All posts by Audra

common technologies for legal depositions

2 Technologies For Depositions

2 Technologies for Depositions

These days you could hardly recognize depositions today when compared to the techniques and technologies previously used by attorneys and court reporters. Due to the continued evolution of these technologies court reporting has become more efficient and collaboration between court reporters and attorneys infinitely improved.

The level of professional services provided has been greatly enhanced due to the use of these tools court reporting firms now have at their disposal to offer hiring attorneys.

Video Technology

Cameras have quite often been used in the past to record depositions and that is no secret, however, the advances that have been made to the software as far as video depositions are concerned, have become a huge advantage to attorneys who have utilized these products. Camera technology has advanced greatly in the last 5 years, with High Definition sound and video every mannerism and emotion being captured on video for further analysis by attorneys, judges, and juries. Paired with comparable advancements in the video editing software, unwanted distractions such as background noise may be removed, or the clarity of speech may be improved. Editing software allows for electronic exhibits to be integrated with the flow of testimony permitting answers to be placed in their proper context.

Electronic  Exhibits

In recent years a greater number of legal entities have begun to approve and adopt the use of electronic means for exhibit submission. Printed copies of your materials require a great deal of time to reproduce and represent a considerable expense that can often be abated. They also require greater amounts of space for storage, transportation and presentation. Digital exhibition software allows for attorneys to replace the binders and boxes with more compact and secure devices. These electronic files are easily distributed to the court reporter, opposing counsel and other parties involved. This greatly reduces the risks of potential document loss, damage or mishandling.

 

clients

Keeping Our Clients Safe: Covid-19 Update

Keeping our clients safe: Covid-19 update is the topic of this week’s blog.

During these uncertain times, we would like to inform our clients of video conferencing options and assure everyone that we have taken every precaution to ensure the health and safety of all our clients and employees so we can continue to conduct business as usual.

Video conferencing

When utilizing the video conferencing option, everyone can attend from the comfort of their own homes. Attorneys can still present exhibits, record videos, and swear in witnesses the same as an in-person deposition. We offer WebEx, Skype and ZOOM video conferencing platforms. The only requirements for this are a laptop with an internet connection, a webcam and a microphone. You will receive an email from us with a link to click, along with a meeting number and password.

Now that health, time and social distancing are important factors in our ability to perform in-person depositions, we find video conferencing to be a helpful alternative.

To assist others with a few helpful tips on conducting and attending depositions remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have included this article from NC Lawyers Weekly:

In the last couple of weeks, nearly all in-person meetings have come to a grinding halt as the world hunkers down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Litigators, whose practices frequently require in-person contact at depositions, mediations and court proceedings, have scrambled to find a way to keep their cases on track.

As the public health crisis progresses, litigators will have to adapt to an increasing number of social distancing mandates. Traditional in-person depositions may simply not be feasible in the weeks (or even months) to come.

One way for litigators to avoid derailment of discovery is to transition depositions to videoconference. But unlike the videoconference meetings that many of us are familiar with, taking a deposition by videoconference requires advance planning of logistics and technology.

The following tips for videoconference depositions aim to keep your practice running smoothly while we weather COVID-19:

Read more…

To schedule your next video conference or in-person deposition with our Phoenix court reporters, contact our office today!

What To Look For In A Court Reporting Firm in Arizona

What To Look For In A Court Reporting Firm

What to look for in a court reporting firm is the topic of this week’s blog.  When hiring attorneys are choosing a court reporting firm for their next deposition, they are searching for quality services, affordable rates and the experience  needed to run a deposition smoothly from beginning to end. Here are a couple things to look for when choosing the right court reporting firm for the job.

The latest technology

It should remain a high priority for all Phoenix, AZ video court reporters to stay abreast of the very latest in today’s technology. They should be experts in video streaming and secure remote video deposition technologies. Common formats such as MPEG-1 are outdated and clients should look for court reporting firms who offer no less than high definition video files in MPEG-4. The best firms will work videographers proficient in PIP (picture in picture) and ELMO document cameras.

Excellent client services

Look for a highly-trained staff that is well versed in handling client inquiries and invoice discrepancies professionally. A well-knowledged staff will possess all the skills needed to assist you and answer any questions directly or direct you to someone who can promptly.

Trusted court reporting firms have:

  • Experienced and highly trained staff
  • Prompt top-notch client services
  • On-going training and education
  • Accurate and consistent billing

Clients should never worry about:

  • Hidden charges
  • Not getting what they are promised
  • Unequal treatment or billing
  • No-call, no-shows from their court reporters

At Phoenix Deposition Services, we pride ourselves on being your go-to Phoenix, AZ video court reporter’s you can always count on. Call us today or schedule your next deposition with us.

common deposition

Common Deposition Questions

This blog is about common deposition questions asked by attorneys.

