When witnesses are located at a distance and cannot be present at pretrial proceedings, a remote video conference deposition is sometimes the only viable solution. Just like anything else, however, these scenarios have advantages and disadvantages that can effect the quality of the interaction. By taking these issues into account ahead of time, better use of a remote video conference deposition can be made.
Advantages of Remote Depositions
In general, various forms of video conferences and teleconferencing have facilitated long distance communications with both regular and expert witnesses, court reporters, attorneys, and other relevant parties. Some of the advantages of this process include:
By avoiding the costs incurred from your own travel or that of a witness, you save on hotel accommodations, flight costs, and taxi fare. These things add up.
All of the time spent engaged in the above mentioned travel is also saved. This is of particular note when you’re the one doing the traveling, since a simple deposition that might only require a few hours can involve two to three days worth of traveling.
Generally speaking, you should be able to access your video conference deposition right on your desk or in a nearby conference room.
It’s fairly standard for teleconferencing entities to offer an electronic file of your video conference deposition, which is then available for you to go over as needed. Depending on the video deposition services available, sometimes a feed from a court reporter in “realtime” is provided.
Challenges of Remote Depositions
While it’s hard to beat the convenience of remote depositions, there are a few snafus that can impede their effectiveness. These include:
The most basic remote deposition only requires a functioning telephone line with speakerphone and the option of teleconferencing. Additionally, you’ll need a court reporter than can hear everyone clearly, which presents it’s own set of potential problems. Naturally, videoconferencing is the only option if you need to see each other which, in many legal cases, is considered essential.
Any number of things can go wrong here, from bad audio to shaky video or a connection that cuts out completely in the middle of an important exchange. The best way to avoid this is to make sure all parties arrive in plenty of time to suss out any malfunctions. Also, by using a reputed facility, you run a greater chance of avoiding malfunctions.
A court reporter is essential for any remote deposition, video or otherwise. It is probably well worth the extra funds to have a transcript feed sent in realtime. But in addition, a legal videographer to film the deposition video is also of paramount importance. These people will usually be on the other end of the conference, but don’t let that get in the way of your enthusiasm for using this valuable technology.
Looking at the above breakdown, it’s easy to see that the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to remote depositions and/or a video conferencing deposition. If you’re working for a firm, that should help shoulder the burden of coordinating between all relevant parties.