All posts by Audra

oral deposition

Pro’s & Con’s of Taking an Oral Deposition

Pro’s & Con’s of Taking the Oral Deposition

This article is about the pro’s & con’s of taking an oral deposition.   When deciding whether or not to take an oral deposition, take some time and careful consideration to the benefits and possible takeaways from doing so. When making this choice, keep your main focus on the goals of the deposition, choose the best methods in achieving those goals, and try to anticipate anything that could stand in the way of those goals.

Here are some of the Pro’s of taking an oral deposition

Locking in testimony- Depositions are generally the best practice for locking the testimony of unwilling or unfriendly witnesses and opposing parties.

 Spontaneous responses- You may derive more complete and spontaneous answers to questions than with interrogatories because the witness is far less likely to have rehearsed testimony with opposing counsel. This is also helpful when witnesses are being evasive or dodging questions because you can immediately narrow your line of questioning resulting in more precise answers.

Promotes potential settlement- If one of your goals is to settle the case, carefully choose your line of questioning and support them with solid documents. If you are deposing someone with settlement authority, showing the strength of your case could weaken the opposing side’s confidence in going to trial.

Here are some Con’s of taking the oral deposition

Reveals some information to the other side- You lose some advantage to the other side by no longer being able to surprise them with your line of questioning on the stand at trial. They will be more prepared on their defense and could anticipate some of your probable areas of examination.

Educating witnesses-  Witnesses who make a poor showing at the deposition have now got the opportunity to refine their ability to be a better witness at trial.

To schedule your next deposition, call us or visit our website today!

 

 

Court reporters type

How Do Court Reporters Type So Fast

How Do Court Reporters Type So Fast?

We are often asked, “How do court reporters type so fast?” Well, the answer is quite interesting to those who are unfamiliar with the stenograph machine.

The Man (or Woman)

First, there is the highly trained court reporter, stenographer or transcriptionist going to school for several years with constant training throughout their careers afterward.

The Machine

Then there is the machine. The stenograph is the key to the speed and accuracy of every court reporter. The court reporting professional or transcriptionist must learn to separate themselves from how words are spelled and think purely phonetically. The key presses on the steno represent sounds rather than words…crazy huh? It is actually more like the chords of a piano than it is a typewriter.

With its 22 unmarked keys split into halves, one side for each hand, it is surely not your normal Qwerty keyboard. There is also a second level of keys that the thumbs rest upon making for one interesting machine. The left-hand side of a court reporting machine contains initial phonetic sounds like the hard K sound of the word kite. The right-hand side of the court reporting machine contains final phonetic sounds like the N sound at the end of the word woman.

Then we come back to the court reporter. They do not care nor even think of how a word is spelled, the meaning or even context. They only think of what sounds in the words that can be translated into finger movements.  Thanks to this machine, the required 225 words per minute with 90% accuracy is all in a day’s work. Some Court reporters have been known to reach speeds of 375 words per minute and 90% accuracy. Kind of makes you wonder if there is anything a court reporter cannot do.

clean record

Ways to Ensure a Clean Record

This blog is about ways to ensure a clean record. We don’t have to tell you the importance of a clean and 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 the 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 —
Witness: Uh-huh.
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 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.

If you desire unsurpassed excellence, call our court reporters in Phoenix, AZ.

 

ethics

The Importance of Ethics in Court Reporting

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.

Integrity

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.

5 things court reporters want you to know

5 Things Court Reporters Want You To Know

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.

 

 

becoming a court reporter

Before Becoming a Court Reporter

Before Becoming a Court Reporter

This article is information on what to know before becoming a court reporter. When you picture a court reporter, what do you imagine? A quiet and reserved person at the back of the courtroom taking testimony, right?  Well, the answer what is a court reporter is so much more than the average legal professional realizes. Yes, they are the sworn protectors of the record, but there is more to know before you know if becoming a  court reporter is right for you..

Court reporters in this day and age must obtain considerable education and multiple skill sets in order to successfully perform their duties. There are few professions that require one have such a strict understanding of language, grammar and the terminologies used by almost every professional out there. Court reporters must understand doctors and lawyers alike, and no matter the accent or any other barrier that exists, the record must be preserved accurately every time.

 

How to get certified

According to the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA, see http://www.ncraonline.org/), the first step to becoming a court reporter with a nationally recognized certification is to pass the exam for the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) Certification. To do this, a person must take dictation of literary matter at 180 words per minute (wpm), of jury charge at 200 wpm, and of testimony/questions and answers at 225 wpm. Allowing 3.5 hours to transcribe their notes, a minimum 95 percent accuracy is required to pass this first level. You must also take and pass a written knowledge and written skills test. Once a person achieves this certification, they must participate in the NCRA’s continuing education program to remain certified.

The next level is the Registered Merit Reporter (RMR). After becoming a RPR and maintaining that status for at least 3 years, or meeting certain other requirements, a person may apply to take the RMR exam. This consists of multiple components including a written knowledge test. To pass the skills test, you must handle literary at 200 wpm, jury charge at 240 wpm and testimony/Q&A at 260 wpm. You must still maintain a minimum 95 percent accuracy in transcription.

Reporters can obtain even higher levels of certifications that are primarily based on education and knowledge combined with length of time the above certifications are held. These include:

  • Registered Diplomat Reporter (RDR)
  • Certified Real-time Reporter (CRR)
  • Certified Manager of Reporting Services (CMRS)
  • Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS

 

We hoped you found our blog informative, and if you would like any more information on our Phoenix, AZ court reporters, visit our website. 

legal documents

Download Free Legal Documents

 Download Free Legal Documents

This blog is about where to obtain free legal documents from the internet. If you find you are in need of some do-it-yourself legal documents or templates, visit the following websites for user-friendly manageability. The following websites cover everything from documents for the small business owner, all the way to divorce.

Business owners

Business.gov: This site helps businesses comply with government regulations and has many templates and documents business owners may find useful.

Business owner’s toolkit:  Use this site to obtain free documents and templates suitable for any small business.

Free business forms: Free forms for small businesses ranging from medical documents to real estate forms.

Ladies Who Launch: This Web page offers free legal forms, templates, and information for your business.

Legal and Business Forms: Download and draft your own legal documents for any U.S.-based small business.

Smart Biz: Has a large selection of free business forms to help get the most out of your business, including finance, management, compensation, marketing, worker safety and more.

Winmark Small Business Tools: Find model business documents, financial spreadsheets, checklists and official government forms at this site.

Internal Revenue Service: All legal documents or templates you need to file taxes.

Microsoft Office: Find many types of legal and business documents and templates here.

JaxWorks: This library contains a variety of spreadsheets any small business can use for legal matters

A variety of legal forms and documents

.docstoc: Find and share professional documents for legal, business, finance and more.

Find Forms: Thousands of free legal forms are listed at this site, ranging from accounting to workers compensation.

We hope legal professionals and our readers find these sources useful and helpful. For more helpful articles from our court reporters in Phoenix, AZ, visit our blog page.