Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Eric Croft


Telephonic communication has been proposed as a partial solution to the growing expense in criminal matters and civil litigation across the United States. While courts and attorneys have generally accepted using the telephone for motion practice and oral argument, they have been reluctant to accept using the telephone to directly communicate a witness' testimony to the courtroom and jury. At the same time, courts generally allow a party to read a witness' deposition to the jury. This note argues that telephonic testimony is generally superior to the courtroom reading of a deposition in terms of the probative information each communicates to the jury. Therefore, this note proposes that courts allow telephonic testimony under the local court rules applicable to depositions unless there is a specific need for visual interaction.