Overview

Key Considerations When Conducting a Remote Deposition

Overview Checklist

  • 1. Prepare Notices

    Ensure any notices to other parties are general enough to allow for remote and/or videotaped taking of the record.
    VIEW SAMPLE NOTICE LANGUAGE>

  • 2. Consider Requirements

    Confirm Veritext is aware of everything you will need for your proceeding. This will ensure proper preparation and setup. For example:

    • Will you need to introduce exhibits?
    • Will you require “breakout rooms” for private conversations?
    • Will you require a videographer?
  • 3. Prepare and Test

    Prepare and test (all participants) well in advance of the proceeding.

  • 4. Connect Early

    Arrive and connect early on the day of the proceeding to ensure everything is ready and you are comfortable with the controls.

  • 5. Prepare Exhibits

    Ensure exhibits are ready for electronic display and/or distribution and that you, or an associate, are prepared to use the tools to mark and distribute exhibits electronically.

  • 7. Consider Stipulations

    Ensure appropriate stipulations are made prior to remote proceeding.

  • 8. Set Rules of Conduct

    Explicitly declare “rules of conduct” for the proceeding  so that the risk of inappropriate participant communication is mitigated.

REMOTE PROCEEDING PREPARATION CHECKLIST

(48+ HOURS PRIOR)

  • 1. Communicate Details

    Ensure Veritext is aware of all the requirements and type of proceeding. Veritext’s client portal, MyVeritext, provides a simple form that asks for everything we need to know to set you up properly.

    • What type of proceeding is this (witness examination, expert interview, etc.)?
    • Is videography required?
    • What is the estimated duration of the proceeding (minimum/maximum)?
    • Are exhibits to be shared and/or distributed?
    • Who will be conducting the proceeding? Will they require a proxy support person to distribute and present exhibits?
    • Will the witness potentially be required to mark or interact with exhibits?
    • Will language translation be required?
    • Will breakout rooms for private conversation be required?
  • 2. Identify, Equip and Test

    Ensure everyone participating is identified, equipped and their software configuration and network is tested.

    Key considerations:

    • Does Veritext have all parties identified with email addresses and telephone numbers to contact for readiness testing and tool review?
    • Are all parties equipped with your service provider’s minimum internet access speed? (Veritext’s is 1.5Mbs minimum with 5Mbs recommended for most consistent quality in proceedings utilizing Videography and Exhibit distribution.)
      TAKE THE SPEED TEST>

    Your service provider should provide credentials for each participant and manage connectivity and usage testing for participants. Veritext does this for every Veritext Virtual proceeding.

  • 3. ARRIVE EARLY

    If this is the first time using a provider’s platform, ensure that participants login 10-15 minutes prior to the proceeding to become familiar with the process and the use of the tools.

REMOTE PROCEEDING SETUP CHECKLIST

(30-60 MINUTES PRIOR)

  • 1. Tech Support

    Veritext will provide technical support when needed prior to and during the proceeding.

  • 2. Set Your View

    Set your presentation view prior to start and do not change during the proceeding. For example, do not enable/disable features that will change the view of the video as participants are speaking.

  • 3. Check Your Audio

    To ensure the highest quality audio, we recommend that participants dial in, or are dialed out to, separately from the web conference (i.e. not using “computer audio” for the conference.)

    • This ensures the best quality and continuity in situations where participants have lower or intermittent lapses in internet access speed.
    • However, computer audio is a viable option when the participant does not have good landline or mobile signal quality.

