In the World of Procuring Records for Discovery, Experience Counts Most

Our clients often ask us about other aspects of discovery beyond depositions, such as the best way to obtain records for legal matters. According to Renee Martinez, vice president of operations at Merrill Corporation and a court reporting expert who also has 20 years of records experience, this is a field where proficiency + disciplined communication yields the most effective results.

Nowadays, much of the record request and retrieval process is managed via the Internet. While electronic data transfer has made it much faster to access, copy and transfer records, it has also created an expectation of near-instant results.

In this field, time is always of the essence. Law firms are looking for the best, easiest and fastest way to access critical records,” Martinez said, “but knowing how to make this happen, when you’re working for example with medical facilities that treat thousands of patients a day or a large company with thousands of employees, takes the right know-how.” For the best results, Martinez recommends hiring a reputable records management company rather than using internal resources to manage the process.

Experienced records specialists are accustomed to working with an interesting array of records, including employment records, tax records, x-rays, and even pathology samples. “This is a field where all the prior experience your team brings to a project can definitely accelerate the process,” said Martinez. “For example, Karen Birmingham in our Houston office has worked in medical records for 30 years and many of her staff have 7 years or more of experience. Whatever the record request is, if it can be obtained, they’ll know how to get it for you.”

How to Choose a Records Management Company

Before you hire a firm, Martinez suggests that you inquire about the longevity of the team you’ll be working with. “This is a labor-intensive field in which high turnover can occur so you want to be sure you choose a stable firm and team,” said Martinez. “Experience, or lack of experience, has a big impact on the speed and quality you can expect.”

Additionally, find out what value-added services the firm offers to make the process easier for the law firm’s team. Many firms use specialized record management software to manage their projects, but some also offer other conveniences such as a Web-based repository that allows authorized clients to access records 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Finally, make sure you’re comfortable with the firm’s communications and organizational skills. As Martinez noted, “The best teams understand the importance of maintaining a good rapport with the people they’re requesting records from, but they’re also tenacious and good at following up on a consistent, regular basis until they obtain the records.”

In the record retrieval business, as in most things, that’s the kind of team you want on your side.


Questions? We can help. Merrill LAD offers full service realtime court reporting, in addition to our comprehensive transcription services. We can also put you in touch with Merrill’s records management team. Please feel free to contact us at 800-292-4789 or via email at or

Merrill Corporation Deposition Services

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6 Comments on “In the World of Procuring Records for Discovery, Experience Counts Most”

  1. July 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Great information surrounding Med Records.


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