Deposition 3 of 3: Summary, Transcript, and Testimony

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In previous articles, we’ve covered how to prepare for a deposition and how to conduct a deposition using Depositions in Everlaw. This article will discuss post-deposition workflows. In Depositions, you can upload a PDF, TXT, or PTX transcript to the Deposition object, and any exhibits previously marked will be automatically linked within the transcript. Key testimony can be referenced in other work product (Drafts and Depositions), and testimony citations can be copy-pasted outside of Everlaw. These tools can help you preserve meaningful evidence from both documents and testimony in Storybuilder, while allowing you to share that evidence and collaborate with your case team. 

Write a Deposition Summary favicon.ico

Following the conclusion of a deposition, the Summary tool is helpful to briefly gather the major points from a deposition, which might be lengthy and dense. The Summary tool is intentionally freeform and allows you to collaborate with others on your team without having to leave the Deposition page. If you have Edit permissions on a Deposition, you can edit the Summary. 

To begin your summary, enter your Deposition, then click the Summary view in the top right of the screen. 

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You will know that you are in the Summary if you see a light grey banner within the text body. Screen_Shot_2020-04-13_at_4.39.00_PM.png

Summaries function almost identically to Drafts. Multiple users can edit the Summary at once, changes are saved in real time, and work product can be conveniently exported. 

You cannot conduct the following actions in Summary:

  • Create a copy: If you need to copy a Summary, we recommend that you export the document and re-import, or copy and paste the text
  • Reference documents: To see your document list, toggle back to the Deposition view. Because you cannot reference documents in a Summary, you cannot export to PDF with images (you can export to PDF or Word)

You can learn about editing a Summary by visiting this section of the Drafts help article

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Upload a Transcript and Supported Formats favicon.ico

Everlaw supports PDFs (with embedded text), TXT, and PTX transcript files. Transcripts must have line numbers on the left margins of the document.  If you choose an unsupported file type, you will not be able to upload the file. 

You can upload a transcript to a Deposition object you’ve already created. Enter the Deposition, then click the Transcript button in the top right of the screen. Here, you can drag and drop or browse to select your transcript file. 

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You can also upload a transcript when creating a Deposition object. Create a new Deposition from the homepage or from the Story’s dashboard, in the Depositions tab. You can learn more about creating a Deposition in this article. At the bottom of the creation dialog, you can drag and drop or browse to select your transcript file. 

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If you experience an error when uploading a transcript, it might be because of the following:

  • Parsing: Because the transcript viewer handles documents with a certain format, it must “parse” (read and interpret the text) into line numbers, which should be displayed but not selectable, and text content. If you experience a parsing error, the transcript will not be uploaded, and you can either replace your file with a different one or try the same file again.
  • Max size limit: You may have tried to upload a transcript larger than 100 MB. Your document will not be uploaded, and you can replace your file with a different one for upload.
  • Formatting error: Your document is a supported file type, and has parsable text, but is not recognized as a supported transcript format. Your document will be uploaded successfully, but some, most, or all of the text will be unselectable and greyed out. 
    • Scanned PDFs, 4-page manuscripts, or transcripts with unusual numbering schemes are not optimal for the transcript uploader. These files will be uploaded and readable if they’re an Everlaw-supported file type, but they will likely have formatting errors. You won’t be able to link exhibits or create testimony.

When you’ve selected your transcript file, you’ll be asked to create a citation. Citations will be appended to any transcript text copy-pasted out of Everlaw.

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View Your Transcript favicon.ico

Once your transcript is uploaded successfully, you will be taken directly to the Deposition, where you can view the transcript. If your Deposition includes a transcript, then you will be directed to the Transcript view any time you visit the Deposition. The transcript lives within the Deposition object, in a separate view accessible via the “Transcript” tab in the top right of the page. 

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Transcripts are loaded as scrollable, selectable-text files with line numbering. Once the transcript file is rendered, you can highlight specific lines of text and add annotations and/or preserve them as testimony as needed. You can also click on any exhibit number or Bates number to preview and open the document for review. 

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If headers and footers are included in your transcript, those will be included but disabled from selection. Any other text that is not transcribed (perhaps an appendix at the end of the transcript) will also be included but disabled from selection. 

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Link Exhibits Automatically and Manually favicon.ico

Documents that are marked as exhibits are important because they represent critical information introduced during the deposition. Everlaw supports the ability to both assign exhibit numbers to a document, and link those exhibits to transcript text. 

