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Tips to Schedule Your Next Deposition

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Depositions are a key part of litigation. When conducted without proper planning, they can become needlessly burdensome. Below, we offer a few tips on how to ensure that your deposition runs smoothly. Reach out to our professional and comprehensive Phoenix court reporters for deposition services throughout the state of Arizona.

Check and Recheck Schedules

Before you set a date with the witness, make sure you, your co-counsel, and your opposing counsel are all free on the date in question. It is easy to make a mistake and double-book, especially when multiple lawyers are involved. Before you tell the witness when and where to be, check and recheck everyone’s availability.

Pick the Right Venue

If you are conducting a deposition in person, it is important to pick an appropriate venue. Take note of how many people will be in the room (you, co-counsel, opposing counsel, the witness, the court reporter, the witness’s counsel, etc.) and make sure the room is big enough to accommodate all of those people. You need to account for seating, table space (keeping in mind all interested parties will want copies of the exhibits in front of them), accessibility to breakout rooms for private conversations, and any other convenience factors. Consider accessibility to major roadways or public transportation–your witness may not have a car, for example. Also consider the technical capabilities of the room. If you need a projector to display an exhibit, teleconferencing capabilities to conference in counsel not in the room, or a computer available to project video or audio exhibits, your venue must be able to accommodate these factors.

Tips for Remote Depositions

Attending a deposition in person is not always feasible. During the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person depositions have become even more challenging. Due to stay-at-home orders and general concerns about infection spreading, remote depositions may be the optimal choice. If you are going to conduct a deposition remotely, it is vital to plan and prepare accordingly.

Videoconferencing technology is now available in most locations where an internet connection is available. Talk to your court reporting service about their video conference capabilities. They may be able to set up you or the witness with video conference equipment, or at least be able to facilitate the process with secure software. Plan with opposing counsel and the witness exactly how the video deposition will be conducted. Make sure all parties are ready with appropriate physical equipment such as laptops, tablets, or phones, as well as the requisite video conference software. Discuss how exhibits will be exchanged, including whether they will be exchanged in advance and/or displayed on-screen during the deposition. Make sure to double-check that everyone agrees on the time of the deposition–it is all-too-easy for one or more people to make a mistake as a result of time zone differences. On the day of the deposition, be ready well in advance to test out the equipment and account for any technical difficulties.

Work With the Court Reporter

Talk to the court reporter in advance to discuss any services and other information helpful for your deposition. Find out about transcript and video delivery timetables. Ask about Realtime transcription, if available and necessary. If you want a rough draft of the transcript, ask in advance. If you would like to pre-mark exhibits, you can arrange that with your court reporter ahead of time. It always helps to share exhibits in advance either way. Your court reporting service may also be able to loan you equipment as necessary to conduct the deposition, including iPads, laptops, projection units, and other technology.

If you need professional and detail-oriented court reporting services in Arizona, contact the Phoenix offices of Ottmar & Associates at 602-485-1488.