May 06, 2020

Webinar: How to Hold a Deposition by Video Conference

NAEGELI Deposition and Trial provides the tools necessary to conduct any deposition by video conference. In this webinar, we go over the specifics of how to participate in a video conference deposition, and address a number of frequently asked questions about the service. You can view a transcript of the entire video below, and read more about remote depositions and video conferencing with NAEGELI Deposition and Trial.
If you would like to watch the webinar, it can be viewed here.
MS. MOODY:  Hello.  My name is Juliette Moody, and I am the Executive Director of Scheduling here at NAEGELI Deposition and Trial.
MR. HAZELHURST:  And my name is Tom Hazelhurst, and I'm the Assistant Director of Media.
MS. MOODY:  Today we're going to be showing you everything there is to know about NAEGELI's remote deposition services, and at the end of this webinar we're going to be giving you a discount code that you can use at the time of your next scheduling.
MR. HAZELHURST:  If you'd like to submit a question during the webinar, please use the chat feature that you can find in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.  If we do not get to your question during the live Q&A at the end of the webinar, then somebody from our team will follow up via email at the end of the webinar.
MS. MOODY:  Okay, great!  So, Tom, can you tell us a little bit about your department's background in media and film?
MR. HAZELHURST:  Sure.  The video department at NAEGELI is led by David Olvera.  David has about 30 years of experience in broadcast television and is an expert in facilitating remote testimony.  Another member of our team has 20 years of video production experience and also has three Emmy Award nominations.
The video team is supported by an IT staff to ensure that if there are any technical issues, they are addressed immediately so that your proceeding can continue flawlessly.
MS. MOODY:  Great, Tom.  Thanks for sharing.  It sounds like you have a very experienced team.
MR. HAZELHURST:  We do.
MS. MOODY:  So, Tom, can you give us a quick overview of what remote video conferencing even is?
MR. HAZELHURST:  Sure.  Remote video conferencing is an easy process that allows anyone to connect with other parties from anywhere in the world.  The service is becoming increasingly popular, as we learn to work with the current restrictions that are put in place.  All you need to connect is an internet signal, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone.  Our video department will send a link to all the participants.  Click on the link, and  you will join the meeting, just as you have all done today for this webinar.
MS. MOODY:  Great!  So if you are on here today, then you can join one of our remote depositions just as easy.   Attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants have been finding our remote services very valuable during this time.   You know, with the virus and with the current situation that society is facing, it has been very beneficial to keep your cases moving forward.
I would like to, you know, before we dive in, I would like to share some great news to all of our viewers.  Right now, NAEGELI understands that the legal community has been going through a lot.  You know, not only professionally, but also personally.  You know, so we wanted to give back in some -- you know, at least in some small way.
So what we're going to be doing is that when you schedule with NAEGELI Deposition and Trial, these remote deposition services are provided at no cost to you.  So entirely complimentary.  So that service, that remote connection, will be provided at no cost to you.  So it's just our small, small way to give back, but, you know, it makes a difference during this time for sure.
MR. HAZELHURST:  It's a great deal.
MS. MOODY:  I agree, Tom. So now, you know, we are wanting to know how -- or what kind of hardware would someone need in order to join our remote services?
MR. HAZELHURST:  Well, to go with the internet signal, if you have a laptop, a video-conferencing unit, an iPad, a tablet, a smartphone, we'll be able to connect you to the other parties.  
If other parties do not have the same device as you, say you have a laptop, but you need to connect to a video-conferencing unit or a smartphone, our technicians will be able to arrange that for you.
MS. MOODY:  Great!  Easy enough.  So, you know, let's say someone does not have a web cam.  How would they join these meetings?  Is that even possible without that web cam?
MR. HAZELHURST:  Yes.  The attorneys will have a couple different options.  If they do not have a web cam on their device, but they would like to see the deponent, they have the option to join that video conference and see the deponent without being seen themselves.  Alternatively, they can also set -- arrange a remote teleconference where everybody will join by phone.
MS. MOODY:  Great.  So, you know, how is the audio ran?  I think  you kind of mentioned that we -- we run that audio over the phone.  Why?  Why do we do that?
MR. HAZELHURST:  When we set up our remote video conferences, we separate the video from the audio feed.
MS. MOODY:  Okay.  
MR. HAZELHURST:  If for any reason at any of the locations there is internet stability issues, we don't want the audio to be impacted along with the video.  So we separate those feeds.  We'll run your audio over the phone systems and then your video will be displayed on that device of choice.
MS. MOODY:  Great.  So thanks for -- thanks for elaborating on that.
A really hot topic right now is, how is your system secure?  How do I make sure that unwanted participants aren't joining my deposition and, you know, how do you keep that on lockdown?
MR. HAZELHURST:  That's a great question, and there's been a lot of negative press on that recently.
