All posts by Mark Miller

Court reporting:

Court Reporting: Your Choice 4 The Future

Court Reporting:  Your Choice 4 The Future is the title in this week’s blog. There are different types of court reporters. There are freelance court reporters, who work for the hiring attorney and not for the court itself. Then there are the traditional court reporters that most people think of when they hear the term court reporter. They usually are off to the side in the courtroom taking down verbatim records of legal proceedings on a stenotype machine.

In this blog, we will list why we believe there is a strong future in the field of court reporting.

Lower cost of tuition

According to the College Boards Trends in Higher Education, the average cost of a two-year degree in district college is 3,520 compared to a four-year in-state college at 9,650. So for a basic associate degree, it costs 3,000 less per year than the traditional four-year degree.

Less time in school

The required time for court reporting and stenography typically takes two years to complete an associate’s degree or culminate in a certificate depending on the program. Generally, students of court reporting can look forward to joining their workforce in as little as the estimated two years it takes to earn the degree. One way to look at it is the less time spent in school the smaller the amount of debt accrued and the sooner you can be on the job.

Greater earning potential

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics,  Court Reporters should expect to earn a median wage of up to 49,500 starting out, whereas freelance court reporters can often make much more due to their ability to charge a per-page price to their hiring attorneys. It is also said that very few four-year degree recipients can expect to enter the workforce at such a high salary.

If you are looking for the very best Phoenix court reporters, schedule online or call us today for your next deposition.

 

determining corporate counsel attends depositions

Determining Whether Corporate Counsel Attends Depositions

In cases where individual attorneys or law firms act as general counsel for a given business or corporation, there may be some questions about who should be included in various related court depositions that involve this company. It can be tough for general counsel to find the time for every single deposition given all the matters they attend to, and there are situations where avoiding corporate counsel the deposition will be a prudent move.

At Phoenix Deposition Services, we’re happy to provide not only court reporting and video deposition services for all such needs, but also general themes and expertise in this area. Let’s look at some of the factors to consider in terms of whether or not to bring corporate counsel into a deposition, plus how video depositions make this process far simpler if you do choose to go this route.

Case Importance

The single biggest factor that will help determine whether corporate counsel should attend a given deposition is the importance of the case and the deposition in question. If the scheduled hearing is for a relatively minor area of a low-profile case that can be handled by another party, it’s often not necessary for general counsel to attend, as their time may be better served on the numerous other matters they deal with daily.

In other cases, ensuring general counsel attends is absolutely vital. This may be due to the importance of a specific witness, or could relate to showcasing the importance of the case and how seriously it’s being taken by the firm.

“Bet the Company” Litigation

In some more recent years, the legal field has seen a sharp uptick in the frequency of what are known as “bet-the-company” forms of litigation. These are cases that have extremely high stakes, the kind that could ruin a company if the judgement does not come out in their favor, generally related to confidential or proprietary materials or themes.

Because so few cases go to trial, even bet-the-company cases, the deposition phase is incredibly important for their outcomes. If the company you represent is involved in such lawsuits, general counsel should be present for any related depositions.

How Video Depositions Help

If corporate counsel determines the need to attend a given deposition, video depositions are often a great benefit in these situations. They allow for remote depositions that keep counsel from needing to travel to a specific location for the deposition, making scheduling far simpler and serving exactly the same purposes as in-person depositions within the case. Involving this technology will both save time and also improve case outcomes.

For more on involving general counsel in a deposition, plus how video depositions are beneficial here, speak to the staff at Phoenix Deposition Services today.

web conferencing

Benefits of Web Conferencing

Benefits of Web Conferencing

This blog is about the benefits of web conferencing. Most attorneys take considerable time and effort in order to interview witnesses and to take depositions. This innovation is now making it where attorneys interviewing witnesses in other states no longer have to take expensive flights out of town or charge outrageous fees to do so.  Here are a few other benefits.

