A Message From Aptus Court Reporting President, Derek Berg

Greetings, I hope that you and your families remain safe and well, despite maybe a major case of cabin fever! For some of our communities, the stay-at-home directive remains in place while others are making plans to open. It’s a confusing time as rules vary not only by state, but also within each state, as localities determine their own plans for reopening. As it stands today, our business continues to be subject to the stay-at-home directive. We know many of you have questions about how deposition services will work in the weeks and months ahead, and we are committed to helping clients, regardless of their local circumstance, accomplish their work while staying safe and healthy. Here’s how we are preparing for in-person depositions when the time is right:

Q. When will Aptus begin hosting depositions in their offices?

  • We will begin hosting depositions in our offices when we receive clear guidance from state and local governments that our business is authorized to do so. While we do not have a firm date at this time, we anticipate that depositions scheduled for late May will be able to be conducted in-person. Of course, the appropriate protective measures will be taken to ensure the health and safety of all involved. 

Q. When will Aptus be able to send reporters to attend depositions in person? 

  • Aptus will begin sending reporters to attend depositions in person when restrictions are lifted in each respective market. While we understand that some clients are beginning to request in-person reporters, as long as stay-home guidelines are in place, Aptus will not require reporters to attend depositions in person. 

Q. What safety measures will be put in place for in-person depositions?

  • Each Aptus office will initially hold only one deposition at a time in the largest conference room available in that location. 
  • Conference tables and chairs will be adjusted to accommodate social distancing requirements. Accurate headcounts will be critical to making this work.
  • We will also be prepared to offer an additional office as a remote-attendee room, if needed, as well as arrange for off-site attendees to join remotely.     
  • Every deposition participant will be required to complete a health screen before entry into our offices.
  • We will be rolling out cleaning schedules for each of our offices so that common areas are wiped down regularly with disinfecting solutions. Hand sanitizers will be readily available for clients and employees. 
  • Masks are recommended in common areas of the office and when interacting with other individuals. 

We will continue to keep you apprised of the precautions we’re taking to keep you, your clients and all involved individuals safe once in-person depositions resume. Perhaps even after offices reopen, we know many of you will continue to conduct remote depositions and witness preparation. Since the situation seems to change day-to-day, I encourage you to also stay in touch with us on LinkedIn to get the most recent updates on our service offerings and office re-openings. Aptus is always here for you. To help, we’ve created a series of videos on how you can easily leverage this technology to keep people safe and productive. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more.

Transcript of Above Video

We’ve truly entered into uncharted waters as it relates to COVID-19. Our lives have been altered from shelter in place orders, working from home and all the other things associated with being locked down as a society. All the while we are expected to conduct work in the legal space without much interruption. Today we’re gonna discuss different ways, thought processes and procedures we’ve created during this difficult time.

When we opened the organization in 2011, when we reflect back on the past nine years, one of the things that we’re most proud of is our culture. And I ultimately believe that this is what will bring us through to the other side. Has it been dinged? Has there been times of sadness or difficult decisions and conversations that had been made? Absolutely. But I genuinely believe that the people who have been involved with the process and decision making, will ultimately guide us through this difficult pandemic.

We have a core principle at Aptus that focuses on, let’s have any types of difficult conversations upfront and with complete transparency. And when we were hit with this COVID-19 crisis, that’s exactly what we did. We assessed the variables that were presented to us. We involved management at every level, in terms of how we’re going to move forward and making the difficult decisions that were presented in having to make. Fortunately, we had been blessed with an 18 month run of extraordinary results. So when asked about how do you stay positive? And what does that mean to the organization? We had collectively, at every position, achieved these results, which ultimately provided an amazing foundation for us to tread waters and get through this difficult time. It’s a difficult situation that every single organization across the world is facing. But at the end of the day, we stuck to our core principle or one of our core principles, which is, we’re going to be as transparent as possible and we’re going to have difficult conversations up front.

We are a half-full organization, we believe in ourselves and each other. I have lots of thoughts on this subject. We obviously are not completing as many depositions today, currently, as we were before COVID-19 hit in early March. That being said, we’re fortunate enough to be in an industry that has embraced technology. We firmly believe that we are on the forefront of executing these technologies as they relate to remote depositions. It’s exciting that we’ve had an opportunity to guide and help people manage their litigation caseload. We have conducted webinars. We have done one-on-one presentations. We have advertised our capabilities throughout all of our social media outlets. It has been met within the legal community with great goodwill. And so we’re seeing a lot of our clients and in fact new clients as a result of our embracing of technology, come to us, and that’s really exciting. But what this pandemic is doing currently, is it’s forcing our hand a bit in terms of learning a new process and once we all learn new processes, it allows us to gain knowledge on how we might be better served on conducting business as we want to know it and moving forward. And so we’ve noticed that this has been a tremendous help to our clients, and we’re excited to been in the position to embrace technology and help move the needle forward as they might say.