Audio Tips for Your Remote Deposition

empty courtroom

Audio Tips for Your Remote Deposition

empty courtroom

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, courts had to move many of their proceedings to remote proceedings instead of in person. That means lawyers and judges alike had to learn new ways of handling their cases. 

One of the things that became evident from this was the essential need for court reporters

However, like judges and lawyers, court reporters needed to learn to work remotely as well. They transitioned to video and audio depositions, but oftentimes sound problems would arise and render testimonials useless. 

Keep reading if you want some awesome audio tips for your next remote deposition. 

The Room

The first thing you need to do is choose the right room to conduct your remote deposition. You should choose a room with thick walls, sturdy doors, and thick windows. 

You should also choose a room where there is little to no traffic. Both foot traffic inside and auto traffic outside should be kept to a minimum if possible. 

The Equipment

If you know anything about electronics such as TVs or speakers, you know how the picture and sound quality can affect your experience with said device.

The same goes for depositions and remote court reporter jobs. You’ll want to get the best quality audio equipment you possibly can. Hi-quality mic’s, headphones, or earpieces are something you don’t want to take lightly.

Otherwise, you may end up with unusable footage or recordings and have to do everything all over again. 

No Wi-Fi

You may be thinking, “No Wi-Fi, but I need to be connected.” Yes, of course, you do. Connect to an ethernet cable for the best sound quality. If you can’t find a place with ethernet, then don’t do the remote deposition there.

Test Your Equipment

You should always run a test of your audio equipment before any remote deposition. Set up 10-15 minutes early and make sure things are in working order. 

A quick sound test will ensure your meeting goes smoothly right from the start and no issues pop up during the meeting.  Check out this video conferencing equipment

Avoid Interruptions

Any interruptions during court reporter jobs are not only a nuisance, but they can also derail the whole deposition. Put a do not disturb sign on the door if you have to.

Also, turn off any push notifications on any computers in the room. And god forbid, turn your phone on silent. You don’t want to come off as an amateur. 

Court Reporter Keyboard

Real-time court reporting can often require you to type while the deposition is happening. You should invest in the quietest keyboard you can find.

Then, you’ll avoid any extra distractions and annoying typing noises while people are talking. 

Remote Court Reporting Done Right

You can take your court reporting to another level with these audio tips. You won’t have to worry about dropping sound, getting interrupted, or losing whole depositions anymore. Put these tips into practice, and you’re all set. 

Contact us to find out more.

 

3 Ultra-Useful Tips for Scheduling a Remote Deposition

gavel with a white background

3 Ultra-Useful Tips for Scheduling a Remote Deposition

gavel with a white background

The legal process is changing. Since 2020, almost every state has passed rulings allowing for the remote collection of witness testimony. 

When your trial can cost thousands of dollars in legal fees, you want to make sure you have the best means of collecting your evidence. But if you aren’t used to remote depositions, you could be making a lot of mistakes. Here are some simple and easy tips for scheduling your remote deposition.

What Is a Deposition Hearing?

At the very most basic, a deposition hearing is a sworn, out-of-court testimony given by a witness in a civil lawsuit. Functionally, it is a question and answer session between lawyer and witness, and serves to both gain information, as well as create an accountable legal record of witness testimony.

Why Remote?

The pandemic has changed a lot of how interactions between people occur. As we transition globally into more and more remote use services, we see shifts in procedure within all sorts of fields, including the legal system.
Remote depositions are one of those shifts. But these forms of interview present unique challenges for the legal teams involved in the process. 

Check the Technology

Technical issues are a pain in the butt. Nothing can flatline your Deposition hearing like a bad signal, or a lack of necessary equipment. 

There’s a couple of important things to check for in that regard. Firstly, are you all going to be in a Zoom call, or are some of you going to be socially distanced in a single location? Does the Deponent have access to a functioning computer or tablet with which they can connect to your call or video chat?

Another technological concern of remote deposition is transcription. You’ll want to inform the court reporter and their team ahead of time to ensure that you have your transcript in as short a time as possible. You should also talk to them about whether or not you will require a real-time feed ahead of time.

You can also hire a remote deposition service to help you handle these concerns and more.

Request Your Documents

Documentation is an important part of the legal process. In the face of the current climate, getting ahold of those documents can often take more time than you might expect.

Make sure to request any documentation you require well ahead of time.  Remember that even digital copy can often be a little delayed to safety procedures in the current climate.

This also applies to exhibits! Keep a tech support agent on hand, and coordinate with them ahead of time to ensure a timely and proper display of exhibits at request.

Prepare Yourself for Your Remote Deposition

You are the greatest and most important tool in your arsenal. There’s a number of ways you can prepare yourself ahead of time for your remote deposition to get the edge on your opposition.

You know what happens at a deposition hearing normally, but how does a remote deposition differ? Check the local and state laws well ahead of time to ensure you know what changes you may need to make to your setup.

Familiarize yourself with your platform – how is it used, what can it do, what are its limitations? You can also try performing a mock deposition through the platform with a colleague. Remember to adjust your questions and communications styles for a virtual environment!

All Your Remote Needs in One Place

If you want to make preparing for your remote deposition a breeze, contact our team of trained professionals. Depo International is a service built for litigation and provides comprehensive services for your legal needs. 

Check out our blog for more helpful tips!