We have technicians that are assigned to each of the meetings or each of our assignments.  That technician is going to act as your gatekeeper and will monitor the deposition from start to finish.  The gatekeeper will also verify the identity of the participant when they click on your link to join the meeting, to make sure that only the participants that you have invited to your meeting are allowed access.
And you can see on the screen in front of you right here that this is the -- this is the image that you will see when you click on the link and you get put into a waiting room.  This is where our technician will verify that identity before you gain entry into the meeting.  Once the meeting begins, anyone that is trying to connect will be placed in this waiting room until they are approved.
Also, if at any point opposing -- or if at any point the attorneys would like to chat privately with their clients, our technician will be able to send the attorney and their client into a breakout room so they can have that private conversation away from the ears of opposing counsel.
MS. MOODY:  Great!  Well, it sounds like our -- the technician's really the key to keeping everything secure and private during that time, and it's kind of nice that we can do those breakout rooms.  So it's like you're there in person and you can have that privacy that, you know, a lot of -- a lot of times you need.  So that's great.  Thanks, Tom.
Would you mind elaborating a little bit as to how those exhibits get distributed, you know, remotely?
MR. HAZELHURST:  Sure.  Attorneys are going to have a couple options.  They can send their exhibits to all of the participating parties, including the deponent and the court reporter, if they are appearing remotely as well.  The attorneys can also send their exhibits to schedule@naegeliusa.com, and a member of our scheduling team will distribute those exhibits.
MS. MOODY:  Great!  So, you know, a follow-up question that we get all the time is, you know, "I don't want opposing to see my exhibits.  I don't want the other parties to see what I'm going to be presenting," which is, you know, very common.  "I want them to be distributed live, just like I’m there at the room."  Is this even possible?  Can we do it, and how?
MR. HAZELHURST:  Yes, we can do it.  The platform that we use has a screen-share feature that will allow you to enter those exhibits or present them when you are ready.  Our techs will walk you through that screen-sharing process on the day of your test.  They will also provide instruction on how to utilize the built-in presentation tools that will allow you to draw attention to a particular part of a document, which is being demonstrated on  your screen right now.
MS. MOODY:  Okay.  So it looks like we're doing a little bit of highlighting there.  We have those arrows.  Great.  So it looks like everybody is kind of able to be on the same page, the freehand tool, and I think -- wow.  Yeah, that is very helpful.  We've got the laser pointer.
MR. HAZELHURST:  No confusion over line items.
MS. MOODY:  Yeah.  Exactly.  Yeah.  Yeah, that's very helpful.  And then the marked at the bottom is also helpful so everybody knows what section you're at.
So, since body language makes up for 55% of communication, a lot of times attorneys will ask me, you know, "I want this recorded.  I don't want a videographer there.  But can I get, you know, it recorded as if a videographer was there and can it be synced to my transcript so I can reference, you know, that body language at the time of my case?"
MR. HAZELHURST:  Yes, absolutely.  One of the services that NAEGELI provides is a remote videographer.  That videographer will take the role of a traditional videographer in the room with all parties present.  He will call the on and off times, and he will start and stop the recording as you guys want to go on and off the record.
Once that proceeding ends, an mp4 file will be produced that  you can then sync to the transcript, that you can go back to review, see how the deponent was acting during the questioning, or if there are any disputes that need to be settled with opposing counsel, you will have that file available to you.
MS. MOODY:  Great.  Thanks, Tom.
And then, you know, that sounds really helpful.  So here we go.  How do I even go about coordinating something like this?  How do you get me all set up?  How does this work?
MR. HAZELHURST:  Well, once you schedule a remote deposition with NAEGELI, our scheduling team will reach out to the video department.  The video department will then send out an email with a link and also a timeslot for you to test in the days leading up to the deposition.  That test is important.  It's something that we do with each of the individual participants that will be a part of your proceeding to ensure that their hardware is working and that they are comfortable connecting to the deposition on that scheduled date and time.
MS. MOODY:  Great.  Okay.  So, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't we one of the only, if not the only firm in the nation to provide a live technician from start to finish for each one of our remote services?
MR. HAZELHURST:  Yes, that is correct.  A remote technician will be assigned to your -- to your meeting, and they will monitor from start to finish.  If for any reason troubleshooting needs to be done, the tech will jump in immediately to solve the issue.  The tech will also greet every participant prior to the deposition and make sure that all of their equipment is working properly for them.
How does one go about scheduling?
MS. MOODY:  Yeah.  So as you guys just saw on your screen, that is kind of what it'd look like when you're all set up and things are going so you can see everybody clearly.  You're ready to get your case going.  You're ready to move forward.  How do you do that?
So as you can see on your screen, we have our 800 number, which is 800-528-3335, and you can call that number and ask for a member of our scheduling team and they will get you all set up for your remote service, or you can email schedule@naegeliusa.com and we will also get you set up that way as well.  
If you want to make up for that 55% of communication that comes through body language, make sure that you mention our remote videographer and we can get that added to  your assignment, no problem.
