FAQs from attorneys about Depos From a Distance
Frequently Asked Questions
- What if the witness or opposing counsel is not tech-savvy?
- How do I convince opposing counsel to proceed with remote depositions?
- How do I share exhibits in a remote deposition?
- Can I get a recording of the deposition? What does it look like?
- What if there is a bad internet connection?
- Should I call in with my phone or use my computer’s audio source?
- Are remote depositions permitted under California and federal law?
- What additional information should be included in the notices?
What if the Witness or Opposing Counsel is Not Tech-Savvy?
Upon request, Steno will train opposing counsel and third-party witnesses on how to participate in a remote deposition. A Steno moderator also joins all remote depositions 30 minutes before the deposition begins to work through any tech-related issues. If you are concerned about issues coming up during the deposition, you can (for an additional fee) have a Steno Ambassador remain on the video chat throughout the deposition and assist with any technical issues that arise.
How Do I Convince Opposing Counsel to Proceed With Remote Depositions?
You can remind opposing counsel that both CCP 2035.310 and FRCP 30 allow for remote depositions with proper notice, and they are surprisingly easy to do. If opposing counsel wants to see a mock remote deposition, there is one here.
How Do I Share Exhibits In a Remote Deposition? What Does it Look Like?
There are many ways to share exhibits, but Steno recommends loading exhibits into box.com and then sharing hyperlinks to those exhibits in the chat thread. If you send exhibits to Steno before the deposition, Steno will email you back hyperlinks for each of them so you can simply cut and paste the links when you are ready to share exhibits. If you would like to see how this is done, you can watch a tutorial here. Box.com also offers a step by step set of instructions here.
When using our signature videoconferencing platform, Depos From a Distance™, exhibits are seamlessly shared, opened, viewed, and numbered directly within the platform. Exhibits can be annotated, and files are automatically saved and marked as a new exhibit. Learn more about Depos From a Distance™ here.
Can I Get a Recording of the Deposition? What Does it Look Like?
Yes, Steno can provide a video of the deposition that looks no different than what a traditional videotaped deposition looks like, including picture in picture and text-to-video sync. If you want to see what the finished video looks like, see the end of this video starting at the 10:55 mark.
What If There Is A Bad Internet Connection?
You can test your internet connection here. Zoom suggests 1.5 Mbps up and down. If you know ahead of time that a participant will have poor internet connectivity, Steno will ship a 4G iPad that is preloaded with everything needed for the remote deposition. If connectivity issues come up before or during the deposition, a representative from Steno can help troubleshoot and fix the issue.
Should I Call in With My Phone or Use My Computer's Audio Source?
So long as your internet connection is stable, we suggest you participate through your computer’s audio source. If you have an unstable internet connection or prefer to connect speak through a phone, a Steno representative will guide you through how to do that while also participating by video in the deposition.
Are Remote Depositions Permitted Under California and Federal Law?
Yes. FRCP 30(b) allows depositions to be taken "by telephone or other remote means" so long as the parties agree. CCP 2025.310 allows parties to take "a deposition by telephone or other remote electronic means." Although CCP 2025.310(b) says that a party (as opposed to non-party witness) "shall appear" at the deposition in person and be in the presence of the deposition officer, on March 27, 2020, Gavin Newsom changed the statute so that any deponent may be deposed remotely. A copy of Governor Newsom's order is available here.
What additional information should be included in the notices?
Remote depositions are permitted under FRCP 30, so we recommend including something along the following lines in your depo notice: "PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that the deposition shall be taken remotely and recorded by video and/or stenographic means."