One of the most important components of the litigation process leading up to trial is the discovery deposition. Deposition is a fancy legal word for a process by which a person sits down in front of a court reporter and gives testimony under oath that is transcribed by that court reporter.

A deposition may end up being the only time that a person is allowed to tell their “story” in their own words while being asked questions by an attorney. This process is so important that the Illinois Supreme Court Rules allow parties to take depositions in person simply by issuing a notice to the other side — stated otherwise, they don’t have to obtain permission from the court and issue a subpoena like they would for someone like an eye witness to an accident or a treating doctor or any person with information in relation to a situation such as a breach of contract in the business context.

Interestingly enough, however, courts are beginning to look favorably on using technology to make what is traditionally a rigid process into a more convenient, accommodating system.

Under the new Illinois Supreme Court Rule 206(h), parties can make a special request to take a deposition by telephone, video conference, or other live technological method. Because it is often debatable as to why many similar laws are enacted, the rules committee went out of it’s way in this case to specifically note that:

The Committee is of the opinion that the apparent acceptance and utilization of telephonic and other remote electronic means depositions demonstrate that there is no need to require a party to obtain an order on motion to proceed with such depositions absent a written stipulation. Therefore, the Committee recommended the elimination of such a requirement so that the depositions may proceed by notice.
There are pros and cons to taking depositions via telephonic and other remote electronic means. We have been taking depositions in this manner for years–even before the Rules changed for efficiency and to save our clients time and to advance cases more quickly. Ask your attorney about their use of technology–simple changes in the way a lawyer practices can save you significant costs if you are paying by the hour and perhaps significantly advance your case in terms of the life cycle of a case if scheduling does not allow a lawyer to take the deposition by traveling an hour or more to a location for a deposition.
You can contact us here 24/7/365 (and we really mean that as we will answer our phone) if you have any questions and to learn how we may be able to help you analyze your particular situation and employ efficiency for you. Most importantly, you will find that we listen, take your phone calls and e-mails (and even text messages!). We would be honored to help you with your matters – large or small.

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