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Edward M. Spiro and Christopher B. Harwood Edward M. Spiro and Christopher B. Harwood

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, parties have had to adjust their approach to litigation—including by conducting remote depositions—to account for the new normal. In some instances, however, parties have resisted remote depositions, claiming that the complex nature of certain litigation is ill-suited for remote depositions, including because the depositions would be document-laden and involve large numbers of exhibits. Southern District Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron recently addressed an objection to remote depositions in Rouviere v. DePuy Orthopaedics, 2020 WL 3967665 (S.D.N.Y. July 11, 2020). In Rouviere, the plaintiffs sought an order compelling a defendant to have its corporate representatives appear in person for deposition, or, in the alternative, to extend the fact discovery deadline until an in-person deposition of the corporate representative could be conducted. Aaron denied the request, concluding that, under the circumstances, the deposition of the corporate representative could be conducted effectively by videoconference, and it would be “unworkable” to delay the deposition indefinitely until it could be conducted safely in person.

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