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Video Conference Deposition vs. Live Deposition

Professional team of multi-ethnic business colleagues having a video conference

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has forced professionals in every industry to reevaluate how they can continue to perform essential tasks. Client meetings, depositions, and even court proceedings are being held remotely via teleconference and video conference. In many cases, folks have been surprised to learn just how much of their job can be performed remotely. Remote proceedings can, however, pose unique challenges. Below, we discuss some tips for conducting depositions via video conference and how they differ from live depositions. Reach out to our qualified and experienced Phoenix court reporters for deposition services throughout the state of Arizona.

Work Out the Logistics in Advance

The biggest thing to keep in mind when conducting video depositions is to plan ahead. Talk to your court reporting firm about their video conferencing capabilities, and work with the witness and opposing counsel to make sure everyone understands how the proceedings will take place. Discuss the logistics at least a week in advance to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Plan for Exhibits

If you have exhibits, let your court reporting firm know ahead of time. You can no longer show up with a box full of documents to give everyone copies. The court reporter can likely work out a means to display your exhibits via the video conference. Make sure to place any requests about making copies or other needs ahead of time.

Discuss Trial Admission

Just because you and opposing counsel agreed to video conference depositions does not mean that you have also agreed to use video deposition testimony at trial. Make sure you and opposing counsel are either on the same page or that you are clear on your disagreement so that you can take it to the court.

Document Production

If you have not yet produced documents that pertain to the witness being deposed, consider discussing the matter with opposing counsel. You and the other parties may agree to produce relevant documents a few days in advance of the instant and future depositions, given the added challenges of video conferencing.


Do a run-through of all relevant technology ahead of time to make sure things run smoothly on the day of the deposition. If you are preparing a witness for deposition, practice via videoconference so that they are comfortable with the proceedings and the technology. It is also important for you as the attorney to practice using tools like screen-sharing so that you can most effectively represent your client.

Time Zones

It might seem obvious, but it merits mention to avoid unnecessary delays: Attorneys, parties, court reporters, and witnesses may all be in different locations with different time zones. When you schedule the video deposition, make sure everyone is completely clear as to the exact time.

Be Early

Technical difficulties are bound to arise. Get set up early so that you can address any day-of problems that come up. It is also important to get yourself settled, prepare your notes, and have your battle station ready to go by the time the deposition starts.

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