A Frye hearing was recently held in the Circuit Court of Cook County.  This hearing was regarding scientific evidence related to genetic testing for BAP-1 of a plaintiff with mesothelioma arising from potential asbestos exposure.

Most states follow either the Daubert or Frye Standard regarding admissibility, and in a few states, the court follows a combination of the two. Daubert applies to admissibility of any expert witness testimony, while Frye is narrower in application only for admissibility of novel scientific expert testimony.

The Daubert standard is the more recent standard set in the 1993 Supreme Court case of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Under the Daubert standard there are five factors the court considers in determining if the expert testimony methodology is valid.

  1. Whether the theory or technique in question can and has been tested
  2. Whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication
  3. Whether the theory or technique has a known or potential error rate
  4. Whether the theory or technique has widespread acceptance within the relevant scientific community
  5. Whether the theory or technique has standards and controls and was conducted independently of preparation for testifying.

The Frye standard dates back to the 1923 case of Frye v. United States. Under the Frye standard the court must determine whether the method by which the scientific evidence is gathered is “generally accepted” as reliable by other experts in the relevant scientific community. If your case is in California, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, they continue to follow the Frye standard.

In the recent Illinois Frye hearing the Judge has taken it under advisement. If you are an asbestos attorney and are interested in learning more please contact me at carrie@pohlmanusa.com

 

 

 

 

Since March of last year, we have learned to navigate our lives in a very different, remote world.  Amidst juggling technology challenges, workloads, teaching our little ones, and figuring out how to get our groceries delivered — maintaining connection with our co-workers can provide much needed balance and motivation.

Here are some tips and tricks to connecting with and celebrating team members during this ever-evolving time in a remote world.

CONNECT

  • Be social. Schedule a remote video call or teleconference with your department.  Go beyond “just work” to talk about how everyone is doing, share the best and most challenging parts about working from home — or even play a game.
  • Praise publicly. Whether it be a shout-out, meme, or email, it is specific recognition for hard work or accomplishments that count.
  • Ditch the email. Occasionally opting for a short phone conversation or Facetime helps us reconnect with co-workers more than texts or email.

CELEBRATE & REWARD

Remember birthdays, anniversaries, or “just because” moments and make them known! Being out-of-the office can make it easy to overlook, so remember to recognize the special days.

Celebrating 30 years in business — anyway you look at it – is quite an accomplishment. But to do it during a pandemic really left us with mixed feelings. An anniversary or birthday should be exciting and celebratory. But when you can’t share it with the world, it loses just a little luster, yet we know the milestone is no less significant.

The fresh start we had at the beginning of 2020 was thrown into a tailspin as our industry faced unheard-of shutdowns of courts, isolation from friends and family and the inability to travel to our workplaces, let alone across the nation.

As our industry faced an unheard of shutdown of the courts, we already utilized remote technology daily for our clients, so with the legal system needing to go on, we were able to get right back to work (sans our usual work attire), challenging us to look for effective ways to go about our jobs and lives as a new normal arose. It also gave us some time to take stock of our core values, putting focus on the things that matter most to us.

Our motto is “We’re Always Listening®,” as we pride ourselves on listening to our clients, paying close attention to their needs and evolving and innovating to meet them. Truly listening became even more literal when calls and remote video conferencing were our only lifelines.

COVID-19 — changed everything.
This past year has been full of challenges, even hardships for us all, but internally it shone a light on the proven power of Pohlman as our employees pulled together to listen even more closely, quickly pivot and adapt to industry changes. Perhaps even more impressive was how the legal industry pulled together with care and innovation on how to keep everyone safe and still protect individuals and corporation interests.

So just how did we celebrate our milestone 30-year anniversary? Pohlman’s employees brought more options for remote proceedings, contacted more clients to understand their needs, we listened and we are working to serve you better, day in and day out. We celebrated 30 years by celebrating you. The wonderful people that stand by us, champion us, and allow us to serve you every day.

