Remote deposition services have become increasingly essential to the legal industry over the past several years. While remote depositions were not previously unheard of, a combination of considerable technological advancements and the population’s changing needs during the pandemic caused remote depositions to explode. During the pandemic, around 90% of depositions took place remotely. Even as things shift back toward a “new normal,” around half of these testimonies may continue remotely.
Not all remote deposition services are alike, so how can you be sure that you’re choosing the right one for your needs? Closely evaluate the service options that can help streamline your remote deposition and create a more accurate, streamlined, and efficient deposition process.
1. Look for a remote deposition service specifically designed for the legal world.
There are a variety of video conferencing options that are designed to provide support across multiple industries. For example, Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype provide extensive chat options, including conference calling features. Those platforms were not designed with legal proceedings and depositions in mind.
Select a provider that is explicitly focused on legal support when you choose a remote deposition service. Look for features that are designed to offer support to lawyers and their clients. If you’re using a platform that doesn’t cater to your legal needs, you may find it much more challenging to provide a high-quality experience to your users.
2. Choose a remote deposition service that helps handle your exhibits quickly and efficiently.
Exhibit handling during legal proceedings is often a critical part of the process. You need a remote deposition platform to help you handle exhibits as efficiently as possible. Look for a remote deposition service that will:
- Allow you to mark exhibits and refer to that evidence for later use.
- Store your exhibits for future viewing.
- Make it easy to sort through exhibits related to multiple depositions from the same case.
Suppose your remote deposition service doesn’t offer exhibit handling. In that case, you may need to take care of your exhibits on your own, which can introduce an unexpected complexity to your record-keeping processes.
3. Select an option that makes it simple to speak with your client privately.
There are many times during legal proceedings when you may need to have a private moment with your client. In a courtroom, that may mean leaning over for a few words or stepping outside the courtroom for a short time. During remote legal proceedings, however, it can be much more challenging to get those private moments.
Examine your remote deposition platform to see what options it may offer for client communications. For example, your platform may allow you to enter a room specific to you and your client, where you can communicate freely without anyone else involved in the proceedings seeing or overhearing your conversation. As a result, you can answer your client’s questions or provide vital advice more readily.
4. Determine what services the remote deposition platform offers and what services you might need.
When selecting a remote deposition service, look into the options and how they fit the needs of your case. Many of those additional services can make it much easier to proceed smoothly with your remote legal deposition.
Bundling your services can also help decrease your expenses related to your remote deposition. Make sure you understand precisely what the platform offers and how it may benefit you, both during the deposition and as you put together the rest of your court case.
Court Reporting Services
Does the platform offer built-in court reporting services that can make it easier to get certified transcripts from your remote deposition? Having those services built into your remote platform can make it easier to get the full support you need to manage every aspect of your deposition. Tech-enabled court reporters may also provide various added benefits, including working as a notary to help swear in witnesses and provide additional vital support.
In addition, consider whether the company offers high-quality transcripts and whether those transcripts are part of the remote deposition price.
Ideally, you want a remote deposition platform that will make it easy for you to manage all the details of your case. Does it allow you to enter exhibits and evidence into the record during the deposition process and at other times? Does it make it easy to access those exhibits later, whether you need to refer to them in a future deposition or you need to refer back to them as you work to build your case?
Interpretation and Translation
Do you need an interpreter or a translator for your case? You may need a remote deposition platform that helps offer those services to ensure there are no miscommunications.
5. Evaluate how long it may take to get transcripts and recordings back from your provider.
Video depositions offer the advantage of automatic recording already included in the process so you can quickly go back over everything said during the testimony. With a video recording, you can hear the speaker’s tone and body language and review the exact words used to describe something. Transcripts can prove equally valuable since you can quickly skim through them for the necessary information.
Ideally, you want to work with a remote deposition service to get that content back to you as soon as possible. The longer it takes to get your hands on your recordings or transcripts, the longer it may take for you to be able to use that information as part of any court process. You may benefit from having a remote deposition service that will allow you to receive a rough AI transcript of the proceedings shortly after the deposition with a more in-depth, certified transcript provided within a short time after the proceedings.
6. Check the cost of your remote deposition services.
As you consider which remote deposition service you want to use for your subsequent deposition or court proceedings, make sure you consider your budget. Legal costs can skyrocket quickly, especially if you have to arrange for multiple people to take care of your court case. While it’s often worth paying for quality, you need to consider those costs when determining the right remote deposition solution for your needs.
As you evaluate cost, however, make sure you also consider what comes with the package. For example, an all-in-one remote deposition platform may offer services like a notary or a certified court reporter as part of the package. If you have to hire those individuals separately, it could increase your overall costs and leave you paying more than anticipated for your deposition. Ideally, you need a remote deposition service that offers a high level of pricing transparency. You don’t want to select a platform only to discover unexpected fees or charges for things you did not realize you would need.
7. Take a look at the platform’s overall security.
As you select your remote deposition platform, ensure you take a comprehensive look at the platform’s security. How well does the platform protect your clients’ protected information? Are you working across an encrypted network to help prevent unwanted observers from breaking in?
Cyber-attacks have increased steadily over the past several years, with a 31% increase between 2020 and 2021. Check your remote deposition service’s overall security measures to get a better feel for how protected you and your client will be.
8. Evaluate how easy the platform is to use.
When you choose a remote deposition platform, you should not expect a big learning curve for you or for anyone else who might be using the platform. You need a simple platform to set up and use, offering intuitive controls and options that will make it as simple as possible for you to access evidence, read transcripts, or check video footage of the event.
Have You Found the Remote Deposition Solution for Your Needs?
Finding the right remote deposition solution for your needs is critical to represent your client to the best of your ability. At Remote Legal, we provide an all-in-one solution allowing you to take care of your virtual platform, transcripts, recordings, and other needs in one convenient location. Ready to get started? Contact us today to learn more about our platform and how it can benefit you.
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