Court Reporter Louisville & Lexington KY use Skype for Depositions

Skype for Your Remote Depositions

Attorneys looking for ways to reduce the cost of taking or attending remote depositions are turning to Skype and learning the strengths of this long-established video chat application.

What is Skype?

Blue and white Skype logo Skype is a free downloadable software application that enables users to make voice calls, video chat and share documents in a multiuser environment, making remote depositions suddenly become an affordable alternative to video conference and telephone conference depositions.

Taylor Court Reporting Kentucky, with court reporting offices in Louisville, Kentucky and Lexington, Kentucky has seen an increase in the number of requests for Skype depositions.  Our experience with Skype over the past few years leads us to believe that since Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype in 2011, attorneys are increasingly embracing Skype as a cost-effective way to take and attend remote depositions, thereby avoiding the high cost of travel and negating the need for video conferencing which can run into hundreds of dollars an hour.

A brief history of Skype

Skype was first released in August of 2003.  eBay acquired Skype from its developers in September 2005.  In 2009 eBay subsequently sold 65% of Skype to American private equity firm, Silver Lake and its partners.  Finally in May of 2011 industry-leading software giant Microsoft, who remains its current owner, bought Skype for $8.5 billion.

Why attorneys turn to Skype for remote depositions

1.  Price – Skype beats its competition hands down.  Skype-to-Skype video calls are free, while Skype-to-mobile and Skype-to-landline pay-as-you-go rates start at just a penny a minute.

2.  Travel costs – avoid the high cost of airline tickets, hotel, meals, and cab fares.

3.  Eliminates downtime – Deposition prep time is key to getting the most out of any deposition.  With Skype you can prepare for your deposition in the comfort of your own office right up to the very last minute.

4.  Interaction – With the ability to not only hear, but also see the witness, attorneys can gauge reaction and demeanor while questioning the witness.

5.  Document exchange – With the click of your mouse, you can securely exchange and share documents and photos.

6.  Security – All Skype-to-Skype voice, video, file transfers and instant messages are encrypted. This protects you from potential eavesdropping by malicious users.

Want to get started? 

If you think Skype may be right for your next remote deposition, here’s what you’ll need:

1.  Go to Skype.com and download the latest version for your device.

2.   Internet connection – broadband is best.

3.  Computer or mobile phone with built-in speaker and microphone (external headset with microphone will also work).

4.  A webcam or computer-enabled or device-enabled camera to make video calls

5.  Check System Requirements for Skype to make certain your system or device is compatible.

6.  Everyone on group video calls will need Skype 5.0 for Windows or Mac, or higher, plus    webcams.

7.   For best quality Skype recommends you use a high-speed broadband connection of 4Mbps down/512kbps up and a computer with a Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz processor. As a minimum you’ll need   a high-speed broad connection of 512kbps down /128kbps up and a computer with a 1 GHz processor.

Here’s how to make a group video call (Skype for modern Windows)

From Skype.com:

With Skype you can enjoy group video calls with up to 10 people (including yourself), anywhere in the world.

Although mobile device users cannot initiate a group video call, they can join it.

To set up a group:

  1. Start Skype.

2.  Tap or click the Group icon at the top-left of the screen.

 Blue and white Skype icons

3.  Select the contacts you want to have in your group instant message.

4.  As you add contacts to the group chat, they’ll appear at the bottom of the screen. When you’ve added everyone you want, click add.

    Blue and white Skype navigation bar

5.  Click the video call button.  Blue and white Skype video camera icon

Having problems with the video on your group call? Your camera might not be working properly with Skype, but don’t worry; this guide can help you sort it out.

If your camera is working properly, check this guide to make sure your camera, microphone, and speakers are properly set up.

 

 

court reporter Louisville KY & Lexington KY Rush icon

Find Success in Going the Extra Mile

You’ve been told to “go the extra mile” for as long as you can remember, but did you know if you went that extra mile you’d likely be alone.  Few are willing, nor even want, to go the extra mile, thinking to themselves, “Why am I working so hard when no one else is making the effort?”   That’s why that extra mile can be such a desolate place, yet one that’s ripe with opportunities.
Get to your job early and stay late.  Be helpful, ask questions, and offer assistance.  Touch base with clients and peers.  Do your homework and practice your skills.
Every day ask yourself what others aren’t doing and do that one extra thing you can think of.
Go the extra mile consistently and you’ll find the success you’re looking for.
Court Reporter Louisville KY & Lexington KY Battery Blob

Don’t Throw Away that Battery Tester Just Yet!

As a court reporter and deposition videographer, I watched this YouTube video sent to me today by email and thought, wow, that’s great, no more tossing half-used batteries!  So, after turning the office upside-down trying to find a few dead batteries to test, and giving it that old court reporter try, it just goes to show, you can’t believe everything you read or see on the Internet. 

Don’t believe me? Try this for yourself, just don’t try it on the job!  #soconvincing

KY Court on Facebook

Court reporters and attorneys have long used social media to market themselves, educate the public, and share thoughts and ideas. Taylor Court Reporting Kentucky has a website, taylorcourtreporters.com, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a Pinterest page, but something new is happening here in Kentucky, a Circuit Court Judge has given his courtroom a Facebook page. 

