How to do everything wrong in setting up a video deposition


Dylan the defense lawyer wants a second deposition. We provided photographs that he hadn’t seen before. So he wants to reopen the deposition. Instead of protesting, my position is feel free. Client is disabled and lives on the east coast. Since this won’t be terribly long and he’s already met her in person, video deposition is the answer.

Dylan makes all the arrangements - ie contacts a court reporter. It is at our office.

Ryan our tech guy sets up our video conference room. This doesn’t take much effort. Court reporter office in Boston doesn’t want to use skype or GoToMeeting. They want to use Zoom. No problem. The Seattle side is ready.

For the next hour this is what happens:

  1. Court reporter calls our office. We tell her she has to use her computer. But she can’t because it is being used for the transcript. She only has an ipad.

  2. We tell her to join zoom through the ipad. She doesn’t know how.

  3. They get the tech guy on their end to try to figure it out. But he isn’t really the tech guy.

  4. Court reporter finally gets visual up. But can’t figure out how to make the screen so that we are larger than a thumbnail.

  5. Dylan is literally going bonkers. We agree this is the worst.

  6. Am about to tell the client to go home. But we have a connection.

  7. Dylan asks the court reporter to show the witness the video clip he sent over. She does not have it. She doesn’t know where it is.

  8. Am just laughing because it is the worst ever. Dylan is grimacing.

  9. Finally he decides to play the video on his computer and holds it up so plaintiff can see it. But she can’t because the court reporter has us the size of a thumbnail.

  10. We can hardly hear them because they are on an ipad and have a poor connection. We catch every other word.

  11. Court reporter then accidentally severs our connection.

  12. Dylan flops in the chair exasperated beyond belief.

  13. Court reporter manages to get connection up again.

  14. Dylan holds his computer up to the camera for the 6 minute video of plaintiff at a nursing home. His arm starts to tire. Then shake. He props it up with his other hand.

It is all just so gloriously awful. I ask him if I can take a picture. He is beyond caring. Tell him this will make an excellent blog post on how not to do a video deposition.

Photo: Dylan showing the video to the plaintiff. Me in the background cracking up.