In light of our new COVID-19 environment, we are all trying to find creative ways to adapt and evolve how we conduct business formerly done ‘in-person.’ During this time Scanlan Stone Reporters is fully prepared to provide service to attorneys who are interested in using remote conferencing in their litigation process. We can report depositions and other matters remotely via telephonic conference call, videoconferencing or a combination of both, as well as realtime streaming. We can simplify the process for you by setting everything up and sending a link to all parties to join. All you need is a computer or another web-cam equipped device in order to videoconference.
If you are not familiar with remote conferencing methods, below are some tips and guidelines for making this a smooth experience using Zoom Video.
Remote Conferencing Using Zoom Video
Remote Video Depos Using Zoom and a Camera
We drop camera at witness’ house - just like Door-Dash delivery: there’s no contact of any kind.
Camera ready-to-go with tabletop tripod and one microphone.
Witness points camera at him/herself and hits RECORD. Camera records to high-quality SD card (this recording is independent and so not subject to any internet/Zoom issues).
Zoom video connects all parties, including reporter.
Realtime stream of transcript available on any remote device.
To take a break, or if witness needs to confer with counsel, he/she may leave the room and communicate via cell phone with attorney.
Slightly wider shot to make sure witness stays in frame and is not communicating via cell phone during depositions.
No risk of losing dropped/garbled words from witness since camera is recording. We send MP3 of audio to reporter which contains complete and clear audio.
We pick up camera up off the porch after deposition.
Video and text are synchronized as usual.
A short video tutorial showing how this works will be coming soon. If necessary, before a deposition we can speak with witness for 5-10 minutes to guide them through setting it up.
Take A Zoom 101 Webinar
If you’ve never used Zoom or would like a refresher, we highly recommend checking out the Zoom 101 webinar series put on by the Zoom team. These webinars run multiple times a day and cover the basics of using Zoom. You’ll learn scheduling, hosting and joining Zoom meetings.
Check Your Internet Speeds
Having a strong broadband connection is extra important these days. While Zoom can work on speeds as low as 600Kbps, they recommend a minimum of 1.5Mbps; the higher the better when it comes to online videoconferencing. You can check your internet speeds on sites such as SpeedTest.net.
Use a Hardwired Connection
If you can connect your computer to your router by an ethernet cable, you’ll avoid potential WiFi issues. If not, check your signal strength prior to joining. The stronger the connection, the less likely any data will be dropped.
Always Run a Test Call
This is crucial. When you’re working with multiple participants, locations and devices, it’s important that everyone understands the basics of the platform, can connect their mics and webcams and know how to mute and unmute themselves.
For the Best Audio, Use A Phone
The digital nature of Zoom can still cause issues with audio compression so for optimal audio, always use a phone. Every remote deposition held through Zoom gives you the option to connect via your computer audio or through a phone. If you aren’t planning to connect to the video portion, you can just call in, but if you plan to be on video, be sure to connect first, as you’ll be given a Meeting ID and Participant ID to connect your phone audio.
Send Your Exhibits in Advance
It’s very important that exhibits are sent ahead of time to all participants including your court reporter!
Use A Headset
If you have a headset available, we recommend you use it (and test it on the test call) to ensure the best possible sound experience. While your device mic and speakers are easy and noise cancellation technology is better today than before, you may find you’re echoing on the call and this causes problems with sound accuracy for witnesses and court reporter.
Speak Slowly and Articulately
Focus on your speech and the speech of others. Speak clearly into your mic and wait for others to finish speaking before you continue. If you talk over others, Zoom may lose a word or several words, and the court reporter will need to interrupt more often.