How to Receive Expert Guidance at Remote Depositions
When taking depositions in-person, counsel can receive guidance from co-counsel or subject matter experts by passing private notes. Counsel also can go off-record to discuss matters privately in a separate room. How does this work when depositions are being taken remotely?
Those familiar with today’s mobile videoconferencing platforms may think to use the “chat” to converse with their legal team. But if the platform allows for chatting privately with individual attendees, there’s a chance of “sending the right message to the wrong person.” If the court reporting firm is like Barkley and prevents chatting with the witness, the chat is likely to be public. All the attendees in the virtual deposition can see any and all comments.
Options for Receiving Expert Guidance During Remote Depositions
Most commonly, deposing counsel goes off record by muting their audio and turning off their webcam. They then have a private call, often from a different room. Of course they must remember to unmute their audio and ensure that the court reporter is ready to resume the record before continuing with their questioning.
Counsel may also choose text messaging for quick guidance in realtime without going off the record. To help with knowing when a text is necessary, deposing counsel has their subject matter expert on-camera to see their reaction to the testimony. When texting, it is recommended that counsel turn off the sound on their device so the other attendees cannot hear when messages are exchanged.
Perhaps the best option is to use the breakout rooms available in many remote deposition platforms. Breakout rooms enable individuals to meet in a separate, virtual room within the proceeding to discuss matters privately. They are mostly used for remote mediation and arbitration but also can be useful for depositions. Barkley can add breakout rooms to remote depositions on request. When ordering Barkley’s Remote Exhibit Manager Services, breakout rooms are included and managed by your expert remote exhibit technician.
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