You’ve likely been taking remote depositions for going on six months now, so you’re well-versed in the procedure. Even so, a refresher is always a good thing. Or perhaps you’ve been resisting the remote trend and are now taking the plunge. Great! Consider this list your remote proceedings checklist/refresher course. Here are the vital points to keep in mind when scheduling virtual depositions.
- Check the rules! Remote depositions have been around for a long time now, but you still want to double-check the state and federal rules. Odds are good that if both sides stipulate, you’re set to conduct your remote deposition. Some states require stipulation regarding the administration of the oath when the reporter is not in the presence of the witness, though many states have issued temporary orders allowing remote administration of the oath.
- Check your connection and speed! Internet speed is a crucial detail for your remote proceedings. Zoom recommends speeds of 1.5Mbps. The higher your speeds the better! You can test your internet speeds at sites like SpeedTest.net.
- Consider the hardwired connection. If you have any Wi-Fi issues, connect your computer to the router with an ethernet cable for additional protection against those issues. Check your signal strength and join the call with confidence.
- Test call! Speaking of connection, connect with your technician to test your connection prior to the virtual proceeding. This is the time to test your setup (we’ll get to that in a bit), your microphones, headphones, etc. This is also the opportunity get expert advice from your technician on any questions you have about the remote deposition platform or anything techy related to the upcoming proceeding. Planet Depos is staffed around the clock, so you can get those questions answered any time, but seize this opportunity!
- Get the best audio possible. This is where a headset makes a huge difference. Don’t forget to test the headset on the test call! Check our tips for the best audio during a remote deposition for more ideas.
- Send any exhibits in advance. This helps the technician, as the exhibits are organized and ready for him to pull up, mark, etc., at your request during the deposition. You can also mark them yourself during the deposition, or even send them pre-marked.
- Setup matters. Setup affects audio quality and visibility. You want to set up in a quiet, well-lit space. Do not sit in front of a window, as your facial expressions will be indistinct. You want space clear of clutter so you can easily access any paper documents for the deposition. Dress in solid, dark colors.
- Consider the stage. You’re separate from all the other parties. Speak a little slower, a little louder, and take extra care to enunciate. Be prepared for the possibility of being asked to repeat yourself, especially if you don’t speak a littler slower. Technology is amazing but be realistic. Make a few adjustments to allow for the fact that you’re not all in the same room, and there will be fewer interruptions and a smoother proceeding overall.
- Communicate all applicable tips to your witness! Make sure they conduct a test call, test their own internet speed, etc., and have space with the optimal setup. We have a list of tips to share with your witness before their virtual deposition.
- Communicate with your court reporting agency! All regular services are available with remote depositions. Realtime can add a real punch to your remote proceeding, for example. Video is available, even synced, and all the other options you may be accustomed to. Get the most out of your remote deposition by letting the agency know exactly what you need. Also make sure they have email addresses for all participants, so everyone who needs to can connect!
With these reminders, you can continue scheduling remote depositions confident the proceedings will be smooth, and confident you will receive your regular orders after the proceedings. There should be nothing daunting about conducting a remote deposition. Work through the list to confirm you are prepared and can successfully do your job, so you get the most from your remote deposition.