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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 a Deposition, you can create written work product and include references to documents to be introduced as exhibits. You can format your written text and create lists and headers. 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.
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 you create can be shared with others, with the option to give them View, Edit, or Share/Delete permissions on that Deposition object.
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.
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.
Both options will reveal a creation dialog. 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.
Then, you can choose to create a blank Deposition, copy an existing Draft (which includes text, documents, and their references within the Draft), or import work from a Word document (must be docx). If you import an existing Draft or Deposition, it must belong to the same Story associated with the 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. Since this step would be reserved for teams who have already completed their deposition, you can visit this help article for instructions.
Once you click Create, your Deposition will be represented as a maroon card on the homepage and in your Story under the Depositions tab.
To rename your deposition, click the name of the Deposition on the page. 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. First, click “Add Details” (requires Edit permissions on the Deposition).
From there, you can optionally edit the following:
- 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. The date is listed in your local 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.
You can click Edit details if you need to make future adjustments.
Of course, 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 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 to be referenceable in your Deposition, they must first be added explicitly to the Deposition object. When you add documents to your Story, you can also add them to your Deposition’s document panel. If the document was only added to your Story, you will need to go to the Timeline view to add documents to the deposition.
Alternatively, you can add documents directly in the Deposition, but 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 are available in the Deposition’s document panel, they can be added as references into your Deposition text body. To add a document to the body of your Deposition as a document reference, find it in your document panel and click the plus sign. You can also drag and drop to the appropriate location in the text. Documents in the document panel used in the body of the draft are white, while those that are not currently used are gray.
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.
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.
All documents 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. The functionality is almost identical to Exhibits view in Drafts, with one exception: 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 itself will be listed (along with their exhibit stamp), even though any document in your Deposition’s document list can be marked as an exhibit.
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.