Trial by Webex, but Not Zoom?

By on December 4, 2020

Litigation by Zoom is not novel at this point. Depositions by Zoom, motions hearings by Zoom, bench trials by Zoom—it’s all become commonplace. While federal civil jury trials by Zoom have been rare, there have been many in various state courts. And while we know from our daily lives that other videoconferencing services are available (Teams, Webex, GoToMeeting, Collaborate), Zoom predominates in pandemic litigation.

It was curious, then, to see a ruling from the US Court of Federal Claims. Confronted with a routine discovery motion for leave to take depositions remotely pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(4), which requires such leave in the absence of a stipulation, Judge Charles Lettow wrote: “In the circumstances at hand, the court GRANTS leave for depositions to be taken either telephonically or by Webex. Zoom should not be used, absent proof that such use would be secure.”

It seems that the parties did not direct the court to Zoomgov.com:

The Jury Returns - Trial by Webex but Not Zoom - Zoom for Government

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Our 200-lawyer litigation practice advises clients of all sizes, from multinational corporations to individual plaintiffs and defendants. We successfully represent our clients in federal and state courts around the country. The strength of our lawyers is based on the fundamental principle that excellence in client service mandates deep substantive knowledge in a broad range of industries and areas of the law, and―when required―incomparable ability and success in the courtroom.

McDermott’s litigation team monitors US courts as they reopen amid the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

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