A major force behind the skyrocketing popularity of the practice of taking videoconferenced (remote) depositions is the massive cost savings it offers (in time and money) to law firms and their clients.
Videoconferenced depositions also allow "the show to go on" when weather emergencies or natural disasters strike. Wildfires, hurricanes, blizzards, and earthquakes can cause airports to close for days and have led to major delays in getting a case to trial. Clearly, if parties to a case or their counsel are in the midst of such a disaster it'd be impossible to hold a deposition no matter what type of technology was available. Sometimes, though, the only reason the deposition is at risk of cancellation is because there is no way the out-of-town attorneys can travel to the deposition location (treacherous roads, airport closures, etc.). In that case, conducting a deposition remotely can offer a solution to the problem.
Some attorneys are hesitant to make the change, either because they don't trust the technology or because they feel they will be more effective by being in the room with the deponent. One attorney who routinely traveled to take depositions nationwide changed his mind about remote depositions after bad weather forced him to stay home.
One corporate patent counsel at a major pharmaceutical company traveled to key witness depositions in Europe until a snowstorm forced him to stay home. Watching a deposition remotely turned him into a staunch supporter of the technology because it saves him the cost and hassle of traveling while still allowing him to communicate with deposition counsel: “Going to Europe used to be fun, but at this point in my life I would rather save the two full travel days and $5000 in airfare.” Remote deposition streaming saves on travel, but what’s even more important is that it enables corporate counsel to be “at” the deposition without ever leaving their office.
As the attorney said, travel expenses for out-of-town or out-of-state depositions are a big factor considered by attorneys and their clients when compared to a remote videoconferenced deposition.
The time and cost of travel to take depositions adds up quickly. Travel costs for out-of-state depositions are generally much higher than the actual deposition itself. Airfare, car rental, lodging and meals can be two or three times as much as the court reporter costs.
There are some other benefits to taking a deposition remotely. By using videoconferencing software such as Zoom, which Legal Media Experts offers, all of the participants can view exhibits, drawings, videos, spreadsheets, et cetera, simultaneously on the screen. In a remote deposition, you'll never have to continually tell the witness or opposing counsel what page you're on, and you won't need to make a copy of the exhibit for each participant. That saves a lot of trees - in addition to the baggage fees you'll save if you're lugging voluminous exhibits across the country.
Also, your privacy and security are ensured. Even though videoconferenced depositions are streamed over the web, today's video conferencing offers the utmost privacy due to secure internet connections, file encryption, and private chat options, ensuring that only approved parties can participate in and view the deposition.
Putting the fear of change aside, conducting a remote deposition is easy. Your court reporting firm will provide a conference suite equipped with Zoom (or a similar provider) and trained staff that will operate the software and equipment for you. There's no need for you to invest in the equipment.
Platforms such as Zoom also have the ability to create a video recording of the deposition as it's occurring, but some court reporting firms offer that only upon request, so be sure to let the scheduler know you'd like that option when you are scheduling the deposition. Digital copies of the video will be provided (at an additional cost) to all counsel who request one, and those digital copies can be viewed on numerous devices, including computers, laptops, tablets, and cell phones. This way, any involved party can clarify a statement the witness made by pulling up the video on whatever device is most convenient.
Winston-Salem Court Reporting offers videoconferenced depositions in its conference rooms. To schedule yours, use our online scheduling form or call 336-923-7429.