Live Versus Remote Depositions
It’s been nearly a year since I wrote about litigation in the middle of COVID-19 , and I think it’s fair to say 2021 has been quite the busy year so far. Most litigation forecasts predicted this year would see a huge uptick in litigation – stemming from new circumstances created by COVID, as well as the return of litigants who took a pause in 2020 – and I think they’re absolutely right. While some courts are still struggling to clear last year’s backlog of hearings and trials, we’re seeing that a majority of the courts have actually done a surprisingly wonderful job of keeping up and are even planning to resume in-person civil trials in August and September. And with trial dates and related deadlines back on the calendar, discovery has necessarily resumed in full swing as well.
Depositions are arguably the most vital component of the discovery process, as written discovery (interrogatories, requests for production of documents, requests for admission) are finalized, if not almost entirely prepared, by attorneys. Pre-COVID, remote/video depositions were pretty rare – reserved only for those witnesses who really couldn’t travel or to relieve some other kind of extraneous burden. In 2020 and Q1