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.

DepoRemote™ Interpreters

DepoRemote™ Interpreters

When you think of having an interpreter for your deposition, I’m sure you think of having them with or next to the witness. But like so many other things, this year we have had to reconsider our options. Here at Depo International it is still possible to have an interpreter during your deposition whether they are with the witness or appearing via DepoRemote separately. We are able to continue utilizing our interpreters via DepoRemote because they exhibit such accuracy, patience and professionalism.

In order for the deposition to run as smooth as possible, here are some steps to take to help everyone:

Make sure you schedule enough time for your deposition. Depositions with interpreters can take up to twice as long as you’d think, in person or remote.

Consider hardwiring your internet connection. Nowadays most of us have wireless internet, which can be great and have good speed and connection, but if you are experiencing any issues with your wireless internet, we highly suggest hard wiring. This way there is no audio lagging or interruptions during the deposition.

Pick the quietest room in your home, office, etc. background noise can really interfere with what everyone else is hearing.
If you are nervous about your connection, sound and/or video, please call our office and schedule a test run with Marianne.

Prepping the Interpreter with any information, such as names, terminology, notices, exhibits, etc., prior to the deposition will be incredibly helpful to the interpreter. Anything you can send to our firm beforehand so we can pass it along would be greatly appreciated.

Being patient with yourself and others as you speak is the best way to conduct your remote deposition. Speak slowly and loudly, and also wait for someone to finish what they are saying before you start speaking. Interrupting and mumbling is extremely hard to be interpreted.

We have taken it upon ourselves to pay attention to all of the small details to help and prepare you for anything and everything that could occur during the remote deposition so that we are able to make this process as seamless as possible for you and everyone involved. Never hesitate to contact our office at 800-591-9722 or [email protected] with any questions and especially to schedule.

Deposition Tips from Court Reporters in Minneapolis

Adjusting video camera for legal videography

Deposition Tips from Court Reporters in Minneapolis

Adjusting video camera for legal videography

Deposition Tips from Court Reporters in Minneapolis

If you’re a young lawyer, you may want to improve your deposition-taking skills to prove yourself invaluable to your firm. When working with Minneapolis court reporters like Depo International in the discovery process, you need to use your skills to gather enough relevant information. Although every lawyer has a style of their own, you can still improve your skills with some proven tips and tricks. Here are some of the tips you can use if you want to become great at depositions.

  • Know the Law

Some lawyers overlook the importance of researching the law before starting the discovery process. You should know the questions to ask if you want to improve your skills. The construction of a theory for the case will depend on your law knowledge. When you use this technique effectively, you can get the evidence to support your argument with ease.

  • Avoid Scripts

One of the biggest mistakes that young lawyers make is spending too much time on scripts and forgetting they need to listen. When deposing a witness, you should listen to everything they say. Sometimes the witness may provide the best testimony that’s not in response to your question. Giving all eyes and ears to the deponent can enable you to concentrate on what they say and improve your deposition-taking skills.

  • Understand the Role of the Witness

You should understand the position of every witness in the case. You can go through the initial disclosures or other documents to determine the role of the witness. Your opponent’s experts will provide powerful opinions on some topics.

When you know every witness’s contribution, you can plan your questions accordingly and identify the strategic approach to use for every one of them. You should use open-ended questions when dealing with those who witnessed or are involved in the production to get more information. Avoid open-ended questions when dealing with your opponent’s experts, as they’ll supplement their opinion.

  • Evaluate the Probability of the Witness Attending the Trial

A witness can decline to attend a trial, forcing you to use their deposition transcript or video in a trial. Although legal videography will cost you extra money, it’s worth it. The video can help you capture everything during the session, including questions, answers and statements. Nonverbal communication using eyes, tones and facial expressions is best captured in a video.

  • Create a List of Questions in Advance

Before taking a deposition, it’s advisable to prepare your questions in advance. You’ll have enough time to familiarize yourself with the questions and be in a better position to know what to expect from the witnesses. You’ll be able to request for clarification when you feel that the witnesses aren’t providing the expected responses.

  • Follow Up

You can improve deposition-taking skills by thoroughly exploring your witness’s testimony. Although you may have prepared your outline on how you’re going to handle the witnesses, it’s always advisable to be flexible. If there’s a need to go beyond what you’d included in your outline, don’t hesitate as any new information can matter in the discovery deposition.

Contact Us for Deposition Services

If you’re looking for Minneapolis court reporters, you want to deal with a reputable company. Depo International provides global deposition services. You can reach us anytime and anywhere. You can contact us or visit our offices in Minneapolis and Las Vegas for legal videography and secure remote depositions.

