Working with litigators, law firms and in-house counsel handling matters around the world has an incredible advantage: the birds-eye view into the most interesting, cutting-edge trends that have the potential to transform the legal industry. What will happen in 2019? O’Brien & Levine envisions changes that could lead to more effective cost control over litigation spend ever seen before. How do they know? Recent reflection on tools the industry used throughout 2018 shows lawyers are gaining traction with technology that is easy to use and effective for trial and witness preparation, depositions and arbitrations.
Digital technology is changing the way businesses operate and law firms are no exception to the rule. Litigators are increasingly feeling the pressure to find better, more efficient methods in their practices. O’Brien & Levine sees first hand how video conferencing is an emerging front-runner as a process improvement strategy.
Litigators know that seeing people in meetings is important to uncovering the nuances of human behavior relevant to their case strategies. But with an increasing pressure to control litigation spend, litigators need to find new ways to gain that in-person edge while meeting their budgetary and time constraints. This is where video conferencing comes in. This tool proves to be an excellent way to conduct ‘face-to-face’ meetings for witness preparation, trials and arbitration while decreasing overall costs, minimizing time constraints and avoiding the other hassles associated with traveling. O’Brien & Levine points to a 34% increase in video conference use in 2018. That growth tells a great story: law firms are embracing technology and it’s working really well.
Paired with video conferencing, digital document sharing is another important innovation for containing litigation costs. Litigators are finding the process of printing various versions of documents, collating, packaging and shipping multiple boxes of confidential papers is a cumbersome, outmoded task. When you take a moment to look at how lawyers work on a routine matter, they use electronic documentation every single day in the office. O’Brien & Levine suggests that litigators expand the use of technology tools into how they handle exhibits. Taking advantage of digital exhibit services during video conference meetings is a natural extension of a litigator’s daily work environment but with added benefits. Digital exhibits enable attorneys to use a completely secure paperless process in real time. By engaging in digital documentation, lawyers are reducing financial burdens, providing faster service to their clients, embracing environmentally-sound paperless practices, increasing the security of their documents and providing a time-saving and stress-reducing atmosphere for everyone involved. This kind of automation also enables law firms to better utilize staff, refocusing personnel away from manual tasks and towards more meaningful activities that can result in a less costly, better service for clients.
Finally, O’Brien & Levine reports additional technology tools being used successfully by litigators include video deposition recording and video synchronization. Video is a leading tool trusted by the public at large and YouTube ranks 2nd only to Google in searches. Professional video services provide a high level of audio and visual quality that can make a measurable difference in how cases are interpreted. Litigators and juries are finding that video adds an important dimension to analyzing key testimony. This adds an interesting layer to the certified legal transcripts that are the industry-standard. Video is a compelling tool for litigators to embrace. According to the American Bar Association, video is a “rich tool that is more likely to capture and hold a juror’s attention.” O’Brien & Levine echos that sentiment, seeing usage on the rise for both video deposition and video synchronization services.
O’Brien & Levine stays abreast of important trends that fuel success. Technology tools help litigators provide the best possible services to clients while controlling the litigation spend associated with advocacy and protection. O’Brien & Levine, named the top “Court Reporting” and “Video Deposition” agency by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s readers for the second consecutive year, is positioned to be a litigator’s best ally, making these important technologies accessible.