Preparing for a remote deposition is similar but slightly different than preparing for one that is attended in person. For the purposes of this article, we’ll break the preparation into two parts; the technology part and the deposition part. The technology part will cover everything relating to the operation of the virtual platform, and the deposition part will cover how to prepare virtually as you would for a physical deposition.
Much like a video call, there are a few things that should be on your checklist before the deposition
- Check your bandwidth. This is a good practice for video calls as well as depositions. Speedtest.net is a good choice, but Google has many alternatives. You need a download speed of at least 5mbps. More is better, but 5 is the minimum.
- Background & Optics. Again, this is pretty similar to preparing for a video call. You want to set up your computer and check the camera. Is everything in the background clean and professional? It probably should be.
- Do a dry-run. If you’ve never used deposition software before, it’s best to do a trial run. Set up an event with just you and an associate and go through all the functions to make sure you understand them: Mute, turning off your camera, exchanging documents etc. You should be familiar with all this functionality beforehand.
- Distractions. If possible, turn off your phone and close your email client. If you are working from home, try and put the dog in another room. You are looking for a distraction free experience.
- Legal Considerations. Due to Covid-19, courts are showing a greater willingness to accept all manner of remote depositions. Still, it is a best practice to make sure your deposition notice stipulates on the record that the event will be conducted remotely, and that the oath will be taken remotely as well. Also stipulate the specific method within the notice of deposition.
- Objections. If there is more than one attorney present, make sure to identify yourself for the record before speaking.
- Avoid Interruptions. In remote depositions, it is particularly important to try and avoid speaking over one another. Encourage deponents to wait and pause for a moment before they answer your question. Following this practice will help ensure a nice, clean transcript.
- Exhibits. You have several options for how to handle this, and you’ll want to decide beforehand which one to follow.
- Pre-mark all exhibits and distribute via email beforehand.
- Share the exhibits on your screen at the time of the deposition. In this case, make sure all your exhibit files are organized in a single folder so you don’t spend time searching for them during the deposition.
- We can provide a videographer or video technician to identify the exhibit and manage the exhibit for you during the deposition.
Once you have done it a few times, remote depositions will become second nature. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. That’s what we’re here for.