DepoRemote™ Security

DepoRemote™ Security

We know how important security is for remote depositions, and with DepoRemote™, you can feel confident that your meeting is secure. We are BAA and HIPAA compliant. Our platform is encrypted and 100% secure. Each DepoRemote™  conference has its own unique link, meeting ID and password protection. Each participant needs to have the link and password in order to join the conference. Meetings are not listed publicly, they are by invitation only.

We also utilize a “waiting room” feature, which means that each participant has to wait until the host of the meeting lets them into the video conference. Each remote deposition that we schedule will be hosted by one of our DepoRemote™  specialists. The host will start the meeting, and watch the waiting room to make sure that only the people that are supposed to be in the meeting are allowed in. This ensures that no one can participate, view, or listen to the video conference without permission.

If you need the meeting to be recorded, we will not record to the cloud. Instead, the recording is stored locally. We do not want to take any chances with the possibility of hackers stealing video recordings that are stored in the cloud. We keep the video recordings stored safely here in our office, and can provide you with it at any time.

Rest assured, we at Depo International, want to make sure your DepoRemote™  meeting is as safe and secure as possible, and we are taking all precautions necessary to provide you with that security.

Remember that we do have DepoRemote™  technicians that you can schedule to attend the deposition, and to be there to assist you with anything you may need. Contact our office for more information.

Feel free to watch the other clips on our website, for more helpful tips and information about remote depositions, and about our services.

How To Prepare for a DepoRemote™

How To Prepare for a DepoRemote™

When you are ready to schedule a remote deposition, simply contact our office as you normally would when scheduling a deposition. We will add the information to our calendar, and set up the DepoRemote™ connection. As soon as you receive the link and connection information from me, you can forward it to all of the other participants, including the witness. Or, if you would like our office to send the DepoRemote™ information to the participants, we are happy to do that as well, just provide us with the email addresses that we should send it to.

We highly recommend doing a test call sometime before the deposition. You can just let us know what date and time you are available for a quick test, and we’ll set it up. In the test call, we can make sure that your audio and video connections are strong, and that the computer or device you plan to use for the deposition, will work well. We can also walk you through any of the DepoRemote™ features that you plan to utilize at the deposition. This can really help to avoid any confusion or issues when it’s time for the actual deposition.

If possible, email the exhibits to us before the deposition, so the court reporter has them in front of her, and ready to mark. Additionally, please let us know ahead of time, if you would like to schedule one of our DepoRemote™ Technicians to attend the deposition as well. We can make sure that the DepoRemote™ technician has all of the exhibits there, ready to share when the time is right, in the DepoRemote™ conference.

On the date of the deposition, plan to connect a few minutes early on the DepoRemote™ conference, so that we can make sure you are connected, and that your audio and video are clear.

Please feel free to watch the other video clips on our website, which also contain helpful tips and information about remote depositions, and the services we provide.

DepoRemote™ Exhibits and Exhibit Sharing

DepoRemote™ Exhibits and Exhibit Sharing

When it comes to exhibits during a remote deposition, DepoRemote™ makes it easy and convenient to display exhibits and share them with the other participants. First, make sure the exhibits are accessible somewhere on the computer or device you are using for the remote deposition. When you are ready to share the exhibit with the witness, and all other participants in the DepoRemote™ meeting, go down to the bottom of your screen, and click on this button here that says “share screen”.

As you can see, some options have popped up for you, based on what you have on your computer. If you click on the first box that says “screen”, that gives you the ability to navigate to the exhibit on your computer, with the participants watching what you are doing. If you have the exhibit already pulled up on your computer somewhere, you will see it pop up as one of these options, and you can just click on it. Once you have the right document or picture pulled up, everyone in the DepoRemote™ meeting will be viewing it at the same time.

Once you are finished sharing the document, you can click on “stop share” here at the top, and then we are all back in the regular video conference.

Here is another option I would like to show you. You can also send a copy of any document to all of the participants, right here in the chat window. All you need to do is click on “file” and you will be able to upload any file from your computer, into this chat window. Then everyone can have access to the file, and will be able to download it onto their own computers.

If you have a folder which contains many files, such as all of the exhibits, we recommend putting that folder into a file sharing program, such as dropbox, box.com, or sharefile. Then you can paste the hyperlink into this chat window, which will take everyone to that folder in your file sharing program. That is a very convenient and easy way to share the exhibits with everyone.

If you would like one of our DepoRemote™ technicians to attend the remote deposition, he or she will be available to share the exhibits, using “share screen”, or to upload files into the chat window, so you don’t have to worry about it. Having the technician there to assist you will put your mind at ease, so you can focus on the deposition, and not on the technical things.

