Everyone is looking for opportunities to save costs these days in litigation. Many attorneys are choosing to take depositions telephonically so as to incur travel costs and to save travel time. Here are some ideas on how to make the telephonic deposition go smoothly.
1. Have the court reporter be with the witness. The court reporter is able to swear in the witness and hear every word. As everyone knows, with teleconferences, if two people speak at the same time or there is any type of lime interference. It is hard to hear or understand. Having the court reporter with the witness ensures a better record.
2. If because of scheduling conflicts, or whatever reason, the court reporter is not with the witness have a notary public swear in the witness onsite. Sometimes attorneys ask a court reporter to swear a witness in over the phone. This is not considered to be legal or proper. The court reporter has no real idea who is sitting at the other end of the line.
3. Advice to reporters (especially if there are multiple people on the line): Rather than writing down each person’s information, including address and phone number(s), just get the attorney’s full name and website. IT is much easier to look up the attorneys and create your appearance page(s) from a website than from scribbling down information over a phone.
4. Court reporters, speak up if you are not understanding something, can’t hear, or don’t know who is speaking. Before the depositions starts, make a statement, for example, “Please identify yourself before your speak. There are multiple voices, and it is difficult to differentiate between them.” If someone starts speaking, and you are not sure who it is, you may interrupt with, “Excuse me. Who is speaking?” After a while, people will get the hang of it.
5. If possible, get a service list before the deposition begins and start inputting your appearance page or get a copy and check off names. You will need to know who the different participants are.