Thank you, valued clients and partners, for being here alongside us through the milestones, the growth, the challenges of 2020 and the achievement of 30 years. We are looking forward to continuing to partner with you for many decades to come.

PohlmanUSA returned to our offices on June 29, 2020. As excited as we are to return to working collaboratively together with our teams to service our clients, we are entering this next phase of re-opening with caution and a focused effort on keeping our employees and clients safe and healthy.

Our vast remote deposition platforms for MpVC (Zoom 5.0 and AdobeConnect) along with Telephonic Conferencing are still readily available to you and continued use beyond COVID is encouraged. We’re confident you have seen the benefits and advantages of these invested technologies. As always, our Remote Deposition Logistics Team is here to help.

When that is just not optimal, PohlmanUSA is ready and poised to host your in-person depositions and hearings. And, to assure you of our focus on safety, below you’ll find our protocols ensuring sanitization and social distancing:

We have implemented various safety precautions, as advised by the CDC, to provide a safe environment for our clients and employees.

Upon arriving at our office, team members will undergo daily health assessments and contactless temperature checks. Visitors will undergo a contactless temperature check and asked the following questions, before being granted entry:

  • If they have you had a cough or fever.
  • If they have been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days.
  • If they are living with anyone who is sick or quarantined.

For the safety of our teams and clients, we are holding to the highest standards with enhanced cleaning and disinfecting in all of our locations, to include our reception areas, restrooms, kitchens, employee common spaces and all conference room areas.

Beyond increased office cleanliness, we are encouraging increased personal hygiene, including hand washing, for all entering the office. Employees will be required to wear masks, while masks will be provided and encouraged for guests.

We are also maintaining social distancing. Our conference rooms are operating at 50% capacity and all chairs are spaced 6 feet apart. We also suggest employees and guests are mindful of maintaining their distance throughout their visit.

We look forward to serving you in the way most appropriate to your firm. We appreciate your continued business and wish health and prosperity for us all.

remote deposition pohlmanusa

As attorneys and courts trend toward proceedings and discovery being taken by telephonic or other methods such as Multi-platform Video Conferencing (MpVC), the demand for services has sharply increased. And, whether your firm is seasoned in the use of remote video technology or this is new territory – there are several factors to consider.

Of the tools available to litigators for virtual meetings and proceedings, it is important to explore the basics and evaluate the following variables when choosing a Remote Deposition Platform:

Security: Ensure your case information will remain secure throughout the entire process, and that your provider is using SSL and TSL configuration and encryption, secure links and the firewall protection necessary to be HIPAA compliant and overall secure.

Accessibility and Timing: Determine what lead time is required for scheduling and equipment procurement prior to your deposition or court proceeding. If not able to use your own equipment, how long should you allow for shipping, set-up and training before you are ready to-go.

Technical Support: Ask what level of support you can expect from your chosen partner and provider. Is there set-up help? Training? Support during the proceeding?

Clarity / Quality: Evaluate the age and quality of the product and especially review any satisfaction ratings of your chosen equipment and service provider.

Functionality: Compare differing platforms for any specialized benefits and compare against your needs, making sure to select the best-fitting service.

Then, choose a provider sure to deliver in all of these areas.

The Pohlman Partner Advantage:

With over 30 years of experience and decades of that specific to Remote Deposition Technology we have always been committed to the ongoing investment in the technology needed to achieve client success. That does not change now.

PohlmanUSA is once again leading the way in proving the same quality MpVC many already rely on. As well, expanding proactively to provide new and additional platforms – versatile to client needs.

Our Multi-platform Video Conferencing (MpVC) allows you to securely connect and take a deposition from anywhere. As always you can expect to:

  • Connect hundreds of participants
  • Register to receive an instant calendar download link with all information
  • Experience Audio and Visual on One Platform
  • Receive support from our Remote Logistics Team

Plus, receive:

  • Technology support from start to finish
  • Headphones with Microphones
  • Training for you and your clients

Pohlman has expanded its MpVC platform to include two options to best fit your deposition needs.

