the tape merely suggests that your client can sporadically perform certain activities; it does not indicate, that he or she can do them on a sustained basis.

* Depose To make a deposition; to give evidence in the shape of a deposition; to make statements that are written down and sworn to; to give testimony that is reduced to writing by a duly qualified officer and sworn to by the deponent.  the investigator who made the tape. Determine whether it was created using telephoto lenses or misleading camera angles.

* Find out whether your client knew he or she was being videotaped. Was the client induced or manipulated into engaging in these activities? If so, you can make a compelling argument that the tape was made deceptively de·cep·tive·ly  
adv.
In a deceptive or deceiving manner; so as to deceive.

Usage Note: When deceptively is used to modify an adjective, the meaning is often unclear.
.

* Remind the jurors that relying solely on the videotape requires them to ignore the observations of the trained professionals who have assessed your client's physical capabilities.

Stephen M. Smith

Hampton, Virginia Hampton is an independent city in Virginia, and therefore not part of any Virginia county. One of the Seven Cities of Hampton Roads, it is on the southeast end of the Virginia Peninsula, bordering on Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.

As of the 2000 U.S.
 
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Smith, Stephen M.
Publication:Trial
Date:Mar 1, 2004
Words:248
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