The Discovery Update – October 2009


The Discovery Update – October 2009

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October 2009

From the President

This month, our feature article talks about how to best schedule and plan for out-of-town depositions – which, if not planned properly, can disrupt the flow of the litigation process of any one case. The article also references specific out-of-town depositions tips that we think you will find useful both in the planning and execution stages.

Court reporters, videographers and interpreters can be immediately scheduled all at once in convenient locations in any city nationwide. As clients realize how much time we can save them, out-of-town scheduling has become one of the fastest growing areas of our business, and we hope that you continue to utilize our services in this way.

As always, we welcome your suggestions and comments and we would like to share articles you have written with our readers, as well.

Best regards,
Sheila Atkinson-Baker

Out-of-Town Depositions Made Easy

By Barbara Lynch
Staff Writer

A Reporter for Depositions in Every Nook and Cranny

Location. Location. Location.  We’re used to hearing this when people talk about what makes a restaurant successful. When it comes to depositions, it’s just as imperative.

One of the questions clients frequently ask is whether or not we can get them a reporter in a particular town – even if it’s way off the beaten path.  And our answer is always a confident “Yes!”

So, when an attorney needed a reporter in Gardiner, Montana, we arranged it, no problem. In case you’ve never been there, Gardiner and its 851 residents are tucked away in Montana’s Gallatin Wilderness about 60 miles upstream of Livingston’s 6,851 residents along the original entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

Gardiner and Livingston, despite their remoteness and tiny size, are two of the 7,394 cities throughout the US and over 15 other countries where we have reported more than 413,163 depositions over the last two decades.

Even if there are depositions in London, CA (pop. 1,848), London, Ontario (pop. 352,395), or London, England (pop. 7,512,400), all on the same day, we can easily get reporters there within a few hours. Sheila Atkinson-Baker pointed this out in an article she wrote over ten years ago when Atkinson-Baker was one of the first to offer last-minute reporters in remote locations.

Read full article>>

E-Discovery Competence is a Fundamental Ethical Challenge Now Faced by the
Legal Profession

By Ralph Losey

There can be no real justice without truth, and in today’s world of civil litigation, no real truth without e-discovery. That is because writings are the key evidence in most cases and almost all writings today are electronic. The paper documents we see are mere shadows of the original ESI; small tips of vast icebergs of electronic truth. Yet lawyers continue to settle for the few paper remnants scattered about a controversy and avoid search of these depths. This realm is beyond their training, beyond their competence. So they agree between themselves not to go there, or if forced, they delegate the task to vendors. They abdicate the traditional role of lawyer as master of discovery. This is a disservice to the profession and the clients we serve.

This situation is getting worse each day, not better, as ESI grows exponentially in volume and complexity. It has created a crisis for the legal profession. It is not a crisis of poor rules as some contend, and thus revising the rules again is no solution. It is a crisis of competence, and as such it is an ethical crisis. It is time we owned up to the problem and did something about it. We have an ethical duty to act. The solution is clear: Education and training, combined with recognition and affiliation of experts where competence has not been attained.

Fundamental to professional ethics is the duty to keep the dispute resolution process fair and honest. Controversies must be settled on their merits based on the facts and the law. Moreover, lawyers must put the interest of their clients ahead of their own personal interests. These are the two core truths of attorney ethics. In electronic discovery, we are failing on both fronts.

Read full article>>

Out-of-Town Depositions Made Easy

E-Discovery Competence is a Fundamental Ethical Challenge Now Faced by the Legal Profession

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The Holding Pattern: Lessons Learned on Litigation Holds
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Preparing Witnesses for Depositions: Here’s a Step That’s Often Forgotten
The Top 10 Killer Deposition Questions
From the Witness Stand…Q. Did he pick the dog up by the ears?
A. No.
Q. What was he doing with the dog’s ears?
A. Picking them up in the air.
Q. Where was the dog at this time?
A. Attached to the ears.

Q. Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?
A. No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region.

Q: What is your name?
A: Ernestine McDowell.
Q: And what is your marital status?
A. Fair. 

Q. Mrs. Jones, is your appearance this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
A. No. This is how I dress when I go to work.

Q. Did you tell your lawyer that your husband had offered you indignities?
A. He didn’t offer me nothing [sic]; he just said I could have the furniture.