Important Mobile Apps for Legal Professionals in 2021

businessman using smartphone with apps coming out of phone

Important Mobile Apps for Legal Professionals in 2021

businessman using smartphone with apps coming out of phone

Being a lawyer means doing whatever it takes to provide your clients with the best service possible. Great lawyers know that this often means embracing technological change. Effective legal professionals use the latest mobile apps to speed up their office efficiency, organize mountains of documents, and help remind them of their daily tasks.

Most of these apps were not designed with the legal profession in mind, but they are especially useful to lawyers nonetheless. They help lawyers stay organized and efficient, often for only a few dollars.

Here are four mobile apps that will help your practice daily.

Goodreader

Most lawyers have to deal with hundreds of documents, often in the form of PDFs. Goodreader makes the process of reading, saving, and organizing PDFs incredibly simple.

It syncs with cloud services like Dropbox and OneDrive. For security, it also features optional military-grade encryption.
With Goodreader, you’ll never again be searching through piles of paper. And if you switch to a PDF organization system rather than printing out all relevant documents, you will save paper and run a more environmentally friendly office.

Reminders

Apple’s default Reminders app on the iPhone is one of the most unexpectedly powerful mobile apps. Much of a lawyer’s job involves juggling a complicated to-do list and it is easy to miss items or forget something.
Using Reminders to its full capacity can help you keep organized and on top of your cases. Reminders can remind you to do things at certain times and even when you arrive at a certain location.

Fastcase

Fastcase is one of the specific apps for lawyers on this list. It is a legal research application that puts thousands of cases in the palm of your hand. 
Fastcase uses innovative search technology to allow you to immediately grab and save the most relevant case results, down to the paragraph. And best of all, Fastcase is completely free.

It is not a replacement for more robust case research software, but if you need to quickly look something up on the go, Fastcase is the perfect solution.

Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation is the most powerful dictation software on the market. Turning dictation into word documents has many uses for lawyers. Speaking to clients, preparing arguments, and more can all be done with the voice.
Phone microphones and dictation AI has become very advanced. Often only minor edits are needed to correctly format and spell-check your dictated words.
Dragon is much pricier than many of the apps on this list, but many lawyers have found it to be a valuable investment.

Legal Professionals and Technology

Being an effective lawyer means staying on top of the latest technology. Mobile apps are just the start of your law technology needs.
At Depo International, we provide comprehensive court reporting, legal support, and legal videography. We deliver transcripts incredibly quickly and are the first choice of thousands of lawyers.

Find more information on our About Page or contact us to discuss how we can get depositions to you. We’ll help you get the information you need to win your case.

Tips to Ensure You are Ready for Remote Depositions

Tips to Ensure You are Ready for Remote Depositions

women on a video conference

COVID-19 has completely altered the way depositions function. In some ways, that has been good; remote depositions make it easier (in theory) to get everyone needed together, thanks to videoconferencing. Other aspects of the “new normal,” however, have made witness preparation more challenging.

To help ensure that your witness(es) is ready for depositions or that your depositions go off without a hitch, follow this advice.

Preparation

Test the Technology: Try out all the equipment before things start. Test each component, including feeds located externally to your office (like a witness’ house.) While technical glitches will happen, you want to make sure that your equipment is as reliable as possible.

Test the Witness: Go through a remote dry run with the witness, especially if they are located off-site. This should be done in addition to any other witness prep you need to do and completed a few days before the actual deposition.

Learn the Equipment: You should also familiarize yourself with the deposition equipment. This is so you can easily navigate the equipment during the deposition.

Know the Rules: Go over your state’s remote deposition rules. These can vary from state to state, so knowing your state’s rules is critical to making sure your deposition is lawful.

During

One challenge is getting witnesses comfortable to speaking into a microphone and looking into a camera, with no feedback from other participants.

Be Present: If the deposition is being done in your conference room, sit across from the witness so that you can reassure them as well as assess their reactions to different inquiries. If the witness is doing the deposition from home, go to their physical location and sit next to them.

Contingencies: Before starting, go over with the other party all that is supposed to happen in the deposition. Include the procedure if interference with the electronics or the deposition occurs or if any parties are cut off.

Technical Instructions: Follow any court instructions to the letter regarding labels, statements, etc. Do a spot check with all parties connected shortly before the deposition; this will help avoid any issues once the deposition is supposed to start.

Deposition Recordings: Make sure that the deposition is recorded and that you get a copy of the recording from all parties that record it. Make getting a recording from the opposing counsel part of the deposition agreement if possible.

Close Everything: Everyone on your side should only have the apps or software used to conduct the deposition open on any computers attached to the videoconferencing equipment.

When Questioning

Look directly into the camera when addressing the other side. If talking to a camera and microphone are disconcerting, have someone sit opposite you as if you are talking to them.

Other Tips

Here are some random tips that will help your deposition succeed.

  • Mute your microphone when you are not speaking. Place your microphone as close to the speaker as possible. 
  • Avoid shuffling papers or whispering.
  • Do not interrupt the other side and stop talking when you are interrupted. Once order is restored, reiterate your point for the record.
  • Go over spellings with the court reporter before everyone hangs up.
  • Remote depositions make things trickier, but not impossible. 

