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Stop wasting money on depositions

In these days of cost-consciousness, every law firm should be mindful of simple ways to save money.

I don’t mean that you should stop taking depositions, just that you should be smart about the way you order your transcripts. At the conclusion of a deposition, when you place your order, you have an opportunity to improve your firm’s bottom line. In most cases, these savings will be passed on to your clients, with whom you have a fiduciary responsibility.

When the court reporter asks you what you want, the answer is simple. I always order an E-Transcript and an ASCII file to be sent to me by e-mail, and I specify that I do not want a hard copy. This gives you maximum flexibility without the postage costs (and, most court reporters inexplicably send depositions out by one- or two-day Federal Express or UPS, even when there is no rush. Those additional costs are passed on to you).

What can you do with an E-Transcript? You can print full or mini-transcripts to your printer, or convert them to Adobe .pdf files to be saved onto your computer. You can print a word index, and you can easily search the deposition on your computer by simply typing the word to be found, or clicking on any word in the index. Additionally, E-Transcript documents have built in electronic security verification to prove that the text has not been tampered with.

The usefulness of E-Transcript goes further — for attorneys writing briefs or preparing a PowerPoint for trial, specific portions of the transcript can be selected, copied and pasted. The final product automatically contains the deponent’s name, date, page and line numbers and formatted text. This saves time — no longer does the deposition need to be retyped word by word.

The ASCII is simply a text file, and it seldom needs a second thought. However, it is nice to have as a backup in case anything goes wrong with the E-Transcript file. Like the E-transcript, text can be copied directly from the ASCII file and pasted into other documents or applications, minus the citation.

An electronic deposition file is more flexible than its paper counterpart. It arrives sooner, costs less, and does more. Try it out by downloading the free E-Transcript Viewer, and contacting your favorite court reporter.


  1. I couldn’t agree me more. During my time in Buffalo, I worked for a Med Mal defense firm and e-transcripts was one of the steps we were considering implementing to cut costs.

  2. Dear sir:

    You got that picture off of a forum that I manage (and did not ask, tsk tsk). I would like to inform you that I am a court reporter who always asks what an attorney wants, and I frequently get the response “whatever he’s getting”.

    I do have and use e-Tran and would love to go completely PAPERLESS!! I think you make some good points.

    Your title of your article with my very dear friend’s picture on it (my very dear friend who makes her living off depositions) is a bit much for me to swallow. Maybe your next article will be entitled, Thou Shalt Not Steal. Oh, yes, I know it’s probably public domain. But a bit tasteless in my humble opinion.

  3. Hey Mary, I’ll switch that photo out.