It turns out that even well-paid lawyers want deferred payment services.
Dylan Ruga, intellectual property lawyer founded Steno Agency, as well as two former executives of the restaurant reservation platform Reserve, in 2018. Steno Agency offers lawyers the option of paying for the service once the case is settled.
A headache for lawyers is the cost they face when hiring court reporters. Lawyers representing the claimant generally do not recover the cost until their cases have been resolved.
“This is where the idea for Steno was born because [Dylan] went looking for a court reporting agency that would defer payment until the case was resolved, ”said CEO and co-founder Greg Hong. He couldn’t find any.
The Westwood-based startup prides itself on its deferred payment system, DelayPay, which allows lawyers to hire court reporters and videographers without worrying about upfront costs.
Last week, the company received $ 20 million in debt financing from Capital of the Rivonia road, a global alternative asset manager.
In other respects, the Steno agency is not much different from most court reporting agencies that offer court reporting, videography, interpreters, remote depositions, and court reporting services. litigation. But, unlike other court reporting agencies, its payment plan is different.
Hong boasts that while there are court information agencies, litigation finance companies, tech companies in the legal space, “very few companies, if any, offer all three under one. roof”.
Brad Smiedt, co-founder and managing partner of Rivonia, said strong management plays a role in their decision to fund a startup.
“We wanted to know that there is a reliable and experienced team that is going to be successful,” said Smiedt and that is why they were able to fund Steno with $ 20 million in debt financing. “But because we get involved early in the business lifecycle, we take the risk that the business succeeds or fails.”
The agency also offers Steno Connect, a videoconferencing platform designed for remote deposits and remote bench testing. A portion of the funds will be used to hire more engineers to build and add to their products like Steno Connect.
“It really allows a lawyer to mimic what he would have done if he had been there for an in-person testimony in terms of how he would share documents and it just makes the user’s behavior more natural,” Hong said.
In a traditional legal framework, the management of exhibits can take the form of an 8×11 display panel that will be displayed during a deposition. Lawyers using Steno Connect will be able to share documents transparently. Unlike Google Meet, when someone shares their screen, it takes over the entire monitor and prevents you from working.
“So when you share this document, you see the documents side by side with the images and it allows attendees to interact more fluidly with the exhibits themselves,” Hong said.
The company operates in California, Texas, Illinois and New York and plans to expand nationwide.
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