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What Should I Tell Opposing Counsel Who Objects to Taking Remote Depositions?

We suggest educating opposing counsel, along the lines set forth below...

Dear _______,

The purpose of this email to meet and confer with you regarding your objection to taking remote depositions. As you likely know, CCP 2025.310 allows for parties to take depositions remotely and any ambiguity there was erased when Governor Newsom issued this order on March 27, 2020. On April 6, 2020, the California Judicial Council issued Emergency Rule 11, which clarifies that parties may notice all depositions remotely.  Organizations representing the plaintiffs’ bar and the defense bar issued this joint statement encouraging parties to work together during this time, including by taking remote depositions.  

Taking a remote deposition does not require anybody to travel anywhere; all participants can join from their home or office with nothing more than a smartphone, tablet or laptop and an internet connection. If that is unavailable for some reason, Steno (our court reporting company) will send 4G iPads to anyone that needs one.

Participating in the deposition is simple. As demonstrated in this video, the witness just clicks the provided Zoom meeting link on his or her device and is all set. As this video shows, opposing counsel does the same and then can receive exhibits and object just as if the parties were in the same room. Here is a short mock deposition that was taken entirely remotely, which demonstrates just how seamless the process is.

Given all of this, we urge you to reconsider your position. If you remain unwilling to participate in remote depositions, please set forth your position in writing so we can share this correspondence with the court at the earliest opportunity.