Deposition 1 of 3: Preparation

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Deposition objects are created to prepare for, conduct, and summarize a deposition or other interview process, as well as view and annotate the resulting transcript. This article will focus on the preparation stage of a deposition. 

In Depositions, you can create written work product and include references to documents to be introduced as exhibits or to testimony from prior depositions. You can format your written text and create lists and headers (just like you can in Drafts). You can reference a document multiple times within one Deposition and use bookmarks to reference certain pages. This functionality, along with the real-time collaboration capabilities, allows you and your team to efficiently prepare for the day of your deposition. 

Create a Deposition favicon.ico

The first step in preparing for deposition is to create a Deposition object. If you have Storybuilder Create or Admin permissions, you can create a Deposition. Any Deposition (without a transcript) that you create must be explicitly shared with others, and you have the option to give them  View, Edit, or Share/Delete permissions on that Deposition object. Depositions with a transcript adhere to these specific permissions rules. 

You can create a Deposition object from the Everlaw homepage or from the associated Story within the Depositions tab. 

Homepage: Click the + sign next to the Storybuilder header on the homepage. If you do not see the + sign, it’s because you do not have Create or Admin permissions on Storybuilder. Your Project Administrator can give you access via Permissions in Project Settings. Once you click the + sign, select New Deposition.

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Depositions tab: In the navigation bar, click the Storybuilder icon to go to your Story (or select your Story from the dropdown if you have multiple). Then, click the Depositions tab at the top of your Story, and click the green “+ New Deposition” in the Depositions tab. 

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Both options will reveal a creation dialog.

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First, give your Deposition a name. If you’ve created the Deposition from the homepage, you will also need to select what Story the Deposition belongs to (if you have more than one). All Depositions must belong to a Story. 

Next, select a deponent. You can select an existing person profile, or create one from the dropdown. 

Then, you can choose to create a blank Deposition, copy an existing Deposition or Draft (including text, documents, and their references), or import work from a Word document (must be .docx). If you copy an existing Draft or Deposition, it must belong to the same Story associated with the new Deposition. You cannot import a standalone Draft (one that does not belong to a Story). If you choose to import a Word document, you can select it from your file manager or drag and drop it into the dialog. You can always import a Word document later, from the Deposition toolbar, if you prefer. 

Finally, you can upload a transcript of your deposition. When you upload a transcript, you’ll be asked to define a citation. Citations will be attached to any highlights or testimony that you copy-paste out of Everlaw and serve as a time-saver when writing briefs, referencing testimony in footnotes, etc.  Since this step would be reserved for teams who have already completed their deposition, you can visit this help article for instructions and additional information on citations.

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Once you click Create, your Deposition will be represented as a maroon card on the homepage and in your Story under the Depositions tab. 

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A Note on “Transcript Only” Deposition Permissions 

Typically, when a Deposition object is shared with a user, they get access to view everything in that Deposition, including the text body, Summary view, chat, tasks, etc. 

In specific situations, users might need to glean insight into evidence from a deposition, particularly the transcript and its documents and testimony. However, their admin may want to prevent them from seeing potentially sensitive work product associated with that deposition.

Therefore, if you have at least Read permissions on the Story, and if a Deposition has a transcript uploaded to it, you will receive “Transcript Only” permissions on each Deposition by default. 

This is represented on the Deposition card. In the example below, the user was given automatic “Transcript Only” permission on “Depo Two” and explicit View, Edit, or Share/Delete permission to “Chang Dep. 10.06.20.” 

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With “Transcript Only” permissions, you can view the transcript and its highlights (and all details like labels and notes). You can also access all documents added to the Deposition object. This includes seeing exhibit numbers assigned to documents, and other exhibit references in other Depositions that have transcripts attached to them (even though you do not have explicit permissions on those other Depositions). 

You will not be able to access the Deposition text body, tasks, chat, or Summary views.

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If you prefer that your team can see everything in a Deposition object, then this automatic permission is not sufficient, and you should explicitly share that object with them.

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Add Deposition Details favicon.ico

To rename your deposition, click the title of the Deposition. Type the new name, then press Enter on your keyboard. To favorite the deposition, click the star icon.

You can include relevant details about your upcoming deposition at the top of the Depositions page if you have Edit permissions on the Deposition object.

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Click Edit to update the following details:

  • Deponent: select from a dropdown of existing People in your Story, or create a new People Profile by selecting New Profile at the bottom of the list. This will reveal a dialog where you can enter the name of the Deponent, and create a detailed account of them. You can learn more about creating People Profiles in this Timeline article.  
  • Date/time: enter the date and time of your deposition. If you do not select a time, it will default to 12:00 AM. You can also select a timezone.
  • Location: enter the name or address of any location. This will create a link that, when clicked, will redirect you to a Google Maps search. 

Click Done, and your details will be saved. 

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Referencing documents and testimony favicon.ico

The core component of preparation for a deposition is the ability to prepare written work product that can be shared across teams. If you have Edit permissions on the Deposition, you can type in the body, and all text will be saved automatically in real-time. Any edits you or other editors make to the text body will be immediately reflected for anyone else viewing the Deposition.  

To learn more about formatting your text (using Headers, Navigation Panel, hyperlinking, etc.) please visit this section of the Drafts help article, as the functionality is the same. 

In order for documents or testimony to be referenceable in your Deposition, they must first be added explicitly to the Deposition object. You can add testimony directly from the source transcript, which you can learn about in this article, or from the Timeline view. 

You can add documents from the review window, results table, and Timeline, which you can learn about in this article. Alternatively, you can add documents directly from within the Deposition.  However, you will need to know the exact document Bates/Control # to either add it via the document panel, or convert the text into a document reference. Please note that you cannot reference documents in a Summary.

Once documents and testimony are available in the Deposition’s document panel, they can be added as references into your Deposition text body. Click the plus sign next to the document or testimony to add it to the body of your Deposition. You can also drag and drop to the appropriate location in the text. Documents and testimony in the document panel used in the body of the draft are white, while those that are not currently used are gray. 

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You can learn more about referencing documents in your Deposition, or adding them via Bates number, by reading this section of the Drafts help article.

You can expand testimony to reveal the full text quote by clicking the reference. Upon expansion, you have the option to copy testimony text and its citation, which you can paste outside of Everlaw. The pasted text will include the full text quote, followed by the citation in parentheses. You can also go to the source deposition by clicking the deposition icon next to the copy icon. 

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Bookmark document references favicon.ico

If a document has more than one page and is referenced in the Deposition’s text body, its pages can be bookmarked. This allows you to point to specific pages within that document. Each document reference in your draft has its own unique set of bookmarks. This means you will be able to associate separate bookmarks to the various document references. Furthermore, bookmarks can be exported via the Exhibits view

To learn how to use bookmarks, read this section of the Drafts help article, as the functionality is the same. 

Exhibits view in Deposition favicon.ico

All documents and testimony referenced in your Deposition are viewable in a list by clicking the Exhibits view to the top right of the Depositions body. In preparation for deposition, this view is primarily to configure your potential exhibit list and format your information so that it is suitable to bring to a deposition. Any referenced document with a marked exhibit will display that exhibit number in the Exhibits view. Note that only documents referenced in the Depositions body will be listedSimilarly, any referenced testimony will be included in your exhibits view. You can toggle the exhibits view off by clicking the Testimony icon. 

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Similarly, any referenced testimony will be included in your exhibits view. You can hide testimony from your exhibits view by clicking the testimony icon. 

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To learn more about marking exhibits during a deposition, visit this help article, which focuses on exhibit marking during an exhibit

Ready to start your deposition? Visit part 2 of 3 of our depositions articles

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