When it comes to the exhibits, just make sure that, you know, you send them as soon as possible -- at the latest, you know, two days before -- so we can get those distributed and so everybody is organized on the day of your deposition.
All that we're going to need to get you all connected is each participant's full name, their email address and their telephone number, and we'll reach out to them.  We'll get them tested, the link will be set up, so each participant is comfortable, confident on the day of their deposition.
So, as promised at the beginning of this webinar, we have a discount code, which is going to be "NDT Webinar".  So make sure you jot this down.  Please, please, please use this discount code so you can get that $50 off your next scheduling.
MR. HAZELHURST:  That's fantastic.  Sam, do we have any questions that came in?
MS. FRENCH:  Yeah.  Will NAEGELI do a remote deposition without a live technician?
MS. MOODY:  Absolutely not.  We have tried this before, trust me, and I want to say about 90% of them will fail.  You know, somebody -- if somebody drops off or someone cannot get connected, they have no help.  They're sitting there saying, you know, "What do I do?"  And there's no one to help them.  So our technician monitors it.  We also, you know, keep that security very tight by having that technician.  So, you know, they are a key player in making sure that everything goes perfect, just as if everyone was there in the room.
MR. HAZELHURST:  The other benefit to that tech is that they can also keep the connected parties apprised of the status of that individual that may have fallen off.
MS. MOODY:  Great addition, Tom.  Is there another question?
MR. DEMERATH:  Should I premark my exhibits?
MR. HAZELHURST:  Please. If you're submitting your -- if you're submitting your exhibits electronically, individual files with the exhibit number is a great help to the court reporter.
If you want to send in hard copies of your exhibits, it's helpful to separate them with a paper clip or staple them together and then in the bottom right-hand corner, pencil in the number of that exhibit so that when they go to -- when they are entered, your court reporter can sticker them properly.
MS. MOODY:  Yeah.  Help everybody stay organized, know exactly what you're talking about.  So that is a very helpful question.  Thank you.  Is there another one?
MS. FRENCH:  Yeah.  What if the deponent does not have an email address or a computer?
MR. HAZELHURST:  Well, our video department can check out a laptop and we will send it to the deponent's location.  The laptop that we send out, the desktop is completely cleared.  All they have to do is double click on the Zoom icon and enter the meeting ID that the video department will provide them through the email.
MS. MOODY:  And also coming in by phone is an option.  So, you know, if you're having a bad hair day, go ahead and call in and we can get you set up over the phone as well, just like you do in the courthouse.  So, yeah.
MR. DEMERATH:  Can everyone appear by phone only?
MS. MOODY:  Absolutely.  Yes.  So, you know, if everybody is, you know, in their jammies at home right now, you can definitely come in over the phone strictly, and that is not a problem.  We'll give you a conference call number.  You don't need a technician for the phone because everybody's got the phone number, and then we will get you set up that way, no problem.
MS. FRENCH:  How do you swear in the witness?
MS. MOODY:  Okay.  So, you know, the high demand for remote depositions has been, obviously, increasing, so many states have been finding ways to make sure that, you know, they're able to accommodate this demand.  So what NAEGELI does is we make sure that we follow each state's laws and regulations, and we make sure that the court reporter is aware of them as well and swears them in properly so you have everything you need and everything is properly done here at NAEGELI.
MS. FRENCH:  Can each participant appear from a different device?
MR. HAZELHURST:  Yes.  Yes.  It doesn't matter if you're connecting with a video-conferencing unit, a tablet, a smartphone.  If you've got a mix of participants that want to appear with video or without video, our technicians are able to make sure that every participant is able to join the meeting on the device or the method of their choice.  It doesn't matter if it's a VC, laptop, phone only, we connect those apples to oranges to bananas.
MS. MOODY:  Perfect.  Awesome.
MS. FRENCH:  What are the safeguards to ensure that the breakout room is private?  Could my client accidentally neglect to leave the public room?
MR. HAZELHURST:  No, that's very unlikely to happen.  Our technician is monitoring from start to finish, so if there's any confusion over where a participant went, our technician has a control panel and can take them from maybe a place that they were dropped accidentally, get them back into that main meeting room.  But that's very unlikely to happen since we have that technician in place monitoring the entire proceeding.
MS. MOODY:  And they're able to see everybody in each room.
MR. HAZELHURST:  Correct.
MS. MOODY:  So, if all of a sudden there is an unwelcome participant, they are -- they are removed immediately.
MR. HAZELHURST:  All right.  That's all the time that we have for the questions.
MS. MOODY:  Great.
MR. HAZELHURST:  If your question did not get answered, we will follow up via email shortly.
MS. MOODY:  Yeah.  And so thank you, everyone, for joining us on today's webinar.  We have been in business for over 40 years and look forward to assisting you with your next remote deposition.
Stay safe.  Stay healthy.  And thank you for choosing NAEGELI Deposition and Trial.