Many of you have asked for more information on legal technology – both in court reporting and litigation support. Along these lines, our feature article this month is about Realtime reporting. Many of our clients use Realtime on a regular basis and we hope that it either gives you new information or it’s a reminder for you to take advantage of Realtime reporting when you schedule your depositions.
We also included an article about“The Role of Legal Secretary in a Digital World” and another one that highlights technology as a new trend in paralegal programs. These articles and more tips when working with PDFs round out the legal technology theme for this month.
As always, we invite you to send us any articles or tips you may have so we can share them with our readers.
Realtime: Are You Using it to Your Advantage?
By Barbara Lynch, Staff Writer
Realtime, the instantaneous translation of the court reporter’s stenographic notes into English, first caught broad public attention through its use in the O.J. Simpson criminal trial over ten years ago.
Once primarily limited to the major metropolitan areas, realtime’s availability has spread throughout the country over the last decade with a very high percentage of depositions reported nationwide being reported in realtime. It has continually increased at a steady, rapid rate and has become the only way to depose for many litigators.
Bryan Sheldon, a litigation partner at Lim, Ruger & Kim, LLP, in Los Angeles, uses realtime for approximately eighty percent of his depositions. Once he was introduced to this highly beneficial approach to depositions at LegalTech a few years back, he began taking advantage of it right away.
Bryan is very pleased with the results of using realtime, and he sees a remarkable difference in his discovery results. He finds realtime to be an extremely valuable service which is worth the possible extra cost.
“Especially when the goal is to get specific testimony to support a technical motion such as for summary judgment, realtime allows confirmation that the questions were clearly asked and fully answered, leaving the witness no ‘wiggle room’ when it comes time to oppose the motion. We have all experienced leaving the deposition room thinking we had nailed the witness, only to be disappointed when the transcript arrived and testimony was not as clear as we thought it was. Using realtime almost eliminates that phenomenon,” Bryan said, when asked for an example of how realtime can be valuable.
An attorney representing himself in a case for recovery of his fees had his case dismissed because he failed to appear for a scheduled court hearing. He subsequently filed a motion requesting relief from the judgment of dismissal based upon the theory that it wouldn’t be fair to penalize the client for the mistakes of his attorney. Defendants filed their opposition to the motion, which included the following excerpt:
“Uniquely, Plaintiff herein, an attorney litigating in pro se, is alleging that he has caused his client (himself) irreparable harm for which he should not be made to bear the mistakes of his attorney (also himself).
Defendants, jokingly, have dubbed this the ‘Sybil’ defense.”