Legal start-up DepoNOLA tackles depositions

A New Orleans startup called DepoNOLA is taking on the time-consuming task of turning lengthy depositions, or witness testimonies, into concise summaries for local lawyers. While working for a local attorney, founder Randon Johnson realized that the days he and other legal support staff spent drafting such documents could be saved by moving the job out of the office — if there was a suitable alternative in the marketplace.

“I wondered if there was a company that would allow smaller firms or firms with strict deadlines to get a quick deposition summary drafted for a fee,” Johnson says. “So I searched online and saw a few national brands doing it, but none locally, thus the creation of DepoNOLA.”

Johnson, who has worked on startups in the past and has also worked with WorkNOLA, is no stranger to the local entrepreneurial scene. Those experiences and an internship with State Representative Austin Badon enabled Johnson to discover what he describes as his “true passions” of entrepreneurship and law — and led him back into the startup arena with DepoNOLA, which combines the two.

The new company solves several problems, explains its founder.

“It allows smaller firms the flexibility of not having to overload the paralegal or legal secretary with less-important work,” Johnson says, “and allows them to focus more on the litigation side of things.”

In a given case, DepoNOLA will pick up a transcribed deposition from the attorney’s office and then, upon completion, deliver a summary of it back to the office.

“In the future,” Johnson says, “we plan on being able to scan them for clients and email them a PDF version of the deposition transcript along with the summary.”

Johnson sees in the DepoNOLA business model potential for growth outside the legal field.

“Another field we’re looking into is medical summaries,” he says, “which are an even bigger headache for support staff than the deposition summaries.”

For now, though, the company is focusing on deposition summaries, and on allowing busy attorneys to worry about what’s most important to them: winning their cases.