By Marsha J. Naegeli
The Latin phrase ipsa scientia potestas est (knowledge itself is power) is as well known in today's legal community as it was more than 2,000 years ago when Cicero employed the first Roman court reporter. Although the working relationship between attorneys and court reporters is an ancient one, it is still a vital part of winning cases today. However, assessing whether you have the support necessary to help you access that power is another matter.
There is an old adage that applies to life in general, and to legal services in particular, "Do not be penny wise and pound foolish." In our current economy, this is inimitable. Using resources wisely has never been more essential, and this includes the time and energy spent preparing cases.
However, attempting to reduce costs by eliminating vital services is not cost effective. It is disastrous. Good litigation support is a pivotal factor that can tip the scales in your favor and give you the competitive edge, and there are specific litigation support features to look for.
Real-time Court Reporting
Real-time technology is an exciting tool in which technology is applied to link real-time captioning directly to your computer screen with pinpoint accuracy. Real-time allows you to immediately tag issues as testimony is appearing on your private laptop. By using only a simple word search or annotated text queries, you can access vital information instantly. You can also provide captioning for the hearing impaired, eliminating the need for sign-language interpreters.
So how does using real-time affect you and your client's pocketbook? Creating simple word searches and annotated text queries will allow you to instantly create reports specific to the issues tagged. You can also create rough deposition summaries as the deposition is transpiring, thus saving you and your expert witnesses valuable time in digesting and reviewing your transcript.
Consider the time spent checking an index and then thumbing through pages of text to find a specific reference to an exhibit. Using the hyperlink function, attorneys can immediately locate exhibits with just the click of a mouse. The exhibit is highlighted for quick reference, and the text is embedded and hyperlinked for immediate access to all information within that exhibit.
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