Legal transcripts are one of the foundational pillars to a successful case, which is why it’s so important to receive quality and accurate transcripts from a trusted, experienced court reporter. Yet, how do you distinguish an excellent court reporter from a mediocre one? The best court reporters tend to have a few traits in common. Here are some characteristics to look out for as you hire your next court reporter.
1. Attention to Detail
Court and deposition proceedings are packed with facts, objections, exhibits, and more. A strong court reporter will be able to record everything that goes on during the proceeding with a keen and accurate focus on all the important details. Being able to catch those details oftentimes correlates with years of experience, which is why Elite only works with court reporters who hold at least 10 years of court reporting experience.
During a deposition, time is of the essence, which is why hiring a punctual court reporter is key. They will not only arrive at the deposition on-time, they will also prepare all necessary items and word dictionaries ahead of the deposition to ensure that no time is wasted. This is especially important for virtual depositions. That’s why prior to our virtual depositions, Elite’s team sets up the Zoom invitation with clear “how-to-join” instructions and requests exhibits to be submitted 24 hours prior to the deposition, limiting hiccups and delays along the way.
3. Unbiased & Professional
Legal proceedings are often fraught with emotions as both sides state their case; yet, the court reporter’s job is to remain professional and unbiased at all times. They suspend their own opinions and transcribe in a nonpartisan fashion.
Beyond bias, court reporters are always expected to remain polite, engaged and professional. This especially pertains to virtual depositions where all parties are remote and prone to countless distractions. You want a court reporter who can do their job in any given circumstance, whether they’re meeting in person or logged on from home.
4. Quality Transcripts Produced
As mentioned previously, details are pivotal to the outcome of a legal case. Transcripts are a crucial reference point for everyone involved to recall what transpired during the deposition. Yet, if these transcripts are unclear or contain errors, it could cause major headaches for all parties involved in the case.
Exceptional court reporters produce high-quality transcripts and never miss a deadline. They’re accurate and timely in the preparation of their transcripts and never submit work unless they know it’s an accurate transcription of what took place. We pride ourselves on working with court reporters where accuracy is the top priority.
The best court reporters understand the needs of their clients and are able to adapt to meet those needs. They know that legal proceedings aren’t always the same, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Court reporters who take the “one-size-fits-all” approach tend to produce sub-par results and leave legal teams frustrated. Instead, hiring a court reporter who customizes and pivots with their clients’ needs is a common trait amongst the best court reporters.
With COVID-19, many legal teams are having to pivot and conduct virtual depositions. Yet, we understand that many law firms are not familiar with the technology used to conduct online depositions, making this shift even more difficult. That’s why at Elite, our team created an exclusive masterclass for legal professionals interested in hosting a virtual deposition. This 15-minute masterclass walks you through the virtual deposition process from start to finish, where we show you how to share exhibits, optimize video and audio settings and more. Click here to reserve your spot in our next masterclass!