Law firms have typically been slow to change traditional, trusted behaviors to adopt new technology that affects their workflows. While the rest of the world has adopted video conferencing to improve efficiency, lawyers often still travel around a state or country to collect a deposition. Should your law firm consider remote depositions? How could this legal technology software improve your bottom line?
The Problems with Technology for Lawyers
The world has changed and continues to do so at an ever increasing pace. Technology is all around us. Digital tools and toys are in every industry, in our homes, and affecting everything we do. While we may adopt some of these tools for personal use, lawyers are sometimes reluctant to embrace them professionally.
The corporate world has also shifted. IT teams once relegated to the basement server room now have a place at the corporate strategy table. Cloud adoption has normalized for even the most conservative large and bureaucratic organizations. From banks to insurance carriers, everyone is marching toward the elusive “digital transformation” — which can mean different things to different businesses.
Law firms, though, have been traditionally slow to change their habits. This is particularly true with manual processes. We know they get the job done, so why should they bother to take the time to learn new technology to streamline their workflows?
But the legal industry is about to undergo its own form of digital disruption. Investment in legal tech startups exploded in 2018 by 713% from the prior year. These upstart companies are impinging on the market share captured by traditional firms, and they’re using technology to increase their efficiency, cut costs, and improve revenue.
One big change that’s having a big impact on overhead is the use of remote depositions. Legal technology software can completely change the game by saving law firms — and their clients — big money. As technology integrates more thoroughly into the legal lexicon, watch for the remote deposition to become an accepted practice for small and large firms.
Remote Deposition Legal Technology Software
Obviously, law firms want to take the best approach to strengthen their case. Using legal technology software to conduct remote depositions is a cutting-edge way to balance cost and efficiency with a compelling and effective witness story.
From a financial and operational perspective, remote depositions are game changing for law firms:
- Travel costs are cut, both for attorneys, staff, and clients or key witnesses.
- Shipping costs can be cut for documents and exhibits.
- Printing and paper costs can be reduced by using digital exhibits.
- Court reporter fees are reduced, eliminating exhibit scanning and copy fees.
- Time spent traveling, sitting in an airport, searching for documents and preparing, can be cut or eliminated.
- Productivity for the legal team can be improved.
- Scheduling is easier when a witness doesn’t have to add in travel time.
- Work/life balance for attorneys can improve by avoiding unnecessary and time-consuming travel.
While there are certainly times when a traditional deposition is most appropriate, a remote deposition can save clients thousands of dollars. This is an important point for lawyers seeking a competitive advantage; when you can save your client unnecessary fees and costs, you bring real value to the relationship.
But there are tactical advantages to adding this type of technology for lawyers as well. Remote depositions are compelling, powerful tools to consider:
- A Video deposition captures the human emotion behind the statement. A written deposition is one thing, but the power of video is something else entirely. When a witness or a proxy reads a witness statement, it may come across as flat, awkward, and not compelling. Having a voice, face, body language, and the human element all together in a video make a very powerful statement.
- A Remote deposition documents unspoken communication. So much can be said with the shifting of eyes or squirming in the witness chair. Video captures this in a way that text cannot. A remote, recorded deposition allows you to rewind, pause, and replay the statement, carefully observing the witness even though they are miles away.
While your ethical obligation to serve the client hasn’t changed, the technology and tools used to do the work have. Using a remote deposition is one way to meet the needs of your client while improving workflows and cutting costs. California firm Schwartz, Semerdjian, Cauley & Moot recently came down in favor of the remote deposition, suggesting that law firms have an ethical obligation to consider these tools:
“In order to meet the ethical duty of competence, attorneys must keep up with new technology that relates to the practice of law. This is not to say that you must immediately adopt every new untested technology out there but rather as new technologies develop and become integrated with the practice of law, you should analyze the risks and benefits of the new technology and be prepared to implement technology that will have a meaningful impact on your client’s case.”
Why Your Firm Needs to Incorporate the Remote Deposition
The ability to leverage remote video and audio conferencing for depositions could potentially have a real and positive impact on your law firm. Firms of all sizes can enjoy the benefits of this reliable, effective method for capturing even the smallest of details on video. Your clients will also benefit from this service.
While many firms will either not have the resources or not want to invest in remote deposition video conferencing equipment, you have an alternative. LiveLitigation offers an alternative to commercial video conferencing companies.
Our video conferencing service offers the highest quality video and audio on a completely secure, reliable platform. Our service is encrypted using Secure RTP Protocol (SRTP) and participants are fully authenticated by the system. The service is customizable and you can change features to fit your compliance needs. Yet the platform is a turnkey solution that does not require special technical expertise to use. You do not need to download software and you can use any web browser to access a secure, encrypted connection to our service. You can also take advantage of LiveLitigation’s advanced features that are unavailable in most standard video conferencing services, including Realtime Transcript Streaming, Electronic Exhibits, Non-Discoverable Group Chat and World Class 24/7 Support for your litigation events.
LiveLitigation can show you how to transition this game-changing technology into your firm. Talk with our team to determine how we can help your firm.