February 2010 • Vol. 30 No. 2 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Two-Minute Tech: Electronic Transcript Management—It’s a Reality

By Jeff Koller, general counsel and business development administrator at Hutchings Court Reporters, LLC. He may be reached at jeffk@hutchings.com.

Have you had it with time-intensive, paper-driven protocols to access, search, store, replicate, and retrieve the information contained in deposition transcripts and exhibits? Have you tired of too many lost or misplaced sticky notes and sessions at the copy machine?

With today’s technology, there are better options for using evidence and case materials produced through the deposition process.

It is relatively safe to assume that court reporters handle more than 75 percent of the evidence in a case in the form of testimony and exhibits. Many reporting agencies now have the technology to capture this information digitally and provide it to you in a manner that allows both efficient organization and easy use of this critical data.

Following are descriptions of two of the major service tools available that ease transcript and exhibit management: E-Transcript, which is an electronic version of the transcript that is e-mailed to you, and the transcript “bundle,” which links E-Transcript with digitally imaged exhibits from the proceeding.

E-Transcript. E-Transcript is a transcript delivery method using a free downloadable viewer (http://www.reallegal.com/softwareDownloadETranscriptViewer.asp) in conjunction with an electronic version of the transcript. It is similar to using Adobe’s Acrobat viewer software. You do not need to purchase software to use and receive an E-Transcript file of the deposition, nor is this service exclusive to any one court-reporting agency. However, the viewer must be downloaded onto every computer (PC or laptop) where the E-Transcript is to be viewed.

E-Transcript allows you to:

  • Search the entire transcript electronically for single word occurrences and location.
  • Print in both condensed and full-size format (single or multiple pages) as well as in a PDF file format.
  • Copy testimony and the related deponent cite directly into your document.
  • Save to your computer system’s case file for future reference and retrieval.
  • Save the E-Transcript file in an alternative file format to accommodate a variety of litigation software programs such as LiveNote, Sanction, TrialDirector, and Summation.
  • E-mail the entire transcript or portions to others instead of copying and then mailing or faxing.

It is also important to know that the page/line continuity of the E-Transcript mirrors the final certified paper version.

Transcript bundling. Bundling is a service where a CD containing both the electronic transcript (typically, an E-Transcript) and the related scanned exhibits is produced by the court-reporting agency. This does not replace the paper version of the transcript, but it allows you the means to completely replicate both the transcript and exhibits on the CD from your computer instead of standing at a copier making page-by-page duplicates.

Bundled exhibits can be hyperlinked to the transcript exhibit index as well as within the body of the testimony itself. As with E-Transcript, you do not need to purchase any software. In addition to the above E-Transcript tools, you’ve now expanded your arsenal of capabilities to include:

  • Complete electronic portability and ongoing accessibility of the entire contents of the transcript and exhibits.
  • Viewing and printing the transcript and exhibits from a single source.
  • Electronically searching the transcript documents if OCR (optical character recognition) was requested.
  • Replicating the CD, or portions thereof, for distribution to your co-counsel or a retained expert.
  • Saving the scanned exhibits to your case file for quick retrieval and replication.

Two-Minute Tech is an occasional series of short features touching on topics related to technology and litigation support.

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