Attending Depositions from Afar: Using Internet Realtime to Connect Disparate Teams

October 4, 2011

West Case Notebook Education Manager, Pam Marty brings more than twenty-five years of experience within the legal community.  Her background includes over eleven years working for court reporting firms. Since 1990, Pam has been educating court reporting service providers on a variety of transcript-related technology including transcript management and trial presentation software. This is what Pam has to say about how law firms can largely benefit from using realtime to fully utilize and connect their legal team during depositions.

I was able to attend my first internet realtime deposition in Boston in 2002.   The law firms involved in the case had decided to use LiveNote Stream technology to involve the four attorneys representing one side of the case.  Two of the attorneys worked for the company being sued, and the other two were representing the company.  Across the table on the other side, there was one attorney and a witness.   The defendant company had five attendees attending remotely from Minneapolis who were using messaging with the attorneys onsite.  When the witness testified that he had never signed a specific document, the remote attendees were able to quickly locate a signed copy of the document, message the attorney at the deposition that the document was located and being faxed.   One of the onsite attorneys took it off the fax machine and handed it to the witness to ask if that wasn’t his signature.  I found this to be a powerful demonstration of how law firms can use Internet realtime to control travel costs, and also more fully involve all members of their team in a deposition. 

Using realtime is just one small part of the value of the West Case Notebook software.  Testimony under oath and authenticated documents are the heart of most cases, and the deposition is frequently the tipping point in winning your case.    Instantly having access to all the data in your case, while receiving a new deposition transcript in realtime is an incredibly effective tool.  As in the example above, remote attendees were able to support the attorneys onsite without incurring travel costs.  Streaming video allows remote attendees to virtually attend the deposition.  Without streaming video, remote attendees would not see the demeanor of the witness, hear sarcasm, or get the full experience of the deposition without being in the room.  Messaging allows for private exchanges between all members of the team.

Thousands of court reporters provide LiveNote realtime to West Case Notebook.   There are court reporters who have been trained and certified on LiveNote realtime, called Certified LiveNote Reporters (CLRs).  They’re able to provide realtime connections, and help the attorneys with realtime tools within the software.   There are many other court reporters capable of providing realtime.  The free Stream Manager software needed for sending Internet realtime is available to any court reporter, and we also provide free training sessions.   As part of your West Case Notebook subscription, law firms have access to our training staff and documentation such as “Quick Tip Guides for Attending a Realtime Deposition and Connecting” on our website.