Schorr Law Moves Forward with Videoconference Depositions and Mediations

Schorr Law Moves Forward with Videoconference Depositions and Mediations

Moving Cases Forward with Zoom Videoconference Depositions and Mediations

With the shelter-in-place orders in place and reduced court services, many clients may be concerned that their cases will stall and be unable to advance. While it is true that trials, law and motion hearings, and mandatory settlement conferences that were scheduled to take place these few months may have all been continued to later this year, there are still a number of ways a case can move forward.

For cases that are proceeding through discovery, the shelter-in-place order does not prevent the parties from serving written discovery through email or mailing service. Nor does the order prevent parties from taking or defending depositions through videoconferencing.

Likewise, for cases that are ready to be resolved, the shelter-in-place order does not prevent the parties from submitting to private mediation or arbitration through videoconferencing.

If you have an active case with Schorr Law, you can rest assured that we are utilizing everything that is available to advance your case along. Our firm has already taken multiple depositions using the Zoom videoconferencing technology during the shelter-in-place period. We have also scheduled additional videoconference depositions and mediations for the upcoming days in which everyone is required to remain at home.

We see some cost savings with no obvious downside in using videoconferencing for depositions and mediation. Our attorneys conducting depositions via Zoom videoconferencing have noted that the deposition experience is convenient and generally not costlier than conducting an in-person deposition.

In all important aspects, Zoom depositions function almost entirely like in-person depositions:

  • The depositions are still being recorded by a court reporter. And, for those who typically hire a videographer, Zoom depositions can also be digitally recorded.
  • The taking attorney can still distribute or display exhibits during the deposition.
  • The deponent’s or non-taking party’s counsel may still make real-time objections.
  • Clients and their counsel can still have private conversations using certain functions available to them on Zoom or take breaks off camera (and off mic) if needed.
  • The deponent’s demeanor can still be observed as during an in-person deposition.

There are some additional benefits that we observed from our Zoom depositions:

  • Zoom depositions entirely eliminate or reduce the time that is needed for an attorney to travel to and from a deposition, which results in direct cost savings for the client.
  • Zoom depositions may be easier to schedule because they allow deponents to participate no matter where they are in the world and eliminates the need to travel.

The only requirement is that all participants must be on high-speed internet and have access to an internal or external microphone and speakers. Even if the deponent does not have access to those facilities, the court reporting service may provide those facilities for a fee or the deponent and his/her counsel can conduct it in a law firm conference room while observing social distancing with each other.

At Schorr Law, we are using all available technology and methods to help you resolve your case. If you have a question or concerns about using videoconferencing technology in your matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.

See related: Coaching a Witness During Deposition is Prohibited!

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