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.
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.
- Do you understand that you are under oath and that being under oath means you are sworn to tell the truth?
- Have you ever had your deposition taken in the past?
- Do you understand that your responses here have the same impact as if you were in a courtroom with a judge and jury?
- Are you prepared to answer my questions today?
- Are you taking any medications that will prevent you from answering my questions?
- Will you let me know if you don’t understand one of my questions?
- 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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 —
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.
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.
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.