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Why is Preparation for Remote Depositions so Important?
With a bulk of the legal world working from home, remote depositions via videoconference are crucial to keep the course of law flowing. Some, however, may think that because these depositions are done from home, they do not have to prepare the same way for their case. This is entirely false.
Why is it crucial for an attorney to prepare their witness even for a video deposition? Because…
- It reduces a witness’ anxiety
- It clarifies the deponent’s role
- It helps deponents keep a concise testimony
- It helps the attorney spot tics– such as fidgeting–and stops them.
- It allows the attorney to provide assistance on how to handle documents and exhibits
Before the Deposition
- Notify all parties (opposing counsel, witness, etc.) that you would like to conduct the deposition via videoconference.
- Schedule a court reporter. They will set up the videoconference and distribute the link to all parties.
- Email any exhibits and documents to all parties prior to the deposition. They can also be screenshared over the videoconference.
- Remember to say on the record that the deposition will be conducted remotely via videoconference and that the oath will be administered remotely.
- You need an external webcam or a device with a built-in webcam.
- You need good internet speed to connect and stay connected (check with your internet provider).
- Close unnecessary browser windows and programs to avoid interruption or lag in your stream.
- If your audio test reveals problems with your computer audio, call into the videoconference with the telephone number provided by the platform.
Don’t forget to follow the normal courtesy rules you follow while partaking in a deposition: do not talk over one another, provide your court reporter a list of keywords/phrases, be patient, and be kind. The major difference is to remember to mute your microphone when you are not questioning, as any background noise will be distracting,
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