Exhibits are an important component of any deposition, but the advent of remote proceedings has complicated and introduced new steps to managing these now mostly electronic documents. Consider implementing these practices when it comes time to prepare exhibits for your next remote deposition. Organizing exhibits prior to your remote proceeding saves both you and the court reporter some headache and ensures a smooth deposition. It is ideal to pre-mark exhibits and send them directly to the court reporter or reporting agency in advance of your deposition. Particularly if you find yourself with minimal, straightforward exhibits, and are confident of the order in which you intend to present them, it is beneficial to have your secretary or paralegal pre-mark the documents and send them in PDF format to the court reporter.
We understand that it is not always possible to have the exhibits prepared. If you have all the potential documents but are unsure as to what order you will be presenting them, drafting an outline that at least identifies each document will be helpful in keeping exhibits in line. Then, as the deposition proceeds, the exhibit numbers can be noted on the outline in the order they are called. The outline, along with exhibits, can then be submitted to your reporter or agency via e-mail or a shared secure link once the deposition is complete.
If you are unable to provide the exhibits in advance, do not fret. Preferred videoconferencing platforms are user-friendly when it comes to sharing exhibits. When you are ready to present your exhibits, you can simply open the document from your computer and then click the “Share Screen” button at the bottom of the application. Be sure that your exhibit is the only document displayed on the screen you choose to share to avoid accidently sharing any privileged information. If you are not comfortable using screen share yourself, experienced remote technicians are available to assist. You can mark your exhibits as you go, or even just change the file names on the fly to indicate marking. Ask a secretary, assistant, or your technician for help if you are uncomfortable with marking. It is best to organize all exhibits on the record at the time of the deposition to avoid confusion and back and forth communication later on. As always, once the deposition is finished, remember to send all the marked exhibits to the court reporter.
We hope you consider these practices when preparing for your next remote deposition. Providing exhibits in advance will greatly benefit you, the court reporter, and your agency as it will help avoid added costs or unnecessary delays when finalizing your transcript.