Introducing the newly improved and secure Zoom 5.0 MpVC as an additional offering from Pohlman.  This option is best utilized for lighter exhibit needs, allowing flexibility yet security.

  • Screen share capability to show exhibits
  • Interactive document annotation
  • Fast Witness startup via iPad
  • Witness iPads & Tablets arrive deposition ready

Adobe Connect MpVC is still considered the best option for exhibit heavy cases. PohlmanUSA’s cornerstone platform, now made even more robust:

  • Secure Connection with no software installation
  • Audio and Visual on One Platform for ease and convenience
  • Realtime Streaming
  • Preload and hide documents until share-ready
  • Interactive document annotation in real time, and with on-screen edits
  • Easy document distribution
  • Witness access via iPad/Tablet/Laptop

Security. With all Pohlman MpVC platforms you can expect the advanced security of secure links, encryption and the firewall protection necessary to keep sensitive case information secure.

Of course, we consult with you for the best option for telephonic, audio, and visual access needs.  Telephonic-only depositions remain an option when visuals of the witness or exhibits are not imperative.

Which is Right for you? Our Remote Logistics Team can talk you through the selection criteria and is dedicated to supporting your remote needs from beginning to end. For more information, call us today at 877.421.0099.

  1. Know the jurisdiction’s current rules and, if necessary stipulate on record to waive the requirement for in-person oath taking.
  2. Provide the agency/court reporter with the electronic exhibits ahead of time.
  3. Organize your files and documents ahead of time, so you are not flipping through papers (loudly) at deposition time.
  4. For video feeds — dress professionally, maintain a clutter-free background and control non-verbal reactions to testimony.
  5. Minimize background noise the audio might pick up, by turning off any televisions or radios.
  6. Ensure you are prepared prior to start time with the right dial in and access information.
  7. Join the deposition at least 10 minutes early to ensure there are no technical issues on your end.
  8. Utilize your handset instead of the speaker to ensure the best quality sound when questioning.
  9. Speak loudly and clearly into the phone, and always mute yourself when not questioning.
  10. Identify yourself each time you begin speaking, to ensure an accurate record.

Friday, April 10th, PohlmanUSA hosted training via Multi-platform Video Conferencing to educate their core court reporters on the CARES Act, Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA), – and unemployment benefits that may be available to independent contractors.

Presenting, was Dwayne Houghton, CPA, Shareholder of Biggs, Hausserman, Thompson & Dickinson, P.C. – whose expertise guided the Court Reporters through never-before available self-employed worker relief programs resulting directly from the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry.

Court Reporters often operate as independent contractors, and this time of uncertainty for our nation provides many challenges to taking depositions amid work from home orders and court closures. Pohlman values the Court Reporters that make up our entire industry and strives to provide ongoing education and resources to all the Court Reporters in the PohlmanUSA network.

The recent webinar goes into great depth of each program below, but this provides an overview of the programs currently in place – and the general areas where Dwayne Houghton in partnership with Pohlman helps Reporters navigate:

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)

Unemployment Benefits

Pandemic unemployment benefits are being made available to the self-employed, who are not typically eligible. Now they may be eligible to apply based on normal earnings when work is not available to them and if making less than the state unemployment benefit amount. Reporters are encouraged to consult with their state for actual unemployment amounts.

  • Apply as early as your state put a shelter/stay at home order in place.
  • If qualified for state unemployment, they will be eligible for Federal government assistance of an additional $600 per week through July 31st.
  • 2019 Schedule C, Net Earnings to calculate self-employed weekly benefit.
  • While working remotely, you may be eligible to still apply for partial benefits.
  • Must take remote work that is offered in order not to be disqualified for benefits.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Self-employed individuals may be eligible to receive a tax credit against regular income tax under the State’s Stay at Home Order or Child Care. Although you cannot qualify fully for both the tax credit and unemployment, it may be possible to claim the tax credit for the first ten business days and on Day 11 begin application for Unemployment benefits.

