A lot of attorneys are living double lives.
Much of the time, they look like savvy collaborators, working on matters with case team members from different offices, practice groups or specialties. That collaboration makes a real difference because, as an article in The American Lawyer recently noted:
When firms get collaboration right—that is, when they do complex work for clients that spans practices and offices within the firm—they earn higher margins, inspire greater client loyalty, gain access to more lucrative clients, and attract more cutting-edge work.
From the filing of a case through completion of document discovery, lawyers typically work in technology platforms that enable a high degree of collaboration. A case team might spend months working together in their e-discovery platform, sifting through mountains of data to get at the evidence most relevant to the case.
But when it comes time to actually use the evidence they mustered, attorneys usually don’t look so savvy. They leave that collaborative environment behind, wading instead into a paper-intensive landscape that makes collaboration difficult, if not impossible.
Depositions: Shackled to An Antiquated Process
The deposition phase is a good example. Having labored with their team to review, issue tag and analyze documents in electronic form, lawyers traditionally have been forced to reduce those documents to paper and have a team member hand-prepare folders or binders for use as deposition exhibits.
After each deposition, the team waits to have the official exhibits scanned back to electronic form and delivered days or weeks later. Then those exhibits are uploaded to an electronic repository, only to have them printed and copied again for the next deposition.
That paper-intensive process puts severe limits on attorneys’ ability to collaborate with their team before, during or after a deposition.
Collaborating with the eDepoze Platform
But now attorneys and their case teams can practice full-time collaboration by using eDepoze as an evidentiary platform throughout the deposition phase and on through trial or arbitration.
Combining a secure, cloud-based database with a web- or iPad-based user interface, eDepoze’s deposition software overhauls the onerous paper deposition process and opens the door to collaboration as never before possible:
- Coordinated Preparation. Prior to a deposition, a case team member uploads electronic versions of potential exhibits to eDepoze’s database, eliminating the need to print, gather and organize documents multiple days in advance. That puts the control back in the hands of the case team to prepare documents and shape strategy in the critical few days leading up to the deposition. And because eDepoze is integrated with Relativity®, documents may be imported directly for use as potential exhibits. As they continue to prepare for that and other depositions in the case, attorneys and their case team can collaborate on the eDepoze platform with shared access to collections of electronic documents they plan to use as exhibits.
- During the Event. At a deposition, eDepoze enables full control over the process, allowing users to securely share exhibits as they are marked and introduced, organize all exhibits, annotate and retain personal copies of all depositions materials. The case team can collaborate during the deposition by using the software to communicate with other team members, share comments and annotations on exhibits, and even add new documents on the fly. The deposition leader can increase the level of collaboration when discussing an exhibit with the witness by choosing to share a synced view of the document with the witness and other participants.
- Remote Access. Because eDepoze works remotely the same way it works locally, it allows attorneys, their clients and expert witnesses to collaborate by participating together in depositions without having to incur significant travel costs. And because eDepoze supports multiparty depositions, multiple case teams can securely collaborate with each other in a single deposition session.
- Easy Hand-Off. After the deposition, every member of the case team has immediate access to the official, stamped exhibits without waiting for the court reporter to scan and deliver them. That allows case teams to share and collaborate on newly marked and newly produced exhibits, even when team members have to cover multiple depositions in multiple areas during a compressed time frame. An exhibit marked at a deposition in Minnesota on Tuesday can be used at a different deposition that afternoon in New York, and again at a third deposition on Wednesday in Florida.
- Exhibit Log. eDepoze also creates an automated exhibit log with hyperlinks to official stamped exhibits and the underlying, unmarked documents, allowing for easy cross-reference and organization throughout the deposition phase and when it comes time to prepare exhibits to be used at trial or arbitration.
eDepoze’s Witness Prep 2.0 software similarly enables attorneys to collaborate using electronic documents when preparing witnesses to testify at deposition, arbitration or trial.
High-Stakes Litigation: Not a Solo Event
With the client’s money and reputation on the line, attorneys need to be able to collaborate with their entire case team throughout the life of the case, taking full advantage of the strengths of each team member.
Contact us today to introduce eDepoze to your case team, leave the double life of part-time collaboration behind, and become a full-time collaborator.