3 Tips to Being A Successful Court Reporter
Successful Court Reporter Tip #1. Reputation and consistency.
The first step to success is building a solid reputation within the legal community. One way of doing this is by producing quality work that is on time every time. Do not underestimate the importance of this. Deliver every transcript on or before the deadline. Missing a deadline is a costly mistake and not just for the hiring attorney and their clients but to you and your reputation as well . You may find word of mouth being a very helpful tool in getting your name out there and getting the repeat business you desire.
Successful Court Reporter Tip #2. Make Yourself Available
If you wish to be the first choice a legal secretary makes when it comes time to schedule a deposition, then do your very best at making the time to meet the requirements of the job. Sometimes gaining the winning advantage over the competition you have to go above and beyond expectation, such as working nights, weekends and holidays to meet your deadlines. Whenever possible try to avoid taking time off of the work week. Flexibility also includes willingness to travel.
Successful Court Reporter Tip #3. Keep Your Skills Relevant
There is always something more one can learn, especially when setting out for advancement as a court reporter. Time spent learning new vocabulary or new technologies not only make a reporter’s skills more marketable but demonstrate a clear commitment to the craft. Legal secretaries look for reporters who have conditioned themselves to upgrade their knowledge of the latest technology willingly. Many court reporters choose to become real-time certified. Law firms and hiring attorneys recognize the reporter who takes steps to achieve this next level of speed and convenience. Also, real-time reporting fees are higher, which offers reporters a financial incentive to upgrade their skills.
When successfully coordinating interpreted depositions you MUST hire an experienced and knowledgeable interpreter. Next, you will want your interpreter to explain the deposition process and how to conduct themselves accordingly. Setting out some ground rules will ensure everything flows smoothly and in an orderly fashion.
Tips for The Attorneys
Attorneys must keep in mind that many non-English speaking individuals raised in foreign countries have had little to no exposure to the American legal system. Getting familiar with their language can help assist in communication. Whenever possible, attorneys should keep their sentences easy to understand and use simple vocabulary. Try to avoid using legal terms as this will only confuse non-English speaking witnesses. Lastly, attorneys must remain aware of the highly complex task at hand for the interpreter. The deposition interpreter must first hear, then understand, then analyze, and, finally, repeat the deponent’s testimony accurately and completely in another language. Their high levels of concentration can be taxing to their mental clarity. Allow time for breaks to keep them mentality sharp and preserve the quality of the record.
Tips for the Deponent in Interpreted Depositions
• Waiting for the deposition interpreter to finish interpreting the question before answering it, even if the deponent understands the question in English
• Not to engage in conversation with the legal interpreter or ask questions of the interpreter
• To answer the question in the speaker’s native language only, not English, even though they may know some English
• To notify counsel conducting the deposition if they do not understand a question being asked
• To provide verbal responses (as opposed to nodding or gesturing)
• To informing counsel conducting the deposition when they need to take a break
We hope everyone found this information informative and useful. We hope you check out some of our other blogs containing more helpful tips and tricks and continue reading our future posts .
Video Depositions: Five Best Practices Every Paralegal Should Know.
In this blog we will be talking about video deposition’s five best practices. When preparations are in order for an upcoming trial, there may be a witness or witnesses that cannot attend in the courtroom itself. This is where you would normally call upon your court reporter to set up a video deposition. There are many advantages of having the ability to not just read the testimony but to gain a visual of the witness as he\she answers each question under oath.
Ask that all other electronic devices be turned off. To ensure the clearest sound and best playback for the record, ask that all cell phones and unnecessary technology be turned off. Also keep any paperwork from being in the way of microphones. Believe it or not, shuffling paperwork can cause interference to the recording.
Reserve enough space for everyone to be comfortable. When booking a room for a Video deposition, keep in mind that you will need to let your court reporter know how many people will be in attendance outside of the attorney, the videographer, the court reporter and the witness. This will be a good time to address any special needs of anyone attending also. Be sure to state special needs a couple days before to ensure everything goes smoothly and as planned.
Early access for the videographer. At least one hour is the common standard for the videographer to set up his equipment and run all necessary tests, adjust lighting and to troubleshoot any technical issues that may arise beforehand.
Make it clear when you’re off the record. Microphones are extremely sensitive. Always remember that until clearly instructed that it is off the record, the video and audio are being captured. Another important factor in conducting great video depositions is to instruct everyone to speak one at a time. Try giving 2-3 seconds after being asked a question to give your response. This will also help you keep your cool and think before you speak.
