A Guide to Hybrid Depositions

Hybrid legal proceedings

Depositions were once an almost exclusively in-person process. In the not-so-distant past, remote depositions were used infrequently, but they became a necessity during lockdowns in 2020. Today, both remote and hybrid depositions retain popularity among all parties involved in depositions. 

Let’s explore the hybrid deposition, including the set-up necessary to leverage this modern approach to capturing legal testimonies. We’ll also break down the benefits and some anticipated challenges so you can use them to your advantage at your law firm.

The Emergence of Hybrid Depositions

The popular use of technology to facilitate remote depositions first rose to prominence in response to the pandemic.1 Due to restrictions on in-person meetings for health and safety reasons, the legal system had no choice but to go remote if it wanted to keep moving.

Throughout 2020, remote depositions were found to offer notable benefits, such as:

  • Being highly efficient
  • Saving time and money
  • Reducing travel time 
  • Serving as an effective way of completing a deposition

Of course, lockdowns eventually came to an end—but remote depositions didn’t end with it. Law offices and legal professionals alike came to enjoy the convenience and the time saved by hosting depositions remotely, compared to in-person depositions.

Thus, hybrid depositions as a modern approach were born. This offered flexibility to the parties that would otherwise struggle to attend an in-person session.

Technical Setup for Hybrid Depositions

If you’re going to participate in a fully remote or hybrid deposition, you’ll need the right software and hardware to get the job done.

Absolute musts include:

  • A microphone such as a laptop’s built-in microphone
  • A device that you can access the deposition program of choice on, like a tablet or laptop
  •  A remote deposition platform

Though not strictly necessary, you can add these tools to make your experience even better:

  • Sound-blocking headphones to reduce the interference of outside noise
  • A microphone filter to increase your vocal clarity
  • Soundproofing foam to reduce unwanted noise from overwhelming your voice
  • Additional lighting such as a selfie ring light

Remote deposition technology is very user-friendly, but it’s best to do some test runs before the deposition so your clients and witnesses know how everything works. Allow them to get familiar with your platform of choice. Nailing down your hybrid process will improve the efficiency of remote proceedings. 

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Benefits and Challenges of Hybrid Depositions

As with any major change, the shift in focus toward hybrid depositions comes with both crucial benefits and potential challenges that you’ll need to understand to overcome them.2


As legal professionals, case strategy and client service are paramount. Hybrid depositions offer many benefits to help you focus on your case and be as efficient and effective as possible. Some of the most prominent benefits of remote and hybrid depositions include: 

  • Flexibility – It’s much easier to host depositions for participants with different schedules and in geographic locations when you don’t have to have everyone in the same physical location. It’s also easier to reschedule in the event of an emergency and to balance participants in different time zones.
  • Time efficient – When you attend a deposition in person, you’re adding hours of additional time onto the process due to travel and commute times.
  • Cost efficient – Not only do hybrid depositions cut down on travel time, but legal teams can realize cost savings in transportation, lodging, and other smaller costs associated with in-person depositions.

Potential Challenges

Of course, the potential challenges of hybrid depositions can’t be ignored, especially if you want the process to run smoothly. Some of the hurdles you may run into include:

  • Technological issues – Sometimes, the programs needed to host a virtual deposition run into hiccups – from poor Internet connections to audio/visualize setting issues. Working with a remote deposition provider who offers Remote Deposition Technicians is a way to help troubleshoot any issues that may arise. 
  • Witness preparation: Preparing witnesses to testify is critical, but can be increasingly tricky in remote and hybrid environments. To streamline the process, practice with your witness and consider working with trial consultants trained in the science of witness preparation. 
  • Bad faith presentation – Some people worry that unlawful coaching may occur to guide a witness’s testimony. 

Most of these issues are easy to plan for and respond to. You can avoid problems by preparing in advance and working with a professional litigation support services team. 

Best Practices for Conducting a Hybrid Deposition

When conducting a hybrid deposition, here are some preparation tips to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

  • Check your equipment – Test everything in your digital conference room before you use it, from your microphone to your camera to the tools you’ll use in the meeting to ensure the deposition process runs smoothly. 
  • Plan in advance – Figure out how you’re going to handle exhibits, including x-ray films, and other materials before the deposition. This includes deciding who will introduce them and what platform you’ll showcase them on. 
  • Prepare for tech mishaps – Power outages, computer crashes, and internet disconnects are all potential mishaps you might run into. Have backups for technology that could crash and have an alternative plan in case unexpected delays cause you any trouble.

The Future of Hybrid Depositions in the Legal Industry 

Despite the potential challenges that remote depositions may come with, hybrid depositions have a home in modern-day legal proceedings. Hybrid depositions have shown numerous benefits that all parties can take advantage of, such as saving time and money. 

You don’t have to navigate hybrid depositions alone. Support for a hybrid deposition is just one service that U.S. Legal Support offers. With us, you get exceptional litigation support services expected of our decades of experience. We can support your litigation needs, from court reporting services to extended trial services and more.

If you’re ready to take the next step in remote and hybrid depositions, reach out to us today.


  1. Boston Bar Association. Love Them or Hate Them, Remote Depositions are Here to Stay. https://bostonbar.org/journal/love-them-or-hate-them-remote-depositions-are-here-to-stay/
  2. USLaw. Pitfalls and successes of remote/hybrid depositions, pre-trial conferences, and trials: What have we learned, how is discovery impacted, and where do we go from here? https://www.uslaw.org/news/pitfalls-and-successes-of-remote-hybrid-depositions-pre-trial-conferences-and-trials-what-have-we-learned-how-is-discovery-impacted-and-where-do-we-go-from-here/
  3. JD Supra. Follow These 5 Guidelines to Conduct Successful Virtual Depositions. https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/follow-these-5-guidelines-to-conduct-6456806/
Julie Feller
Julie Feller
Julie Feller is the Vice President of Marketing at U.S. Legal Support where she leads innovative marketing initiatives. With a proven track record in the legal industry, Juie previously served at Abacus Data Systems (now Caret Legal) where she played a pivotal role in providing cutting-edge technology platforms and services to legal professionals nationwide.

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Content published on the U.S. Legal Support blog is reviewed by professionals in the legal and litigation support services field to help ensure accurate information. The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice for attorneys or clients.