Video Depositions – the New Normal for the Age of Social Distancing

David R. Bohm

By David R. Bohm



The Circuit Courts for St. Louis City and County have both issued Administrative Orders that approve of taking of depositions by video conference.  Both of these orders require that a party opposing the taking of a deposition by video conference, for that reason alone, has the burden to prove that the deposition not go forward (i.e., that the deposition notice be quashed).

At a Town Hall videoconference on April 16, Judge Rex Burlison, the presiding judge of the St. Louis City Circuit Court, made clear that, at least in the city, a party opposing the taking of a deposition by videoconference will have a difficult time convincing the court not to permit such deposition to go forward.  For now, at least, in the age of social distancing amidst fear of the COVID-19 virus, it appears that videoconference depositions will be the new normal.

However, there are real issues that need to be addressed concerning depositions by videoconference.  Perhaps the most important has to do with the security of the videoconference platforms used by court reporting services.  In a survey of several large national court reporting services and one smaller service, they all reported using Zoom for depositions, despite recent reports by credible sources that Zoom has been hacked and is not secure.  Unless and until these security concerns are addressed, I will oppose taking of depositions over Zoom (although other services may be more secure).  The security of depositions is of particular concern when depositions involve businesses’ confidential information or otherwise will address sensitive information.

There are also questions regarding the preservation of video and audio of depositions, including how this will be done, how parties can access any recordings, and whether storage of any such video and/or audio is secure.  Again, the security of recordings of Zoom conferences has also been reported to be an issue. Continue reading »

Privacy and Cybersecurity Practices for Working Remotely During COVID-19

Hannah E. Mudd

By Hannah E. Mudd



Just as we are adapting our daily lives, cyber-criminals have adapted their nefarious activities to capitalize on people’s fears and potential system weaknesses during COVID-19. Hackers are targeting connection vulnerabilities and sending phishing emails with COVID-19-related subject lines or pretending to be a boss/coworker using a personal account. They have also been sending malware with fake COVID-19 tracker maps, WHO, or CDC information and making social media posts or comments with pleas related to COVID-19.

Reasons systems and data could be particularly vulnerable during COVID-19 include:

  • Human error;
  • Unvetted personal devices;
  • Devices behind in patches or updates;
  • Public Wi-Fi networks; and
  • Lack of remote work ‘protocol’ or training.

As a result, now more than ever you need to review your company’s data and privacy policies and ensure your workforce can successfully work from home. To illustrate just how important this is, consider Privacy Rights Clearinghouse’s statistic that 11,613,547,443 records have been breached since 2005.

Continue reading »

Coronavirus Scams and the FTC

David R. Bohm

By David R. Bohm



Hat tip to my friend, Harold Kirtz, who is a senior litigator with the FTC:

It is important that we, and our employees, families and friends, be vigilant for various scams playing off coronavirus fears.  For your information, click on the link below for a good summary from the FTC concerning various of these types of scams. 

More than ever, it is important that we engage in safe internet practices.

Coronavirus Scams – What the FTC is Doing

Additional Resources:

COVID-19 Business Operations for Danna McKitrick

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resource Center

Posted by Attorney David R. Bohm. Bohm is an experienced litigator working with health care, government, and business clients on employment, intellectual property, and complex contract issues. He is also skilled in alternative dispute resolution as a means to solve disagreements without litigation.