Technology has always played a role in pushing industries forward and helping them evolve. Use of “electronic” exhibits for depositions, in place of “hard copy” exhibits is one such area.
Put an End to the Hard Copy Paper Chase
Young associates know all too well the burden of organizing traditional deposition exhibits. Producing these exhibits requires photocopying, binding, labeling, and a host of other inconvenience before the exhibits are ultimately boxed up and transported to the deposition. We have all seen a box or two of paper being lugged into a deposition conference room, either by oneself or opposing counsel. Some of the documents will be introduced as exhibits and others may not. Not only is this paper chase slow and burdensome, but it comes with the uncertainty of a shipment arriving late or getting lost in transit.
Use of electronic exhibits, on the other hand, provides peace of mind. One uploads the documents beforehand, and then it is necessary to only transport a laptop or tablet, instead of hard copy documents. The court reporter provides a screen for the witness to view the documents, and the questioning attorney controls when the document will appear for the witness to view. Once it is determined to mark an exhibit, an electronic exhibit stamp can be placed on the document.
Simplify Depositions and Save Time in the Process
Our team who oversees web conference and video conference depositions has seen firsthand how valuable electronic exhibits can be and how they simplify the deposition process. The majority of documents that today’s attorneys receive and work with are already electronic in format. Quite frequently, these electronic documents are then printed and distributed in hard copy format to the witness, opposing counsel, and the court reporter at the deposition. Upon deposition completion, the paper exhibits are collected by the court reporter and processed for inclusion with the transcript by being scanned back into electronic format. As you can see, this is a roundabout way of handling exhibits – and an immense amount of extra work in a case with hundreds of documents. In addition, personnel inefficiency, paper and ink costs, and shipping translate into unneeded expense.
From improved operational efficiency to improving the bottom line, there are many reasons electronic exhibits may be right for your legal practice. Contact Atkinson-Baker to learn more about electronic exhibits and to discuss whether they are the right choice for your firm.