Saves both time and money

Web conferencing provides both audio and visual connectivity with the deponent. In turn, this means there is little to no travel time nor any money being spent on unnecessary travel costs or travel arrangement hassles along the way.  So all that needs to be done is scheduling a deposition with a court reporter somewhat close by the witness’s location at a time convenient for all parties involved.

Better Quality Video

As some of you may already know, video conferencing is a separate camera recording, then the video is transferred over the internet, whereas internet conferencing uses a camera built into the device sending the data, thus giving a much clearer image. Many different devices can be used while recording a deposition, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops without any lags or drops in service.

No additional equipment needed with web conferencing

There is no additional equipment used, so you get the added benefits of video conferencing without having the hassle or cost of setting up bulky equipment.

If you are looking for hassle-free depositions handled with the utmost professionalism and courtesy, please call today or schedule your next deposition online with us today.

 

 

 

 

 

about court reporting

Fun Facts About Court Reporting

Fun Facts About Court Reporting

This blog is about fun facts about court reporting. When you think of court reporting, the last thing you associate it with is fun, right?  Well, we would like to turn those thoughts around and brighten up court reporting with a few fun facts you probably didn’t know.

  1. Scribes were present with our Nation’s Founding Fathers as The Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights were drafted. Also,  President Lincoln entrusted scribes to record the Emancipation Proclamation.
  2. The ampersand (&) is one of the earliest examples of shorthand.
  3. Capturing the record of important proceedings dates back to the Fourth Century B.C.
  4. Charles Dickens began his career as a court reporter at the age of 16. It was during his four-year career as a court reporter and law clerk that he first learned shorthand. Michelle Pfeiffer also studied to be a court reporter just before the roles that made her famous.
  5. Annual salaries of captioners and court reporters can reach up to (or even exceed) $80,000.
  6. According to an industry outlook study, there is currently a demand for more than 5,500 court reporters and captioners.
  7. There are a few different types of court reporters. There are the court reporters that work in a courtroom all day and actually work for the court system; then there are freelance court reporters who mainly focus on depositions for attorneys in civil litigation.

If you are looking for court reporters that are the right fit for your needs, I invite you to schedule a deposition today. We have been serving attorneys and law firms in Phoenix, AZ for over 30 years. Come see the difference that we make in Phoenix court reporting.

attorney preparing witnesses depositions

Attorney Tips for Preparing Witnesses for Depositions

Attorney Tips for preparing witnesses for depositions.

Attorney tips for preparing witnesses for depositions is the name of this week’s blog. At Phoenix Deposition Services, we’re proud to provide several certified court reporting services that are highly beneficial to both attorneys and clients alike. From our video conferencing and deposition services to real-time court reporting and several related areas, we ensure you have access to quality deposition content as quickly as possible so you can move forward with your case.

Whether you’re an experienced attorney with years on the job or a newer entry to the field, managing a witness for a deposition is a tricky but vital area to consider. Let’s look at a few basic tips we can offer on properly preparing and managing a witness, including several areas that will maintain your own legal integrity and will ensure you’ve checked all the proper boxes.

Pre-Deposition Practice

For starters, it’s important to understand that the vast majority of people you might call as a deposition witness have no experience with the procedures associated with this or any part of a courtroom. Most people simply haven’t been in these situations before, so they might be nervous or somewhat intimidated by what’s facing them.

For this reason, it’s important to adequately prepare them in advance. It’s vital for us to make a major distinction here: As an attorney, you cannot actively coach the witness on what to say or how to respond to certain questions favorably. However, you can absolutely provide examples of the sorts of questions they might receive, detail the procedures that will take place, and explain why the deposition is important and how it may impact the case. You can also give general tips on deposition etiquette and other areas not directly related to the case in question.

Reviewing Court Rules

Another important area to go over with your witness is any rules or regulations present in the courtroom. Let them know about the kinds of motions or objections you might make as an attorney, plus inform them of any conferencing rules that are present for the deposition.

This conferencing area is important – witnesses must know the procedure for private conferences if they wish to speak with you during the deposition. In addition, they should be made aware that these kinds of conferences, if allowed (they might not be in some situations), might lead to general distrust or related issues with their testimony. If at all possible, encourage witnesses not to engage in a private conference unless absolutely necessary.