These general guidelines will help you conduct your deposition in the most effective manner possible.

 

Remote Depositions Tips: Pointers From the Field

women working on laptop

Remote Depositions Tips: Pointers From the Field

women working on laptop

Teachers, doctors, engineers, and scientists have learned the art of remote working this year. Even lawyers and court reporters have mastered virtual legal proceedings.
And while we all hope for more social interaction this year, there are some remote practices that have proved useful, like remote depositions. Witnesses, court reporters, and legal counsel can use remote deposition tools to collect meaningful information without compromising on health and safety.

Looking for a few tips on conducting remote court depositions? Keep reading!

Test the Tech

When it comes to remote depositions, the internet is your best friend or your worst enemy. Always test your internet, microphone capabilities, sound quality, and video clarity for an online deposition before the scheduled date.
Work with all parties involved to confirm stable internet connection, audio, and video. If you’re worried about the technology, consider hiring a professional deposition service with experience in remote depositions. 

Speak Slowly and Clearly

You’ve heard this since your first oral book report in elementary school – speak slow and clear. It’s never been as important as when conducting a remote deposition. 
The better the enunciation from the speaker, the easier it is for the court reporter to type every single word. Speaking loudly and clearly can make a difference in the overall accuracy of the deposition too. Remind witnesses and any other speaking party to take extra care with each word and phrase.

Dress the Part

Yes, we’d all rather be wearing sweatpants, but a remote deposition is a serious matter. So, dress like it! Professional clothing, with solid colors, is best for remote depositions. 
Check your background to be sure your outfit doesn’t blend in with the colors behind you. Instruct witnesses to dress as they would for a standard court proceeding. This creates a professional aesthetic and cues participants to act professionally. 

Plan the Exhibits 

When conducting a remote deposition, you can choose to share exhibits with witnesses electronically or using paper copies. Decide ahead of time which method you want to use. Remember that paper copies are trickier because the deponent’s counsel can view these documents too.
For electronic sharing, make sure your remote deposition service allows you to share your screen or a document in real-time. Talk to the witness and make sure he or she understands how they will be viewing the exhibits.

Remove Potential Distractions

Do your best to remove in-person and online distractions. All participants should find a quiet, well-lit space without distraction for the remote deposition. Talk to witnesses about these expectations before the deposition so that they can plan.
It’s also important to remove distractions on your computer. Close all browser windows, instant massaging, and email so that you can remain focused throughout the deposition. Instruct witnesses to do the same thing. 

Want Well-Executed Remote Depositions Every Time?

The tips above will help you conduct seamless remote depositions. Preparation, communication, and professionalism are the most important parts of getting a quality remote deposition.

If you’re ready to schedule remote deposition services, just fill out this form. Or contact us for more information.

What Is Trial Consulting? The Basics Explained​

What Is Trial Consulting? The Basics Explained

Courtrooms are not the place to let people see you sweat. In fact, you want to be over-prepared in court. For this reason, hiring a trial consultant has become an important step in winning over the jury. But what exactly is trial consulting and why is it beneficial? Keep reading to learn the basics and how it can help prepare you for court.

What Is Trial Consulting? 

Preparing for court is never an easy task, but trial consulting can lessen the burden. 
A trial consultant is an expert in a particular area relevant to your case. Examples of expertise include sociology, psychology, technology, and law enforcement. Their goal is to aid either the defense or prosecution in presenting a strong case. 

For example, Depo International has a trial consultant who specializes in advanced technology. For this type of consulting, services such as PowerPoint creation, project management, and courtroom technology configuration are offered. 

How Does Trial Consulting Work? 

While trial consultants are familiar with the law, their primary job is to provide your attorney with the resources they are missing. 

Depending on their expertise, a trial consultant’s function may differ. Common ways in which they aid the process are helping with jury selection, courtroom appearance preparation, writing statements, creating visuals, setting up specialized equipment, or even arranging mock trials. 

A trial consultant will also help feed the jury information in a precise way that will sway them in your favor. In technology trial consulting, this could be done by showing them carefully crafted graphics, PowerPoints, and videos to engross them in your case. 
If they can seamlessly make the evidence concise and compelling to the jury, they did their job. 

Trial Consulting Benefits 

One benefit of trial consulting is that it helps prepare you for court. Through trial preparation, you’ll know exactly what to say and how to behave. This will make you more likely to win the case. 

Technology consulting in particular is beneficial so you’re not fiddling with computers in the courtroom. Neither you nor your attorney look unprepared if you cannot fix a technological problem that arises.

A trial consultant will also benefit you by ensuring all the information is presented in clear and visually stimulating ways. Instead of hearing about data or an event that transpired, everyone can actually see it. This way, the jury will understand and engage with the material, no matter how complex the case may be. 

Now You Know the Basics of Trial Consulting 

No one ever wants to look unprepared, especially not in front of a jury. And you shouldn’t have to worry that a broken projector or lack of visual aids could make you appear that way. And while your case may be compelling, hiring a trial consultant could be the difference between winning and losing in the end. 

