My big brother Bob enlisted at 17 and served our country

in Southeast Asia at the tail end of Vietnam.

Eagerly walking in his shadow, I admired him as tall, broad shouldered, outgoing and bright.   Every kid in the neighborhood admired his athleticism, leadership, compassion, and how he was always there for the little guy.  Especially me.  He was always upbeat, fearless and ready for adventure.

Bob left home like most of our heroes:  Eager, patriotic and determined. He spent two honorable tours in combat as a teenager, then a young man, before becoming morbidly sick with malaria, typhoid, and other unknown illnesses due to chemical exposure.  Slipping into a coma, our family was advised that he was not expected to survive.  I remember mom hysterical, crying, shaking, barely able to hold the phone.

Through prayer, luck, and dedicated medical staff, Bob came out of his coma, and immediately removed his yet undated toe tag. He was eventually shipped home weighing only 130 pounds, his yellow skin hanging off his 6′ skeleton. It was hideous.

Bob returned, but the brother we knew was gone, replaced by a shell of a man.

Instead of reveling in his shadow, he now was the shadow.

It took my brother many years to recover, and he has had to endure an entire lifetime of life-threatening physical maladies and multiple system failures from his exposure to Agent Orange, disease, and the psychological ravages of combat.  Until recently, we as a family cannot remember a time that Bob hasn’t been sick or suffering physically or emotionally since his service to our country over four decades ago.

His duty assignment today is battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as he still endures the psychological scars of kills and destruction. Bob has never given up, he was never a quitter.  He’s at peace now and thankfully is blessed with the love of a good woman.

But, like many vets, my brother struggled to fully integrate into a society that spit on him, that takes our freedoms for granted.  He faces a society that still dismisses the challenges he and other veterans face each and every day, while half the population whines and feigns outrage over everything from school prayer to words that hurt their feelings.   Bob, like many of our heroes, struggles with an inefficient government-run healthcare system that has proven deadly, drowns in bureaucracy and regulation, while it laboriously rations out benefits, medical treatments and procedures, as if he was begging for something unearned.

Sometimes we lose our heroes in one tragic moment.

Other times we lose them slowly and tortuously over time.

Let us never forget their sacrifice.

The current uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic is not relenting.   Stay-At-Home orders, while relaxing in some jurisdictions currently, are predicted to be phased in and out throughout 2020 and beyond depending on expected subsequent waves of the virus.

Courts nationwide have entered orders rejecting extending deadlines and are now requiring that depositions be taken by remote means.   It is time to move forward accepting that our current circumstances are going to be here for a while.

Federal Rule 30(b)(4) provides that “[t]he parties may stipulate—or the court may on motion order—that a deposition be taken by telephone or other remote means.”  Arizona RCP mirror this language.

As discussed in our article Momentum: Use It or Lose It, it is predicted that dockets will be backlogged for months.  One must now seriously consider the devastating domino effect that any further delay in taking depositions will cause to their client’s matter, and their reputation.

There are practical considerations a litigator will face when taking a remote deposition.  Instead of hoping you’ve read the right article, let us do our job.

We walk counsel and their staff through these logistical nuances each and every day.  Our platform is encrypted, password-protected, and is FedRAMP (Moderate) and SOC2 rated.

Obviously, remote depositions require integration of various audio and video equipment.   Not to worry, we’ve got your back.  Whether there are 3 parties or 30, at no additional charge we reach out and conduct practice runs with you, opposing counsel, and the witness to test technology, share best practice, and answer questions.

As impartial officers of the Court proficient with video conference technology, we help ensure the propriety of the process.   There are best practice protocol that you MUST require be carried out, such as the certified court reporter having control of all hosting functions, disabling any chat function, monitoring band-width and audio integrity in real time, simultaneously marking exhibits, and video recording only on-the-record testimony, just to name a few.   There is also a plethora of experience we bring, contributing to the confidence that you are geared up and on point for remote depositions.  These are standard functions that our elite team welcomes providing to ensure the integrity of each proceeding.

Please, do not be intimidated or put off by this technology.  This is what we do.  This is what we’ve always done.  We are your certified technical support assistant from end-to-end for all your remote video conference proceedings.

Bring it.