The COVID-19 pandemic has upended civil trial calendars and forced courts, lawyers and parties to make difficult decisions about how best to administer and / or adjudicate ongoing civil lawsuits. In an article published on the D.C. Bar Association’s website on September 9, 2020, Daniel Kapner and Kelley Halliburton discuss the new practice of remote depositions and mediations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With respect to depositions, it is no longer a simple matter for a trial lawyer to sit directly across from a witness in a crowded conference room and utilize eye contact, body language and posture, vocal dynamics, and the energy of the room to maximize a tough line of questioning. However, lawyers and clients have discovered that intelligently designed remote deposition platforms can allow parties to develop fact and expert testimony effectively without necessarily sacrificing quality,” the authors explain.
In order to be successful during this unique time, firms are turning to several well-known litigation support vendors that provide remote video-conferencing deposition services, including enhanced security; screen sharing, breakout rooms, and recording and chat functions; real-time transcript streaming and videography services; and more.
“Since shelter-in-place orders were entered, our firm has conducted many remote depositions and mediations involving parties located throughout the United States and abroad with surprisingly positive results,” the authors continue. With substantial savings of travel costs, time and copying costs combined with the convenience, intelligent technical features and stable performance of a remote platform, clients may insist that depositions and mediations continue after the pandemic is over.
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