Tips for a successful
According to Bloomberg Law, a majority of attorneys prefer in-person depositions over remote. However, 22% said “their preference for in-person versus remote ‘depends’ on the circumstances surrounding the deposition. In the same study attorneys cited the significance of the witness as a strong factor in deciding between in person or remote deposition, location and cost are also significant factors.
While there is hesitancy for important depositions to take place in a remote setting, Chris Henry notes, in a piece for the Boston Bar Association,“remote depositions have largely provent to be effective, efficient, and less expensive for clients…ample resources exist to allow counsel to continue remote depositions.”
Remote depositions are not without their challenges. In addition to the complexity that comes with any deposition, legal teams have a technology wild card in the mix. However, with adequate preparation remote depositions can become a valuable tool, rather than an obstacle, for legal teams. We are sharing our top tips for a successful remote deposition.
Coordinate for the Case
Even though remote depositions are increasingly common, it’s good practice to review the rules related to electronic depositions including swearing in witnesses. The ABA has a great resource available but it’s important to remember this is an evolving process and regularly checking for changes is a good practice. Once a remote deposition is confirmed, legal teams can take a few extra steps to ensure a smooth start.
First, coordinate with opposing counsel. This opens the door to discuss technology being used, determine quality standards, and potentially, an ability to share resources.
Second, as the ABA points out, because remote depositions could fall under different jurisdictions, it’s important to understand differences in permissible objections and having clarity on “usual stipulations.”
Finally, have a solid plan in place for the deposition. With multiple attorneys in the mix, having a schedule prepared helps everyone know who is next rather than having downtime or confusion in the process. In relation to your exhibits this includes both the analog version and the digital. Understanding how your remote deposition technology handles exhibits helps you present information more clearly and more succinctly. Electronic exhibits can be managed by a technology platform, like eDepoze, which handles information in a similar manner as a paper exhibit but that integrates seamlessly into the remote deposition process.
And just like in an in-person deposition you should ensure you have considered your sequence of questions to create a clear record for later use. Conversations in remote settings can deviate from the prepared question list, be sure to revisit the outline to ensure all relevant topics have been covered.
Understand Your Tech
This sounds like common sense but understanding what your technology can do and how it operates is imperative for your remote deposition’s success. Having a practice run through logging in, sharing screens, introducing exhibits, and handling transitions can help iron out any wrinkles before you have a larger audience.
When it comes to selecting a place to conduct your remote deposition, a few strategic decisions can impact your presentation. First, select a quiet room without a busy background. Second, close out any unnecessary applications or silence any notifications that may pop up when you are sharing your screen. Finally, ensure you have a light source in front of you and have a sufficient power source.
Another good practice is to log into the deposition early to check audio/video quality and, as the ABA points out, set up breakout rooms to ensure your team has space to speak outside of the larger group meeting.
Ultimately, we must realize that the flexibility and ease of remote depositions are likely to make them a mainstay in legal proceedings. Understanding the venue and adjusting their practice accordingly creates opportunities for legal teams to shine, even through a computer screen.