The coronavirus pandemic required many attorneys to learn how to conduct a remote deposition. Due to the global health crisis, the education process was something of a trial by fire. Suddenly, individuals who viewed remote depositions as a novel solution were scheduling one for their next case. While many attorneys have mastered the basics, those who want to improve their skills may struggle to find reliable sources of information.
In this article, we’ve compiled some of the best tips and advice to sharpen your remote deposition skills — straight from the industry’s most experienced litigators.
Let’s get started!
“Close your email, web browser, Microsoft Word, and any other programs you usually keep open. This will eliminate the chances of you inadvertently displaying to everyone your confidential emails, your deposition outline, or any other sensitive materials.” – Mihai Vrasmasu and Vannessa Offut, attorneys at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP
It can be tempting to keep other windows open on your computer during your deposition, remember to exit everything except the video-deposition platform. Not only will this ensure your privacy, but it will also keep you from getting distracted by texts or incoming emails.
Check out more great advice from Vrasmasu and Offut in their article for the American Bar Association.
Understand Client Perspective
“After they’ve been once exposed to the cost savings in remote depositions, clients may become “more selective” when authorizing in-person depositions.” – Aaron T. Goodman, Nick Kennedy, and Kyle Richard Olson, attorneys at Baker McKenzie
Before choosing to proceed with a remote deposition, remember to consider the client’s perspective. Although you may be more comfortable with an in-person proceeding, it could generate more expenses – particularly when travel is required. Once your clients have learned that remote depositions can be equally effective at a fraction of the cost, they’re unlikely to agree to in-person depositions unless you can provide a compelling reason to do so.
To find out more from Goodman, Kennedy, and Olson, check out their article in Bloomberg Law.
Address Communication Boundaries
“Request that chat functions be solely controlled by the court reporter and obtain an affirmation from the deponent that they will not communicate with anyone, in any form, during the deposition.” – Baker Donelson litigators Jamie Ballinger, Thomas H. Barnard, Stuart R. Goldberg, Hal K. Litchford, and Peter Zuk
While you may attend them from home, remote depositions are not informal depositions! Witness behavior should be managed and boundaries put in place before the proceeding to ensure propriety. One way to accomplish this goal is to ensure neither counsel has the means to discuss witness testimony during the deposition. Considering limiting the chat functionality to the court reporter.
To read more from Ballinger, Barnard, Goldberg, Litchford, and Zuk, check out their article published in Baker Donelson.
Thanks for reading! We hope we’ve given you some useful tips that you can use the next time you’re preparing for a remote deposition. Remember: try to eliminate witness distractions and opportunities for outside influence, address anticipated trouble spots in advance by stipulation or court order, and ensure that all parties have the technology to participate effectively. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it on social media!
When you plan your next deposition, don’t forget to take advantage of our plentiful deposition tools. We provide services including remote court reporting, concierge remote exhibit management, remote videography, and full-time tech support for your remote depositions, arbitrations, court hearings, trials, and other proceedings.