Feel free to explore our website, and watch some of the other video clips we have. They contain more information and helpful tips about remote depositions, and the services we provide.

DepoRemote™ Audio Tips

DepoRemote™ Audio Tips

For remote depositions, it’s crucial that the sound is clear. You will want to make sure that you can hear everyone clearly, and that they can hear you as well.

Make sure you have a good, reliable internet connection. If possible, try hard-wiring your computer with an Ethernet cable. Having a wired connection creates a faster, more stable connection. However, wi-fi is still acceptable. If your wi-fi is poor, try repositioning your router, or move your workspace closer to it. Close any browser windows you don’t need open. These could slow down your internet speed, using needed bandwidth.

Keep your mic away from your speakers, to prevent any audio feedback.

Make sure you are in a quiet room. Keep your microphone muted when you are not speaking, and then simply unmute yourself when you would like to speak. This will eliminate background noises and distractions.

Try using headphones for audio. If you have the gamer headphone and mic combo, that would work great for a good audio connection.

If you are having any problems with sound, we highly recommend calling into the DepoRemote™ meeting by phone. You can still keep your video up on the computer screen, but you’ll want to mute your speakers and your microphone, if you are using your phone for audio. If you hear an echo, that means you still need to mute your computer. For each DepoRemote™ conference, I always provide the participants with call-in instructions, in case they would like to use their phone for sound.

If you are using a cellphone, make sure you have good service and a strong signal. If you are experiencing bad cell service, enable Wi-Fi calling. Disable all incoming calls and notifications, or put your phone in airplane mode.

We have DepoRemote™ Technicians available to assist you with your remote depositions. A technician can attend the video conference, and be available through the whole deposition, to assist you with exhibits, breakout rooms, and anything else you may need help with. Contact our office for more details about scheduling a Technician.

Please watch the other clips on our website for more helpful information about DepoRemote™ and our services.

Staying Productive In and Out of the Office

laptop, phone, notpad, and coffee

Staying Productive In and Out of the Office

laptop, phone, notpad, and coffee

It is likely that you are getting ready to get back to working at the office or still working from home. Let’s be productive and ahead of the game because it can be challenging in many ways, especially when everything has been changing. Here I have put together a list of helpful tips that could help make all the new transitions run more smoothly.

Lists! Lists! Lists!

Lists can be overwhelming and sometimes hard to follow. Break them down into days, weeks and even months to keep your deadlines. I find what helps with the “Sunday Scaries” is on Sundays making a “this week” list and then each evening of the week prioritizing the day ahead. This way you are always on top of what is most important. I have found that not only writing them down in a planner but also scheduling them in on your phone helps. Calendars and reminders will be your best friend.

Be Flexible

Unexpected change happens all the time; we all know this, so be flexible. Deadlines change, uncertain events and/or tasks come up. Having a back-up plan can be helpful, but is not always realistic. We understand that and are always happy to help any way we can.

Do Some De-Stressing

When you’re stressed out, it’s likely because you are focusing on all of the things you need to do or all of the things you didn’t do. When you find yourself doing this, stop, take a breather and think of what can help you to de-stress. Once you figure it out, take a break and do it! Then come back to your tasks, regroup and prioritize. Always remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and that is enough.

Sometimes Subtract

We are all guilty of putting too much on our plate, thinking we have more time than we do, etc., etc., so sometimes we need to delegate and subtract from our list(s). You can’t pour from an empty cup, so prioritize your day(s). Think of what your short-term and long-term goals are. Once you have those established, determine how important the task or tasks are to achieving these goals. This will help you delegate your tasks.

Create Workflows

A workflow is similar to a routine. It is a sequence of tasks that you follow in order to complete all of your tasks from start to finish. You can create workflows for almost everything you need to get done. This will help you keep each step required in the process organized so there are no oversights, which, let’s be honest, this happens a lot when we are juggling multiple tasks.

Batch!

When you focus on one task for an extended period of time, it allows you to enter into your workflow. This allows you to work efficiently and cuts out all of the other distractions. Try focusing on emails for an hour or two, then focus on calls for an hour or two, client meetings, etc., etc. Finishing tasks start to finish will help you feel more productive and accomplished. When I feel productive and accomplished, it kicks me to be more productive and to accomplish more.

Whether you are getting back into the swing of working in the office alongside your co-workers and/or employees, or you are working from home trying to stay connected and be productive, it will all be a breeze with these simple, yet effective, tips.

Author Paige Story

Author

Paige Story | DepoRemote™ Specialist

Paige has been with Depo International for three years. She is a driven self-starter with many areas of expertise. Paige enjoys being the mother of a two-year old boy and enjoys being on the lake, reading, writing, baking, fitness, learning, and trying new things.