Karin A. Bentz is a 30-year veteran trial lawyer who, over the years, has seen a drastic evolution in technology and its impact on the practice of law. Her firm, the U.S. Virgin Islands-based Law Offices of Karin A. Bentz, P.C., (www.virginlaw.com) has made a priority of providing the best possible counsel to clients through its aggressive approach to litigation and adoption of innovative technology.
As a litigator focusing on employment and personal injury law, witness preparation sessions and depositions take up a significant portion of Karin’s and the firm’s resources. Having relied on Esquire Solutions as a close partner for decades, Karin and her team have always worked toward streamlining and optimizing the trial preparation and depositions process. And despite Esquire’s superior service and implementation of technology, the burden of paper and travel related costs continued to be an obstacle for the firm. The opportunity to digitize this onerous process was one that neither Esquire nor Karin was willing to pass up.
With its location in the Caribbean, the firm often handles cases that span a range of geographic locations, facing Karin with frequent travel to meet with witnesses and conduct depositions. As an example, Karin is litigating a personal injury case for a client based in Kentucky who was injured at a hotel while on vacation in the Virgin Islands. Karin must conduct extensive interviews with deponents in a range of locations, traveling to cities where the witnesses reside. This and similar situations often result in significant time and money traveling and printing and shipping case documents for depositions.
The primary deposition-related challenges facing Karin’s firm included:
• Excessive time and money spent on printing, copying and shipping exhibits to depositions across the country
• Frequent cross-country travel meeting with witnesses and deponents from coast to coast and beyond
• Document intensive work for employment law cases, which can equate to boxfuls of paper that need to be transported to every witness interview and deposition
As a leader in easing the of burdens of managing depositions and trial preparation for attorneys, Esquire became an early and enthusiastic reseller for eDepoze’s paperless deposition software when it came onto the market. Recognizing the strain Karin and her team were facing, Esquire – which has consistently saved Karin and her clients time and money with its court reporting and deposition services – introduced eDepoze to the firm in late 2014. Since implementing eDepoze, Karin has traveled across the U.S. for witness interviews and depositions without a single piece of paper. For the personal injury case mentioned above, she was able to conduct four days’ worth of sessions in Kentucky completely paperless. The firm has also reduced its travel by using eDepoze to conduct remote depositions.
Esquire and eDepoze provided the following solutions:
• Paperless depositions across the firm’s entire inventory of cases
• Remote depositions with participants in numerous cities
• Ability to mark and share exhibits on the fly, versus sharing them in advance of a deposition
• Complete access to all documents and exhibits via an iPad anytime, anywhere, eliminating the reliance on home-office support during a deposition
• Ability to add exhibits in real time – if opposing counsel produces documents late, they can still be uploaded to the software for immediate use with minimal time or effort
• Hands-on troubleshooting and support from Esquire, including delivery of devices and internet access when needed
eDepoze provides an ease of use and functionality far beyond what the firm’s attorneys could previously achieve with their laptops and paper exhibits. Karin has passed these savings on to her clients – a notable sum considering that before eDepoze, she and her staff spent hours into the night printing documents at the copy shop and spending hundreds of dollars in shipping for every deposition. Together, Esquire and eDepoze have relieved stress for Karin and her team by eliminating much of the burden associated with preparing for and conducting depositions.
Specific benefits delivered included:
• Significant reduction of printing and shipping costs – savings that are passed on to clients
• Remote depositions enable less travel, which has relieved stress on Karin’s schedule and lowered overhead for the firm
• Completed depositions cross-country – including in Kentucky, New York, California and Boston over the course of two months with only a laptop and iPad, no hard-copy exhibits
• Maintained element of surprise in a case by controlling when and how exhibits are shared during a deposition
• Fewer interruptions during depositions when last-minute documents need to be added