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June 13, 2024
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The Step-by-Step Process of a Remote Deposition

Contrary to popular belief, remote depositions are nothing new and have been around for years. However, before the pandemic, it was a rare exception when parties would agree to appear remotely through a video conferencing system.

The unexpected changes brought about by COVID have led to exponential growth in the use of remote depositions as the battle-tested process and have improved client relationships by trimming litigation costs; increasing case management efficiency; enabling litigators to select expert witnesses based on expertise, credentials, and trial strategy without considering geographical locations; eliminating travel time; and most importantly, advancing litigation more quickly than in-person depositions.

When done appropriately, remote depositions can provide an adequate substitute for live, in-person testimony. Therefore, as it becomes more ingrained in the legal industry, it is essential to learn how it works. First and foremost, there is no remote deposition without the necessary equipment — a computer or tablet with a webcam and a stable internet connection. If a participant does not have the equipment needed, it can be rented, even for last-minute depositions.

After obtaining the equipment, the next step is to schedule the remote deposition with all participants. Several people use the video-call app Zoom, but many available virtual deposition transcription products and services rely on videoconferencing tools and software platforms to facilitate a smooth process. 

After scheduling remote depositions, NAEGELI will send each participant their link, instructions for joining, and a calendar invite. A good court reporting firm will provide free live technical support for the entire assignment so you can go into breakout rooms and be assisted with every need that arises. Participants can join the session before the deposition starts to get comfortable with the platform. Many remote deposition platforms also offer added features like screen-sharing to share and save documents in the chat. This chat feature allows users to chat with all participants or privately with the session host or deposition manager. They can also show or hide their video and mute or unmute themselves, like a typical video conferencing platform.

To begin the deposition process, the court reporter will swear in the witness remotely by asking them to raise their right hand and take an oath: “Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” During deposition, it is crucial to record the process; however, only recordings with Certified Legal Videography are admissible to be shown in court during the trial. 

For an official video deposition, a certified legal videographer and, sometimes, the court reporter will operate the record button and notify participants when going on and off the record. This video record can also be synced with the transcript from the court reporter. Additionally, NAEGELI Deposition and Trial can provide interpreters of over 200 languages can attend the remote proceeding when necessary.

At the end of the deposition, ensure that the court reporter has what is needed to create the most accurate record by carefully reviewing the transcripts to ensure there is no confusion and determine how transcripts can be accessed electronically or transcribed and are admissible in a court of law. 

For professional assistance, one can avail the services of litigation support firms like NAEGELI Deposition and Trial for remote deposition needs. To date, the company is recognized as the leading expert in the industry, having conducted countless remote depositions and making the process easier for its clients.

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