Since late March 2020, we have experienced tons of remote deposition jobs at Fortz Legal! In addition they have required our court reporting services. Zoom and other video conferencing platforms are not new to the deposition world, but the procedures are different. Typically, the court reporter would be with the witness and the scheduling attorney would provide the reporter with the exhibits to present to the witness.
When conducting a deposition in person. The attorney questioning the witness will print out any prospective exhibits, place them in a binder or banker’s box, bring them to the deposition, and draw out the necessary exhibits as needed. The exhibits are then marked by the court reporter after the completion of the deposition.
However, in our remote depositions environment today, things have to operate much differently.
With the necessity of social distancing, it is now normal to see that all deposition participants are in separate locations, appearing remotely. This means that it is now logistically impossible for the reporter to pass a physical document to a witness or take responsibility for a banker’s box of documents in the way that they did before.
So, how do we mimic that same workflow and retain confidentiality?
Sending the potential exhibits to opposing counsel and the witness will work but it is often less than ideal that they have access to the documents before the deposition even begins. Studies show the strategic advantages greatly diminished, especially when everyone has access to all documents before the deposition begins. There is a solution that has proven successful for nearly a year of conducting remote depositions. A Fortz Legal Custom Index.
So, how does it work?
- Clients send exhibit files to Fortz Legal.
- We then take the files and create a custom exhibit index containing shareable URL links. Our index consists of several fields as follows:
- A description made directly from the name given to the file by the attorney.
- A hyperlink to the potential exhibit.
- A Doc. ID column so that the taking attorney, (and whoever is presenting the documents) can reference the same document.
- Finally, the Dep. Exhibit number column, for the attorney and reporter to keep track of the exhibit number.
Our solution is the same level of confidentiality as in-person depositions. It is achievable in a remote deposition setting.
To learn more about our custom exhibit index, click here to watch our one-minute video!