Deposition testimony often comes into evidence at trial. If the deposition was videotaped, the deposition can be played for the jury on a monitor. Otherwise, the deposition must be read to the jury, line by line.
How to do it? I've seen lawyers stand in front of the jury and read the entire deposition themselves, saying "question" and "answer" as they drone through the transcript. It's no way to grab the jury's attention. Another method is to have someone else--another lawyer, a paralegal, etc.--sit in the witness box and play the part of the witness, transcript in hand. The lawyer reads the question; the "witness" reads the answers.
In today's National Law Journal, there's an article titled "Lights, Camera and . . . Time to Testify," by Leonard Post. It's a discussion of a third method for dealing with deposition testimony at trial--namely, hiring an actor to play the part of the witness. According to the article:
Professional actors don't just portray witnesses on TV -- they play them in real trials.
In an attempt to connect more effectively with juries, a number of attorneys are using professional actors to play people who were deposed, but who are out of subpoena range and who lawyers could not -- or preferred not to -- bring into court.
Juries like it because actors bring a piece of themselves to a role that used to be reserved for paralegals, secretaries or associates, many of whom nervously read in monotones, lawyers say. An actor can make a witness seem credible, confident and authoritative -- or not, as the role necessitates.
Good idea? It seems to me that having another lawyer from the office play the role of the witness usually does the trick, and is much cheaper besides. But never say never . . .