Who isn’t trying to be more economical these days? It seems everyone is tightening their belts just a bit. Law firms are no different, trying to cut costs for frugal clients looking for any expenses they can cut. Large cases are necessarily more expensive, and their court reporting budgets are not small – realtime, rough drafts, streaming and video alone tally up big invoices. To help save time and money on your depositions, keep these 8 points in mind.
Build a Relationship
This is true in so many arenas. If you take your car to the same shop every time, you see the difference in treatment, the willingness to give you a slightly better discount, etc. Establishing a relationship with one court reporting agency has the same benefits. You are seen as a valued client, which comes in handy when you need a court reporter at the last minute, or need an invoice reduced or even waived altogether. The firm may even be willing to offer you complimentary use of their conference rooms in situations where a reporter isn’t needed.
Have a Secure Repository
You should be able to access all of your transcripts 24/7. A secure repository provides this benefit, so you can log in and download a transcript, exhibit, etc. This can save time when preparing for a case and you find yourself in need of a certain file – it is accessible to you in the time it takes you to log in and download. Likewise, if you find yourself in need of an errata sheet or invoice, those can be easily downloaded from the repository. This saves time by enabling you and your team to locate pertinent information more quickly.
Obtain Court Reporting Agency Emergency Contact Information
Be sure to get a phone number and email address for emergencies. This is invaluable if you need to reach someone after hours to inform of a last-minute change, or schedule, or handle some other urgent matter. Last-minute changes are part of the discovery process, and it is imperative to have a means of communicating them to your agency. The relationship mentioned in point one above guarantees an immediate, helpful response to those emergency communications.
Encourage Opposing Counsel to Use Your Court Reporting Agency
When all parties use the same court reporting agency, cost savings are passed to everyone involved. Additionally, the case calendar, transcripts, exhibits, errata sheets and invoices are all housed in that same repository with 24/7 access. This also ensures consistency and continuity of reporters, transcripts, and invoices, for both taking and defending attorneys.
Compare Rates Between Court Reporting Agencies
Obtain quotes from other court reporting agencies in the area to confirm the rates you are being quoted are competitive. Ask if the agency can cover in other states, or internationally, and verify those prices are competitive as well.
Get Quality Transcripts and Videos
Working with a reputable court reporting agency ensures there are no nasty surprises at trial. No need to worry about reading a transcript for the jury and stumbling over spelling and grammatical errors, or worse. No need to worry that your video clip has poor audio. Develop a relationship with the reporter who really wowed you, the videographer who demonstrated superior technology savvy, and request to work with them on all your depositions whenever possible. You cannot overstate the value of experienced, professional court reporters and videographers.
Utilize Electronic Delivery and Standing Orders
Receiving final transcripts in electronic format saves money, trees, storage costs, and space (don’t forget the secure repository with round-the-clock access!). Consider the high cost of storing transcripts at your office. Instead, rely on your court reporting agency to store and maintain all your transcript-related files. Be sure to check on the company’s backup and retention policies.
Ask about a Standing Order Form as well, to ensure the firm has your email distribution list for rough drafts and final transcripts, as well as your preferred file types. By providing your court reporting firm with your standing order, you will receive exactly what you want every time, regardless of where the deposition took place. This, in turn, eliminates the need to call the court reporting agency to make the request or to wait to receive the correct files.
Consider a Videoconference
This is a no-brainer for cost-savings. Eliminating expensive travel arrangements, and the time spent traveling, videoconferencing is an excellent option for a one-day deposition of a witness residing far away, even overseas. Check with the court reporting agency to see if this is an option, and if so, to get the ball rolling.
Ask About Free Conference Rooms
Finding an affordable and convenient location to take a deposition, whether locally or around the world, can be a challenge. It takes time and valuable resources for the litigation team to locate an appropriate conference room. Your court reporting agency should have the ability to provide you with a location at no charge.
This can save you and your clients thousands of dollars every year. Whether you need a large conference room for a deposition in your home town or a conference room for your deposition anywhere on the planet, your court reporting agency should be able to accommodate your request.
Planet Depos has been covering depositions all over the world for over a decade. For more information, cost-savers, or to schedule, contact Planet Depos at 888.433.3767 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.