Remember the good, old days of depositions? After all the hassle a paralegal went through to schedule the appearance of all parties under one roof, there were the exhibits to deal with! Many a litigation attorney suffered chronic back pain from lugging around those heavy cardboard boxes full of paper.
We know witnesses, attorneys, and other legal team members can make a virtual appearance at a deposition, but now during online depositions, participants can virtually introduce and mark exhibits. Exhibit sharing is the newest aspect to the ever-growing list of virtual possibilities offered via court-reporting technology in accommodating the demands of the modern deposition.
Now when you attend a deposition remotely, an Internet stream using our all-in-one platform can not only deliver a live video feed and/or scrolling realtime text, but also access to cyber exhibits. It’s noteworthy to mention, you don’t have to be having remote participants, realtime text or video to take advantage of electronic exhibit sharing. All you need is Internet access and a laptop or iPad for viewing.
How does it work? The process basically follows the traditional hardcopy procedure; but instead of the typical scanning, printing, collating, labeling, packing and shipping hundreds of paper exhibits, electronic exhibits are uploaded in advance to a secure server and are ready to be marked as an exhibit, presented to the witness, and electronically distributed to opposing counsel. This offers your law office and its clients a significant time and cost savings.
Before the deposition, your office will want to coordinate with CompuScripts as far as who will be attending and who will be receiving various online privileges, such as uploads/downloads and private chat options. Your exhibits will be uploaded to a secure server before the deposition and will only be viewable by you until you decide to allow everyone to view a single exhibit or multiple exhibits. CompuScripts will generate an email invitation to “join a deposition” for your scheduled exhibit viewing. Your email will contain instructions for joining the streamed event.
Once the deposition has started and you request the witness review a document, a simple click makes your exhibit viewable or not viewable by everyone signed into the streamed event. Cloud-based exhibits can be marked up just like hardcopies when using a pen or highlighter. A witness’s testimony can be documented precisely with online exhibits by clicking and dragging a pencil to draw an “X”, circle, or arrow, for example.
Another exhibit tool allows the witness to instantly highlight or add text. Electronic exhibits can be clearly identified to display like a traditional-looking stamp showing the exhibit number or letter, the witness’ name, the date and initials of the court reporter. When you are ready to conclude questioning on a particular exhibit and will be moving on to another topic or document, you simply click “submit” and all of the current mark-ups, along with the exhibit stamp, are embedded into the exhibit as a new file that is saved on the server, affording authenticity of the official exhibit. CompuScripts will link your exhibits to the final certified transcripts that are electronically delivered to counsel.
Still unsure about the exhibit-sharing process or need some extra help? You can hire a CompuScripts Exhibit Monitor to assist you with the streaming technology the day of your deposition. CompuScripts can also host a CLE at your law firm or connect you with training videos and user guides that will get you up to speed in no time.