Clients and False Statements

In a rare situation where your witness makes an untrue statement that you know is false, the law is clear: It requires you to “remonstrate with the client confidentially, advise them of the lawyer’s duty of candor to the tribunal and seek the client’s cooperation with respect to the withdrawal or correction of the false statements or evidence.”

In other words: If your witness lies and you know it, you are legally required to start a private conference with them and advise them to recant their statement. For this reason, it’s also very important to inform your witness in advance about the vital nature of being truthful and honest throughout the deposition.

For more on preparing and managing a deposition witness, or to learn about any of our court reporters or video depositions, speak to the staff at Phoenix Deposition Services today.

certification

Types of Certification for Court Reporters

Types of Certification for Court Reporters

This blog is about the types of certification that court reporters can possess and which one will be right for your needs.

  • Registered Professional Reporter (RPR). One of the most basic reporting certifications is passing the RPR exam. This is a skills test on literary phrases, question responses, and jury charge material and must be given at a speed of up to 225 words per minute. Reporters must also pass general knowledge tests involving court reporting practices, professionalism, and technology platforms. In addition, reporters must complete three continuing education units every three years to maintain RPR status.
  • Registered Merit Reporter (RMR). RMRs carry all of the qualifications as RPRs, but RMRs have passed their speed skills tests with a score of 240 words per minute or better.
  • Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR). CRRs have additional skills in instant voice-to-text (known as realtime) transcription. These reporters are required to pass a test accurately transcribing in realtime at speeds up to 200 words per minute and must complete three continuing education units every three years.
  • Certified CART Provider (CCP). Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is an assistive technology that allows hearing-impaired individuals to read spoken dialogue in realtime. A CCP must be able to deliver realtime reporting in CART software at speeds between 180-225 words per minute, as well as completing three continuing education units every three years.

If you are looking to become a court reporter and have received adequate schooling, you may obtain your certification by following this link. For more helpful information about court reporting please visit our website’s blog page.

If you are looking for professional and certified court reporters in Arizona, schedule online today with Phoenix Deposition Services.

factors wrongful termination depositions

Important Factors in Wrongful Termination Depositions

Important Factors in Wrongful Termination Depositions

This blog is about important factors in wrongful termination depositions. Among the more difficult and occasionally awkward forms of civil cases out there, wrongful termination cases stand out. Clients in these cases often feel as though they’ve been treated unfairly, while companies will maintain that termination was well within their rights and did not break any area of the law.

At Phoenix Deposition Services, our court reporters are regularly called out to provide video conferencing, reporting and other services for wrongful termination cases. These cases will often contain contradicting accounts of events and potentially combative statements, and attorneys preparing for such cases should proceed accordingly. In addition, here are three prominent themes that will generally be given high priority during these cases, allowing attorneys and their clients to focus on the proper details.

Company Policy

While most wrongful termination cases come down to context and detail, one area that’s generally on the side of the plaintiff is the company’s own worker policy. Attorneys and clients should go over all documentation or other materials the employee received when beginning work at the company, documents that generally contain detailed information on company policies.

For instance, many larger corporate entities have processes that eventually lead to termination: Employees will be allowed one or two formal warnings in some cases, or maybe disciplined more lightly as a warning before being terminated. If you can prove, however, that the company did not follow such a procedure that’s laid out in their policy, you’ll have a leg up toward proving wrongful termination. In addition to viewing specific documentation, work for evidence that the policies therein were clearly communicated and explained to employees.

Importance of Supervisors

A former supervisor may become one of the most important deponents in any wrongful termination case. This person can act as a witness for the employee’s performance, work ethic, and other important areas. Attorneys and former employees should confer in advance here, as not all supervisors will necessarily give friendly answers and some might not be credible. However, in cases where harassment or retaliation from a supervisor played a role in the termination, deposing this person will become even more vital for different reasons.

