court reporter

5 Things Your Court Reporter Wants You to Know

When you hire a court reporter, you’re looking for a quality reporter who works efficiently and is able to catch everything that’s said in a deposition. While your court reporter will work diligently to make sure you get the best transcripts possible, there are a few things that all reporters appreciate from the legal team. Consider them requests that help them create the best work product and service experience for YOU. Here they are:

1. Make Introductions
Court reporters won’t necessarily know everyone in the room and/or everything about the case they’re reporting. To get them acquainted with everything, introduce your court reporter to those involved in the matter, provide the proper spelling of everyone’s names and explain any terminology relating to the case that could be beneficial for the court reporter to know. Doing so will eliminate confusion, save time and reduce errors caused by not understanding the subject matter.

2. Speak Clearly, Speak Slowly
In order to get the most accurate transcripts, your court reporter must be able to hear and understand everyone in the deposition. Here are a few of the most common issues we see when it comes to audibility:

  1. Mumbling.
    When an individual mumbles, it’s very difficult for a court reporter to transcribe what’s being said. Unfortunately, court reporters will have to interrupt and ask for the testimony or question to be repeated to be sure the record is accurate.
  2. Talking Too Fast.
    Taking two- to three-second breaks between sentences can be extremely helpful for court reporters. Doing so allows the court reporter to catch up with what’s being said and accurately report the testimony.
  3. Heavy Accents.
    It can be difficult for court reporters to capture everything that is being said when heavy accents are involved. It’s especially important in those situations to ensure that the person with an accent speaks slowly and clearly. If you didn’t understand what was said, there’s a good chance the reporter didn’t either.
  4. Crosstalk.
    When there are multiple people talking at once, it is impossible for court reporters to take down everything that’s being said. It’s a good idea to be mindful of this and not talk over one another.

3. Take Breaks
Depositions can be long, so it’s good for everyone to take breaks here and there. Doing so allows you – and your court reporter – to stretch out, regain focus and have more energy throughout the deposition. When everyone gets to take a breather, the quality of the deposition improves for all parties involved.

4. Let Them Eat
In court proceedings, the parties take judge-mandated breaks, but in depositions, legal teams often go for a working lunch in order to shorten their day. That’s great for them but not for the court reporter. Reporters can’t eat and report at the same time, and it’s not uncommon for them to have to skip lunch. Reporters will do their best work when they aren’t starving, so be sure yours always has the opportunity for a bite to eat.

5. Pause for Exhibit Marking
When a court reporter marks an exhibit, they cannot transcribe what you’re saying at the same time. As you show your Exhibit A, pause before you start your next sentence so your court reporter can get everything down.

Being aware of these items can make a huge impact on the court reporters you work with. For more helpful insights or to schedule one of Elite’s court reporters for your next court matter or deposition, give us a call at 888-822-3376 or click here to schedule online.

Posted in Tips.