COVID-19 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES FOR THE ADMINISTERING OF OATHS VIA REMOTE AUDIO-VIDEO COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT
In March, 2020, The Supreme Court of Florida issued an emergency order giving Florida Reporters/Notaries permission to swear in deponents remotely by video conferencing. Administrative Order. Please remind your witness to have their identification ready and on hand to show on camera or mark as an exhibit.
Much like in a regular deposition or hearing, here are a few scheduling items we’ll ask:
- The style of the case.
- The deponent’s name.
- Do you need an interpreter? If so, what language?
- The expected length of the deposition.
- Email addresses of all expected attendees so we can send them their deposition link.
- Are there any exhibits? If so, how do you wish to handle distribution and marking?
- Do you want a realtime feed so you can see the transcript in realtime?
We’ll email you in advance of the deposition for registration, contact information and the link to the remote deposition with a call-in number, meeting I.D. and password. To make you feel more comfortable with your remote deposition, we’re also available to set up a “dry run” with your office to test the technology. Zoom requires 1.5 mb per sec minimum upload and download speed. Go to Speedtest.net to check your internet speed.
I first became aware of blue screens and the fact that the news anchors, more often than not, wore business attire on the top and bluejeans and sneakers on the bottom when I was part of the history-making captioning team at WESH-2 in Orlando — the first Florida news station to provide live captioning. Please remember to dress appropriately. At least business attire on top. Be aware you may need to move around unexpectedly. You don’t want anything like this unfortunate incident happening to you!
Make sure your office/family/friends know you’re in a live deposition. Lock the door/put up signs.
All parties please identify themselves before going on record.
Our reporters will read a brief opening once on the record, setting out the date, time, case style and deponent’s name, after which counsel will identify themselves and stipulate on the record to the reporter administering the oath to the deponent via videoconference.
There are different methods for the handling of exhibits remotely. One method, if you’re more comfortable with your office handling and distributing the exhibits in advance, we can coordinate that. On our end, we can also upload your exhibits online and access and distribute them during the actual deposition via the chat box function to all attendees for viewing and annotating.
Be aware, there are a few paid ways to handle digital exhibit marking and sharing, all online and in the cloud. A few are: LiveLitigation, Agile, eDepoze, and TrialPad by Lit Software. All of these platforms offer different solutions, video tutorials and apps, free trials and live demonstrations.