Leveraging Digital Exhibits

 

As depositions have moved to a mostly remote format, exhibits have become even more crucial to the litigation process. Exhibits can play a vital role within a deposition and can be utilized for authentication, impeachment, or exploration purposes. These exhibits can be crucial to the success of a case. Long forgotten are the days of 5-inch binders and multiple banker boxes keeping exhibits organized and secure. It has become essential to learn how to utilize exhibits in a digital format. While at surface level not much is different, having digital exhibits provides additional tools and resources for a deposition to proceed smoothly.

 

One of the many benefits to digital exhibits is the simplification of logistics. Paper exhibits were often tabbed in binders and shipped back and forth across the country. Charges would begin to quickly add up for the cost of paper, materials, storage, and shipping. With everyone having access to digital exhibits, this eliminates the need for these additional logistics providing a significant cost-savings to litigators and court reporting firms. Digital exhibits also have a significant impact on the environment. Many law firms have implemented green policies limited the amount of paper consumption. The carbon footprint expended by the storage of digital exhibits is significantly less than the carbon use of printing hundreds of pages of exhibits and shipping them to each deposition. There is also an added level of security when utilizing digital exhibits. While most people assume that it is safer to have hard copy files stored under lock and key, encryption has allowed for advanced security that protects even the most confidential information.

 

 

Digital exhibits, while much more convenient, still require appropriate preparation for them to be utilized to their full capacity. In order to be prepared for your deposition, it is highly recommended that potential exhibits have file names that are easily discernable. While there are many systems available, it is highly recommended that files are upload in the order they are intended to be shared in. This prevents time being wasted as the appropriate file is found. It is also best to upload documents to the platform as far in advance as possible. This provides the opportunity to review those files and ensure that everything is loaded and ready when it is needed. The best way to leverage your digital exhibits during a deposition is to utilize the wide range of annotation options available. While most people are familiar with having the witness mark up a document, annotation features can also be used to call out specific portions of texts that are being presented to the deponent. Since the annotations are digital, they are quickly able to be removed by a party with the appropriate permissions. Ideally, the owner of the exhibit should have complete control over the document they are sharing. They can provide and revoke annotation permissions to participants, but they are also able to share the document and still have the ability to retract that exhibit when necessary.

 

 

Digital exhibits come with many benefits, but they are at their best when the wide range of tools available are utilized. While they can seem intimidating at first, they are often very user-friendly and when used appropriately can take your deposition to the next level.

Ashley Springer

Ashley Springer

Ashley has over 6 years of customer service and court reporting experience. She has worked with court reporting firms and top litigators both nationally and internationally.