To learn how to assign an exhibit number to a document, you can visit this section of “Depositions 2 of 3: During the Deposition.” 

Everlaw uses a basic set of criteria to determine whether your transcript text “matches” an exhibit. If there is a match, the transcript text will be automatically linked to the document! When transcript text is recognized as a document on Everlaw, that text will be hyperlinked in blue. Clicking the linked text will take you directly to the document preview, where you can open the document for review

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However, in order for automatic linking to occur, transcript text must meet the following criteria:

  • Transcript text must include the word “Exhibit” or “Exhibit No.” followed by a positive integer. 
  • The entirety of the phrase must land on one line of the transcript. 
  • Your marked exhibit number cannot include any other text or symbols.

Below is an example of an automatically linked exhibit. A document in the Deposition was marked with the number 27. That exhibit was also referenced in the transcript. Because the transcript text says “Exhibit 27” and 27 is a positive integer, the text is automatically linked. 

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To view the instances of your exhibit throughout the transcript, click the exhibit in the Document panel. Then toggle through the recognized instances, which will navigate you through the transcript. 

If your transcript text identifies a potential exhibit reference (the word “Exhibit” or words “Exhibit No.” followed by a positive integer), but that exhibit number is not yet referenced in your Deposition, a suggested link will appear in the transcript. Suggested links are represented by a dashed underline:

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To browse all suggested links, click the suggested link icon in the toolbar and toggle through the recognized text. 

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There are two ways to manually link a document to a suggested link: 

  • From within the transcript: Find the suggested link in the text (either via the suggested link icon, or by searching the transcript). Click the link, then select a document from the document list. If a document is disabled with a lock icon, it has already been marked as an exhibit. Click “Link all (x found)” to link all instances of that exhibit in the transcript. The document in the panel will be updated with the matching exhibit number. 

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You can also type in a valid Bates/Control # to add the document to your deposition and link to the transcript. Keep in mind that the prioritized version of that document will be the one added and displayed in the Deposition. You can learn more about prefix priority versions in this article.

  • From within the document panel: Select the document you wish to assign to an exhibit number. Click the document, and Edit the exhibit number. Enter the number of the suggested exhibit in the transcript text, then click Save. The document in the panel will be updated with the matching exhibit number, and the text in the transcript will be linked (hyperlinked in blue).

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If you change an exhibit number and it is no longer a match in the transcript text, the previous links will be removed. You can edit the number from within the Document Panel or by clicking the reference in the text and editing the number from the preview. 

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Search, Highlight, and Create Testimonyfavicon.ico

If you click and drag text in the transcript you can run searches, highlight important text, and elevate the text as testimony so that it is referenceable throughout your Story. 

The transcript viewer supports full text search, including words, phrases, regular expression (regex), fuzzy, proximity, and wildcard searches. Click the magnifying glass, and then navigate to the Search tab where you will see the resulting search. If you select more than one word, Everlaw will create a phrase search.

You can also search your transcript by entering your desired term into the search box in the Search tab, then pressing Enter on your keyboard.

Your term will be added to the Search hit list in the right side panel. Each search highlight is assigned a random color. 

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Note that searches are user-specific and not viewable by anyone else on the Deposition. Once you refresh the browser, or navigate away from the page, your searches will be cleared. You can also click the “X” icon next to a search to remove it without moving away from the page. 

You can search across all of your transcripts within a Story by going to the associated Story’s dashboard. You can read more about this functionality in this help article

 

In addition to search, you can create a highlight from your text selection. Click the caret to choose a new color other than the default (yellow).

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You can also click the highlighter icon in the toolbar directly, then click and drag to highlight. We recommend this method if you’re creating an overlapping highlight. 

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Once you’ve highlighted text, a dialog box will appear. Here you have a variety of options to annotate, edit, and label your highlight. 

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Add to Story as key testimony

Click Add to Story, and your highlight will now appear in your Story’s Timeline as testimony. A tab with a quotation mark icon will appear above the highlight to indicate that testimony has been created. 

