A well-documented and neatly formatted deposition summary help attorneys handling medico-legal cases succinctly communicate the valid points mentioned in the full transcript during the course of a trial in. Even though deposition summaries serve as a source of quick reference, compiling them with legally relevant points in a time-bound manner is quite a challenge. However, medical review services can prepare deposition summaries with utmost expediency. The documentation process not only includes word by word transcripts of court depositions, meetings, briefs, testimonials of the witnesses, and legal examinations but also more information that gives a concise overview of the critical information of the trial.
Challenges Involved in Preparing A Deposition Summary
- Getting a clear understanding of the circumstances and context of the deposition. This is important to determine what to include and what not to include. To write a good summary, one needs to fully comprehend the basis of the complaint. It is important to isolate particular statements/allegations, and see whether they appear in the transcript.
- Identifying all the pertinent points the attorney needs to develop the case.
- The deposition summary should comply in all ways with the deposition transcript.
- Maintaining objectiveness throughout the summary.
- Avoiding repetition, and not expressing personal opinions.
- Determining the essential details: This can be rather challenging. Attorneys and paralegals may find it difficult to find the right balance of summary and specificity, and focus on the important facts. However, this is very important when it comes to trial. Irrelevant details must not be there in the deposition summary.
- Cost-factor: Preparation of deposition summaries begins with a review of pleadings and a thorough understanding of the basis of the complaint. In addition, it is a phase of discovery and is composed of different layers of the investigation process. Attorneys have to seek the assistance of experts to review the transcript and interpret the verbatim. Isolating specific allegations require multiple interactions with the witnesses involved in the case. There can be expenses with regard to the per-page rate from the court reporting agency while producing certified transcripts. If a video deposition is prepared, the videographer’s fee will add to the cost. This can quickly add up to a steep price tag. The services provided by medical record review for attorneys can be relied upon to prepare error-free deposition summaries.
- Ensuring accuracy
The pleadings have to be scrutinized thoroughly prior to summarizing depositions to draft the document with more focus and clarity. Evaluate and check whether the points included in the summary are legally relevant. If the deposition summary doesn’t conform with the allegations and supporting facts while reading the pleadings, it can hamper the outcome of the case. To ensure accuracy, it is important to prioritize the information in the deposition summary. Check for unrelated information and eliminate it. To speed up the trial process, 5 sheets of testimonials have to be summarized on one page. Include essential data that can assist the attorneys in litigating the medico-legal case. Read more to know the strategies for drafting deposition summaries.
- Developing intelligence
Representing the plaintiff taking into consideration the facts and evidence involves managing risk and analytical and actuarial reasoning. The transcripts have to be converted with an investigative approach. The supporting facts and testimonials have to align with the allegations of the plaintiff.
- Understanding the different types of deposition summaries and their specific purposes: Preparing deposition summaries such as page-line summary, page summary, topic-specific summary, chronological summary, and narrative summary requires a clear understanding of these types, and can be time-consuming.
- Summarizing depositions is a time-consuming process
Time is a deciding factor in the successful litigation of medico-legal cases. The documentation of deposition summaries has to be completed in a time-bound manner. Scheduling meetings with the witnesses, recording their statements, cross-checking the testimonials, discovering evidence and word-by-word conversion of the verbatim is time-consuming. For instance, it would be easier to record the testimonial of a witness who is a layman. However, when recording the statements of the physicians or experts, there will be intricacies in preparing the deposition summaries. Preparation of deposition summaries in a time-bound manner without compromising accuracy is vital for the expediency of the litigation process.
- Lack of technology can impede the preparation of deposition summaries
Knowing the right technological tools during the early stages of the litigation process makes the pre-trial process seamless. Managing a litigation case from beginning to end is a difficult task. Gaining mastery of complicated fact patterns, chronicling evidence, and analyzing deposition testimony from complex and document-intensive transcripts is easier with the assistance of the right software. Innovative technology has to penetrate the process to facilitate pre-trial analysis and collaboration. Technological tools can streamline the litigation process by collaborating and sharing notes about case-related evidence and documents.
Compressing humongous transcripts to prepare deposition summaries can be efficiently done with the assistance of a medical records review company. The summary is prepared by skilled, trained professionals who understand and have experience in all areas of law. Importantly, they work to ensure that the summaries are provided at the required time in the client’s preferred format. These outsourced solutions are provided ensuring complete confidentiality for the clients and their firms. Outsourcing is also a practical way of saving valuable dollars that would otherwise need to be spent on in-house resources to handle deposition summaries.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a deposition summary?
A deposition summary can be defined as a synopsis of the main points of the testimonial included in the deposition transcript. They are condensed, objective and accurate. The essential and legally valid points can be extracted from deposition summaries as they are in congruence with the original deposition’s lines and pages.
- What is the importance of deposition summaries in the litigation process?
Deposition summaries have a significant role in the discovery, trial, and motion practice in the litigation process. These summaries aid attorneys in the following ways:
- Pretrial motions and ensuing depositions can be effectively prepared.
- A trial witness exam can be prepared.
- Successive discovery demands and responses can be highlighted and interrogatories based on the relevant legal points can be prepared.
- Noteworthy testimony can be identified and concerns that can lead to trial witness impeachment addressed.
- What are the processes involved in the preparation of deposition summaries?
There are three basic steps involved in the preparation of a deposition summary. They are:
- Reading the deposition transcript thoroughly with specific focus on the questions asked by the attorneys and the response from the witnesses.
- The next step is annotating the key points in the deposition transcript and including them in the summary.
- The third and final step is summarizing or making crisp notes on the key points in the transcript. It is done using a chart or columns under the headings “Testimony”, “Topic” and “Page/Line”. The summaries can be in the form of an outline or narrative format.
- Is it mandatory that deposition summaries be prepared by attorneys?
No. Deposition summaries are not subjective legal advice or opinion. The actual transcript is paramount. However, deposition summaries are a concise representation of valid legal points. It can be prepared by anyone with legal background and experience in reviewing depositions.
- Is outsourcing of deposition summary legal?
Yes. Outsourcing of legal services like the preparation of deposition summaries is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), State and Local bar associations, and the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).