Leveraging technology to conduct depositions with clients, witnesses and other parties can benefit law firms and corporate legal departments in several ways, including saving time and money and offering convenience for everyone involved. However, remote depositions can also present some challenges. Connectivity issues and other technology problems can be incredibly frustrating. Communication challenges can also be more apparent when relying on remote depositions because it is often harder to read body language when talking to someone virtually. This blog post provides remote deposition tips designed to help you become more comfortable using technology for this purpose so you can get the most out of each deposition.
Top 5 Tips for Remote Depositions
Although you cannot anticipate every potential challenge with remote depositions, there are several steps you can take to mitigate the risk of something going wrong.
- Prepare your witnesses.
First, make sure the client, witness or other party understands that the deposition will be conducted via remote technology. Help them understand that they will need an internet-connected device to participate in the proceeding and explain that they should ideally be in a quiet, well-lit space for the deposition. It may be helpful to schedule a few minutes with them prior to the session to practice connecting.
- Prepare yourself.
No matter how confident you are in your own technical abilities, it is also a good idea to conduct a test of your own connectivity and comfort with the technology platform ahead of time. Just as you counsel witnesses to be in a quiet, well-lit space, make sure you will also be in an appropriate environment for the deposition. Consider purchasing a ring light if the lighting in your conference room or office is not ideal and ensure the area around and behind you is clear of potential distractions. Arguably one of the most important tips for zoom depositions is to be sure you have turned off any filters you may have used for personal video chats.
- Prepare your documents.
While it is always important to ensure exhibits and other documents are appropriately prepared and marked before face-to-face depositions, it is especially important to confirm these documents are ready to go prior to the start of a remote deposition. You should understand where these documents are stored electronically, and they should be easy to retrieve. Practice using the remote deposition software or videoconferencing technology ahead of time to become comfortable with sharing documents online during the deposition.
- Provide clear instructions.
Ensure your deposition notice clearly explains the platform you will use for the deposition and that it provides both the link and password your witness will need to connect. The notice should also make it clear that the parties to the deposition will not have the ability to chat off the record during the proceeding.
- Seek outside assistance.
Engaging a legal services provider for your remote depositions can help you put your best foot forward. In addition to the reliability and security of using a trusted provider’s remote platform, you will also have peace of mind knowing support is available at your fingertips should you need assistance before, during or after a deposition. With the capability to record video depositions for more impactful testimony and secure, embedded document storage and file sharing on the provider’s platform, partnering with a third party offers numerous benefits to law firms and corporate legal departments.
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