Up to 90% of depositions taken throughout the height of the pandemic were virtual, and that short-term need has generated a long-term change. In fact, in a recent survey, only 4% of litigators responded that they preferred to return solely to in-person depositions.
To ensure you’re equipped to navigate the remote deposition landscape, keep reading to discover what a virtual deposition is and how to prepare for one with five expert tips.
Virtual depositions include both fully remote and hybrid events.
Both types of virtual deposition offer similar benefits, including enhanced flexibility, improved accessibility, and reduced transportation costs for those involved.
Meeting virtually for depositions is a trade-off; while the practice boosts access and lowers costs, it can also constrain communication and generate technology obstacles. Fortunately, the following tips and best practices can help you ensure an optimal remote deposition.
Legal advice on how to prepare for a deposition is just as important for virtual meetings. On top of providing your clients and witnesses the standard rules-and-request list for how to present oneself and respond to questions in a deposition, consider prepping them with tips specific to virtual depositions.
Before the day of the deposition, advise your clients and witnesses to:
During the deposition process, make sure your clients and witnesses know to:
When using a remote deposition platform, it is advisable to have all participants test their access and equipment prior to the proceeding. Waiting until the day of the deposition to download, install, or update software or troubleshoot a problem like a loose speaker connection will burn up precious deposition time and cause avoidable delays.
Working with a reputable court reporting service provider for your virtual depositions provides access to deposition technicians who can help test equipment and connections prior to the proceeding, and who can help troubleshoot any technology hiccups that may arise during the proceeding.
When the deposition is virtual, you can skip traffic, parking, and figuring out where the bathrooms are, but a 15-minute early “arrival” is still needed. Starting up a connecting device and clicking the link to log in to virtual meetings 15 minutes early will ensure time for:
Having a plan in place to address any unforeseen technology glitches during a remote deposition will help keep the proceeding running smoothly. If you are not working with a court reporting partner who offers a remote deposition technician, consider the following:
Here’s another helpful tip: Make sure everyone knows the telephone connection option for your deposition; this can be a more efficient fix to audio or video problems than troubleshooting one attendee’s device settings.
In addition to preparing your content, questions, witnesses, and your own hardware and software for a virtual deposition, plan out how exhibits will be shared. This includes:
Consider utilizing an online repository that allows all attorneys and teams centralized access to introduced exhibits. This will ensure that all parties have real time access and can interact as if they were in the same room.
Whether you’re getting ready for your first virtual deposition or you’re a seasoned pro, U.S. Legal Support can help.
For nearly 30 years, we’ve provided all-inclusive legal support services to attorneys and practices of all sizes and types across the United States. We offer a vast network of court reporters available for both in-person and virtual proceedings, top-notch technical support during your proceeding, litigation consulting, and deposition transcript delivery via a secure Client Portal.
Reach out today to discuss your court reporting, virtual deposition, and other legal support needs.
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.