Screen Set-Up

Differing View Types

  • Simple Proceedings

    (i.e. video and audio only, with no exhibits or realtime text streaming):

    • Set up the witness as the main video screen, with other participants in smaller boxes.
    • Request that the witness present themselves in such a way as their attention and engagement can be easily monitored to ensure they are not having multiple conversations or offline communication; typically, approximately 3 feet away from the camera such that their face and torso are in full view, with hands on their desk if possible.
  • Proceedings with Realtime Text Streaming

    • Set up the realtime feed as a smaller window on the bottom of the participant viewing screen if exhibits are present, or on the left half of the screen if no exhibits will be utilized. To do so, just click and drag the window to the desired location and resize the box.
  • Proceedings with Exhibits

    • Set up the witness and participants in the same way as a simple proceeding, but use the gallery view such that all participants are visible in equal sized windowpanes.
    • Set up the Exhibit viewing screen on the left half of the screen and the gallery of participants on the right viewing screen. Simply click and drag the windows to place them in the desired location on the screen.
    • Ensure exhibits are all available for the officiating party and ready to be marked as needed.
    • Ensure all parties are connected and receiving the realtime text feed, if required.
    • If exhibit interaction or witness annotation are to be used, double check that the witness and the officiating attorney or their assistant can operate the controls to perform those tasks when called upon.
  • Large Participant Groups

    (e.g. more than four or five participants)

    • It is preferable to set up the conference such that the official or their assistant explicitly allows participant entry to the room.
    • This ensures efficient and proper identification of attendees.
    • This enables control over which participants appear on video.

CONDUCTING THE REMOTE PROCEEDING CHECKLIST

(DAY OF PROCEEDING)

  • 1. Mute Your Microphones

    Aside from the most active participants, all others should set their microphones to mute unless they are addressed or need to interrupt the proceeding.  (Typically, the examining attorney, the witness and opposing counsel should be the only participants with their microphones unmuted.)

  • 2. Display Witness

    The witness should remain on camera in a full torso view, unmuted, with as little background noise as possible.

  • 3. Watch Witness Communications

    The witness is expected to be fully engaged in the proceeding without separate communication, unless otherwise agreed by the parties conducting the proceeding.

  • 4. CHECK FOR AUDIO OR VISUAL INTERFERENCE

    If an audio or video issue is detected, all parties will immediately seek agreement to go off the record and raise the issue to the attention of the Veritext tech support team. The Veritext tech support team can be contacted at 855.440.4861 or remote@veritext.com.

  • 5. GROUP CHAT

    Private chat is not permitted during the proceeding; however, group chat may be utilized to call attention to an issue if an audio problem is experienced.

Remote Proceedings Sample Admonitions

“As part of my admonition today, I want to make clear the expectations of communications with the deponent. During this proceeding, counsel and the deponent/client will have an opportunity to speak off the record at the appropriate time as if this was a deposition taking place in person. However, in this virtual setting, the expectation is that counsel will not be communicating with the deponent during this deposition while I’m on the record via text, email or other electronic means or vice-a-versa. Those exchanges can be viewed as taking place in my presence and not subject to the protections of attorney client privilege, sort of like you passing a note in front of me should we all be in the same room. It is also my understanding that the deponent is not with anyone else physically in the room/location where they are providing their testimony. If there is any one present with the deponent, at any time, let’s put on the record who is with the deponent.”

Note

NOTE: The following sample admonitions language is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. We strongly encourage you to review your local, state and any emergency COVID-19 rules regarding the procedural requirements for conducting remote depositions.

COMPLETING THE REMOTE PROCEEDING CHECKLIST

(DAY OF PROCEEDING)

  • 1. Request Copies

    Prior to closing the proceeding, all parties should request copies of the transcript and video, if required, to ensure timely production and delivery.  Provide contact information to the reporter.

  • 2. ENSURE PRIVACY

    At the close of the proceeding, when the reporter goes off the record, all parties should wrap up as follows to ensure security and privacy:

    • Log off and close any applications associated with the proceeding.
    • Hang up the telephone connection.
    • Turn off or shutter their computer camera as an extra precaution.
  • 3. EXPECT DELIVERABLES

    After the conclusion of the proceeding, the transcript and exhibits will be produced in the standard Veritext manner.  Electronic versions will be made available on MyVeritext as well as delivered via an encrypted email hyperlink.

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