A deposition is an effective method for gathering evidence for a trial. Deposition testimony is so significant that witnesses were required to provide their testimony remotely to keep proceedings going during the pandemic lockdown.
In fact, it’s believed that 90% of depositions were online at the height of the pandemic. Online depositions are quickly becoming mainstream, and virtual deposition services have emerged as one of the most beneficial legal technologies to arise from the global pandemic. This guide explores the elements of a deposition, the best online deposition platform features, and how to make these solutions work for you.
H2: Why Are Deposition Services Becoming So Valuable?
Depositions allow you to ask questions of the opposing party or a variety of witnesses, while they are under oath. The examinationis admissible in court and is subject to specific rules of evidence. Aside from gathering facts, a deposition allows for an assessment of the witness’s integrity and temperament, as well as an appraisal of their credibility at trial, if required.
Depositions may also help you pin down a witness on certain subjects so you know how they will testify about significant facts or problems before coming to trial. The information obtained during depositions can be highly beneficial in resolving a case, whether through settlement or at trial.
Both in-person and online deposition services provide all parties with a trustworthy, accurate account of the proceedings. Online depositions using platforms built for the legal industry often offer a summary that compiles all the pertinent case details into a format that is efficient and easy for the attorney to review. Most attorneys lack the time to research, evaluate, and summarize the depositions themselves. In these situations, using online deposition services can be quite beneficial. Among the benefits:
- Saving time. Online deposition services will often provide a summary of the deposition as well as a transcript, allowing your legal personnel, including paralegals, to concentrate on other things in your office. When you utilize advanced technology enabled deposition services, you will often receive the papers you want considerably faster than if you relied on in-house staff to complete them.
- Saving on costs. In-person deposition expenses can add up fast, particularly when out-of-country or out-of-state witnesses are involved in the case. Conventional expenses include airfare, lodging, meals, local transit, and conference room fees, not forgetting the administrative expenses of running these sessions. Law firms can avoid many of these costs by using online deposition systems. Furthermore, online depositions are a cost-effective choice for less significant witnesses for whom the expenses associated with an in-person deposition may be difficult to justify.
- Increasing efficiency. Consider your case requirements and the available alternatives before selecting an online deposition platform. Many firms are finding that choosing a platform built for the legal industry, complete with all the necessary features for a deposition, greatly streamlines the deposition process. Check to see exactly what the platform provides and how it may help you, both during the deposition and as you prepare the remainder of your court case.
- Easy Scheduling of Court Reporters. Given the pandemic-related health risks associated with in-person meetings and activities, acquiring court reporter coverage for an in-person deposition when you want it is no longer a given. By choosing online depositions, you’ll have a greater likelihood of receiving court reporter coverage and a lower probability of delays and unavailability, especially if you choose a platform that offers this as part of their services.
Implementing online deposition formats has brought about unexpected positives for many litigators and clients. Online legal deposition platforms, which use tools and capabilities that reflect in-person procedures, such as breakout rooms, on-screen annotations, and real-time exhibit sharing, allow everyone to partake in the deposition virtually and see and interact with each other as if they were in the same space.
As mentioned, online depositions became the instrument of choice for litigators during the COVID-19 crisis, and they will continue to be an important part of the deposition scene in the future due to the versatility and cost savings offered by the online approach.
That said, online deposition software should be easy to use. Look for a secure, web-based platform that requires no setups or downloads. When the planned deposition goes live, each party will get an email invite to participate in the video conference deposition. This method is safe and is based on fundamental online security etiquette.
Although some firms attempt to use Webex and Zoom for online depositions, adopting purpose-built, legal-first software designed specifically for depositions and other legal procedures is a superior option. There are no extra programs required to manage recordings for use at trial or introduce evidence when online deposition providers supply advanced deposition technology and court reporters.
H2: Features of Online Depositions for Attorneys
Even with the world having reopened, online depositions are here to stay. They’ve become essential for mitigating the present court reporter scarcity, in addition to convenience, cost savings, and other benefits. When you choose an online deposition versus an in-person process, you enhance your chances of obtaining the coverage you need and of your case progressing on schedule.
Here are some specific features to look for when scheduling your online deposition to guarantee a successful encounter.
1. H3: Real-time Video Conferencing Technology
A video conferencing platform enables one-way or two-way video interactions utilizing any conventional digital camera. High quality video is a crucial element because it catches facial reactions, tonality, and mannerisms. These nonverbal cues cannot be translated into the official transcript by the court reporter. They may be needed to raise doubts about a witness’ integrity or to strengthen that credibility, providing you with a compelling resource to employ in court in either case.
Video may also be utilized in favor of live witness statements should they be unable to show up at trial. Look for a platform that records the witness in high-quality video for later review, and, ideally, offers a court reporter that can serve as your videographer.
2. H3: Paperless Electronic Exhibit management
The use of virtual deposition solutions during the deposition enables participants to present, annotate, and interact with electronic exhibits at any time. Save your team the time and effort of confining exhibits, spare your client the cost of transporting exhibits, and store all exhibits together in an organized manner.
Your court reporting service should feature a full exhibit management tool that allows you to accomplish whatever you are required to do with exhibits throughout your case. This feature should allow you to keep your exhibit repository organized and maintain a logical exhibit file structure. It should also allow you to upload and download documents and send files via secure connections.
3. H3: Breakout Rooms
Another legal-specific feature to prioritize is private sidebar rooms. These private areas with the remote deposition space are ideal for discreet, off-the-record conversations. With a secure legal-first platform, you can expect the sidebar rooms to be secure and all conversations protected. Then, when the sidebar conversation is finished, it should be easy to re-enter the deposition space and continue with the proceeding.
4. H3: Court Reporter Availability
The task of seeking a court reporter can be expensive and time-consuming — and, as mentioned, there’s a shortage in 2022. As a result, the best online deposition platforms should feature a court reporter among their offerings.
The ability to conduct online depositions with every needed feature plus a court reporter in one complete package eliminates a majority of the constraints found with an in-person deposition or when attempting to use a mainstream platform to perform the proceeding.
H2: Utilizing Online Depositions to Your Advantage
Depositions are simply too significant to be left to chance. Poorly run deposition due to technological issues, poor audio/visual quality, or mismanaged evidence might hurt your case. It is possible to avoid this using the right online deposition service and software. Other essential considerations when selecting a remote deposition service include:
- Live voice-to-text stream. Voice-to-text transcriptions make depositions more accessible, as they can be immediately and efficiently reviewed.
- Witness only, high-quality HD video recording.
- An event dashboard that is a central location for all critical case communications and information storage. Attorneys have the option to present in real-time, submit to the record, and acquire an exhibit copy in real-time.
- Legal industry-standard security, with end-to-end encryption for all data, both during storage and transmission.
H2: Choosing the Right Online Deposition Platform for Your Needs
Remote Legal is a remote deposition platform built for the legal industry that allows legal experts to focus on their clients and legal proceedings without wasting time or resources. We supply an easy-to-use, web-based online deposition platform and an experienced court reporter, along with video synchronized to transcripts, exhibit management, a rough draft transcript, a certified transcript if needed, and unrivaled platform capabilities.
Our all-in-one services result in the most contemporary, technologically advanced technique for conducting distant judicial procedures. Remote Legal is here to help. Contact us today to see how it works.
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