Whether initiating a case on behalf of a plaintiff or representing a defendant in an opposition motion, the legal team with the best strategy often wins, especially in matters where the evidence is difficult to obtain or manage in a meaningful way. It is understandably important then to tie the evidentiary pieces secured from one stage of the litigation process to the next. This approach calls for finding and pulling together evidence through litigation support technology, first at the outset of a case and continuing on through trial. There are litigation support tools now available that pinpoint and manage files, records and testimony and provide needed and often related evidence.
The days of paper trails are gone as most evidence is stored in computers. Getting to this electronically stored information takes an expert that knows how computer systems work and can accurately complete email conversion and procession. Electronic Data Discovery and Computer Forensics applications have brought technology to the forefront in locating critical evidence and building ones case during the early discovery stage of litigation.
Online Review Tools have become cost effective solutions for attorneys to sort, filter and review documents in a secure collaborative environment from early case assessment to document review to production. Project teams are now able to assist attorneys in storing, sharing and converting information while preserving the integrity of evidence and maintaining a strict chain of custody. Online Document Management Services utilized during the early discovery phase include:
- Document Imaging, Scanning and Digitizing
- Coding - Bibliographic, Subjective and Custom
- Optical Character Recognition - This allows you to search across large volumes of material more easily.
- File conversions - Standardize your files to a familiar file format or change from an existing format.
- Bates stamping and capturing - This service can be rendered electronically via an automated process and/or manually.
- High-volume printing/blowbacks Gives you the ability to reproduce any collection quickly to paper.
Evidence secured during Early Discovery can be successfully utilized at the Deposition Stage during direct and cross examination of witnesses. Technologies that enable attorneys to view a deponents testimony in real time have improved the quality of questioning and in turn, the quality of evidence. Comprehensive court reporting services & deposition services have made securing an evidentiary record of the deposition proceeding faster and easier.
Deposition Management technology and litigation services offered include:
- Electronic transcript delivery with exhibits and archiving (e-transcript).
- Complimentary ASCII disks and condensed transcripts.
- Exhibits scanned and included with each copy of the transcript.
- Video Depositions
- Web Repository for 24-hour access to your deposition transcripts and exhibits.
- Ability to receive real-time transcript text and video of the witness wherever you are, whether face-to-face or via Internet.
- Internet real-time with ability to create a chat room and Instant Messaging between selected parties.
Video depositions are able to capture testimony in a more compelling way than the written record alone, and can help juries to better understand complex ideas and situations. Technologies that bridge the deposition and trial stages of litigation such as Transcript and Videotape Digitizing and Synchronization can be used to impeach a witness at trial. Similarly, computer programs such as Power Point and Trial Director, as well as graphic design aids, which include Demonstratives and Electronic Presentations, have created a compelling way to present evidence at trial.
What is your end game and how do you get there? A comprehensive approach that focuses on securing evidence at each stage of the litigation process through new support technologies and which ties evidence together in a compelling way is indeed a winning strategy.