Remote proceedings have become increasingly prevalent in the legal industry, requiring legal professionals to adapt and learn effective strategies for successful remote depositions. With the rise of video conferencing and virtual deposition platforms like Prevail, it's crucial to ensure that your clients are well-prepared for remote depositions. Prior to the deposition, take the time to walk your client through the process and address any concerns or questions they may have. Here are some do's and don'ts to consider:
Walk Your Client Through the Process
Do: Take the time to test the virtual deposition platform with your client one-on-one to address any technical difficulties and concerns.
Don't: Instruct your client to click a link without providing guidance, as it increases the chances of minor issues becoming bigger issues during the deposition.
Guiding your client through the remote deposition process is crucial to avoid potential pitfalls. In addition to explaining the basics of how a deposition works, invest the time to familiarize them with your chosen deposition platform beforehand. Conduct a test session to ensure they understand the platform's features, such as how to mute/unmute, adjust video settings, and navigate through the interface.
Addressing any technical difficulties and answering your client's questions will increase their confidence and contribute to a smoother deposition experience. This "trial run" can also surface technical issues such as internet connection problems or audio and video difficulties.
Be a Good Example to Your Witness
Do: Remind your witness to dress appropriately and exhibit respectful behavior throughout the remote deposition.
Don't: Ignore inappropriate behavior from your witness; request a break and privately address any negative behaviors promptly.
Maintaining professionalism is essential during a deposition, regardless of whether it is conducted in person or remotely. Advise your witness to dress appropriately and treat the remote deposition with the same seriousness as an in-person proceeding. If you notice any inappropriate behavior, such as smoking or engaging in distracting activities, take a break and have a private conversation with your witness.
Emphasize the importance of maintaining decorum and reinforce the gravity of the legal proceedings. Addressing any negative behaviors promptly can help maintain the integrity of the deposition and safeguard your client's case.
Ensure Your Presence and Attention
Do: Be present and engaged during the remote deposition to provide support and maintain focus.
Don't: Allow your client to feel alone or exposed by failing to appear on camera and actively participate.
Ensuring your client feels supported during a remote deposition is crucial, even though you are not physically present. Be present on camera and actively engage throughout the proceedings. Maintain eye contact, listen attentively, and respond promptly to questions or concerns.
By demonstrating your active presence and attentiveness, you help your client feel reassured and ensure a smoother flow of communication. Failing to appear on camera or being distracted can leave your client feeling vulnerable and may hinder their ability to provide accurate testimony.
Create an Appropriate Environment
Do: Guide your client to choose a quiet and distraction-free space for the deposition.
Don't: Overlook the importance of advising your client to remove any objects or backgrounds they wouldn't want others to see.
The environment in which the remote deposition takes place can significantly impact its effectiveness. Advise your client to select a quiet space to minimize potential interruptions or background noise. Additionally, remind them to remove any objects or backgrounds that could be distracting or inappropriate.
By creating a professional and distraction-free environment, you help maintain the focus on the deposition and ensure that all participants can concentrate on the proceedings without unnecessary disruptions.
By following these tips, you'll effectively prep your client for a successful remote deposition. Thorough preparation, clear guidance, and professionalism are essential elements of a smooth and productive remote deposition experience. As remote deposition technology continues to evolve, staying up-to-date with the latest practices and leveraging specialized legal platforms like Prevail can further enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of remote depositions.