As we approach July, most of us are comfortable with the basics of taking a remote deposition. In this month’s Network News we will be discussing the handling of exhibits.
The introduction of exhibits in a remote deposition requires planning ahead. If the reporter is physically present with the deponent the introduction of exhibits is straight forward. A link to the exhibits can be sent to the reporter beforehand. The reporter can print the documents from the link and physically hand them to the witness to be marked at the deposition. The link can also be sent to all parties before or during the deposition or the physical exhibits can be held up to the camera.
When all parties are appearing remotely from different locations the introduction of exhibits can become slightly more complicated. Fortunately, as outlined below, with a little planning the deposition can move forward as smoothly as if all parties were in the same room.
If you send the documents beforehand, your court reporting agency can designate a Host to handle and introduce the documents electronically during the deposition, leaving you free to concentrate on the questioning. If you prefer to deal with the documents yourself, below are the technical instructions for two of the most commonly used platforms, Zoom and Adobe Connect:
Prior to the deposition, exhibits can be pre-loaded into the designated document pod. Generally, the pre-loaded exhibits will not be shared before the deposition. During the deposition exhibits can be shared/viewed by dropping the exhibit into the View Exhibit Pod. Once you’re finished with the exhibit, you can simply click on the “Stop Sharing” button at the top of the window, and then drag and drop your next exhibit into the window.
If you wish to go back to a previous exhibit, click on the arrow next to the share button, and select Share Document. This will bring up a list of all previously shared documents in the meeting. Simply click on the one you wish to bring up, and then click OK.
All files and exhibits that are uploaded are saved on Adobe’s cloud service and can be retrieved at any time by the designated Host and sent to the court reporter for marking after the deposition has ended.
Zoom files can be uploaded and/or shared only after the meeting has started. To upload the exhibits, open the chat window by clicking on the chat icon at the bottom of the screen, or pressing Alt+H. With the chat window open you can drag and drop your exhibit into the chat. This will upload the file and allow all participants to download and view a copy. Once everyone has downloaded the file, you can proceed.
You can also use screen share to display exhibits for all participants. To do so, open the document on your computer, then in Zoom click on the green Share button. This will open a new dialog box asking you which program or screen you wish to share. Simply look for the file you opened, click on it in the box, and you will begin to share the document with all participants. Files should be shared via the chat feature prior to using screen share.
All files should be downloaded from the chat prior to leaving the deposition. The Host will keep the meeting open for 15 minutes after the end of the deposition, during which files can be downloaded and saved. Once the Host ends the meeting, the files will not be available for anyone to download from Zoom.
Once you have chosen a platform that meets your needs, Network Deposition Services is happy to take you through a training or practice session. With our assistance we are certain you will be able to go into your deposition with the confidence needed to concentrate on the substantive and legal issues of the case.