Article by Frederick C. Kucklick
Depositions of experts or technical personnel in complex litigations can sometimes lead to unanticipated answers, causing retaining counsel to need to quickly create new lines of questioning. Knowing the questions to ask may be outside the skill set of the deposing attorney, and having your expert sitting next to you at the table can lead to poorly passed notes, whispers, and paper shuffling. In addition to saving cost, your expert monitoring the deposition live via a video feed in his/her own office can contemporaneously email you follow up questions with attached exhibits.
In my work as a litigation consultant and expert witness I have often wished I could attend depositions of certain experts or witnesses but, due to cost considerations, retaining counsel have generally proceeded without me.
I have found that following a court reporter’s live transcription to be of limited or no use, since they display on a remote computer screen a few seconds to a minute after the deponent’s statements, and can contain many errors and inaccuracies.
In my experience, there may be a more effective and less costly way than my personally attending a deposition: I prefer to attend remotely, via Skype or other video communication method.
Attending depositions via Skype or similar service has allowed me to observe the proceedings on my own computer. There have been many times that I have found that a deponent’s answer has led to another, unscripted question that was important to the case. While monitoring the deposition at my own computer, whether in my office or off-site, I can easily look for documents, undergo all the activity necessary to prepare my question, gather the pertinent information, and quickly dash off an email with my proposed question and exhibit to retaining counsel.
This method is less expensive, easier and more accurate than trying to locate documents and pass notes while sitting at the deposition table.
Frederick C. (Fritz) Kucklick is founder and president of IMT Consulting, Inc., and provides management, engineering and litigation support for CEOs, managers, and attorneys. IMTC's clients include multinational and privately held companies. Litigation consulting and expert witness matters for which Kucklick has been retained include breach of contract disputes, patent infringements, misappropriations of trade secrets, industrial espionage, and products liabilities in state and federal courts and arbitration.
Fritz Kucklick's manufacturing, management and engineering expertise are based on a mechanical engineering degree and skills developed during more than 25 years' hands-on ownership, top management, international sales, design engineering, field startup, troubleshooting & installation, and project management positions with automotive Tier One, machine tool and heavy machinery manufacturing companies in the U.S. and Europe.