Recording Remote Depositions: What to Know as a Court Reporter

person's hand typing on a keyboard

Recording Remote Depositions: What to Know as a Court Reporter

person's hand typing on a keyboard

In April 2020, the world stood still, but the work of the courts had to continue. Enter in the remote deposition.

As depositions moved remote, many believed that recording is an equal substitute for videography. Yet, there is a difference between hitting the record button and having a videographer present.

If you are a court reporter, you may be wondering if the court will admit a deposition you recorded. The answer is, it depends.

Keep reading to learn more about the admissibility of recording remote depositions.

Court Reporter Transcripts Versus Video Recordings

A recorded deposition is not an equal or a replacement of a certified court reporter’s transcript.

Recently, in Alcorn v. City of Chicago (2020), Judge Harjani ruled that Plaintiff could not use recorded testimony in her case. Plaintiff thought that the symmetries of the certified transcript proved the veracity of the recording.

Yet, pairing a certified transcript with a zoom recording does not certify the recording.

Several factors affect admissibility. One issue is that no one annotates the video and states start and end times for the record.

But, the most critical issue that Judge Harjani underlined was that there was no videographer present.

Why Does a Video Recording Need to Be Certified?

Court reporters ensure the integrity of the transcribed testimony. Competing counsels would each present their versions of the deposition without a certified court reporter. As a result, it would be impossible for the judge or jury to find the truth.

Likewise, a videographer certifies the accuracy of a video recording. Without certification, Judge Harjani argues, each side could present their own contradictory recordings.

How Is a Recording Certified?

Videographers do much work to ensure that the recordings they take are admissible in court. There are over sixty standards that a videographer must meet for a recording to be permitted.

The videographer has to label each recording with the date, the run time, the existence of protected material, and much more. They also have to maintain a chronological log of recorded depositions and document the chain of custody.

These steps are there to ensure the deposition was recorded with fairness and transparency.

It’s easy to see why the court reporter in Acorn v. Chicago would not certify the recording without a videographer present.

Remote Depositions Are Here to Stay

Virtual depositions emerged out of necessity during the pandemic, but it appears they are here to stay. Zoom depositions have proved helpful when it is impossible to have all parties meet in the same country, let alone in the same room.

As a court reporter, you must remember that courts will not accept all recorded remote depositions.

The only way to ensure that your recording is admissible is to have a certified videographer present. Hiring professionals ensure that your recorded deposition goes effortlessly, even when it’s time for the dreaded breakout room.

We at Depo International offer expert legal videography services. Contact us to schedule your recorded remote deposition.

Important Mobile Apps for Legal Professionals in 2021

businessman using smartphone with apps coming out of phone

Important Mobile Apps for Legal Professionals in 2021

businessman using smartphone with apps coming out of phone

Being a lawyer means doing whatever it takes to provide your clients with the best service possible. Great lawyers know that this often means embracing technological change. Effective legal professionals use the latest mobile apps to speed up their office efficiency, organize mountains of documents, and help remind them of their daily tasks.

Most of these apps were not designed with the legal profession in mind, but they are especially useful to lawyers nonetheless. They help lawyers stay organized and efficient, often for only a few dollars.

Here are four mobile apps that will help your practice daily.

Goodreader

Most lawyers have to deal with hundreds of documents, often in the form of PDFs. Goodreader makes the process of reading, saving, and organizing PDFs incredibly simple.

It syncs with cloud services like Dropbox and OneDrive. For security, it also features optional military-grade encryption.
With Goodreader, you’ll never again be searching through piles of paper. And if you switch to a PDF organization system rather than printing out all relevant documents, you will save paper and run a more environmentally friendly office.

Reminders

Apple’s default Reminders app on the iPhone is one of the most unexpectedly powerful mobile apps. Much of a lawyer’s job involves juggling a complicated to-do list and it is easy to miss items or forget something.
Using Reminders to its full capacity can help you keep organized and on top of your cases. Reminders can remind you to do things at certain times and even when you arrive at a certain location.

Fastcase

Fastcase is one of the specific apps for lawyers on this list. It is a legal research application that puts thousands of cases in the palm of your hand. 
Fastcase uses innovative search technology to allow you to immediately grab and save the most relevant case results, down to the paragraph. And best of all, Fastcase is completely free.

It is not a replacement for more robust case research software, but if you need to quickly look something up on the go, Fastcase is the perfect solution.

Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation is the most powerful dictation software on the market. Turning dictation into word documents has many uses for lawyers. Speaking to clients, preparing arguments, and more can all be done with the voice.
Phone microphones and dictation AI has become very advanced. Often only minor edits are needed to correctly format and spell-check your dictated words.
Dragon is much pricier than many of the apps on this list, but many lawyers have found it to be a valuable investment.

Legal Professionals and Technology

Being an effective lawyer means staying on top of the latest technology. Mobile apps are just the start of your law technology needs.
At Depo International, we provide comprehensive court reporting, legal support, and legal videography. We deliver transcripts incredibly quickly and are the first choice of thousands of lawyers.

Find more information on our About Page or contact us to discuss how we can get depositions to you. We’ll help you get the information you need to win your case.