Take the step now for the best trial experience. Schedule a consultation to begin your trial consulting with Depo International today.  

The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Depositions

The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Depositions

The law is all about open questions. 

Depositions can last up to seven hours. Prosecution and defense teams can ask a witness questions about any topic relevant to a court case. This can include personal or work information. 

When people hear that they have a deposition, they have a lot of questions. Don’t panic. You can get the facts you need so you have a fair and safe time in court. 

Here is a quick guide. 

What Are Depositions?

Depositions are testimonies that are recorded outside the courtroom. They are part of discovery, in which lawyers gather evidence to build their cases. It occurs before a trial takes place. 

A person receives a subpoena informing that they will be deposed. The subpoena includes a time and place where they should appear. The person can request to change the time or place.

Before being asked questions, the witness is sworn in. They must affirm that they are disclosing the truth during their deposition. 

A deposition allows the prosecution and defense a fair view of the evidence. A deposition could preserve a witness testimony if it took place after an accident. Trials can take years, and witnesses may lose their recollection through time.

A judge is not present during a deposition. A court reporter records the transactions in real-time, giving the judge information about what was said.

What Questions Can an Attorney Ask? 

Attorneys begin depositions with preliminary questions. These questions encourage the witness to stay calm and honest. The common question is, “Have you had a deposition taken in the past?”

The attorney will then move into background questions. They will ask the witness to identify themselves, possibly including their social security number. They will ask about their educational and residential histories. 

They will also ask the witness about their legal history. This information may be personal, but it touches upon their credibility. They can also ask the witness questions about how you prepared for the deposition. 

What Should a Witness Say?

The witness should remain honest. Do not lie under any circumstances. Questions may involve intimate details, but lying can get them thrown in jail. 

Do not volunteer any unnecessary information—answer yes or no questions with a yes or no. Provide concrete details, but they shouldn’t exposit on any events unless they are asked to. 

Do not guess answers. If the witness is uncertain about a response, they should mention that they are uncertain. If a question confuses them, they should ask for clarification. 

Common Questions About Depositions

Depositions can be scary. Get the facts you need so you can prepare for one without worry. 

A deposition is a legal proceeding that takes place out of a courtroom. Attorneys will ask a witness questions about a matter they are related to.

This can include personal questions. The witness should answer questions honestly, but they should not provide long answers. 

Get all the resources you need for depositions. Depo International has more than 40 years of experience in providing high-quality deposition services. Contact us today online, or call our headquarters at 763-591-0535.

What is Real Time Court Reporting?


Real-time court reporting can benefit attorneys for both the plaintiff and the defense, allowing them to access testimony immediately, as it’s happening, and respond accordingly. This is a value-added service from professional court reporters, and can help attorneys craft a thoughtful response, immediately, plus reference important facts when they need them. 

What Is Real-Time Court Reporting?

With a real-time feed during deposition, attorneys can attend remotely, either from their office or from the office of a co-counsel, dramatically reducing the need for travel and expense of remote deposition. Using a court reporting service allows attorneys to concentrate on the words being said, instead of splitting their attention between taking notes and actively listening.

Why Do Attorneys Need Real-Time Reporting?

Once the testimony is transcribed, attorneys or their support teams can easily scroll for pertinent responses, or mark or unmark certain lines of testimony for reference. Or, lines of testimony can be flagged with a number, which corresponds to case-specific issues to easily compile arguments from multiple sources of testimony. The transcriptions are also easily searchable, allowing attorneys to type in certain keywords or phrases to find topics quickly. This is much more efficient than searching through pages of handwritten or typed notes and can save time at trial. Plus, users can insert notes in the testimony for use at a later date. With real-time access to transcribed testimony, lawyers can immediately clarify, if they misheard, versus waiting for a transcription to come back from a traditional court reporter. Sometimes, the answer that you think you hard isn’t actually what was said. Having transcription in real-time can reduce these errors and misunderstandings. 

Advantages For the Hearing Impaired

It’s not just the convenience for attorneys that’s made real-time reporting so popular. Having testimony available in the scripted form, instead of only spoken, makes it easier for hard-of-hearing participants in the trial process to read the testimony and have a greater understanding of what is being said. In fact, in the United States, there have been 2 cases that were successfully appealed deaf or hard of hearing, During the trial process, they weren’t fully able to follow the proceedings. Therefore, real-time reporting enabled these parties to participate without an interpreter. In other cases, jurors may be selected that are deaf or hard of sharing, and employing real-time reporting can open up the juror pool to a wider number of candidates. 

Schedule Your Real Time Court Reporting Today!

Depo International offers easy, effective, and secure depositions from anywhere in the world. Our professional court reporters quickly transcribe testimony at both discovery and trial and compile easy to read notes for you and your team of attorneys. Opting for real-time court reporting can give your case a larger advantage, as you have expert notes delivered immediately, helping you better craft your case. Give us a call or visit us online for a custom evaluation of your needs.