Legal Videoconferencing Best Practices

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By Adam Weaver, Alaris Managing Director

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, many of Alaris’s clients are turning to videoconferencing to support their deposition and mediation schedules, and Alaris is prepared to help. With over 20 years of experience conducting videoconferences, we’ve collected many valuable tips so that you, too, can conduct a successful videoconference from the comfort of your place of choice.

Internet Connection
We recommend a connection speed of 3mbs of upload and download speed. This will ensure a stable HD video and audio connection along with the ability to share documents throughout the course of the deposition/meeting. You can test your connection for free at www.speedtest.net.

Background
Reduce as many distractions and as much clutter behind you as possible, as you want people focusing on you and not the Thin Lizzy poster you have hanging up in your office. The lighting in the room should be pointing toward you and not streaming in from behind you. This will reduce the amount of glare on the screen.

Legal Factors
The question of how a witness can be sworn in remotely is front and center right now, so we’re happy to report that many states have either temporarily or permanently waived the requirement that the court reporter be in physical attendance with the witness. If you’re unsure if your state has waived this requirement, check with your court reporter or see if all parties will stipulate on the record that they’re not objecting to the remote swearing in of the witness. Depositions should also be noticed as taking place by videoconference.

Distractions and Interruptions
Working from home is now the new normal, but that also means it’s the new normal for your spouse, your kids, your family pets or anyone else in your house, so you’ll want to minimize as many of the distractions and interruptions as possible. We suggest you close all non-essential programs on your computer, mute your phone and find a quiet spot within your working environment.

Exhibits
There are several options available for exhibits, but you’ll need to decide ahead of time which route to pursue.

  1. Digital platforms such as Agile Law or eDepoze allow you to digitally show, mark and share digital exhibits.
  2. Pre-mark the exhibits and share them via a secure file transfer program, like ShareFile, or via email with all the parties.
  3. Use the screensharing function in the videoconference to show documents to all parties from your desktop.

Practice
It’s our suggestion that you test all your connections, your video camera, microphone and how you’re going to use exhibits prior to the deposition. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.