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Time to Retire, Deposition Index

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

You are the past, my friend. I am the future.

I’m talking to you, deposition index. It’s me, Gibson.

Hey now! There, there. Shhhhhhh.

It’s OK. You’ve had a good run. For years and years, you added value. A lot of value. And I mean that, deposition index. You were awesome.

Honestly, when I look back, one of the things I respect most about you was that you understood the importance of at least trying to find the most useful testimony in a transcript. I also love that you understood that people had only vague ideas of what occurred in depositions they didn’t attend. And what did you do for them, deposition index? Why, you offered them a helping hand. Of course you did!

Seriously, index, people consulted you. I’ve heard the stories. Legions of attorneys setting aside days just to flip through your coffee-stained pages. And there you were. Helping them. As they flipped back and forth and back and forth between you and the testimony then back to you again. You helped them find some things. Maybe not everything, but some stuff. And let me tell you, Mister, that’s not nothing! You helped!

Sure, you only indexed single words, never phrases.

And you couldn’t recognize topics or quantify and map them. Still, you helpfully arranged stuff in alphabetical order, on real paper, made of real trees. And back in the day, that was “gee-whiz” technology!

What’s that? [Sigh.] Yes, I’ve heard that talk. But it’s complete nonsense. It would have been profoundly unfair to expect you to identify and extract all testimony (Q & A pairs) on any given topic across any number of depositions. Let alone identify testimony uttered by only adverse witnesses. Or only from an aligned witness or by witnesses of a specific type (fact, expert, corporate, etc.).

And it would have been downright silly to expect you to help attorneys identify the habits of adverse counsel. Or identify better testimonial evidence. Or write more compelling motions. Or undermine adverse experts. Or empower their own experts. Or impeach adverse witnesses. Or provide teams with a borderline omniscient mastery of all testimony in a case. That would be madness. Just madness!

Also—and this is super awkward— but the answer is “yes.”

I’ve heard about "The Controversy."

Yes, it’s unfortunate when attorneys and their clients realize they’re paying a couple hundred dollars for a single, computer-generated index. Paying the same per-page rate they pay for actual transcription. But, hey, people pay hundreds of dollars for things they don’t use all the time. That’s not your problem, am I right?!? Right! Don’t worry your expensive little head about it.

So, deposition index. End of an era, eh? Please know that this is coming from a true friend. You’ve earned your retirement, buddy. You deserve to enjoy it. So, sit back and relax! I’ve got it from here.

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