Outsourcing has its advantages, but it didn’t take San Francisco plaintiffs’ lawyer Frank Liuzzi long to figure out there weren’t many in the deposition arena.
Liuzzi and Chris Viadro, a plaintiffs’ lawyer in Oakland, had set up DepoExpress back in 2006 as a Web-based service providing deposition summaries for litigators. For about six months, they said they sent work to a company based in New Delhi, India. They had a family connection there.
The idea was to save on labor costs, but the duo said they had to do so much work on the documents when they came back that the savings (they were paying their Indian contractors about 60% of the cost of U.S. contractors) quickly evaporated.
Some of the troubles had to do with nuances between British and U.S. English. Liuzzi said their India contractors would use words like “fortnight” (to describe a two-week period) and “bonnet” (for the hood of a car). It was puzzling, added Viadro, because the transcripts went to India in U.S. English.
There was inconsistency in quality, too. Liuzzi said one summary would be great, the next one had to be redone. “The quality control had to be really tight,” he said.
And deadlines were misunderstood. “They have a lot of holidays in India, too, that we don’t have,” Liuzzi added. “We are committed to having a five-day turnaround.”
Added Viadro: “The money we saved we ended up paying here to do all the quality control work.”
That’s not to say that the experience was all bad: “They’re very nice and very professional,” Liuzzi said. “But they couldn’t support their eagerness with substance.”
DepoExpress now works with about 20 contract paralegals and attorneys – all of them based in the United States. “We found that we’ve been able to grow over the past five years without outsourcing, so we’ve not looked back,” Viadro said.