Audio and video files can provide challenges for attorney review. My first case with audio files was representing a defendant in a criminal matter. The evidence included hundreds of wiretap recordings of audio files. Our review strategy was to provide an MP3 player to the defendant in custody, so that he could listen to the recordings and tell the attorney which calls he thought were important. The attorney’s review plan was to listen to the identified audio files in a review application. At the time, this was the best we could do.
Media files today are far more widespread than wiretap recordings. The fact people can record video and audio on their smartphones means media files are appearing more regularly in personal injury or criminal cases. For example, people in auto accidents often use their phones to document what happened, including the conversation exchange. This media recording would be relevant in any lawsuit and subject to discovery requests.
Everlaw automatically transcribes media files containing speech during processing. Audio and video files have a synced searchable transcript. This can greatly assist and improve an attorney’s ability to review media files in a case, with the added benefit that no separate transcription needs to be outsourced. Moreover, notes can be added to the transcript with embedded time stamps, for either summaries of the text or analysis of the statements.