October 29, 2020
Virtual Depositions are the Norm – Now

Take in advance.

Be certain whatever platform you will be using is up to date. Check and download any new updates available.

Test your connection. Be sure you can see, hear, and be heard. Test your audio and your microphone and adjust your camera and background to your liking. Ten minutes before the depo starts is not when you want to be troubleshooting. A webcam and headset not only make it a huge difference in how you look and what you hear but how the reporter hears and sees you as well.

It is surprising how many webcams create images that are fuzzy and dark. Have others check out how you look on another virtual meeting, such as Zoom. If the feedback you receive is that you are not well lit or that your image is not clear, consider investing in an upgraded webcam.

Prepare your exhibits. Submit all relevant documents to the reporting firm in advance and decide what exhibit software and method will work best for you. To reduce delays during the deposition, be comfortable with electronically marking exhibits and screen sharing.

Determine where the deponent will be located, how they will connect, and whether they have the necessary video equipment and bandwidth to be able to successfully participate.

Anticipate failures. Most remote depositions go remarkably smoothly, but lagging video, jerky audio, and background noise can happen. Participants can drop off through no fault of their own. Work with your court reporting firm to be prepared to switch to a telephonic deposition if issues arise and persist.

And finally, slow down and speak clearly. Unlike in-person depos, where the reporter can usually differentiate words when someone cuts off the end of someone’s question or answer, due to the limitations of remote technology, if participants talk over each other, chances are, the reporter will not hear it clearly and cannot capture it accurately. To obtain the best, most accurate record possible, be certain to allow one another to finish speaking.