Accuracy, facts and fairness are hallmarks of nonfiction storytelling and sacrosanct in journalism. Documentary filmmakers are obliged to follow local, state and federal laws and may be subject to legal complaints and lawsuits. In the early civil discovery process, depositions are held out-of-court for attorneys to extract party and witness testimonies under oath. Through this informative mock questioning, we exhibit what filmmakers can expect during a deposition and detail important takeaways from seasoned trial lawyers.
In this fictitious case, Marco Williams produced a documentary, Inside the IDA. The film included footage insinuating Simon Kilmurry had accepted a bribe. In response, Kilmurry filed a defamation lawsuit. James Wheaton, Senior Counsel, First Amendment Project, represents Simon Kilmurry and questions Williams, who was deposed by Katie Townsend, legal director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington, DC.