Conducting virtual depositions over Zoom became a major asset for legal teams in 2020 – and it will continue to be this year. While many have become acquainted with the fundamental aspects of running Zoom depositions, we at Elite Court Reporting have noticed that there are certain best practices of the platform that are oftentimes forgotten.
We’re delighted to share our list of best practices to keep in mind as you conduct your Zoom depositions in 2021.
1. Take note of where your microphone and camera are located.
Every computer is different; some have a built-in camera and microphone while others require those items to be connected to the computer. However your computer is set up, it is important to know where the microphone and camera are located.
Here’s why: I’m sure we’ve all been on a video call where someone is either too close or too far away from their mic, making it hard to hear them, or perhaps their camera is at an odd angle so you can’t see their entire face. When this happens, it becomes very distracting for those in the Zoom deposition. Before you log on to your virtual deposition, take a few minutes to locate and test your microphone and camera to ensure the camera angle is at its best location and your microphone is working properly. By doing so, you can minimize distractions and difficulties.
2.Check your background.
Speaking of distractions, let’s talk about your physical background. These days many are working from home and making do with the spaces available in their house. Some are having to conduct calls from their garage, dining room table, home gym, etc. Wherever you’re calling in from, take five minutes before the deposition to check to see what your background looks like and remove anything that might be unprofessional and/or distracting, like piles of laundry or messy work areas.
If you don’t have time to clean up your actual background, you can always upload a virtual stock photo background on Zoom. That way, your actual background is hidden. Click here to learn how to set this up on your Zoom account.
3. Request for assistance to share exhibits at least 48 hours prior to the deposition.
When it comes time to share exhibits during the deposition, our team is happy to assist you. If you’d like to do it yourself, we’re happy to conduct a one-on-one meeting to help you become familiar with the process. If, however, you’d like the videographer to share the exhibits, we request that you notify us at least 48 hours prior to the deposition in order for our team to properly prepare. This helps to ensure your deposition runs smoothly without any issues. If you have any questions about this, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Speak one at a time.
While this is important during an in-person deposition, it is even more vital when conducting a virtual deposition over Zoom. The reason for this is because if more than one person is talking at a time on a video call, the system, Zoom in this case, will only allow one person to be heard. The court reporter can only take down what they can hear, so it’s imperative to speak one at a time in order to get a clean, accurate record of the proceedings.
5. Mute your mic when you aren’t speaking.
In conjunction with our last point, we recommend that you mute your microphone when you aren’t talking. Some assume that just because you aren’t saying anything, you can’t cause distractions; yet, microphones are very sensitive and will pick up background noises or even heavy breathing and sighs. To stay in the clear, turn your microphone off when you aren’t speaking, and then be sure to turn it back on when you’d like to say something..
Following these best practices will help your next Zoom virtual deposition run smoothly. Along with these tips, it’s also essential to have a top-notch court reporter present, one who is familiar with the virtual deposition space and will provide accurate, timely transcripts. At Elite Court Reporting, our reporters are highly qualified to provide you exactly that. Click here to learn more about our services or to schedule a court reporter.