The COVID-19 pandemic has brought remote depositions to the forefront and opened the door for more flexibility throughout Texas and the country. And not a moment too soon. The current climate has also strained closely held businesses—some to the breaking point. Litigation surrounding business damages, bankruptcy, and tax issues (yes, the IRS is still going after certain offenders right now) are expected to be on the rise.
For successful remote expert witness testimony in jurisdictions where it’s allowed, consider these tips:
- Work with someone already qualified by the court system. Now may not be the time to call upon an expert witness for forensic accounting or any other area of expertise without experience. One misstatement or questionable qualification could disqualify the expert, and with a court scheduling order in place, you may be unable to name a replacement.
- Assign a technology expert. Technology can be your biggest enemy if you let it. The best way to ensure that the deposition goes smoothly is to assign someone within the firm to act as the technology expert to troubleshoot problems, from internet connections to sound quality to the proper digital submission of exhibits. Diagnostic tests can be conducted days before the proceedings to test for issues that might occur for any participant.
- Reconfirm the details. Small slip-ups like recording a remote video deposition when not all parties agreed to do so can derail your efforts. Check with the court reporter on the specific details surrounding the proceedings, including how to handle exhibits and what to do if an emergency conference call needs to be conducted in case of a technology failure.
For additional considerations, read this article by the Texas Deposition Reporters Association’s Rene White Moarefi and this helpful advice by Baker Donelson publications. And for additional questions about working with expert witnesses, feel free to contact us.