Confused or unsure about how a vTestify deposition could be admissible “without a court reporter”? Believe it or not, many court reporting agencies are now adopting “Digital Court Reporting”, a non-stenographic alternative capture technique for deposition testimony. In other words, even court reporting companies are doing depositions “without a court reporter”. In addition, it is now common practice for many state courtrooms to be recorded by audio-visual recording techniques and transcribed after the fact.

While there are slight variations in rules of civil procedure depending on state and federal jurisdiction, these tips apply for a vast majority of the United States. Here are a few quick admissibility tips to get you started.

Notice of Deposition

There are generally two important additions to your notice for a vTestify deposition.

  • Recorded by audio and visual means
  • Non-stenographic methods

Example Language

  • “The deposition will be taken via video and audio using “vTestify” and will continue from day-to-day until completion.”
  • “The transcript with be produced by non-stenographic methods as authorized by rule…”

 

Stipulations

Stipulations give opposing parties broad power to agree on variations in the rules to accommodate your deposition needs. Here are some key stipulations to consider for your vTestify deposition:

  • Non-stenographic methods
  • Waive objection to form and format
  • Oath or affirmation administered by signed affidavit
  • Transcript delivery by electronic methods

Example Language

  • “I’d like to stipulate for the record that today’s deposition testimony will be captured by digital non-stenographic methods, that all parties were properly noticed to such methods and agree that today’s record with be transcribed and certified as would a stenographic transcript.”
  • “Whereas, it is agreed pursuant to and stipulated by the parties regarding Federal Rule 29, that all parties hereby stipulate and wave any objection they might have as to the form and format of the deposition. Specifically, any objections to utilizing this electronic internet-based service to obtain this testimony.”
  • “Whereas, the parties hereby stipulate and wave any objection of the oath / affirmation administration to the witness being conducted by a signed affidavit, which is going to be attached hereto as Exhibit 1, which is deemed to be an ongoing and continuing obligation to provide testimony in a truthful and honest manner under the penalty of perjury.”

 

Oath or Affirmation

Putting your witness under oath is critical to the deposition testimony process. Here are a few methods to consider for your vTestify deposition. Only a notary authorized to administer oaths or affirmations in your jurisdiction is needed.

  • Have your witness complete an “Affidavit of Oath” before a notary anytime prior to the deposition.
  • Have a notary independent to the case swear in your witness in person. Following the oath or affirmation, they may leave.
  • “Remote Notary” services such as Notarize.com utilize loopholes in the notary code that allow you to swear in a witness over video conference. We recommend completing our “Affidavit of Oath” and having that document notarized remotely using their services. You’ll receive a video of the oath or affirmation along with your admissible affidavit that can be verified and stored with your vTestify deposition testimony.

 

Transcript Certification

While vTestify’s transcripts are produced by non-stenographic methods, the certification process is the same. A court reporter simply certifies the accuracy of the transcript and that they are independant to the case. In consideration of that fact, a vTestify transcriptionist will certify the transcript in the same manner.

Upon completion of the transcript, the witness will receive a copy and will have the ability to review and sign or fill out the errata sheet. This is all done digitally, meaning that every copy of the transcript is a certified original.

Certification of Transcript

This is to certify that the foregoing transcript is a true and accurate transcript of the proceedings transcribed by me or under my supervision. I further certify that I am not related to any party or attorney, nor do I have any interest whatsoever in the outcome of this action.”

Certificate of Deponent

“I have read in its entirety the foregoing pages, which contain a true, correct, and complete transcript of all answers made by me to the questions therein recorded. Furthermore, I acknowledge and affirm that I was sworn in, I understood that I was under oath when I gave all testimony set forth in the aforementioned transcript, and the testimony I gave was truthful and accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time, and remains so to this date, and I hereby ratify my testimony as set forth in the foregoing transcript in all respects.  I hereby irrevocably waive and release any right to contradict any of my testimony as set forth in the foregoing transcript, based on my knowledge that existed at the time such testimony was given.  I give this certification in partial consideration for the convenience, time savings, cost savings, travel savings, and other substantial benefits that I will receive from utilizing an internet-based virtual testimony platform, and I understand that this certification constitutes a material inducement to induce all counterparty(ies) and the Court, arbitrator(s), or other finder(s) of fact, to permit me to give my testimony virtually in lieu of an in-person deposition or interview.  I further certify that I execute this certificate knowingly, voluntarily, freely, and that I am not under any duress or compulsion to do so.”

 

Hopefully these quick tips will give you the ammunition you need to assure your opposing counsel about using vTestify for your next deposition. With these minor changes to your deposition procedure, you’ll be able to save your clients valuable time and money. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out and discuss.

 

Disclaimer: vTestify is not a law firm or a substitute for any attorney or law firm, as such this does not constitute legal advice. vTestify will assist in the research of local rules of civil procedure to ensure that our platform is admissible in consideration of convenience, time savings, cost savings, travel savings, and other substantial benefits that comply with the intention of the rules of civil procedure.

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