Currently, many attorneys and court reporting firms use video conferencing technology to conduct depositions, mediations, and arbitrations remotely. It has become a common way to conduct legal proceedings during the pandemic and is something that will certainly continue into the future.
One of the main reasons for the current trend toward virtual litigation is health and safety concerns. But will attorneys and legal professionals continue to conduct remote proceedings at a significantly higher rate after the pandemic ends than they did previously? We believe the answer is yes, remote legal proceedings are here to stay.
While remote depositions and mediations/arbitrations have existed for decades, the tools used have certainly improved, and it is because of that continued improvement in technology that more and more court reporting firms, law firms, and corporations are choosing this route and will continue to do so well beyond the present.
Remote/virtual proceedings eliminate the need for travel. If required, all parties can appear remotely. For some, this means freedom from the expense and hours of travel time. Since documents can be transmitted digitally, there is also freedom from the burden of transporting voluminous exhibits and files.
By making sure they use the right approach, attorneys will get better results when conducting legal proceedings remotely. In the past, some proceedings have been a combination of remote and in-person appearances, and this will continue to be a good option. Sometimes attorneys choose to meet with clients and speak with opposing counsel through a protective screen. Other times, based on what is deemed most appropriate, parties and proceeding participants choose to meet in person while the person taking the deposition works remotely.
Remote arbitration hearings and mediations can be done completely online. In order for this to happen seamlessly, the court reporting firm must make sure they are using a platform that provides the features and security necessary. In most cases, Zoom is a great option. Many court reporting firms, including Casamo & Associates, provide technical assistance to ensure remote proceedings go smoothly. Because of the preparation involved, remote arbitrations/mediations may prove to be more efficient timewise than more traditional proceedings where all the parties appear in person.
While the pandemic has made us more dependent on the use of video conferencing tools, and while it no doubt has been an adjustment for many, attorneys and other legal professionals will continue to find video conferencing and remote litigation useful for the following reasons:
- Similar to stepping into another room during an in-person proceeding, virtual meetings can be held in private via breakout rooms.
- Attorneys and legal personnel can showcase the flexible services they offer digitally.
- Costs will be lower due to the fact that video conferencing cuts travel and other expenses.
- Time saved allow for more productivity and preparation.
- Meetings can be recorded and archived for future use.
- Clients, witnesses, and other participants with busy schedules will have greater flexibility.
The pandemic has changed the way we live. It’s safe to say that virtual meetings and events will be high in demand in the years to come. There should be no barrier to any participant to attend a legal proceeding. If you have questions about setting up your next deposition, mediation, or arbitration remotely, please contact us. We’re waiting to assist you.