From scheduling depositions to coordinating exhibits and transcripts for the witness in Timbuktu, the ability to synchronize and communicate well is paramount to creating a flawless deposition. No one understands litigation behind-the-scenes, and all of the preparation, thousands of documents, time, and costs like a paralegal does. Paralegals need a similar-minded court reporting firm for support.
A good court reporting firm can help in five key areas when scheduling depositions:
- Scheduling court reporters and/or videographers for in- or out-of-town depositions
- Videoconferencing/Zoom depositions
- Booking conference rooms
- Exhibit retention
- Offering advice
Scheduling Depositions Becomes a Smoother, Stress-Free Process
When a litigation team must depose a witness in or out of town, it’s often the paralegal’s responsibility to locate and book a qualified court reporter, a videographer, and a facility. These can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming tasks without local connections and familiarity with the area.
Paralegals who work with The Cooper Group, or a similar firm, have instant, reliable access to the best court reporters, videographers, and conference rooms throughout the country. Even better, they can depend on the out-of-town service providers and facilities to be top quality. Using a well-connected court reporting firm may result in the COD payment waiver.
Videoconferencing Cuts Travel Time and Costs
When litigation requires deposing out-of-town witnesses, attorneys, and occasionally their paralegals must travel. Significant costs are incurred due to airline tickets, accommodations, transportation, food, and other incidentals. Often, the greatest expense is the cost of travel. Videoconferencing or Zoom allows paralegals to participate via a secure, high-quality internet connection, which saves time and money, plus allows them to focus on other responsibilities.
Booking a Conference Room Either Takes an Act of GOD or It Can Be a Breeze
While technology has ushered in an era where attorneys can easily practice law without the need for a formal conference room or even an office per se, there are situations that call for a conference area.
The Cooper Group’s first goal is to offer or schedule a complimentary conference room with our service. This is convenient for the paralegal charged with locating, booking, and arranging payment for one. If a complimentary location is not available, we will locate the most cost-effective solution.
Get Support with Retaining and Organizing Exhibits
Generally, paralegals are in charge of organizing and retaining depositions exhibits. With exhibits organized for each deposition and paralegals keeping them for each party, the result is multiple, diverse sets of exhibits that aren’t easily reconciled with one another. Adding to this complexity are out-of-town depositions to which exhibits must travel or be shipped, as well as copied, distributed, properly catalogued, and returned in excellent condition.
A court reporting firm can offer repository services, along with accumulating, cataloguing, and archiving a single set of deposition exhibits for an entire case. By using a common set of exhibits for all depositions, attorneys and their paralegals can avoid any confusion over which exhibits have been used with which witnesses and eliminate unnecessary duplication. Another benefit is that depositions have uniform numbers and are retained by an independent third party—the court reporting firm—assuring consistency with documents used in various depositions. The firm can then secure the exhibits and transport them to and from depositions. Last but not least, preparing trial exhibits is easier because a single, comprehensive list and set is kept.
Get Objective, Helpful Advice on a Variety of Topics
Objective, helpful advice that can result in efficiencies and cost savings shouldn’t have to be asked for, but rather offered. Your court reporter should be asking questions and solving your challenges to improve your relationship.
Take the schedule for example. Your court reporter should ask for the length and type (real-time v. non-real-time, dirty ASCII, etc.) of deposition to determine who is the best professional for the job. Court reporters have different levels of skills and not all reporters have the same capabilities – so the more information, the better you’re served. It is helpful for the notice to be provided when scheduling a deposition. Also, having correct email addresses for everyone involved is important, so you receive the finished product as seamlessly as possible.
One of the most synergetic relationships in law is between the paralegal and the court reporting firm — a firm that can and does act as an extension of the paralegal, and thus the law firm. The best partnerships between court reporters and paralegals are those in which the court reporter anticipates needs and provides services to match, making them a much better combination like peas and carrots.
Whatever your deposition needs are, choosing the right court reporting firm can yield new and unexpected efficiencies and cost savings for your practice. Contact us today to schedule a deposition or learn more about our court reporting services.