Tips to Ensure You are Ready for Remote Depositions

women on a video conference

Tips to Ensure You are Ready for Remote Depositions

women on a video conference

COVID-19 has completely altered the way depositions function. In some ways, that has been good; remote depositions make it easier (in theory) to get everyone needed together, thanks to videoconferencing. Other aspects of the “new normal,” however, have made witness preparation more challenging.

To help ensure that your witness(es) is ready for depositions or that your depositions go off without a hitch, follow this advice.

Preparation

Test the Technology: Try out all the equipment before things start. Test each component, including feeds located externally to your office (like a witness’ house.) While technical glitches will happen, you want to make sure that your equipment is as reliable as possible.

Test the Witness: Go through a remote dry run with the witness, especially if they are located off-site. This should be done in addition to any other witness prep you need to do and completed a few days before the actual deposition.

Learn the Equipment: You should also familiarize yourself with the deposition equipment. This is so you can easily navigate the equipment during the deposition.

Know the Rules: Go over your state’s remote deposition rules. These can vary from state to state, so knowing your state’s rules is critical to making sure your deposition is lawful.

During

One challenge is getting witnesses comfortable to speaking into a microphone and looking into a camera, with no feedback from other participants.

Be Present: If the deposition is being done in your conference room, sit across from the witness so that you can reassure them as well as assess their reactions to different inquiries. If the witness is doing the deposition from home, go to their physical location and sit next to them.

Contingencies: Before starting, go over with the other party all that is supposed to happen in the deposition. Include the procedure if interference with the electronics or the deposition occurs or if any parties are cut off.

Technical Instructions: Follow any court instructions to the letter regarding labels, statements, etc. Do a spot check with all parties connected shortly before the deposition; this will help avoid any issues once the deposition is supposed to start.

Deposition Recordings: Make sure that the deposition is recorded and that you get a copy of the recording from all parties that record it. Make getting a recording from the opposing counsel part of the deposition agreement if possible.

Close Everything: Everyone on your side should only have the apps or software used to conduct the deposition open on any computers attached to the videoconferencing equipment.

When Questioning

Look directly into the camera when addressing the other side. If talking to a camera and microphone are disconcerting, have someone sit opposite you as if you are talking to them.

Other Tips

Here are some random tips that will help your deposition succeed.

  • Mute your microphone when you are not speaking. Place your microphone as close to the speaker as possible. 
  • Avoid shuffling papers or whispering.
  • Do not interrupt the other side and stop talking when you are interrupted. Once order is restored, reiterate your point for the record.
  • Go over spellings with the court reporter before everyone hangs up.
  • Remote depositions make things trickier, but not impossible. 

These general guidelines will help you conduct your deposition in the most effective manner possible.

 

Remote Depositions Tips: Pointers From the Field

women working on laptop

Remote Depositions Tips: Pointers From the Field

women working on laptop

Teachers, doctors, engineers, and scientists have learned the art of remote working this year. Even lawyers and court reporters have mastered virtual legal proceedings.
And while we all hope for more social interaction this year, there are some remote practices that have proved useful, like remote depositions. Witnesses, court reporters, and legal counsel can use remote deposition tools to collect meaningful information without compromising on health and safety.

Looking for a few tips on conducting remote court depositions? Keep reading!

Test the Tech

When it comes to remote depositions, the internet is your best friend or your worst enemy. Always test your internet, microphone capabilities, sound quality, and video clarity for an online deposition before the scheduled date.
Work with all parties involved to confirm stable internet connection, audio, and video. If you’re worried about the technology, consider hiring a professional deposition service with experience in remote depositions. 

Speak Slowly and Clearly

You’ve heard this since your first oral book report in elementary school – speak slow and clear. It’s never been as important as when conducting a remote deposition. 
The better the enunciation from the speaker, the easier it is for the court reporter to type every single word. Speaking loudly and clearly can make a difference in the overall accuracy of the deposition too. Remind witnesses and any other speaking party to take extra care with each word and phrase.

Dress the Part

Yes, we’d all rather be wearing sweatpants, but a remote deposition is a serious matter. So, dress like it! Professional clothing, with solid colors, is best for remote depositions. 
Check your background to be sure your outfit doesn’t blend in with the colors behind you. Instruct witnesses to dress as they would for a standard court proceeding. This creates a professional aesthetic and cues participants to act professionally. 

Plan the Exhibits 

When conducting a remote deposition, you can choose to share exhibits with witnesses electronically or using paper copies. Decide ahead of time which method you want to use. Remember that paper copies are trickier because the deponent’s counsel can view these documents too.
For electronic sharing, make sure your remote deposition service allows you to share your screen or a document in real-time. Talk to the witness and make sure he or she understands how they will be viewing the exhibits.

Remove Potential Distractions

Do your best to remove in-person and online distractions. All participants should find a quiet, well-lit space without distraction for the remote deposition. Talk to witnesses about these expectations before the deposition so that they can plan.
It’s also important to remove distractions on your computer. Close all browser windows, instant massaging, and email so that you can remain focused throughout the deposition. Instruct witnesses to do the same thing. 

Want Well-Executed Remote Depositions Every Time?

The tips above will help you conduct seamless remote depositions. Preparation, communication, and professionalism are the most important parts of getting a quality remote deposition.

If you’re ready to schedule remote deposition services, just fill out this form. Or contact us for more information.