Judge Olu Stevens of Louisville Kentucky’s Jefferson County Circuit Court Division 6 started a Facebook page for his court room, but took it down; however you can find a Facebook page for Jefferson Circuit Court ClerkThe purpose of The Circuit Court Clerk’s page is to provide up-to-date information and the latest news regarding the circuit courts in Jefferson County Kentucky.

 

 

With 147 “Likes” so far, the page appears to be off to a great start and once word gets out, more and more Facebookers with an interest in the comings and goings of Division 6 will “Like” the page.
A post on March 23, 2013 states, “Hopefully this new page will assist all attorneys, particularly civil practitioners, in planning for hearings before the Court. If the Court is in trial in another matter, attorneys will be timely notified in order to reschedule hearings and call off witnesses subpoenaed to appear. The judge has never discussed the particulars of any case on social media and will not do so in this forum; but if you have a case before the Court, you will now have a new tool to utilize in planning for your upcoming trial or hearing.”
We suggest not relying on Facebook feeds, but actually going to Division 6’s Facebook Page for information.  With Facebook in a constant state of change, it’s hard to trust that because Facebook functions one way today, it will function the same way tomorrow.
Taylor Court Reporting Kentucky applauds Judge Stevens for his innovation and initiative and we wish him and his staff the best of luck with the new Division 6 Facebook Page.

Update:  Division 6’s Facebook page appears to have been taken down and is no longer available for viewing.

May we suggest Twitter next?

Video Depositions – Best Shooting Practices

Kentucky Court Reporters & Video Depositions Statewide

A professional deposition videographer is likely to be the first person to arrive at your scheduled deposition.  Taylor Court Reporters Kentucky videographers arrive an hour prior to the scheduled start time of any deposition in order that we might assess the video deposition space for size, lighting, seating capacity, electrical outlets, and table size.

Some depositions are easier to shoot than others.  We all have been jammed into a doctor’s small examination room with several attorneys, a court reporter, witness, videographer with all their equipment, and a seven foot examination table.  Videographers do the best they can, given the circumstances, and by showing up early, arranging chairs, lighting, and setting up camera and microphones, running a few tests, things should go smoothly. A professional videographer comes equipped with several tricks in their bag to make the most of any situation. 

Shooting configurations can vary depending on the circumstances, lighting, windows, table size, number of participants, but what is the ideal shooting configuration, and why?  Taylor Court Reporter Kentucky videographers are instructed to shoot across the table, with the questioning attorney to the immediate right or left of the camera, with the court reporter at the end of the table between the witness and questioning attorney.  Using this method, the witness is looking at the camera or slightly off to one side or the other.  We choose this method of shooting rather than shooting down the length of the table.

Why not make everyone comfortable and shoot down the length of the table with counsel lining both sides of the table?  The problems with shooting in this fashion are many.  Consider this:  The questioning attorney is sitting directly to the right or left of the witness, the camera is focused on the witness alone.  The picture you get is one of the witness constantly in profile answering questions and not appearing to speak to the jury.  The jury is more engaged when the witness appears to be speaking to them directly instead of looking off camera, speaking to an unseen person.

Another problem with shooting the length of the table is a cluttered picture.  Coffee cups, files, and hands get in the way of a long shot.  The framing of the witness in this configuration is wider than the across-the-table shot, allowing more opportunity for the distraction of stray water bottles and tissue boxes.

So the next time you attend a video deposition, bear with the videographer as they ask you to sit here or there.  They are the professionals and are trying to get the best audio and video record of the proceedings possible with the end result being a video record with which everyone will be pleased.

 

Kentucky Map shows areas covered by Taylor Court Reporters Kentucky

Kentucky Statewide Court Reporters & Video

Taylor Court Reporters Kentucky is headquartered in Louisville, KY, yet many days you’ll find our court reporters and legal deposition videographers on the road. A typical week finds us with video depositions and steno depositions scheduled anywhere in Kentucky Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, GeorgetownLexington, London, Nicholasville, Northern Kentucky, Owensboro, Paducah – anywhere, and we cover them all.  When a client calls, Taylor Court Reporters Kentucky has the professional office staff to balance a busy book with a clear, cool head, and a bit of humor. Our court reporters and legal deposition videographers are dedicated professionals, most with advanced degrees, and the well-rounded knowledge to get the job done.

When booking a job with Taylor Court Reporters Kentucky, you’ll get the quality, experience, and professionalism you’re looking for.  You’ll find our pricing fair and competitive, and remember, there is NEVER A TRAVEL FEE!

Taylor Court Reporters Kentucky has meeting rooms available throughout the state of Kentucky.  Call our office today at (502) 671-8110 with your date, time, and location and let us book a deposition room and court reporter for you.  Deposition videographers are always available, too.

When you become a client of Taylor Court Reporters Kentucky, you can reap the benefits of all we have to offer, so contact us today to see what we can do for you!

Taylor Court Reporting Kentucky

200 S. Fifth Street

Suite 610 North

Louisville, Kentucky 40202

(502)  671-8110

linda@taylorcourtreporters.com