Six Tips for Using Zoom for Depositions

October 8, 2020 2:50 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The idea of using Zoom for depositions has been in development for a while. However, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed this to the forefront, as video conference depositions are preferable to placing cases on indefinite hold. A Zoom remote deposition is likely the best option, especially if Zoom is already installed on your computer. If this is the future of your law practice in Phoenix, AZ, here are six video conferencing deposition tips:

  • Check internet speed: Zoom can run on internet speeds as low as 600Kbps, but you will enjoy higher quality and fewer sound and video breaks if you use an internet connection with speeds of at least 1.5Mbps. Basically, when it comes to the internet and video conferencing, the quicker the better. If you are conducting your remote deposition from home, this may be a good time to upgrade your internet package.
  • Use a hardwire connection: Plug the computer you are using for video conferencing straight into your modem with a cable. This creates a more reliable and secure connection. If this is impossible, check your signal strength before joining the Zoom conference. Secure the strongest signal possible by moving closer to your modem if your signal is weak.
  • Test: Never enter a Zoom deposition untested. Run a test call to your office or a trusted participant. Test your camera and sound as well. If other people from your office are attending the deposition, check that they understand how to mute, connect webcams and perform other functions in Zoom before the conference or deposition. If you hire a court reporter who is skilled in this area, they will likely perform the test call for you.
  • Send exhibits in advance: While we can appreciate the element of surprise in normal contexts, this is unfortunately no longer possible in the age of COVID-19. You do not need a technical issue or mix-up during the deposition to prevent exhibits from being entered. Send exhibits ahead of time to opposing counsel and your court reporter. Mark them before you send them to make things easier.
  • Watch speaking speed: Zoom may lag or have trouble keeping up with quick speech. Unless you enunciate and speak slowly, you may end up repeating many of your questions and making the deposition last forever. Speak clearly into the microphone and use a headset if you are soft spoken. This makes your deposition flow better and allows the court reporter to create an accurate record. Just as with other aspects of this video deposition, make sure you test the headset before you enter the conference.
  • Protect privacy: Just as you do not want random strangers wandering into your conference room, you need to prevent the same from happening during a Zoom deposition. Give every participant a code and instruct them to identify themselves. For extra security, use the waiting room function so you can screen anyone attempting to attend the deposition.

Bartelt | Nix Reporting, LLC is prepared for video conference depositions in Phoenix, AZ. We can help you follow these video conferencing deposition tips for your next Zoom remote deposition. Call us today to schedule us as your court reporters for your next deposition.

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