At A Glance
- Saved thousands in travel expenses
- Maximized use of billable time
- Quick and accurately communication of ideas
- Handled depositions through video
- Shared documents with counsel's control
- Support for open standards
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Wong, Cabello, Lutsch, Rutherford & Brucculeri L.L.P. is an acclaimed law firm that handles all aspects of intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, Web properties and complex transactions. The firm has represented leaders in an array of industries, from technology firms to petroleum services, hospitality, and financial services companies.
To reduce travel costs, improve productivity, and streamline collaboration, Wong Cabello has made Polycom voice and video communications a daily part of the way it works. Polycom solutions enable Wong Cabello attorneys and staffers to achieve “location liberation” by collaborating on intellectual property law strategies and litigation via video, remotely taking depositions and consulting with expert witnesses, and communicating face-to-face with clients located around the world.
Ensuring Clear, Accurate Communication
In intellectual property law, the fate of millions—even billions—of dollars in revenues can turn on a few crucial details. Stakes that high put a premium on accurate, effective communication and collaboration. So it’s little wonder why Wong Cabello, a perennial award winner among U.S. law firms, has made Polycom voice and video solutions an essential part of how the Houston-based firm does business.
“Polycom gives us the ability to see each other, to share visual concepts and mock-ups in real time, to debate ideas, and to explore strategies,” explains Keith Rutherford, partner and co-founder of Wong Cabello. “We can get our points across faster and avoid unnecessary and costly miscommunication. Polycom is fantastic for that.”
Wong Cabello’s Houston headquarters is outfitted with Polycom video communications solutions including a high-definition (HD) Polycom® HDX® 4000 series personal telepresence system, and Polycom voice solutions, such as the high-performance Polycom® SoundStation VTX 1000® conference solution. Attorneys in the firm’s Austin, Texas, office also rely on Polycom solutions.
Collaborating using Polycom solutions delivers financial benefits to both the firm and its clients. “Attorneys in our field typically bill $400 to $500 an hour, so burning billable hours while sitting on a plane can add up fast,” says Rutherford, who notes that while Wong Cabello generally doesn’t bill clients for time spent traveling, clients do pick up travel costs such as airfare and hotel. And the hours lawyers lose to travel means they have less time available for other billable work.
“When I travel to San Francisco, I may lose eight or nine billable hours, and the client bears the cost for my expenses,” says Rutherford. “Every time I can replace that trip with a video conference, it’s a savings to both.”
Connecting with Anyone, Anywhere
Clients, in fact, were long ago sold on the advantages of telepresence and video communications. “We have a very video conferencing-centric client base, so we tend to conduct ongoing meetings over video,” says Rutherford. Here, Polycom’s support for open industry standards makes client communications a snap. “It’s unrealistic to expect every client to use the same brand of telepresence system that you have. But with Polycom, it doesn’t matter. You can connect to anybody. It’s easy to patch into our clients’ bridges and quickly get to the right meeting room.”
The firm also relies heavily on its Polycom systems to take depositions remotely. “There are times when it is more efficient to handle depositions over video,” he says. “We also use it to work with experts. They want to be able to look at something, and they can do that via HD video over Polycom.” And there’s a unique legal advantage to viewing materials over video: “One party may not want to take possession of a document or article. Using video allows us to be on the same page while permitting us to maintain control of a document. Polycom offers us flexibility that we otherwise wouldn’t have.”
Internal communications, too, have been transformed by the firm’s daily use of Polycom voice and video collaboration solutions, Rutherford says. “This morning we had a quarterly review meeting that featured a group of technical experts reviewing invention disclosures that come in from various inventors around the globe. There was a group of us from Houston, someone from Massachusetts, a couple of guys in a conference room in Israel, someone in Colorado, and one person in San Jose. It was completely interactive, as if we were all in the same room.”
Turning to Polycom Every Day
For Wong Cabello, Polycom’s renowned ease of use is a big advantage. “We have 50 employees and no dedicated in-house IT person,” says Rutherford. “That’s something when you consider how much we rely on video conferencing.”
Rutherford says Polycom’s globally recognized commitment to quality usability is just as evident in the Polycom SoundStation VTX 1000 conference station, which gives Wong Cabello attorneys access to such unique features as Polycom® HD Voice™ technology and a 20-foot (6-meters) microphone range for optimal performance and clarity. “Anytime we have a call with more than two parties, we go straight to the VTX,” Rutherford says. “Polycom’s sound quality is so much better than other phones. Everyone can hear and be heard, so we end up having better meetings.”