Monthly Archives: June 2017

Testimony Tips

Testimony Tips For Beginners

This blog contains testimony tips for beginners. If this is your first time testifying at a deposition, remember the most important thing you can do is prepare and educate yourself on the upcoming events and your role in them.

Planning and preparing-

There is no question giving testimony adds a reasonable amount of stress to any first-timer’s case. We recommend that you practice with your attorney as well as alone. Your preparedness and your knowledge of what is to come is your most powerful tool you possess in keeping your cool.

Be honest and accurate-

Never let the line of questioning back you into a corner. It’s all right to say,  “I don’t know” or ” I don’t remember.”  Most witnesses believe they should know the answer already or that they have to remember while under the stress of questioning.

Understand the question fully before you answer-

Don’t answer anything until you know exactly what the question means and fully understand what you are being asked first. This is where you shouldn’t be afraid to ask  the attorney to repeat or rephrase his question into terms you understand.

Assist your court reporter-

By waiting to answer for a few seconds after the attorney is done asking the question, this will make transcribing the deposition much easier for the court reporter, plus the added benefit  of a few more seconds to think before you speak.

Try to make the best impression you can-

Try not to let the stress you may be feeling come off as annoyance or anger towards counsel or the line of questioning. This could make you look unfavorable or untrustworthy, when one of your goals during a deposition is to appear as  a solid, likable and credible witness.

 

 

 

For more testimony tips or to schedule a deposition with the best court reporters located in Phoenix, AZ,  visit our website or call us today! 602-230-2499.

Video Conferencing

Video Conferencing Pro’s & Con’s

This  blog addresses  video conferencing  pro’s and con’s. We will also provide you with some quick and easy solutions to the potential con’s. Nearly every industry has been changed by the  advancing technology of today’s modern world, including one of the world’s oldest professions, court reporting.

 What is Video Conferencing ?

To put it simply,  videoconferencing is a realtime meeting between parties through the use of a computer, telephone or camera and an internet connection. Some may use programs or applications such as Skype to aid in this process. This type of communication is most useful in the event that necessary parties aren’t able to be in the same physical location but still need to hold court hearings, depositions, and consultations that may not be able to be completed via phone conversations or emails.  Video conferencing is much more cost effective these days thanks to how widespread and readily available the necessary technology has become.

Pro’s Of Video Conferencing

Not only is video conferencing a faster way for witnesses, attorneys and other legal parties to conduct their legal proceedings, it’s also less expensive since no one has to incur transportation costs or pay for lodging.  Another advantage of video conferencing is that it allows court reporters and attorneys to practice their cross-examination, transcription and court techniques while they are outside of a courtroom. When communication is done with high-definition technology, the learning experience is made that much more realistic.

Another advantage of video conferencing with court reporting is that it allows for more collaboration. For example, there could be a traditional court reporter on one end of the video conferencing call and an attorney several states away on the other. There are limitations that come with traditional court reporting and the use of standard transcription equipment. Those limitations can be eliminated through the use of digital recording equipment that records what’s being said from a variety of vantage points.

Con’s Of Video Conferencing

The first  is that no matter how good the equipment is, it will never be as good as physically being in the same room as someone. Then there is always the risk of failure in the internet connection or the equipment itself. That is why here at Phoenix Deposition Services we take every measure to ensure flawless delivery of every service we offer. Book a deposition today and see for yourself.

 

Resources; Planet Depos, NCRA.

 

Official Court Reporters

Official Court Reporters vs Freelance

Official court reporters vs freelance reporters is the topic of this week’s blog.

There are two main categories of court reporters:  freelance and official.  When I tell people what i do for a living they usually  assume I work directly for the Courts.  Most people that are not in the legal field have no idea that freelance court reporters exist.  However, did you know that a majority of court reporters work outside of the courthouse?  According to the NCRA, over 70 percent of America’s 35,000-plus court reporters work outside of the courtroom.  Here is a brief  description of the difference between the two.

Official Court Reporters

When you think about the court reporter in the courtroom recording a trial on his/her steno machine, you’re thinking about an official court reporter.  These types of court reporters are employed by the judicial system.  It is their responsibility to take the spoken word and transcribe it into text during legal proceedings in the courtroom.  They must ensure that they produce an accurate and complete record of the proceedings.

Freelance Court Reporters

Freelance reporters, on the other hand, are often independent contractors or work for a court reporting firm.  They are hired by law firms and other organizations to cover depositions, arbitrations, meetings, business sessions, and much more.  Due to the varying types of assignments, freelance reporters often travel to different locations and work long, rigorous hours depending on the demands of job.

Even though they do not often work in a courtroom, freelance reporters still play a significant role in the legal process.  Take  depositions, for example.  During a deposition a court reporter is not only needed to accurately record a witness’s oral testimony but he can also administer an oath to the witness and swear them in.  They, too, ensure an accurate and complete record of the proceedings.

We hope you found this blog to be fun and educational.  We sincerely thank our readers for taking the time to read our little nuggets of knowledge.

If you need a court reporter who knows every in and out of the profession, look no further and schedule a deposition with us today!

Ethical Practices

3 Ethical Practices in Court Reporting

Here are 3 ethical practices in court reporting :

1. Provide same services to all parties

 Any reporter MUST provide the same services in the same time frame to all parties in the proceeding, not just to the firm that hired them, not just to one individual party, but to all parties in a proceeding.

2. Remain Unbiased

During a trial, court reporters must listen to everything that is going on in the room.  They must remain unbiased and transcribe each document as accurately and precisely as humanly possible.  The validity of the case itself depends on the reporter’s documentation.  A reporter must listen to every statement and record it without considering its weight one way or another.

It is not the court reporters job to choose what is recorded or what facts should be included.  Every statement, reference and exhibit must be properly and accurately recorded to maintain the integrity of the case from start to finish.  For example, if the court reporter  knows someone involved with the case or has information that is pertinent to the case, they should feel a moral and legal obligation to step down from the position and let an unbiased third-party court reporter take over their duties.

3. Preserve the record

 HIPAA rules apply to court reporters to the extent that we’re required to protect the information we hear and write, including private information, like social security numbers, credit histories, health information, credit card numbers, and any other personally identifiable information.  The items listed above are all examples of details we hear every day.

Exhibits are another example of documents that need to be protected within the HIPAA rules.  Often medical records are admitted as exhibits to a deposition or court trial and there are numerous rules and guidelines that must be followed to maintain their confidentiality.

These 3 ethical practices are just the beginning in a long list of morally righteous convictions we possess and practice daily at Phoenix Deposition Services.

When working with Phoenix Deposition Services, you can always trust we hold our ethical standards to the highest degree of importance.   Schedule your deposition today and see for yourself.