To Travel or Not to Travel? When to Consider a Remote Deposition

Posted: July 18, 2019

A deposition traditionally happens in a conference room, where lawyers for both parties, the witness, and the court reporter can all sit around the table. While it can be beneficial to stare into the eyes of the witness while you ask questions, not all witnesses are in the same city—or even the same country—as your law firm. It is particularly common to have out-of-town or international depositions in cases involving large corporations—the deposition often takes place in the defendant corporation’s location, regardless of where the plaintiff’s firm is located.

Law firms and their clients can spend a lot of money on travel for important depositions, and lawyers may not be on their best game after traveling and losing access to their offices and regular resources. Fortunately, there is another option if travel for a deposition is not practical: Many law firms conduct remote depositions by videoconference. Even if a law firm is used to conducting depositions in the traditional manner and wary of videoconferencing, there are some situations in which it does not make sense to travel for a deposition.

Multiple Witnessestext-based image that reads: There are some situations in which it does not make sense to travel for a deposition. Videoconferencing is a convenient, cost-effective alternative.

In some cases, you might want to depose several witnesses who are in different locations around the country, or around the globe. When you need to fly to a destination, rent a car, stay at a hotel, and fly back, a six- or eight-hour deposition can take two to three days. If your firm does not want to send attorneys on multiple business trips during critical discovery, you should consider scheduling a videoconference instead of conducting the depositions in person.

Excessive Documentation

Complex litigation can have your firm drowning in documentation. Parties can dump boxes and boxes of paperwork on you, much of which you may want access to during a deposition. If you travel, you will need to transport boxes and try to keep them organized or you’ll risk losing important information. When you conduct a deposition by videoconference, you can do so from your firm’s office and have access to all the documentation you need.

Collaboration

While one attorney will be in charge of questioning the witness in a deposition, it does not mean that your co-counsel, experts, and other parties cannot provide input regarding your line of questioning. Passing notes and offering suggestions can be difficult when you are in the same room as the opposing counsel and the witness. When you depose a witness via videoconference, however, you can have collaborators in the same room as you, and they can more easily give input and feedback without disrupting the entire process via secure, non-discoverable chat.

Time and Cost

There is no question that videoconference depositions save time for attorneys and costs for your clients compared to traveling for in-person depositions. Seek out a court reporting firm that can provide reliable remote video deposition services. The right company will assist you in having a successful deposition that strengthens your case and litigation strategy from across the country or across the globe.