Below is an email sent by Kim Heaton, owner of A&L Legal Video. I asked her for permission to publish it. In my opinion, this is right on point and great advice for all legal videographers.
Subject: A&L Expectations
I hope this email finds you are doing well.
It’s high time I sent this email out to each of you. I have had numerous issues lately. So I’m going to spell out my expectations and nip this stuff in the bud. If any of you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me or respond to this email.
1. DON’T EVER WEAR JEANS TO MY DEPOS. Please dress and conduct yourself professionally. Keep your comments about the case to yourself. Never use swear words or tell off-handed jokes. If you do not conform to this request, you will no longer cover videos for A&L Legal Video.
2. When an attorney stipulates confidential or attorneys’ eyes only, you are to mark the DVD, and the FRONT of the paperwork *CONFINDENTIAL* or *AEO* and the time span. Do not write it on the back of the worksheets. If the media is not marked accordingly, and is sent out to the client(s) it can potentially be a liability issue…If you do not conform to this request, you will no longer cover videos for A&L Legal Video.
3. When you experience technical issues; audio, video, etc…MARK IT ON YOUR WORKSHEETS. Mark the time it happened and what went wrong. If you don’t, you will no longer cover videos for A&L Legal Video. I’m done with spending a lot of my time fixing problems and taking a lot of heat from my clients. I’m done with being blindsided by my clients about issues because I wasn’t told of it by you. I understand there’s going to be tech issues…it happens…However, I won’t tolerate not being informed of it.
4. Wear your headphones at all times. If there are any noise issues; cell phone interference, master gain too high, audio too low, FIX THE PROBLEM RIGHT AWAY! Do not use table mic’s in a normal depo setting. Table mic’s should only be used if you’re in a depo with more than the average amount of attorneys. Leave the table mic volume off until someone (who is not mic’d) starts to speak. When they’ve finished speaking, turn the table mic all the way down. Table mic’s are notorious for picking up ambient noises and will drown out the examiner, witness, etc. If you do not conform to this request, you will no longer cover videos for A&L Legal Video.
5. I would appreciate your invoices in a professional and logical format. Not on an email! The information I want on your invoice is: Case Name, Case No., Witness name, Volume No., Job No. (if any), Name and address of depo location, hours (time of arrival to off the record), lunch time, # of tapes used, parking (if any) with receipts, shipping cost (if any), TOTAL
6. If you are covering a depo for one of my clients and shipping everything to them, you are to mark on the worksheets any costs such as parking and/or shipping. That way, they can bill their clients accordingly. If it’s not on the paperwork, don’t bother billing me for it. Some of my clients have had to eat the parking/shipping costs because they’ve billed their clients prior to getting my invoices. (I’m having to wait on you to get it to me). Please email or fax your invoices, to me, within two days of the depo.
Some of you have worked with me for years. I apologize if I sound harsh and authoritative. I am at the end of my rope with some of these issues. It’s not fair that I have to go through this, let alone, my clients. My business, my reputation, and my clients are ALL very important to me. Please take heed to my requests/expectations. Questions, comments, feedback are all welcome.
Thank you for your consideration.
A&L Legal Video