June 14, 2022

Remote Depositions Lead to New Court Rulings on Discovery Procedures

By: Jilio-Ryan | Posted in: Deposition

new court rulings

New court rulings in several cases are being used to ensure accurate and reliable remote depositions are available during court proceedings. These court rulings have allowed for protocols to be put into place to protect the integrity of remote depositions. Creativity on behalf of the attorneys and well-thought-out planning has produced some creative solutions.

Clear Facial Visibility

Mask mandates associated with the COVID-19 pandemic had a unique effect on remote depositions. Even though the mandates required that masks be worn, the courts ruled that the deponent’s face must be visible at all times during the deposition.

Defense Counsel Must Be Allowed in the Same Room as the Deposition Witness

While there have been requests that a defendant’s counsel should be omitted from the room when the deponent is being interviewed, this has been turned down, claiming there is no reason for defense counsel to be excluded.

Fact Witnesses Must Be Allowed in the Same Room as the Deposition Witness

It is believed that a fact witness, such as a spouse, may be able to give hints to the person being deposed. Although counsel has offered valid reasons for keeping fact witnesses out of the deposition room, the courts have ruled that they must be allowed in the same room as the deponent.

Depositions Take Place Where the Witness Is Located

In order to make sure that the person being deposed will be able to answer a subpoena, depositions are scheduled to take place in an area that is close to where they live or work. In most cases, depositions are held within 100 miles of a deponent’s home address.

Deposition Witnesses Cannot Refuse to Attend a Remote Deposition in New Court Ruling Due to COVID-19 Concerns

While COVID-19 has become an obstacle for many to perform their due diligence, the courts have overruled requests to be exempt from taking part in depositions due to fear of their safety due to the virus. Judges have stated that with all the available precautions and vaccinations, there is no reason for someone not to appear if they have not tested for COVID-19.

Either Party Can Refuse a Remote Deposition

Even though there are statutes that demand parties use remote depositions, it is encouraged that they do so. With that being said, neither party can be forced into it.

Document-Intensive Depositions Can Still Be Held Remotely

Courts have ruled that it doesn’t matter how many documents are involved in a case. If a remote deposition is to be held, the noticing party will be responsible for paying the shipping costs of all documents to the deposition location.

Remote Deposition Costs Are Not Taxable

While court reporter and deposition transcription fees have been open to taxes, the court has ruled that remote deposition fees will not be taxed against an employee that is being deposed.

How Jilio-Ryan Court Reporters Can Help with Remote Depositions in New Court Rulings

Even though remote depositions gained popularity during COVID, remote depositions are valuable tools that can be used in various situations to further the legal process. To learn more about remote depositions, contact us at Jilio-Ryan Court Reporters. We will be able to provide you with the information you need to perform quality and viable remote depositions.

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