When it comes to preparing for a remote deposition, there are some things that you should keep in mind. The following tips will help you ensure that you are able to conduct a smooth deposition.
When COVID-19 was first passed, many lawyers and judges quickly adapted to the new requirements and began conducting depositions remotely. However, these new processes brought about unique challenges that attorneys need to understand and deal with to ensure they run smoothly.
One key is preparation. By preparing for remote depositions, you can ensure that they are just as effective as in person depositions. The first thing is to practice your deposition skills on a virtual deposition platform that is comparable to the technology you will use in the actual deposition. This will help you familiarize yourself with the technology and allow you to practice interacting with other participants in a safe, secure environment. Another key is to ensure that you have a robust system for handling exhibits. This includes both paper exhibits and electronic ones. Having a robust exhibit management solution will make it easier for you to present information concisely and clearly during a remote deposition.
When you plan for a remote deposition, you will need to think about what kind of equipment will be needed. This will vary depending on the type of platform used and the participant’s roles. You will also need a quality high-speed Internet connection. This can be either wired or wireless. And finally, you will need to establish a protocol for the remote deposition and make sure that everyone is familiar with it before the actual deposition. This includes rules on who can be in the room, communication with other parties, handling exhibits, and more.
One of the most important factors in a remote deposition is clear communication with the court reporter. Whether you are working with a freelancer or an agency, communicating the details of the deposition and how it will be conducted is critical to ensure a smooth, productive, and successful outcome.
In the same vein, it is also essential for all parties to raise objections to improper questions before witnesses answer them. This can be particularly challenging in a remote setting where multiple attorneys are speaking over one another on the video feed and the stenographer may not be able to accurately capture those objections.
A well-drafted remote deposition protocol can be an effective tool in addressing these issues and mitigating them before they even occur. It should spell out the process for sharing documents and exhibits in advance of the deposition, as well as counsel’s post-deposition obligations to return all such items. It should also address the real-time transcript feed that many video platforms include, a potential issue in situations where confidential business information is being discussed.
The reliability of the technology, cyber security, attorney-client privilege, and witness performance are all important issues for defending counsel to consider when conducting remote depositions. Through careful preparation, trial attorneys can help witnesses improve their remote deposition performance by preemptively eliminating distractions, managing the screen, and scheduling sufficient breaks.
For example, witnesses need to ensure that they are using a high-quality microphone to prevent noise interference and poor audio quality. They also need to adjust the size of their video window and manage the screen so that they can maintain a natural view. Likewise, they need to determine how exhibits will be handled, whether electronically or in paper form. Exhibits that are not marked ahead of time can be difficult to find later on. Moreover, they need to be saved with clearly marked file names.
Categorised in: Remote Depositions
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