To reference this testimony snippet in another Deposition or Draft, click the green + sign under References. You can add testimony to any Deposition or Draft in that Story (including the source Deposition the testimony came from). To learn about referencing testimony in your Draft, see this help article

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When adding a highlight to your Story, thereby creating testimony, you will also see an editable details panel. Here, you can add a Story date, description, and relevance to your testimony. These details will be updated in the Timeline and across any Depositions or Drafts that you’ve added the piece of testimony to. If you click Remove from Story, the highlight will remain in your transcript, but the testimony in your Timeline and any Depositions or Drafts you’ve added it to will be deleted.

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Labels: 

Labels added to your Story can then be applied to highlights in a transcript. As you apply labels, tabs will appear above the highlight for easier skimming. If you create testimony, thus adding a highlight to the Story, you can use labels to filter by testimony and documents in the Timeline. 

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Edit highlight range: 

Click the pencil icon in the dialog box. You will enter “Edit Mode,” in which you can select a new range to replace the previously selected one. When you’re satisfied with your new selection, click Update in the yellow banner. Your range will be updated in the transcript and throughout the Story if your highlight has been elevated to testimony.

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Copy-paste text with citation: 

You can click the copy-to-clipboard button in the dialog to copy the selected highlight in order to paste it out of Everlaw.

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The pasted text will include the transcript text in quotation marks (with line breaks at any start of a question or answer detected in the transcript), followed by the citation in parentheses. 

The citation, which you defined when you uploaded the transcript, can be edited in the toolbar of the transcript view. Click Save to update your citation. This will update citations for all existing testimony from this transcript throughout your Story. 

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Note that throughout your Story, anywhere that you can reference testimony you can also copy the text with its citation.

Notes: 

Click the text input box that says “Add a new note…”. Start typing your note, then click away from the window, or click Save. Your note is applied to the document, published by you, and timestamped. A notes icon will appear as a tab above the highlight for easier skimming. 

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Anyone with at least View permissions on the Deposition can view all notes (including author and date) and highlights. 

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Navigate Highlights and Testimony

You can toggle between highlights in your transcript by using the Highlights tab. Use the left and right paddles to jump through all highlights. You can also navigate between a single label category, or even a specific label within that category.

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Click the “Added to Story” filter to limit your navigation to highlights promoted to testimony. Click “Has notes” to filter by highlights with notes. You can use both filters at once, if needed.

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If multiple highlights start at the same location, the tabs above the highlights will be condensed. For example, these highlights both start at the beginning of the same line, so you can’t see their labels above them (only the count of labels). You can click the tabs to open up that specific highlight and see which labels are applied. 

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Export Annotated Transcripts favicon.ico

Click on the download icon in the toolbar to either download the Native transcript or export your annotated transcript (with notes, labels, etc.) to a PDF or Word document. Only users with document download permission will be able to export transcripts.  

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Choose Export annotations to choose between a PDF or Word export. You can export the transcript and its annotations (including highlighted text) or just the annotations. If you select Annotations only, you can choose to exclude the Full Text Snippet and just display the citations in your export. 

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If you select Annotations only, you can choose to exclude the Full Text Snippet and just display the citations in your export. 

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If you export to Word, note that any notes on your highlights will be displayed as Word comments. To see overlapping highlights more clearly in Word, select their associated comment to focus on its highlight. 

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In PDFs, overlapping highlights will blend highlight colors. After selecting your export options, you can filter your exported highlights by label. All label categories and labels within the categories are selected by default. Click the carets to expose the list of labels, which you can select/deselect. You can also choose to filter by testimony in your export (all highlights added to Story) as well as unlabeled highlights.

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When you’re satisfied with your export specifications, click Export. 

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Replace Transcript Files favicon.ico

You might need to replace a transcript file, for example because the first transcript you received may not be the final transcript, or perhaps you uploaded the wrong file. You can replace your file within the transcript viewer. If you have Edit permissions on the Deposition object, you can replace a transcript file. Note that replacing your transcript will delete all highlights, testimony, and associated annotations!

Click the settings icon in the toolbar and select Replace transcript file. 

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A dialog will appear where, similar to the Deposition creation dialog, you can drag and drop or browse to select your new file. The same file type requirements apply to replacement as they do to new transcripts uploaded. When you’ve selected a file, click Replace. 

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You may experience a parsing or size limit error upon replacement. If this is the case, try a new file, or click Cancel to keep your existing file. 

If your new transcript has a formatting error (text is parsable but not supported as a transcript format), then the file will be uploaded, replacing the old file. Text that is unselectable will be in grey.

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