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Litigator Tips for Remote Deposition Preparation

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Litigator Tips for Remote Deposition Preparation

Remote depositions for various hearing needs have been a part of certain state or federal proceedings for a long time, but these sorts of needs were heightened significantly over the last couple years by the pandemic. Many more attorneys and clients alike began participating in more remote depositions and other hearings, and everyone who was unfamiliar with any part of this process had to get up to speed. 

Remote depositions are best carried out when quality video court reporters are available to transcribe them, just one of several important factors you’ll want to be keeping in mind if you’re a litigator planning for such a deposition. What else should you be thinking about? Here are some general themes to consider.

Think From Your Client’s Perspective

Both when selecting a remote deposition and when proceeding with preparation for it, always remember to think about the experience from your client’s perspective. What is their comfort level with technology? How well will they be able to see and hear what’s going on? Will they feel like they’re part of the process?

You should also inquire about basic comfort with the remote process; for example, will they feel confident in being able to participate from their home or office? If not, you may need to arrange for them to attend the deposition in a more traditional manner.

Communication Concerns

As we touched on above, there may be some clients with limitations in certain communication areas, such as hearing or vision. You’ll want to make sure you’re aware of any such limitations in advance, so that you can take steps to ensure they don’t become an issue during the deposition.

For instance, if your client is deaf, you’ll need to provide an interpreter. Or if they’re hard of hearing, you’ll need to make sure the remote location has good sound quality. And if your client is visually impaired, you’ll want to make sure that all pertinent information – such as the identity of the other party and their attorney, the court reporter’s identification, and so on – is made available in a written format.

Technology Requirements

Depending on the remote deposition approach you choose, technology requirements will vary. Generally speaking, though, you’ll need a solid internet connection, a webcam (with good lighting), and a headset with a microphone.

You’ll also want to make sure that everyone participating in the deposition is familiar with how to use the technology; this includes both the attorneys and the client. If there are any difficulties during the deposition, they can quickly become a major distraction.

Document Management

Remote depositions present their own unique set of challenges when it comes to document management. The documents that are used during the deposition need to be available to everyone involved, and everyone needs to be able to access them easily. 

One way to manage this is by using a cloud-based document management system. This will allow everyone to have access to the documents they need, when they need them. It also ensures that everyone is working with the latest version of the documents.

Be sure to keep these tips in mind for any remote deposition, and consider the use of quality court reporters and video transcription services to ensure that all events from a remote deposition are properly recorded. 

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