Virtual Deposition Software: What You Need to Know
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every industry out there, and the legal industry is no exception. Uncertainty around safety of in-person gatherings has forced all parties to scramble for a solution.
Unfortunately, instead of opting for top-tier virtual deposition software, many legal entities and institutions have settled for Zoom meetings and other generic technology that doesn’t meet the mark. In fact, a recent research study found that out of over one hundred attorneys, 60% noted that they did not receive any form of formal training on the use of remote networking software and do not have support staff available to ensure the proper use of such technology.
The study also found that 78% of respondents noted that they used Zoom specifically for deposition hearings and 50% of respondents reported mishaps and issues as the result of the use of remote technology during a deposition. For instance, sharing exhibits has proven challenging and insecure.
Is there a tangible solution on the market that can fill the gap? Virtual deposition software could be the answer to the tech (and in-person) problem in law. It could also be the solution for insurance companies that have to deal with a large volume of depositions for claim approvals.
But what exactly is virtual deposition software, and how does it benefit those involved in virtual depositions? In this guide, we’ll break down the facts and why virtual deposition software could be the future of legal proceedings in a post-pandemic world.
New Innovations in Legal Proceedings
The pandemic was a great catalyst for virtual deposition software. Depositions were (and in many places, still are) put on hold, or if they did go forward, they were complicated with a long list of requirements. The hybrid approach brought several parties together, with other parties appearing in remote locations. These challenges revealed the very intensive need for a virtual deposition option that is secure and designed with lawyers in mind.
Zoom, while useful, doesn’t have the ease of use lawyers need to run a successful deposition, especially those with many exhibits. This is where purpose built, legal first, remote deposition software’s main use case shines.
What is Virtual Deposition Software?
A virtual deposition is a legal proceeding that takes place on a video conferencing platform such as Zoom. These proceedings will involve all of the typical parties involved in a deposition, but the parties (lawyers, defendants, insurance entities, witnesses, etc.) participate from separate remote locations.
These locations can be homes, offices or correctional facilities, for example. A virtual deposition makes it possible to conduct a hearing without all of the parties having to be present in the same physical space.
Unlike general remote video conferencing software, virtual deposition software is built for the legal industry and has additional features that benefit the parties involved in the deposition.
There are different types of remote deposition products, but the most effective ones offer features such as:
- Video and audio recording and broadcasting.
- Artificial Intelligence transcription and immediately available rough drafts and digital stenographers.
- Paperless digital exhibits.
- Scheduling capabilities.
- Case management capabilities.
- Easy to enter virtual break-out rooms.
- Witness-only time stamped e video (which is also recordable and trial ready.
- Interactive real-time streaming.
Virtual deposition software is an excellent alternative to traditional video conferencing software because it takes all of the needs and activities of a deposition into account. It is a secure and efficient way to conduct a deposition remotely to keep legal proceedings flowing.
How Virtual Deposition Software Works
Virtual deposition software makes it possible for legal professionals to conduct depositions instantly, in real-time, from anywhere on the planet with Internet access.
The use of virtual deposition software is fairly simple. It is web-based, which means no installations or downloads are required. When the scheduled deposition is live, each party will be sent an invitation via email that allows them to enter the video conference deposition. This technology is completely secure and relies on basic personal internet security hygiene.
During the deposition, proceedings will occur virtually the same way they do during a face-to-face deposition. Each party will have the opportunity to speak, and they can see each other on a screen.
Documents and exhibits can be uploaded ahead of time or in real-time to share with any relevant party and access to such documents can be restricted to certain users. All exhibits brought into the record during a virtual deposition may be stamped and are immediately downloadable for the appropriate users upon the conclusion of the deposition. The software also uses artificial intelligence to record, transcribe and upload the deposition to a case file for future reference.
For legal professionals who are taking on multiple depositions throughout their schedule, this technology makes it easy to schedule and organize depositions in advance and tie in every relevant party ahead of time. The result is a seamless, frictionless experience that simulates face-to-face depositions as closely as possible, keeping all relevant documents, contact information and audio/visuals in one place. Virtual deposition software can also be used for mediations and arbitrations.
Potential Technical Issues with Virtual Deposition Software
No product is perfect. There are some potential pitfalls with virtual deposition software. To start, there are some necessary tech requirements that one would not have to worry about during a physical deposition.
Most virtual deposition software requires a laptop or smartphone, a stable internet connection, a web camera, and a microphone. One will need to include the email addresses of everyone involved in the deposition to effectively bring everyone into the digital conference.
Because virtual deposition software relies heavily on stable internet connections, if one is unable to access a stable network, there could be issues with outages, lagging, etc. In addition, each party involved in the deposition will need to have basic knowledge of how the software works, leading to potential learning curve issues.
However, with a top-tier virtual deposition software provider, this is less of an issue. When it comes down to it, the benefits certainly outweigh the downsides, especially when compared to the costs associated with travel and logistics for in-person depositions.
Will Remote Depositions Become the New Normal?
It’s certain that virtual deposition software is here to stay. Many businesses across different industries have opted for future proof alternatives to traditional service means. Even when the pandemic winds down, we will still have to approach life in a new way.
There is already touchless, automated, and remote technology coming out of every corner, and the legal industry is benefiting from this new direction in operations as well. Expect to see remote deposition software become a standard option for legal proceedings and depositions.
Get in Touch with the Future
It is clear that the benefits and use cases of remote deposition software in a post-pandemic legal landscape will reshape all types of legal hearings forever. It’s time to leave Zoom behind and enter a new era of future-focused legal proceedings.
Remote Legal can offer exactly what you’re looking for and is the only virtual deposition software provider in the industry that also provides court reporters and certified transcripts. Our all-in-one platform makes it easy for lawyers and legal professionals to conduct legal procedures for depositions, as well as arbitrations and mediations. The Remote Legal platform also provides scheduling capabilities, case management capabilities, virtual deposition rooms and private breakout rooms, automated witness-only legal video, AI transcription, and everything a lawyer could need for pre-deposition. Schedule a demo today.