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Tips for Making the Most of a Telephonic Deposition

Man holding cell phone

Holding a deposition over the phone is never ideal, but it may be a necessary concession to time, distance, and budgetary constraints. Advances in technology have made telephonic depositions a better option than ever before, but there are still ways that attorneys and court reporters can make telephonic depositions more successful. Read on to learn suggested ways to get the most of a deposition held over the phone.

  1. Make sure that the court reporter is with the witness. This allows the reporter to hear every word that the witness says, or more easily ask for clarification when needed. The record will also suffer less from interruptions and breaks in the call that will inevitably occur during the deposition.
  2. Always use a landline: It may be tempting to rely on the simplicity of a mobile phone, especially if the witness is in a fairly remote location without immediate access to a landline. Even if mobile networks have improved in recent years, the reliability still pales in comparison to a landline. When choosing a court reporter, be sure to choose one with a conference room that comes equipped with a landline and a quality speaker phone.
  3. Make sure your witness knows to expect objections. If opposing counsel is conducting the deposition and you’re in a different location from your client, prepare them in advance for objections after a question is asked. Make sure they know to pause slightly before answering a question in case you need to lodge an objection before they answer.
  4. Speak more slowly and avoid interruptions. Even if the quality of your line is good, phone conversations are never quite as clear as an in-person conversation. Be sure to speak at a slower pace and with greater clarity than you normally would to ensure that all witnesses can hear you and the record is accurate. While interruptions can always impair the accuracy of the record in a deposition, never are they more disruptive than when they occur during a telephonic deposition. Be patient while waiting for your chance to speak, using a pad and paper to write down what you want to say if needed.

If you need seasoned, professional, and reliable court reporting services in Arizona, contact the court reporters at the Phoenix offices of Ottmar & Associates, Inc., at 602-485-1488 or toll-free at 866-485-1444.