Depositions are used to gather pretrial information during the discovery process by gaining the witness’s sworn testimony and for later use in court. Depositions are brought on usually by an attorney in lieu of a court reporter either in the attorney’s office or in a conference room provided by the court reporter. This is where the deponent will be sworn in by said court reporter and commence answering the truth to any questions lawfully asked by the attorneys present. Deposition questions can vary case by case, but here are some introductory questions often asked by attorneys.

Introductory Questions

These types of questions have two general purposes, to ease the witness into the deposition process and to keep the witness honest throughout the deposition.

  1. Do you understand that you are under oath and that being under oath means you are sworn to tell the truth?
  2. Have you ever had your deposition taken in the past?
  3. Do you understand that your responses here have the same impact as if you were in a courtroom with a judge and jury?
  4. Are you prepared to answer my questions today?
  5. Are you taking any medications that will prevent you from answering my questions?
  6. Will you let me know if you don’t understand one of my questions?
  7. If you need to take a break at any time, just tell me, and we’ll take a break. Is that okay?

The purpose of these common deposition questions is for the overall protection of the witness and the attorney asking the questions.

If you are looking for experienced Phoenix court reporters to handle your next deposition with precision and professionalism, call us today or schedule with us online.

 

deposition technologies

Deposition Technologies of Today

Deposition Technologies of Today

This blog is about the deposition technologies of today. Over the last five years, deposition strategies and technologies have rapidly evolved. The development of newer and more efficient methods of reporting has made it universally more beneficial for not only court reporters but attorneys as well. Those that have adopted the newer techniques have saved time, expense and gained a valuable advantage in the preparedness of their case.

We can now offer enhanced tools we highly recommend attorneys take advantage of during the deposition process. Incorporating these newer and more advanced technologies, we greatly reduced the risk of error through miscommunication or misunderstanding during a witness’ testimony. These methods have consistently provided a smoother deposition process and have created a clearly marked advantage by moving attorneys closer to settlement or trial.

Remote Deposition Technologies

Remote deposition technology has taken a huge leap forward in the last five years.  It has also had one of the greatest impacts on attorneys by saving crucial time and the expense of travel, not to mention, effectively expediting the entire deposition process. Remote depositions allow witnesses to be deposed from anywhere in the world which adds to productivity as well as convenience. Very few things are required for participating remotely for deponent and an attorney: high-speed internet connection, laptop or tablet with an HD camera and microphone and a quiet place to conduct business.

Electronic Exhibits

Printed copies of your materials require costly amounts of time to reproduce and greater expense. They also require space for storage, then they must be transported and presented. Digital exhibition software allows for attorneys to replace the binders and boxes with more compact and secure devices. These electronic files are easily distributed to the court reporter, opposing counsel and other parties involved. This greatly reduces the risks of potential document loss, damage or mishandling.

Going digital greatly reduces document preparation and anyone granted access to these secured documents can access them from anywhere there is a device connected to the internet. These features facilitate smoother communication and expedited collaboration between attorneys, witnesses and the courts without sacrificing the security of your documents.

These are just a couple of the great innovations we have at our disposal today. Phoenix Deposition Services is dedicated to staying up with the times and abreast of the latest technologies. Schedule your next deposition with us using our easy online scheduling page.

 

 

malpractice deposition

The Medical Malpractice Deposition

The Medical Malpractice Deposition

The Deposition Process

The medical malpractice deposition will never take place in a courtroom; often it will be held on common ground, such as an attorney’s office or a conference room provided by the court reporter. You will be sworn in by the court reporter, who will be transcribing the event. Then comes the direct examination. It is where the defendant’s attorney asks a series of questions that you must always answer truthfully.

After that comes the cross-examination, where after the opposing attorney has finished examining you, your own attorney will then have an opportunity to ask other questions. In most cases, cross-examination is limited to questions that pertain to those asked during direct examination.

Once done, cross-examination has taken place, the opposing attorney will then be allowed to ask even more questions known as the “redirect”.  The deposition then ends with your own attorney following up with a few more questions, which is called a re-cross.

Medical malpractice deposition recommendations

At times medical malpractice depositions can be exceptionally brutal; however, there are things that can ensure a successful deposition. To begin with, being on time with a professional appearance is a must. You should also:

  • Know your case. Don’t make up things in order to fill in gaps. Facts are facts, so stick to them.
  • Remain confident and avoid becoming angry or making derogatory statements.
  • Rehearse ahead of time with your attorney or even at home with a friend or family member

We hope you found this article informative and enjoyable. To learn more, visit our blog page and enjoy. If you are looking for the very best in medical malpractice depositions, call us today at Phoenix Deposition Services.

 

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.