Has E-Discovery Killed Transcript Management?

by Tom O’Connor
March 12, 2011

Reprinted by permission from the Gulf Coast Legal Technology Center Blog

I’m honored once again this year to be speaking at the ABA TechShow and one of my sessions is called Technology for Transcript Management with co-speaker Todd Corham, the CIO at Sedgwick LLP in San Francisco. Now in preparing for this session, Todd and I came across something interesting. It’s called eDiscovery and it’s all about the documents.

Once upon a time, attorneys prepared feverishly for depositions, rummaging through boxes of documents trying to get one or two which they put in front of a deponent, hoping to get some enlightenment on specific issues and where more relevant documents might exist. Managing that process led two attorneys to get a computer geek they knew (no offense Jim) help them create the little program known as Summation, which was renowned as the first app to integrate transcript and document management.

Now we use software to rummage through folders of electronic documents (well some of us do but that’s a subject for a different session) and deposition transcripts seem to have become the forgotten stepchild of litigation support.
I asked several colleagues about this and received the following observations:

1. There are less depositions now because more cases than ever settle
2. Depos are now pushed back to later in the case due to e-discovery and thus become less critical
3. More depos now focus on experts and/or 30(b) (6) custodians
4. Transcript management has become more standardized in the internal workflow process of law firms
5. We have more focused searches now and less need for the old practice of depo summaries
6. The practice of transcript management has become dominated by two main tools: LiveNote and TextMap

I’d love to see if these comments ring true with anyone else out there. Let me know your experiences with transcript management and if you’re at the ABA TechShow on April 11th, come by and listen to Todd and I discuss this interesting turn of events.

Tom O’Connor (below) is the Director of the Legal Electronic Documents Institute.

Tom O’Connor, Director of the Legal Electronic Documents Institute

Tom O’Connor

Tom is a nationally-known consultant, speaker and writer in the area of computerized litigation support systems. Tom’s involvement with large cases led him to become familiar with dozens of software applications for litigation support and he has both designed databases and trained legal staffs in their use of eDiscovery tools. Tom is the author of The Automated Law Firm, a guide to computer systems and software published by Aspen Law & Business, now in its fourth edition and The Lawyers Guide to Summation, published by the ABA.

~ by CDLB on March 25, 2011.

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