How to Take Depositions during a Coronavirus Outbreak

On February 25, 2020, Dr. Nancy Messonier, the CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, announced that the public needs to prepare for the Coronavirus to become a pandemic. “It is not so much a question of if this will happen in this country anymore but a question of when this will happen,” she told reporters. “We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.” 

The week before this announcement, I started my Monday in Louisville and flew to Minneapolis for a connection in Denver. During that time, I boarded airplanes with several hundred other people, walked through the same airports as tens of thousands of other people and touched the same chairs, elevator buttons and arm rails that have been touched by hundreds of thousands of other people. I then spent two days in Denver attending the Colorado Trial Lawyers convention shaking hands with about 200 people before flying to Orlando via Atlanta for a presentation to about 60 members of the Osceola Bar Association. Eventually, I flew back to Louisville via Atlanta again. Now, imagine doing all of that if the Coronavirus breaks out in America. The probability of me catching the disease and bringing it home to my family would essentially rise to 100%. 

So, what to do when you need to depose a witness out of state or just down the street? The CDC has suggested that parents call their children’s schools and ask if there are plans for children to attend class over the internet or via video chat should the buildings need to close. That may be a tall order for the several million students in this country but it’s a very real solution for you as an attorney. Kentucky Court Reporters has provided video teleconferencing and secure online videoconferencing for over a decade. We can connect any point on Earth with any other point or points on Earth via laptop. If there is any concern about internet connection, we will ship mobile hotspots to as many participants as needed. We can even ship a laptop to the witness and/or other participants if they do not have their own. In short, you can attend all your depositions without ever leaving your home or office.  

If you do want to take the deposition in person, we can guarantee that our employees do not work when sick. We have a strict “do not come to work when sick” policy. We also hand out free hand sanitizer to anyone who wants it. 

Certainly, we hope this latest virus blows over quickly, but we would rather prepare for the worst. Rather than postponing depositions or slowing down your case, call Kentucky Court Reporters to securely connect you to anywhere on Earth. 

Mike McDonner is the President of Kentucky Court Reporters, the leading provider of court reporting, videography and videoconferencing in Lexington, KY.