Scheduling throughout the history of court reporting has often been filled with time consuming tasks that are by no means menial and are instead integral to the success of the deposition workflow. Scheduling efficiencies are imperative in the court reporting world so that the clients have a positive first impression, as well as allowing the scheduler to focus their time on acquiring the most suited court reporter for the job. This is no small task, the amount of time it takes each day to get this accomplished often turns the days to nights. So, the workflows of the scheduling team need to consistently adapt and use technology to its fullest potential.
Past scheduling workflows included obtaining paper notices, manually entering them into a system then filing them for later use. Having an employee stand in front of the fax machine for over an hour solely to send court reporters their notices for jobs the next day was a regular occurrence. When the onset of scanning technology was widely available, the use of this tool allowed agencies to use their employees’ time more efficiently. When the courts started accepting paperless transcripts, this act of going green stopped the literal paper trail altogether and allowed for further efficiencies. The incremental changes in technology, even with something as simple as scanning devices, has been a tool that agencies were able to leverage to great effect.
Another aspect of scheduling that can occupy staff’s time is managing the complications around scheduling a distanced proceeding. This could mean out of state, or out of country. A location to hold the event needs to be found, and a court reporter used to travel to that location. This could be expensive. The fees can add up quickly, including the court reporter’s travel, the hotel rooms, and potentially the rental of the room the proceeding is taking place. The industry desperately needed a new technological solution to help circumvent these fees, and videoconferencing arrived on the scene.
When videoconferencing started out, it was mostly a novelty, because the equipment required was costly to the extent that it was still cheaper to travel. But the beauty of technology is that it is ever evolving. Videoconferencing technology became cheaper and easier to setup. Firm and court reporting agencies alike would have dedicated conferencing rooms equipped with technology like a Polycom allowing for remote connection to be an option when meeting in person was too time consuming. Although this technology existed, it was used only when necessary. Most proceedings still took place in-person with less than 1% of jobs being held via videoconferencing.
Fast forward to 2020, the pandemic hits, and holding proceedings in-person is no longer an option. In need of a fast solution to keep businesses moving, the industry was once again able to turn to technology. The legal community was in search of remote platforms that could be used immediately and accepted shortcomings out of a necessity to pick business back up. And while this worked at the time, the experience would eventually turn cumbersome as it scaled up to normal proceeding numbers. For the scheduler, having to use multiple platforms to provide videoconferencing, exhibit sharing, and realtime created its own inefficiencies, draining more time and energy to set up one job. Too much time is wasted in manually entering information into the database with different logins and then making sure that the clients have the information they need to successfully complete a remote proceeding. The modern scheduler needs more from technology.
Now in 2022, the modern scheduler is finding that they need built-for-legal solutions. Technology providers have created remote platform integrations directly with court reporting scheduling software, rectifying some of the pain points experienced in the early days of the pandemic. All-in-one solutions that have videoconferencing, exhibit sharing, realtime and other services integrated begin to alleviate the issues encountered previously before the legal proceeding ever starts. Attorneys are gravitating towards the ability to upload exhibits before a deposition starts, share said exhibits electronically and securely within the videoconferencing platform, and immediately access those introduced exhibits post proceeding. The legal industry continues to demand efficiency for remote proceedings, the legal focused technology companies are listening and here to meet those needs.