When successfully coordinating interpreted depositions you MUST hire an experienced and knowledgeable interpreter. Next, you will want your interpreter to explain the deposition process and how to conduct themselves accordingly. Setting out some ground rules will ensure everything flows smoothly and in an orderly fashion.
Tips for The Attorneys
Attorneys must keep in mind that many non-English speaking individuals raised in foreign countries have had little to no exposure to the American legal system. Getting familiar with their language can help assist in communication. Whenever possible, attorneys should keep their sentences easy to understand and use simple vocabulary. Try to avoid using legal terms as this will only confuse non-English speaking witnesses. Lastly, attorneys must remain aware of the highly complex task at hand for the interpreter. The deposition interpreter must first hear, then understand, then analyze, and, finally, repeat the deponent’s testimony accurately and completely in another language. Their high levels of concentration can be taxing to their mental clarity. Allow time for breaks to keep them mentality sharp and preserve the quality of the record.
Tips for the Deponent in Interpreted Depositions
• Waiting for the deposition interpreter to finish interpreting the question before answering it, even if the deponent understands the question in English
• Not to engage in conversation with the legal interpreter or ask questions of the interpreter
• To answer the question in the speaker’s native language only, not English, even though they may know some English
• To notify counsel conducting the deposition if they do not understand a question being asked
• To provide verbal responses (as opposed to nodding or gesturing)
• To informing counsel conducting the deposition when they need to take a break
We hope everyone found this information informative and useful. We hope you check out some of our other blogs containing more helpful tips and tricks and continue reading our future posts .
Video Depositions: Five Best Practices Every Paralegal Should Know.
In this blog we will be talking about video deposition’s five best practices. When preparations are in order for an upcoming trial, there may be a witness or witnesses that cannot attend in the courtroom itself. This is where you would normally call upon your court reporter to set up a video deposition. There are many advantages of having the ability to not just read the testimony but to gain a visual of the witness as he\she answers each question under oath.
Ask that all other electronic devices be turned off. To ensure the clearest sound and best playback for the record, ask that all cell phones and unnecessary technology be turned off. Also keep any paperwork from being in the way of microphones. Believe it or not, shuffling paperwork can cause interference to the recording.
Reserve enough space for everyone to be comfortable. When booking a room for a Video deposition, keep in mind that you will need to let your court reporter know how many people will be in attendance outside of the attorney, the videographer, the court reporter and the witness. This will be a good time to address any special needs of anyone attending also. Be sure to state special needs a couple days before to ensure everything goes smoothly and as planned.
Early access for the videographer. At least one hour is the common standard for the videographer to set up his equipment and run all necessary tests, adjust lighting and to troubleshoot any technical issues that may arise beforehand.
Make it clear when you’re off the record. Microphones are extremely sensitive. Always remember that until clearly instructed that it is off the record, the video and audio are being captured. Another important factor in conducting great video depositions is to instruct everyone to speak one at a time. Try giving 2-3 seconds after being asked a question to give your response. This will also help you keep your cool and think before you speak.
Keep the space being recorded clean and free of clutter. You want to be certain that all things obstructing the clear view of the witness be removed. The jury’s attention is to remain on the testimony and not on distracting objects that do not belong there in the first place.
Video depositions are a very useful tool to save time and money.
Realtime Reporting Transcripts Are Instantly Available
Realtime reporting makes it possible for the information to be captured, stored and available immediately. Not only are they available for viewing, they are available for sharing, which brings us to our next benefit of realtime court reporting.
Instant Sharing and Viewing of Case Information
Information from transcripts can be copied and pasted easily and shared through email or fax, then sent to others involved in the case. In addition, those viewing in realtime are able to look up and review evidence using only a few keywords pertaining to that evidence.
Information is Quickly Found and Easily Searched
A few keywords used in previous proceedings or discussions are all you need to search an entire database of transcripts. Notes and annotations can also be made within transcripts providing the ability to access indexes and key information unique to each case.
Annotations and Notes Being Made Within the Transcript
Court reporters create indexes of the unique terms and names for each case in advance so that when a deponent mentions a certain keyword a note or annotation can be made within the transcript. You can only imagine what a valuable tool this has become for legal teams. Now that we have mentioned valuable tools to attorneys, this brings us to our next benefit of realtime.
Instantly Impeached Testimony Using Realtime Reporting
Lawyers with remote access can request clarification or challenge key issues, eliminating the need for secondary depositions. However, when a witness has testified falsely, the case management team can check the trial record against a transcript of the witness’s prior depositions or in-court testimony. Then they can use two or more digital records to point out the witness’s inconsistencies, thereby impeaching the witness’s testimony instantly.
There are so many advantages to realtime court reporting, in fact, too many to put in one blog.
For more information on realtime court reporting visit our website.