As the business technology landscape quickly evolves, we are seeing faster computer capabilities, we are using software that handles our tasks more efficiently, and we are witnessing social media such as Twitter™ become popular. What also is evolving is the way legal professionals are relying on new technology to assist them with their everyday workload.
Our feature article this month, “Electronic Transcript Management Made Easy,” is a good example of how “e-transcripts” can save time and provide much needed information in a more organized fashion. The article talks about Transcript Plus!™, a CD that includes transcripts and exhibits and a built-in search engine which, in the end, helps ease up the pressures of the discovery process.
We hope you enjoy reading this special feature article, along with the other articles, and find them helpful. Please send us any feedback you may have or articles you think we should include that would benefit other legal professionals.
Electronic Transcript Management Made Easy
By Barbara Lynch,
Today’s technology has caused the amount of paper being used in the legal industry to be cut back over the years, but the quantity of paperwork that still is flowing in and out of law offices can be overwhelming for any legal professional working in litigation.
The entire litigation process has been a test in itself for paperwork management: how to organize paperwork, how to pass on paperwork, how to prioritize paperwork, and, all the while, trying to minimize paperwork. This is something they don’t teach law school students or first year associates.
Attorneys and their support staff shuffle through and pass back and forth loads of paperwork daily which, in large part, includes deposition summaries and transcripts. Multiply the amount of deposition hours by the number of cases and one attorney could easily fill a medium-sized closet with nothing but stacks of “active” transcripts at any one time.
Litigation Discovery Cannot Be Optimal But Could Be Better: The Economics of Improving Discovery Timing in a Digital Age
By Scott A. Moss, Professor, University of Colorado Law School
Cost-benefit “proportionality” limits on discovery have long been prescribed by a wide range of commentators. The judiciary codified a proportionality requirement in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(2)(C) and later in e-discovery rules based on proportionality principles, such as the Rule 26(b)(2)(B) proviso that only upon “good cause” can there be discovery of computerized data “not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost.”
Drives to limit discovery typically gain strength when technology increases discovery cost. The original proportionality rule arose when the spread of photocopying technology changed discovery from in-person inspections to massive document productions.
Similarly, the e-discovery rules arose once mass digitization of corporate and other records expanded discovery from paper exchange to costly examination of data existing in high quantities, in deleted media, and on obsolete hardware – endeavors that can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars just to find old e-mails, digitally scanned paperwork, or database content.1
Here’s a law school moment one student will never forget that happened in 1984 at Columbia University:It was a lecture conducted by some hot-shot VIP who refused to answer any questions following his hour-long rant on the politics of malpractice suits.A woman in the back says, “Please sir, just answer my one, two-part question please?”So, thinking he was being very clever, the speaker says, “Okay, give me the second question first.”
A few chuckles followed, at which point the fast-thinking woman said, “If so, when?”
Naturally, the place fell apart and she received an ovation.