WE ARE HERE TO HELP
Alaris remains fully operational and available to provide outstanding legal concierge services during this period.
Your Safety is Our Priority
On behalf of the Alaris family, we want to first say we hope you, your families and your entire teams are doing well and staying healthy. Alaris remains fully operational and available to provide outstanding legal concierge services during this period. It is critically important that we make every effort to ensure that our clients and team feel comfortable and safe as they enter each of our office locations.
We have communicated the general prevention guidelines put forth by the CDC and elevated the disinfecting protocol in all of our locations to remain safe and available to best serve our clients. We share your concern for staff and clients during this public health crisis. Here are the measures we are taking to ensure your safety in our facilities:
- Each of our offices has undergone a thorough disinfection process, and we continue to disinfect surfaces on a regular basis.
- The majority of our staff is now working from home, and those who remain in the office have been situated in compliance with the CDC’s social-distancing recommendations.
- We are administering health screenings to all staff and visitors upon arrival at Alaris office locations, including a body temperature check using a touchless thermometer. Please arrive 30 minutes early to allow time for this process.
- Our buildings have implemented directional and social distancing signage as recommended by the CDC.
- Mail and paper exhibits are being handled with extra care to minimize any risk of contamination.
- Employees are required to wear face masks unless the employee is working alone in an enclosed area.
- Visitors are encouraged to wear face masks as well.
- Electronic delivery is available for transcripts, exhibits, video and invoices, to assist in minimizing exposure.
Rules Governing Remote Court Reporting
As our nation practices social distancing to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, jurisdictions across the country have encouraged attorneys to conduct depositions remotely. While attorneys have been conducting remote depositions for decades, the court reporter was generally in the presence of the deponent. During this challenging time, court reporters and attorneys are staying home, and the laws are changing to make that possible.
In many cases, the courts have encouraged the use of remote depositions. For example, in the matter of Jeffrey v. Samsung Electronics, Case No. 15-cv-02087 (N.D.Ca. Apr 1, 2016), the court reasoned that “remote videoconference depositions can be an effective and efficient means of reducing costs.” Lopez v. CIT Bank, N.A., No. 15-CV-00759 BLF (HRL), 2015 WL 10374104, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 18, 2015); Guillen v. Bank of Am. Corp., No. 10-CV-05825 EJD (PSG), 2011 WL 3939690, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 31, 2011); Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial (2015), The Rutter Group, 11:1470, 11-170. Likewise, courts have noted that leave to conduct depositions by telephone should be liberally granted and that a desire to save money constitutes good cause to depose out-of-state witnesses through remote means. Guillen, 2011 WL 3939690, at *1; Lopez, 2015 WL 10374104, at *2. In fact, courts have even held that when the movant desires to conduct depositions remotely, the burden is on the opposing party to demonstrate how they would be unduly prejudiced. Guillen, 2011 WL 3939690, at *1.”
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, courts have shown an even greater willingness to allow remote depositions and remote court reporting.
Set forth below is a list of the jurisdictions which have traditionally allowed remote court reporting; as well as states that have amended their rules to allow for it as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. (This list will be updated regularly with new rulings from other jurisdictions. Please notify us with any other updates that we have missed.)
Court systems across the country clearly recognize the danger of face-to-face interactions in the midst of a pandemic crisis, and are reacting immediately to allow parties to take depositions remotely.
Please note: The information provided is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with local rules for any updates or clarifications.
The below outline is reflective of information available on May 1, 2020.
Federal: Rule 30 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure already allowed parties to stipulate the use of a remote court reporter: "Unless the parties stipulate otherwise, a deposition must be conducted before an officer appointed or designated under Rule 28."
Court proceedings have received similar flexibility from Rule 43: “For good cause in compelling circumstances and with appropriate safeguards, the court may permit testimony in open court by contemporaneous transmission from a different location.”