On the Record

LIST OF THINGS TO DO BEFORE THIS PROCEEDING BEGINS

1. Change your “Participant” name.

  • A. Click on “Participants” button at top of Zoom window.
  • B. Hover your mouse over your name in the “Participants” list on the right side of the Zoom window.
  • C. Click on “Rename.”
  •   
  • EXAMPLES:
  •  
  • A. Chris Jones, Esq.
  • B. Chris Jones, Esq. for ABC Windows
  • C. Chris Jones, Esq. – Brown & Jones – ABC Windows

2. “Chat” box: If you are only displaying your name, please chat your name, firm, and who you represent. 

At the end of the proceeding, you can place order requests via chat.

3. Mute yourselves unless you are the questioning attorney or witness. If you need to object, press and hold space bar, state your objection, and then release so that you are immediately muted again. NOTE: Test first. If this is not working, click the arrow next to the microphone, click “Audio Settings” and check box that says “Press and hold SPACE key to temporarily unmute yourself.”

4. Viewing speakers – If what is showing on your screen is the video of all the participants in small tiles, this is called the “Gallery view.” You can change it to show the only the video of the speaker by clicking on the “Speaker” or “Gallery view” icon present at the top right of your screen.

You can use the pin screen to disable the display of active speakers and show only specific speakers. This pinned setting only affects the local view in the Zoom room, not the views of other participants. Go to top right corner of the speaker you want to pin (usually the deponent), and choose to “Pin.”

Pro Tip: You can hide the participants whose video isn’t showing by going to Zoom video settings. Check Hide non-video participants.

5. Position computer in front of you with camera just above eye level. If windows are in the room, make sure you are facing them. If a window is behind you, the light prevents visibility.

How to Look Good on Video Calls for Zoom

PLANNING LOCATION OF PEOPLE AND DOCUMENTS

Witness appearing remote, by themselves, with documents to produce:

If the witness is required to bring documents to the deposition, it is important to discuss with witness in advance to determine:

  • Viability to send in advance
  • Volume of documents and pages
  • Access to a scanner or a print/copy center

Witness appearing at Phipps Reporting office is business as usual:

If the witness is coming to our office, we can have the documents scanned by our staff during a quick break or, depending on volume, before the depo starts. 

Sharing potential exhibits in advance with all parties or at least the court reporter: 

Depending on the deposition, you might feel comfortable sharing potential exhibits with all parties before the deposition begins, including the court reporter.  This is the best-case scenario for a smooth proceeding in remote litigation.  Email your exhibits to scheduling@phippsreporting.com, notating Phipps Job number in the Subject line, along with any instructions. Send as far in advance as possible so we can work out the logistics involved with getting the documents to the court reporter.

No advanced sharing of potential exhibits can occur:

There are likely going to be depositions where you will want documents to remain unseen until the moment you introduce. Please consider sharing with the court reporter in advance and request that they remain confidential.  If you decide to keep documents private until a specific point in the deposition, you can present the document to all parties using Zoom’s Screen Share function or send the file directly through Zoom’s chat feature. 

Sharing exhibits in advance with the court reporter:

Whether the court reporter is appearing remote or not, we always appreciate having the documents emailed to us in advance.  This enables the court reporter to better follow along, prepare dictionary in advance, place exhibit stickers, and more quickly edit and produce final transcripts. 

STRATEGIZING & PREPARING

Premarking:  Premark exhibits manually and scan or premark electronically using various electronic exhibit-marking tools available to the public for purchase.  

Bates numbering:  Utilizing Bates numbers on each page makes navigating documents much easier when participants are individually viewing a shared document. It is also a wonderful way to ensure the record accurately reflects all references to exhibit evidence.

Document titles:  If you already know the sequence of documents that are going to be marked as exhibits, consider including the exhibit number (e.g. “Exhibit 001”) in the name of the file.  We utilize a three-digit naming convention to uniformly handle exhibits across all cases where exhibits number into the hundreds.

PDF format:  We recommend preparing all documents to be shared in PDF format before sending to or sharing with other parties and the court reporter. 

Designated document computer:  We do not limit the number of connections into the Zoom meeting from your firm. Consider joining a device that is specifically loaded with all potential documents. Use this secondary device when ready to share a document, maintaining a full view of the witness from your primary device. 

Remote Technician:  We can assign a videographer to record the video feed of the witness and/or manage presentation of exhibit documents for you and add an extra level of comfort in dealing with all technical issues. There is a fee for this service. 

DURING THE DEPOSITION

Method 1. Share your screen

Introduction into the record:  Please remember to verbalize what is being marked; exhibit number, description of the document, along with Bates number.  Doing so will ensure an accurate record and creates an efficient process for our court reporter.

1. Select the screen you want to share

You can also choose an individual application that is already open on your computer, the desktop, a whiteboard, or an iPhone/iPad.

2. (Optional) Enable these features

Check “Share Computer Sound” 

If you check this option, any sound played by your computer will be shared in the meeting; i.e., video.

Check “Optimize for full screen video clip” 

Check this if you will be sharing a video clip in full screen mode. Do not check this otherwise, as it may cause the shared screen to be blurry.

3. Click Share

A. Zoom will automatically switch to full screen to optimize the shared screen view.

B. Exiting full-screen, click “Exit Full Screen” in the top-right corner or press the “Esc” key.

C. Disable automatic full screen when viewing a shard screen, disable this option in your desktop client setting: Enter full screen automatically when a participate shares a screen.

NOTE: Learn more about sharing your screen through Zoom’s help center.

Method 2. Sending files through Zoom’s Chat

1. During a Zoom meeting click on Chat

2. Select More and choose the option to “Share file in meeting” to send a file.

3. The following indication will be seen once the file is successfully sent.

4. The participants will see a notice when a file is sent and will be given the option to download the file. Once Download is selected, they will be able to view the file.

Method 3. Send files using access to a secure cloud-based file service like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive.

You can create a link to your documents or an individual document which can be shared to all parties in the Zoom group chat window. You can also modify the share settings within these services to control the ability for those with access to download, print, or even select/copy the text while viewing with the link you provide. This allows you complete control over document distribution and content sharing.

Witness interaction: “Can you underline that portion on the exhibit in front of you?” How can a witness or attorney add annotations to a document that is not in physical paper copy?

Method 1: While an attorney or witness is sharing their screen through Zoom’s Screen Share feature, any participant of the meeting can make annotations using various tools that offer the ability to highlight text, circle or underline, or add text to the document. Please note that the participant sharing the document must press the Save button (only available if you started the shared screen or whiteboard) which will save all annotations on the screen as a screenshot.

NOTE: Learn more about using annotation tools on a shared screen or whiteboard through Zoom’s help center.

Method 2: If the document is in PDF form, Adobe Acrobat Reader offers many of the same tools giving any participant the ability to download the exhibit to their computer, add annotations, then share the annotated file through Zoom’s chat feature to distribute to all parties.

WARNING: Do not forget to save any document that has annotations before exiting the screen!

AFTER THE PROCEEDINGS HAVE CONCLUDED

If you have not already done so, email all exhibits to the court reporter, making certain that, if annotated during the deposition, the final version with annotations is sent.

If you saved annotation screen shots while sharing your screen during the meeting, please remember to include those images when sending.

FREE TRAINING AVAILABLE

Phipps Reporting is offering free training sessions to you or your firm, to work with these features in advance and ask questions. We will also provide you with a testing playground so that you can practice independently on your own.

Get on the list: