Page 30

Bulletin

Special Interest Lloyd W. Gathings The Paperless Deposition (The Obsolescence of the Pack Mule) Both my associate, Will Lattimore, of documents, are over. A deposition in ness and his lawyer must have the ability and I are headed out for depositions. a complex products liability case I took to thumb through the entire document Will, on the right, is demonstrating the in Darby, England initially made me re- when answering questions about it. We traditional way of doing things – carrying consider the sensibility of carrying hard have all seen this with paper copies. You a lot of paper to the deposition. I haven’t copies of all the documents necessary for produce a document and the witness and talked to Will about all the reasons he 30(b) depositions and expert depositions. his lawyer look through the whole docu- went to law school, but I am pretty sure it I just can’t carry all of the documents ment before answering questions. A wasn’t to be trained as a pack mule. And needed in paper format. Thus began my projector will not work very well if the I am absolutely sure that I did not include experimentation with paperless deposi- witness has to tell you what page to put “pack mule” in his job description when tions. The end result is explained below. up on the screen, and, even if he could, it I offered him an associate position with All of the documents produced by would invade the witness’ thinking pro- my firm. the defendant to be deposed, as well as cess enough to be objectionable. As shown on the left hand side of the any other relevant and material docu- Instead, the better practice is to copy photo, I am headed out to an extremely ments, are loaded onto the MacBook you all of the documents needed for the depo- complex deposition involving hundreds see me carrying. The most important of sitions onto a thumb drive or disks. Need- of thousands of pages of documents. The the documents are then electronically less to say, the copy you make for the other load I am carrying wouldn’t even qualify highlighted and notes are added elec- lawyers is sans your notes and highlight- me as a small Shetland pony, much less a tronically to aid me in the examination of ing. You need to either arrange for the pack mule. So how do I accomplish this? the witness. The documents are indexed witness’ lawyer to bring a laptop computer The Paperless Deposition on the computer by Bates numbers. This to the deposition, which most of them do As e-discovery has progressed, the gives me all of the materials I need for the anyway, or you need to take an extra lap- amount of data that is produced during deposition highlighted with notes added, top for the witness and opposing counsel. discovery has mushroomed beyond the and it is all on a 4 pound computer. You then load the thumb drive onto that expectations of even a few years ago. Pro- That part was easy to figure out. The laptop and pull up the directory that has duction is now made in many thousands harder part was to determine the easiest the documents. When you want to ask of electronic pages. The days of going to and most efficient way to share the docu- a question about a document, you simply a deposition with a manila folder of docu- ments with the witness and the other at- direct the witness and his lawyer to the ments, or even several accordion folders torneys. A projector won’t work; the wit- Bates page number and proceed the same as you would with a paper document. 30 Birmingham Bar Association


Bulletin
To see the actual publication please follow the link above