  • Comes in the form of a credit on your 2020 taxes.
  • Maximum credit for Emergency Leave is 10 days at a maximum of either $200 or $511 depending on reason for credit.
  • Need to provide documentation such as a scheduling calendar.
  • Credit is equal to the number of days they are unable to work.
  • Up to 50 days for Family Medical Leave Act at the lower of $200 or 67% of your average self-employment income.
  • Effective April 1st.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan

This act provides the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program Loan. A low-interest, potentially forgivable loan designed to be used for payroll costs, rent, utilities, as well as interest on debt incurred before Feb 15. Acceptance of this loan means an individual is no longer eligible for unemployment.

pohlman doing remote depositions

PohlmanUSA First to Utilize Multi-platform Video Conferencing in Madison County Courts

In an effort to ensure legal proceedings continue to move forward despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, Madison County Courts are now allowing asbestos settlement conferences and Motion calls to proceed through Multi-platform Video Conferencing (MpVC) and Telephonic conferencing. PohlmanUSA, a nationwide court reporting and litigation services company with an office in Edwardsville, Illinois, handled the first Madison County remote Motion call this week.

In light of COVID-19, courts across the United States placed restrictions on court proceedings but are now making the move to allow certain proceedings to move forward remotely. Pohlman CEO, Debbie Walters, added that one of the best results of courts making this adaptive move is that it puts many of the nation’s courts back to work, allowing litigation to progress.

“We are fortunate that this is an area where our existing technology, experience and capabilities are ahead of the curve in terms of industry standards and that allows us to lead the way into this new territory,” said PohlmanUSA CEO Debbie Walters. “In fact, in Baltimore we are currently performing telephonic services for hearings and we have plans to expand the use of MpVC there and in other parts of the country. We’re grateful that this is an area where the technology processes we have perfected will help ensure the accuracy and efficiency of court proceedings during an unprecedented time for the nation.”

Pohlman has been utilizing Remote Deposition technology through Telephonic and Multi-platform Video Conferencing for decades and recently began offering those services to its clients free of additional fees due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They provide the equipment, training and support for their Multi-platform Video Conferencing technology however, it is the secure platform used for their MpVC that is their distinguishing advantage. Their platform has Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption and configuration, secure links and firewall protection to keep sensitive case information secure.

PohlmanUSA is recognized nationwide as the leading provider of technology-driven court reporting and litigation services. For 30 years, Pohlman has specialized in complex multiparty litigation by creating innovative products and customized solutions for clients. Pohlman is committed to delivering exceptional customer service and anticipating clients’ needs. For more information, call 877.421.0099.

In a world that has quickly transitioned to working remotely by requirement, millions of users have flocked to videoconferencing services for depositions, meetings, classes and social gatherings. But Federal and State Law enforcement are now asking questions about some other remote platforms’ security and privacy policies.

https://www.npr.org/2020/04/03/826129520/a-must-for-millions-zoom-has-a-dark-side-and-an-fbi-warning

PohlmanUSA, as an industry leader of technology solutions in Court Reporting & Litigation Services we offer proven, secure solutions for remote deposition services.  Through our Multi-platform Video Conferencing service, we are here to provide the equipment, training, support, and secure connection you need.

Some features of Pohlman’s secure remote video platform include:

–       SSL/TLS encryption and configuration

–       Custom secure links

–       Firewall protection

–       Separate secure teleconferencing

–       Full disclosure of recording proceedings / enabled only upon consent

In this time of national crisis, our Multi-platform Video Conferencing service fees are FREE.

What was a product of convenience has become necessity and Pohlman stands ready to set your firm up for success. For remote deposition solutions contact us at Marketing@PohlmanUSA.com or 877.421.0099.