How Remote Depositions Are Changing the Landscape for Legal Videography

If depositions are part of your legal practice, you know how crucial they are to case outcomes. Therefore, you must adjust accordingly to the evolution of depositions in recent years. Traditionally, depositions were held in person. 

But now, you can do video depositions remotely. In fairness, the statutory provisions permitting remote depositions have been around for three decades. However, it’s only since the pandemic that they’ve become popular. According to a recent survey, 83% of lawyers believe that at least one party will participate remotely in every proceeding. 

As remote depositions become the norm, access to high-quality legal videography has improved exponentially. Working with a professional legal videographer or a professional legal videography technology company is crucial if you want to create the best possible evidence and build a strong case for your clients. 

Working within the proper legal videography confines goes beyond creating case records. They ensure that your case records are admissible and secure.

Read on to learn how remote depositions are changing the landscape for legal videography and the sector at large.

1. Most Depositions Will Take Place Remotely

Before the pandemic, remote depositions and professional videographers were a luxury. However, as the people were forced to stay at home, there was a significant risk of a backlog of cases arising. 

As with other sectors, working remotely was the ideal solution. Initially, it was a common belief that remote depositions were a stop-gap measure. But due to their unique benefits, they’ve quickly become the norm. 

Today, as we come out of the pandemic, most attorneys expect remote depositions to take place in every case. This is a stark contrast if you consider only a handful of lawyers had experience with such before the pandemic. 

With the rise of remote depositions, there’s suddenly a huge demand for obtaining witness-only video in legal proceedings. So, getting the right videography services for your cases is increasingly becoming challenging and expensive. 

As remote depositions have become the norm, they have also come under more scrutiny. Therefore, it is imperative that such testimony is recorded in a manner admissible in court. As the attorney, you need to take measures to ensure your deposition work product is not only compelling for the purposes of enhancing case outcomes but they must also adhere to the proper statutes and regulations.

Related: What Should a Certified Deposition Transcript Cost? 

2. Security Is a Major Concern

Remote depositions come with numerous benefits. That’s why they’ve become so popular. But as with most good things, they’ve also come with challenges, mainly security.

Unlike paper-based files, technology and digital solutions are integral in delivering remote depositions. Cybercriminals have continued their malicious activity throughout and beyond the pandemic. With more people working remotely, cases of breaches, ransomware attacks, and spearfishing scams are on the rise. 

When clients hire you, they believe you’ll provide the best defense possible and can trust you with sensitive information. However, should any information they provide be compromised, it can weaken their case or expose them to blackmail and other forms of exploitation.

As a result, it’s important to keep remote proceedings and sensitive client information secure. Unfortunately, email and other standard business tools don’t offer sufficient security for exchanging sensitive client data. Even most off-the-shelf web-conferencing tools that many attorneys now use do not offer tight enough security measures.

The American Bar Association has strict rules on the confidentiality of information. In addition, they guide how attorneys and vendors should conduct remote depositions. So, one step in ensuring that you adhere to these regulations is choosing a vendor compliant with the ABA security standards.

3. It’s Not Just About Video

Since depositions and proceedings will likely be partially virtual, video recordings are more critical than ever. However, it’s not just about making recordings of depositions. It’s essential to do so in a way that guarantees they’ll be admissible in court.

For instance, in the case ‘Alcron v. City of Chicago, Case No. 17 C 5859, the court found that, in certain instances, when using Zoom for a deposition, using built-in recording features may not suffice. You’ll need a certified legal videographer or a similar participant to ensure that all regulations are followed so that your video remains admissible at trial. 

Using a certified videographer ensures some standardization in the processes. The videographer’s responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring all procedures for going on or off the record are followed during recording
  • Address technical glitches
  • Limit noise and interruption

So, if you want trial-ready video depositions that are easy to display on trial presentation software, it would be advisable to include a party to play the role of the legal videographer. 

4. New File Types are Making Their Way in the Legal Ecosystem

As more people work from home, processes have become paperless. With this, there has been a rise in the use of native file types in legal proceedings. These include video, audio, CAD, Excel spreadsheet, and others. 

