This blog is about ways to ensure a clean record. We don’t have to tell you the importance of a clean an accurate record. Attorneys use tools such as these to do things like impeaching the testimony of incredible witnesses and much more.
Speaking at the same time
One of the best ways to ensure a clean and accurate record is to nip the interruptions in bud before you have a cluttered and unusable transcript. It’s quite common for multiple people to talk over one another at a deposition or to interrupt before a question has been fully asked. The problem here is that court reporters can only take down one person speaking at a time, so the court reporter has to choose one or the other. This makes for a very messy record. Here is an example of what it will look like should this be allowed to take place.
Attorney: State your name —
Witness: Joe Jones.
Attorney: — please.
Witness: But people call me —
Attorney: What do you do for a living?
Witness: — Tiger.
I work at The Zoo —
Attorney: Where is this zoo located?
Witness: — Arizona.
Attorney: Where exactly?
Witness: In the city —
Attorney: How long does it take you to go to work?
Witness: — of Phoenix.
About two hours.
Attorney: Hey, Joe —
Attorney: — how did you get that nickname?
Witness: I work with tigers.
Many problems can arise from speaking at the same time. Such as transcripts being much longer than they needed to be. Fragmented transcripts can no longer easily impeach testimony at trial. Also, it is confusing when multiple people are talking at the same time so try to stop it before it gets too out of hand.
Use the same court reporters
This one is pretty easy to understand. The more often you work with a court reporter the more familiar they will be to terminologies specific to your practice. They will be more in tune with how you communicate and already have the answers to little questions that someone new will surely have to ask.
The importance of ethics in court reporting is a no-brainer. Court reporters are one of the most relied upon and trustworthy in the legal field. While it is important to have integrity and ethics in any profession, court reporters are the sworn keepers of the record of the court. That is the very definition of what they do. Each page of a transcript is the word-for-word accurate testimony for which court reporters are held accountable.
Ethics and integrity go hand-in-hand in business. Cutting corners or sacrificing your integrity for the benefits of the now will surely cost you down the road. It will cost you repeat business and more importantly, your reputation as an honest, reliable member of the community. The importance of a court reporter’s integrity cannot be understated, for it is as important as the integrity of the record itself.
Call us today for your next deposition held to the highest of standards.
This article is 5 things court reporters want you to know. These things are sure to aid in the litigation process and assist your court reporter in having fewer interruptions and a cleaner transcript.
1. Special Circumstances
Be sure to let your court reporters know in advance if there are any special circumstances to the deposition beforehand, such as if it is going to be video or real-time or If there will be a need for rough drafts or expedited transcripts. This alone can save time and make the overall deposition run as smooth as possible for all parties involved.
2. Arguments and mumblers
Always try to avoid speaking at the same time as someone else. Although things get heated and arguments are bound to break out every now and then, it is crucial to maintain your composure during the deposition, especially if it is a video deposition because absolutely everything is on the record and put in the transcript. It is also important to keep in mind that mumbling, interrupting or speaking at the same time is almost impossible to keep track of and becomes difficult to understand what is being said and by whom. So let’s keep it clean and where the important facts make it on the record.
3. Assigning exhibit markers
We ask that you pause for just a moment or two when marking exhibits. As skilled as court reporters are, they cannot mark exhibits and type at the same time.
4. 3 seconds between each question
Taking a small pause between questions can greatly help your court reporter catch up and will prevent later interruptions. The last thing we want is to slow things down or throw off the momentum with having to interrupt for clarification.
5. Take small breaks
Avoid burnout by taking small breaks so everyone can maintain their endurance throughout the day. A long day with little time taken for breaks can actually affect the integrity of the transcript.
Thank you for reading our blog and keep Phoenix Deposition Services in mind for your next deposition.