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Seen on social media: Handling those remote depos

Dineen Squillante points her camera at her hands while taking remote depositions.

Dineen Squillante, RPR, a freelancer in Arlington, Vt., recently shared these guidelines that she is following this week while virtual reporting.

As we head out into the virtual world of depositions this week, I wanted to share some things that I am now incorporating. It is completely fine if you do things differently. I share to generate thought and/or discussion if you want to. I have been asked by my clients to record depos through Zoom “in case” they want it. The answer is no. After getting the help of NCRA President-elect Christine Phipps, RPR, owner of Phipps Reporting Inc., my gut feeling has been solidified, and it’s a hard pass for me. And here’s what I told my client on Friday after my first answer to them was too soft and they came back insisting, and this will be my standard response going forward:

  1. “I will not be recording our deposition through Zoom. My job here is to take down the written record. My duties do not include ensuring that the vidio/audio will be usable at a later date. It is not part of my responsibility as your stenographer to edit out any inappropriate or off-the-record content or make it usable, and I won’t be doing it. If you want to preserve a vidio/audio of this deposition, I suggest you hire a professional videographer.”

And that was the end of the discussion.

2. In the past, I always hid myself on the screen. Going forward, I am going to point my camera on my hands; one, so they know I’m an actual stenographer; two, I will tell them, if my hands are not on the machine, we are not on the record.

3. As my clients start to book more and more Zoom depos, I made a personal decision that after today I will not take any deposition where the witness is not in a state where I hold a valid Notary or license. I will gladly locate a valid Notary/stenographer to handle their deposition in the state where the witness resides and pass the day over to a colleague.

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