March 15, 2023
With the advancement of technology, video depositions have become increasingly common, especially in situations where a witness cannot appear in person. The COVID-19 pandemic has further popularized video depositions due to the limitations of in-person meetings. However, virtual depositions come with their own set of unique challenges, such as technical difficulties, internet connectivity issues, and maintaining the integrity of the legal process. Therefore, it is important to understand the potential difficulties of conducting a virtual deposition and the steps that can be taken to overcome them.
Here are some of the common virtual deposition pitfalls, along with their prevention tips:
One of the most common drawbacks of virtual deposition is technical difficulties such as poor internet connectivity, video or audio issues, or power outages. These issues can cause delays, disrupt the deposition flow, or even lead to the loss of critical testimony.
Prevention tip: To avoid technical difficulties, make sure to conduct a pre-deposition test of all equipment, including internet connectivity, video and audio quality, and power sources. It is also helpful to have backup equipment, such as a spare computer, camera, or microphone.
Virtual depositions can be disrupted by various distractions such as background noise, interruptions from other individuals, and visual distractions. These distractions can disrupt the flow of the deposition, cause delays, and impact the accuracy of the witness testimony.
Prevention tip: To avoid interruptions and distractions, it is best to conduct the virtual deposition in a quiet and private space with minimal distractions. It is also helpful to inform all parties involved in the deposition of the importance of minimizing distractions and ensuring they are prepared and ready to participate before you begin.
Virtual depositions can present privacy concerns, especially when sensitive or confidential information is being discussed. There is always a risk of unauthorized access to the deposition, leading to a breach of confidential information.
Prevention tip: It is important to use secure software that encrypts the transmission of the deposition to avoid privacy concerns. Also, ensure that parties involved in the deposition have been given the necessary login information so that only authorized parties can access the deposition. These safety and security tips will help you to secure your virtual deposition.
Virtual depositions can also make it difficult to pick up on nonverbal cues such as body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, which can be important in understanding the meaning of the witness testimony.
Prevention tip: To prevent any miscommunication, the video conferencing software used for the deposition should have high-quality video and audio capabilities. It is also essential to instruct the witness and other parties involved in the deposition to speak clearly and express themselves as clearly as possible.
Attorneys can ensure a successful virtual deposition by taking proactive measures to prevent technical difficulties, minimize interruptions and distractions with some deposition tips, ensure privacy, and address the lack of nonverbal cues.
At Jilio-Ryan Court Reporters, we understand the importance of conducting successful depositions, whether in-person or virtual. We follow a comprehensive process to prepare for virtual depositions, ensuring that our clients avoid such deposition disasters that can impact the deposition’s outcome. Contact us today to learn more about our process and how we can help you prepare for a virtual deposition.