A video deposition has all the same elements as a traditional deposition, but instead of being conducted in a conference room, a video deposition is conducted in a virtual setting and recorded. A video deposition can offer a number of potential advantages to legal proceedings, including:
- Offering compelling evidence in court
- Allowing individuals who live out of state, or who are unable to come to a physical location, to add to their case
- Creating a clear record of the deposition for ease of reference
Video depositions have the potential to streamline court proceedings, making it easier for depositions to occur in a timely manner. They can also help cope with potential court reporter shortages in some geographic areas since they can be recorded and court reporters can work from anywhere. However, many legal professionals find themselves wondering, “How much does a video deposition cost?”
How Much Does a Video Deposition Cost?
Determining the cost of a video deposition may be more complicated than you think. Often, multiple factors can influence the cost of a video deposition. If you need to ask, “How much does a video deposition cost?” make sure you’re considering these elements as you take a look at the platform you want to use.
The Length of the Deposition
When you conduct your deposition virtually, one of the key elements in how much a video deposition costs is the length of the deposition. Many platforms will charge based on the time you need to spend conducting the deposition.
The longer your deposition, the more, in general, your video deposition will cost. While some platforms may charge a flat fee, with increased charges if you go over a certain amount of time, others will simply charge outright for the length of the deposition.
What Type of Record Do You Need?
Another factor that can impact how much a video deposition costs is the transcript. Sometimes, you might need the recording of the deposition alone. In other cases, however, you may need a certified legal transcript of the deposition. On many video deposition platforms, a certified court reporter to transcribe the video session will cost more.
If you need a certified legal transcript of your deposition, make sure you factor the cost of that transcript into your budget. Keep in mind that even if you have AI software that will offer a direct speech-to-text option during the deposition itself, that content is just a rough draft. You’ll need to have a certified court reporter put together a full transcript if you need to present one or use it as evidence for any reason.
What Other Information Do You Want to Store?
How long do you need to store the content from your video deposition? As you ask yourself, “How much does a video deposition cost?” make sure you’re factoring in storage for your vital content. For example, will you need to enter evidence at a later date? Do you want to keep all the information from a single client in the same place?
Some platforms may only host content actually related to the video recording, and may not offer adequate solutions for entering evidence into the record. Others may charge extensively to store that content. Make sure you know upfront how much you will end up paying for your information storage needs.
Do You Need the Option to Speak Privately with Your Client?
Sometimes, you may need to have a conversation with your client that remains off the record. If you need to have a private conversation at any time, will the platform charge you more for the use of an additional room? Make sure you know what factors the platform will consider when adding costs and fees.
Are Video Depositions a Reliable Option?
During the pandemic, many legal proceedings ground to a stop. Courtrooms, like so many other things across the country, were closed. Even as things began to open back up again, many professionals found themselves looking for new, creative ways to handle common issues, rather than defaulting back to the inconvenience of asking people to travel to get together in person.
As a result, video depositions began to rise in popularity.
Remote depositions have been an option for quite some time. As early as 1980, telephone depositions were legalized throughout the United States. By 1993, other remote, electronic means were legally allowed. That early technology, however, was very clunky, and did not allow for the high-quality recordings necessary in a court case.
Modern technology, on the other hand, is much more streamlined, efficient, and reliable. Now, remote depositions can be just as clear as in-person ones–and may actually offer additional benefits to many court cases. As a result, many law firms and legal professionals are set to continue to use video deposition technology even as the world opens back up and in-person proceedings have become more normal once again.
Video depositions can offer a number of advantages to the post-Covid courtroom.
- They make it easier to address the court reporter shortage, particularly in high-volume areas where that shortage is already being felt keenly.
- They make it easier to connect with people who may live in different areas or people like members of the military who may have to travel unexpectedly.
- They can provide clear video evidence that can help assess witness reliability.
- They may help offer options for people who are still uncomfortable leaving their homes or entering busy public places.
As a result, while in-person video depositions have been able to resume, in many courtrooms, they are no longer the only option. Video depositions remain popular in many areas–and that popularity seems likely to be part of the “new normal” for the legal profession. While the pandemic may have increased the video deposition adoption rate, it may only be a natural extension of current trends and needs.
How to Choose a Cost-Effective Video Deposition Platform
Many video deposition platforms will try to pull you in with low-cost options up front, but add on fees as you add to the features or options you need from the platform. You may find yourself struggling to determine how much your video deposition will cost ahead of time, particularly if you do not know what features you will actually need to use or how they will influence your case.
Do you need a cost-effective video deposition platform? Follow these steps to help improve your overall costs.
Evaluate the Services You Need
Think through the services you will likely need ahead of time. For example, if you know that you’re going to need a certified transcript of your deposition, make sure you factor in the cost of a court reporter ahead of time.
It could also be critical to consider why you’re choosing a video deposition format. Is it for convenience? To avoid potential illness exposure? Because of distance? When you know why you’ve chosen that virtual option, it can help put you in a better position to consider the services and features you will actually need.
Choose an All-in-One Solution
When you choose a video deposition platform, select an all-in-one solution that will provide for all of your needs in one easy format. You shouldn’t have to grapple with ever-increasing fees, especially those that end up added on after you have already paid the initial cost for your video deposition.
You also shouldn’t have to struggle with mainstream technology that isn’t built for legal proceedings and doesn’t offer the features you really need for a successful deposition. Instead, use a platform that provides all the solutions you need, from a high-definition recording of your deposition to a court reporter who will take care of the transcript.
Choose in Favor of Transparency
Ideally, you want a video deposition platform that offers pricing and service transparency. If you cannot figure out up front what your video deposition is going to cost, it may not be the right solution for your needs. On the other hand, if the company offers relative transparency, you can feel more confident that they will offer solutions you can trust.
Choose a Video Deposition Platform that Fits Your Needs
Choosing the right video deposition platform for your needs can be challenging. However, by choosing a platform that focuses on transparency and a full-service package, you may find that you’re in a better position to conduct your video deposition effectively.
Video depositions are on the rise across the country, and for good reason. Paired with the right technology and video deposition software, they can provide an efficient and time-saving way to conduct depositions.
While it’s possible to pair some mainstream video conferencing software with other elements to get your deposition done, choosing a platform built for legal proceedings can be cost-effective and well worth the investment.
Remote Legal is a video deposition platform built from the ground up for legal proceedings. With legal industry standard security, you can conduct a streamlined, efficient, and professional deposition with every feature you could need at the ready, from a qualified court reporter, to expert exhibit handling and annotation capablities, to private sidebar rooms and much, much more. Schedule a free demo today and see how we can provide a cost-effective and efficient solution for your deposition needs.
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