Tips for an Effective Remote Deposition

March 21st, 2023

Remote deposition proved its mettle during the COVID-19 pandemic, and swiftly established itself as a standard of the pretrial discovery procedure. Even with the relaxation of COVID regulations, video-conferenced depositions still predominate due to cost-savings for the client, efficiency for the busy litigator, and a million favorable outcomes. 

Keep reading to find out some of the top tips you can use for an effective deposition. 

1. The Right Virtual Background

Many depositions are videotaped in addition to being typed up, and these videos may eventually be shown to a jury. Clocks, family pictures, or other pieces of art could distract from the witness's evidence. If required, think about employing a credible-looking virtual background. Likewise, remove family members and pets from the area to reduce distracting background noise.

2. Keep Your Exhibits Handy

If you intend to use exhibits during your questioning of the witness, have them ready and open in the order that you intend to use them. By doing this, you will save time during the deposition by not having to open and close files. Having the relevant documents prepared will help you in regaining focus if you fall off course with the witness.

3. Remote Stipulation

If your state requires a stipulation to allow the court reporter to conduct the deposition remotely or if your state has introduced its own bill to permit remote depositions, be cautious to confirm your local rules. The deposition notice should specify the online platform, how it will be used, the appropriate link, and the required password. It is also recommended to order the chat feature of the video conferencing system to be disabled and to prohibit any private off-the-record contacts until the deposition is concluded.

4. Perform a Test Run

You must conduct a test run well in advance to prevent any embarrassing, potentially damaging errors during the actual discovery with opposing parties. This is similar to making sure all parties have the necessary electronic documents. Your organization should conduct a thorough test run before the big game to remove stress and compel you to solve any problems. 

Get accustomed to the conferencing software.

Determine that your background and lighting are appropriate.

Provide feedback on your scripted directions.

Make sure everyone is equipped with dependable internet access and the required software.

5. Be Mindful of your Audio

Consider your microphone to be live at all times. Assume that you can be heard even if your microphone is highlighted in red or crossed out on the screen. Your microphone might still be active if you close the laptop and have a connected monitor. Be cautious while having background conversations. If you are not muted, the opposing counsel can still hear you even if they have turned off their video and are muted. Also, ensure all listening devices are turned off because they could accidentally record your conversations if the word that awakens them is heard.

6. Train Each Other

Subordinate attorneys conducting and defending remote depositions must adhere to the ethical guidelines, and supervising attorneys must take reasonable steps to ensure this. It's also a good idea to speak with junior attorneys about any other issues, solutions, or concerns. They might present an angle you had yet to think of.

The ability to conduct a successful remote deposition is now more crucial than ever and could be a key professional differentiator in the future.

Legal Media Experts can help you overcome these obstacles by providing expert court reporters, legal videographers, and support personnel familiar with all the most recent technology and software. We'll work with you to make sure your remote deposition is effective and successful. To find out more, contact us today!