In a previous post, we discussed the differences between information businesses and physical businesses. We also showed that an information business is very well suited to be run remotely. Finally, we demonstrated that attorneys are in an information business, and are uniquely positioned to not have to make the tradeoff between keeping your family healthy and getting work done.

In this post, we’ll review how attorneys can perform a key workflow — video depositions — almost entirely remotely. We’ll also talk about how cloud platforms are fundamentally more capable than desktop platforms for handling video deposition workflows, even though they may appear very similar based on screenshots or demo videos.

The steps in a video deposition workflow are:

1. Conduct deposition [Information gathering]

2. Receive transcript [Information transfer]

3. Create page:lines [Information refinement]

4. Prepare pleadings [Information collation, transfer]

5. Create trial clips [Information refinement, collation, transfer]

The [square brackets] indicate the type of information processing that happens at each step. It is highly unlikely that all of this information processing is performed by just one individual with no need to coordinate with other partners, associates, or paralegals at any step.

This leads us to a problem. In addition to performing the actual information processing (e.g., creating page:lines), those involved now have to also perform the additional work of coordination, i.e., sharing with their colleagues exactly what information they processed.

– If there are multiple versions, or if a thought strikes you after you hit “send” on an email, you repeat the process.

– If there are multiple people who all need to provide input on something, the coordination problem becomes exponentially greater.

This is wildly inefficient and error-prone.

– It is disrespectful of the time and intellect of every single person who is a party to unending coordination emails: “use this version”, “sorry, forgot to attach”, “Bob, can you please review?”, and so on.

– It increases the chances that key insights may be missed, either because an email thread is too dense, or because someone processed the information but didn’t have the time to coordinate with colleagues.

All that changes with the cloud.

The biggest benefit of a high-quality cloud platform is that it handles coordination for you. So you can focus your time, intellect, and energy solely on information processing: carefully reviewing the deposition video and transcript, skillfully creating objections and other page:lines, adding insightful notes for your colleagues to discuss. Not sending endless emails.

– It actually doesn’t matter how many people there are, and what they are doing (adding page:lines, adding notes, creating clips) — the platform can coordinate and send updates on everything for everyone.

– Another tremendous benefit of a high-quality cloud platform is that there is always one source of truth for a piece of content, for all collaborators. No more “version confusion”. When anyone logs on, they can be assured that they are seeing the latest version of the deposition video, transcript, and page:lines.

This leads to the question: Why can’t programs on your laptop do this?

The answer is: coordination needs connectivity. Internet connectivity. On a high-quality cloud platform, every action taken on the platform (creating an objection, adding issue codes) is stored in a secure location, not on your laptop.

– Every time you make a change, it is instantly transferred via a secure connection to a secure location that only authorized users can access. It’s vastly more secure than email: ever notice how banks never send you sensitive messages directly over email but rather make you log in to their website/cloud platform?

– Everyone else accessing the platform can therefore see your changes. But when you work on your laptop program that’s not cloud-connected, only you can see your changes. So the burden of communicating those changes to others falls on you. Every single time.

Therefore even though the deposition-related actions you perform are the same, whether on a laptop or an iPad, because there’s no cloud connection, the coordination part is still up to you.

Further, those deposition-related actions you currently perform are spread across different apps and interfaces, which makes coordination and progress even more error-prone. But that is a topic for another blog post.

In summary, if you’re an attorney or working with one, consider using a secure, integrated, high-quality cloud deposition workflow platform like Threadeo — and let technology take care of the coordination.