June 4, 2020

Podcast - The Remote Witness: Preparing for Deposition

Remote Witness Preparation Series

In the third episode of his "Remote Witness Preparation" podcast series, The Remote Witness: Preparing for Deposition, litigation attorney Dan Small shares some specific rules on how to handle a deposition in a remote environment. Mr. Small reminds that the parties should not ease up on the normal rules just because they are handling it remotely, and warns that counsel must consider the following advantages and disadvantages.

Cost - By shifting to a remote deposition you are able to completely cut the cost of travel.

Documents - In a document heavy deposition, doing a remote deposition takes much more coordination in order to be prepared. You can get away with thumbing through a new document you weren't anticipating in a live deposition, but not in a remote situation.

Quality - In a live deposition, a questioner is able to pick up on nonverbal cues. The intensity of the live deposition can lead to better testimony on both sides and is missed when conducting a deposition online.

Confrontation - There is no doubt that face-to-face questioning is more effective when cross examining a witness. However, if you are the one representing the witness there are many advantages to not having the added intimidation of a face-to-face confrontation.

Credibility - There are times when a witness has to tell a difficult story and the ability to look others in the eye while relaying a message adds value to their testimony.

- In a remote environment it is easier for people to communicate with others or use cheat sheets during an examination. It is important to plan ahead and help avoid any unapproved communication during a deposition.

Language - People talking over one another, sound delays and clarity issues are all major disadvantages you must prepare for in a remote deposition.

Many cases are won or lost at the deposition stage, so it's important to pay attention to the uncertain landscape of remote depositions. By acknowledging the positives and negatives of this online environment, you are giving your witness the best shot at approaching a remote deposition successfully.

Listen to more witness preparation podcasts here.

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