When PohlmanUSA decided to redesign MyCase, its online calendar-management and deposition-repository tool, it did not simply tweak the software and hope for glowing reviews. Rather, it convened focus groups and listened closely to what their clients needed.
“They’re full of ideas,” said Alicia Hart, who was the architect of the redesign and serves as executive director of litigation support and technology services. “We’re constantly evolving.”
MyCase enables attorneys to coordinate depositions with co-counsel, opposing counsel or both. It’s set up to cater even to attorneys working on complex litigation that involves multiple firms nationwide — and just as well, for St. Louis-based Pohlman serves thousands of firms each year, both in the U.S. and abroad.
The new system is streamlined and intuitive. To register, for example, the legacy system required two page-loads; now it’s a quick dialogue box.
The user interface is different, too. In the “Schedule” tab, you can establish the depo location, court reporter and any extra services that require coordination, such as teleconferencing or videoconferencing. In the “Calendar” tab, you can manage, for each deposition, the date and time, witness, case details and associated files such as notices of deposition, stipulation letters, signature pages and errata sheets. You also can set up email alerts in case there’s a last-minute change or cancellation.
“We’ve heard from lawyers that we’ve prevented them from getting on a plane,” Hart said.
The “Download” tab also grants access to depositions that clients already have ordered from Pohlman, even if it’s outside of business hours. Hart said this will be especially useful on the eve of a trial when attorneys are frantically getting their files in order.
While Hart is obviously proud of MyCase, she calls its subsystem, MyCase TRAKS, the company’s most recent “pride and joy.” TRAKS stands for “Transcript Repository and Keyword Search.” It’s a digital library of approximately 110,000 depositions, primarily from cases involving toxic torts such as asbestos. Thanks to a recent acquisition in Baltimore, Maryland, the library is in the process of growing by about 40,000 depositions, Hart said.
In MyCase TRAKS, the depositions are digitally searchable and keyword-indexed. The tool helps attorneys who are having trouble finding previous expert testimony or the testimony of co-workers of certain plaintiffs or defendants. It also helps lawyers pinpoint toxic products identified by specific work sites, and it allows them to search depositions within particular time periods.
The new MyCase system was officially rolled out on Sept. 18, and it now has about 1,500 users daily. Hart said it has been very well received, and that clients are coming up with ideas for new features.
“There’s constant communication and feedback,” Hart said. “They already have a laundry list of wishes and wants.”
MyCase is not the only online web tool that Pohlman offers. It also offers MyDocServe, which is a service-list and online-docket-management system, and MyRecordsRetrieval, which provides file storage, management and encryption.
Pohlman USA was founded in 1990 by Vicki Pohlman after she had spent eight years as a freelance court reporter in asbestos litigation and other complex multiparty cases in St. Louis and in Madison County, Illinois. Today, the company has offices in those two locations plus Kansas City, Chicago, Baltimore and Kalamazoo, Michigan.