Remote depositions were around long before the COVID-19 Pandemic, although the need for them did rise during that time. Remote depositions tend to be easier, quicker, and require less travel (if any at all). However, for a remote deposition to be successful, you do still need to prepare — not to mention have a reliable internet connection. If you are wondering how to have a successful remote deposition, let’s take a look at a few tips.
- Make Sure Your Witness Is Prepared – One of the most important things is to ensure your witness is fully prepared for the deposition. Though you may not meet in person to prepare, it is entirely possible to do this over a video conference, Zoom meeting, etc.
- Know the Jurisdiction Rules – Make sure you are familiar with the current rules of the jurisdiction for the deposition. If necessary, you will need to stipulate — on record — to waive the general requirement for taking oaths in person.
- Prepare Exhibits – Work with a court reporter to pre-mark your exhibits before the deposition. This will reduce the time spent on this during the call.
- Arrive Early – Just as you would arrive early for an in-person deposition, you should arrive early for the remote video deposition.
- Test All Equipment – Ahead of the deposition, take the time to test all equipment that will be used. This includes your computer, microphone, audio, internet connection, etc. The last thing you want is technical issues at the start of the deposition that could have been prevented.
- Prepare the Environment – Choose a quiet area to conduct your video deposition. Eliminate any distractions near you and make sure there is sufficient backlighting. You also want to ensure the background is clear and free from any clutter.
- Speak Slowly, but Loudly and Clearly – You always want to speak slowly so that everyone in the deposition can understand you as well as the court reporter, as this allows more accurate transcription. While speaking slowly is recommended, you also want to ensure you speak loudly and clearly.
- Avoid Interrupting – As with any deposition, avoid interrupting another person. When relying on an internet connection, some participants may experience a lag. So, before following up with a question to a witness, wait a couple of seconds after they have finished talking before speaking yourself. You want to ensure they have completely finished their thoughts. Otherwise, it may come off as rude or attacking the witness.
- Mute Yourself – There will be multiple people in the deposition, so if you are not actively speaking, make sure to mute yourself. This ensures you don’t accidentally interrupt someone, speak out of turn, or disturb other participants with outdoor noises, sirens, etc.
- Be Patient – Although technology may be necessary, it is definitely not perfect. Therefore, you should be prepared for glitches that may potentially happen. Be patient as these are worked on.
The above advice for remote deposition can prove to be invaluable. Of course, when you must perform a remote deposition, consider hiring a professional reporting service like Bartelt | Nix Reporting, LLC. This will guarantee that your remote deposition runs smoothly, turns out perfectly, and is ready to be used in or out of the courtroom.
Categorised in: Video Deposition
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