Therefore, as you choose a remote exhibit solution, ensure that it can support any file type that may be introduced in a deposition. This will allow you to scrutinize such files immediately as you won’t have to waste time converting them. Moreover, it helps safeguard the integrity of the original file. 

5. You Need Secure File Sharing Mechanisms

A key feature during depositions or trials is the exchange of exhibits. However, web-conferencing solutions do not have adequate provisions to facilitate such file sharing. As a result, you’ll need additional accommodations to facilitate the distribution of exhibits.

If you choose the wrong company, this may bring unnecessary complexity to the process and shift your focus from the substance of the case. There are certain things you need to account for when choosing a file-sharing solution. These include:

  • Security of files
  • Every party needs to get a copy of the exhibit
  • Exhibits should only become accessible to other parties once they’ve been introduced 
  • It’s essential to apply an exhibit stamp

You’ll need an exhibit-specific tool to achieve all this without shifting focus from your case. The best exhibit-sharing platforms have a repository. This allows you to gather all your exhibits and stage them privately before the proceedings.

Why You Need an Efficient Solution for Remote Depositions

While there was some opposition to conducting remote depositions initially, that’s no longer the case. This is because they offer numerous benefits that enhance the legal process. 

As an attorney, your ability to conduct remote depositions can influence cases. Therefore, you’ll need the best remote deposition solution to streamline everything. Some of the benefits of embracing remote depositions and using a robust solution include:

1. Offers Easy Access to Court Reporters

One of the legal system’s primary challenges is a shortage of court reporters. As a result, you are no longer assured of getting a court reporter for an in-person deposition whenever you want. 

Remote depositions help resolve this challenge. They can take place while everyone is at their respective locations. In addition, this increases the court reporter’s capacity to handle cases. 

So, instead of dealing with unnecessary delays or unavailability, embrace remote depositions.

2. Saves Time and Costs

In-person depositions are costly, time-consuming, and challenging to plan. Scheduling and availability issues can cause delays, but that’s not the worst. 

Since everyone has to travel to an on-site location, you’ll need to set aside a significant portion of the day for the deposition. And on top of that, you’ll incur travel costs that may range from taxi charges to air tickets.

On the other hand, remote depositions are easier for every party. For starters, you do not have to travel as you can attend in the comfort of your office. Moreover, video depositions are cheaper as you do not have to incur travel costs or waste time on transit.

But the best part is that remote depositions allow you more time to build your case or work on others. So, combining the timesaving benefits of remote depositions with an efficient tool can significantly enhance case outcomes. 

Related: How to Manage In-Person vs. Virtual Depositions for Your Firm’s Operations

3. Gain Enhanced Control Over Depositions

During depositions and trials, your ability to control proceedings, especially when witnesses are giving testimony, is essential. However, many attorneys opposed the idea of remote depositions because they feared it would limit their control.

But that’s not the case. Remote depositions make it easier to eliminate distractions and focus solely on the witness. Features such as speaker view and spotlight functions enable this. 

Furthermore, you can include civility guidelines and ethical obligations in the deposition order. With such agreed-upon rules of etiquette, you’ll find that remote depositions offer a better experience.

4. Better Work-Life Balance

The day-to-day life of an attorney can be hectic. Along with attending depositions, you must work on all aspects of cases and engage with other parties. Often, this leaves you with little to no personal time.

Remote depositions are an ideal solution for this. You can use the time you save with other cases or get more rest, leading to an improved quality of life. 

A Solution You Can Count on

At this stage, the benefits of remote depositions are irrefutable. However, there’s only one concern; whether you can capitalize on them to gain a competitive advantage. To do this, you’ll need a robust remote deposition solution.

Remote Legal offers exactly that. It’s an all-inclusive platform that makes it easy to conduct remote depositions. Moreover, it has a raft of features such as AI speech-to-text technology and supports numerous file types for your exhibits. Schedule a deposition today to enjoy enhanced remote deposition capabilities.

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