Work History

Finally, one of the best ways an employee can present their case for wrongful termination is to establish a strong, reliable work history. This can include both the job they were dismissed from and previous employment situations – if necessary, former supervisors or coworkers from these previous jobs can even be deposed to provide evidence of the employee’s hard work. If work history records show positive areas, such as Employee of the Week/Month awards or some other recognition, be sure to highlight these prominently while making your case.

For more on what to expect during wrongful termination depositions, or to learn about any of our video depositions or other services, speak to the staff at Phoenix Deposition Services today.

right court reporter

Choosing The Right Court Reporter

Choosing The Right Court Reporter

Choosing the right court reporter may often prove difficult when you have traveled to an unfamiliar city and there are so many court reporting firms to choose from. One mistake can cause many trickle-down negative effects onto your case, in court, and during a deposition.  When the outcome of your case depends on accurate information to be well-organized by a professional Phoenix court reporter, follow these tips.

Ask if their facilities will meet your needs

Before scheduling your next deposition, first ask if their facilities will meet the needs of your clients and the number of deponents and staff you may have in attendance; if your clients have special needs, such as needing wheelchair access to the building; can these needs be met through the conference suite provided by your court reporter; will it be a quiet and professional atmosphere for you to conduct business.

Be sure to ask about high-speed internet access or proper video conferencing equipment.

Can your court reporter set up an interpreter or video recording of the deposition if needed?

When a witness is not able to be present, video-recorded testimony can be a very powerful tool to a judge or jury in court. Perhaps an expert witness will not be present for your day in court.  Ask your potential court reporting firm if they will be able to provide Hi-Def, high-resolution video recording of their deposition. Perhaps an interpreter is needed. Can your court reporter provide this as well?

At Phoenix Deposition Services, we cover a wide array of services to meet your needs by professional and precise Phoenix, AZ court reporters. Call us today or schedule your next deposition using our easy online scheduling page.

divorce deposition

What to Expect During a Divorce Deposition

What to Expect During a Divorce Deposition

This article is about what to expect during a divorce deposition and the role court reporters play in that. There are many different kinds of legal cases that may require depositions for a few reasons, and one of the more frequent types seen is for divorce cases. Divorces can be stressful and occasionally messy legal affairs, and when there’s significant enough disagreement, depositions may be involved in the process.

At Phoenix Deposition Services, our court reporters and video depositions are available for a wide variety of case types, including divorce proceedings. These are often done involving witnesses who were compelled to appear rather than those who did so voluntarily and may include questions in a few important areas. Here are some of these areas to understand.

Income and Asset Division

Financial areas are often at the center of many divorces, and the deposition process is often used to help uncover certain areas that may be tougher to get at otherwise. You have to be prepared for potentially detailed questions here, including those that are relatively intrusive and get into specific areas of your finances.

It’s important to note that while it may be tempting to withhold certain information during this part of the deposition, doing so is both illegal and extremely risky. Attorneys are able to ask questions about any part of your finances, including any publicly available documents, and you will be under oath during this questioning. Lying or omitting information is a direct contradiction of the law and should be avoided no matter what.

Child Care and Custody

Another common debate point during divorces is the care and custody of any children involved, and this area will take high priority during several elements of divorce cases, including depositions. Custody won’t be determined solely during these hearings, of course, but they present a significant opportunity for both sides to present their case in terms of care and resources for the child.

During this section of a deposition, prepare for personal questions. They will refer to care areas for the child, scheduling concerns for each parent, financial capabilities within the childcare realm and several others. Being willing to admit to areas where compromise is necessary can actually go a long way in these situations, provided both parties can be reasonable.

Health and Personal Habits

Finally, depositions may uncover certain other pieces of information that wouldn’t come to light otherwise during a divorce. Personal habits and traits might come up, such as parents who abuse drugs or alcohol or have been unfaithful within the marriage. Past criminal records may come up in these depositions, and once again, you should take great care not to lie or omit information, even if you think it will benefit you at the moment – the negative outcomes far outweigh the positive ones.

For more on what to expect during a divorce deposition, or to learn about any of our video court reporting or other services, speak to the staff at Phoenix Deposition Services today.