Keep the space being recorded clean and free of clutter. You want to be certain that all things obstructing the clear view of the witness be removed. The jury’s attention is to remain on the testimony and not on distracting objects that do not belong there in the first place.
Video depositions are a very useful tool to save time and money.
Realtime Reporting Transcripts Are Instantly Available
Realtime reporting makes it possible for the information to be captured, stored and available immediately. Not only are they available for viewing, they are available for sharing, which brings us to our next benefit of realtime court reporting.
Instant Sharing and Viewing of Case Information
Information from transcripts can be copied and pasted easily and shared through email or fax, then sent to others involved in the case. In addition, those viewing in realtime are able to look up and review evidence using only a few keywords pertaining to that evidence.
Information is Quickly Found and Easily Searched
A few keywords used in previous proceedings or discussions are all you need to search an entire database of transcripts. Notes and annotations can also be made within transcripts providing the ability to access indexes and key information unique to each case.
Annotations and Notes Being Made Within the Transcript
Court reporters create indexes of the unique terms and names for each case in advance so that when a deponent mentions a certain keyword a note or annotation can be made within the transcript. You can only imagine what a valuable tool this has become for legal teams. Now that we have mentioned valuable tools to attorneys, this brings us to our next benefit of realtime.
Instantly Impeached Testimony Using Realtime Reporting
Lawyers with remote access can request clarification or challenge key issues, eliminating the need for secondary depositions. However, when a witness has testified falsely, the case management team can check the trial record against a transcript of the witness’s prior depositions or in-court testimony. Then they can use two or more digital records to point out the witness’s inconsistencies, thereby impeaching the witness’s testimony instantly.
There are so many advantages to realtime court reporting, in fact, too many to put in one blog.
For more information on realtime court reporting visit our website.
What to look for in a great court reporting firm
When choosing the right court reporting firm, there a few things to keep in mind. Having more than three decades of court reporting under our belt, we have refined our techniques and our code of ethics to a standard of which we are quite proud. That being said, we have put together a list of qualities to look for when choosing a court reporting firm you can trust and rely on time and time again.
Do some research and ask around about the court reporting firm you have in mind.
- You can read their reviews or testimonials online on sites like Google + or yelp.
- Have they worked with other attorneys you know and would they, or do they, use them still?
- Were they professionally dressed and were they on time?
- Be sure to visit their website and see what services they offer and if they service your area?
- When visiting their website take notice to if it is well written and up to date.
How experienced are they and are they certified?
- How long have they been serving the legal community and what can one expect when doing business with them?
- Do they have enough availability to do last-minute depositions when called upon?
- Do they offer full litigation services?
Make sure you discuss cost of services
- Are all of their services included in the agreed-upon price?
All and all, finding a one-stop shop that is affordable and professional with a long history of outstanding transcripts delivered in a timely manner with great customer service is what you’re looking for.
When choosing the right court reporting firm, look no further than Phoenix Deposition Services for all of your court reporting needs. You can even schedule a deposition today or speak to one of our highly-qualified staff members here at 602-230-2499.
There are many wonderful Phoenix attractions perfect for one person alone or for the whole family to enjoy. First off, we have a list of hotels and corresponding websites to visit to get the absolute best rates while your here. We will also include our local hot-spots to keep you entertained and make the most of your visit to our city.
Sky Harbor International Airport- Phoenix
Trivago will compare the rates of all the other local hotels and match you with the best price and best rated hotels to meet all of your needs.
Talking Stick Resort and Casino – You can book a room, or simply enjoy the nightlife with many exciting events taking place every day and night.
Valley Metro Light Rail – Can take you to any of the Phoenix attractions mentioned above for free if you show them your ticket stub. It is an inexpensive and easy way to travel if you don’t exactly know the areas of which your traveling.
Westgate Entertainment District – This is an all-in-one stop for Phoenix attractions, including the Arizona Cardinals stadium, which have many events to entertain in the off season. There are also plenty of establishments to eat and drink socially nearby without having to go anywhere else.
Phoenix Zoo – If you’re out with the whole family, this would be the perfect spot for the kids. They can do everything from feeding the giraffes to playing in the Slash Pad.
Desert Botanical Garden – Experience and embrace the magnificent beauty of the desert through a variety of tours and activities at the Desert Botanical Garden that will make your visit unforgettable.
We thank you for reading our blog and hope you found it helpful. If you have any questions or would like to speak with someone directly, we are always happy to help. 602-230-2499.
This blog contains testimony tips for beginners. If this is your first time testifying at a deposition, remember the most important thing you can do is prepare and educate yourself on the upcoming events and your role in them.
Planning and preparing-
There is no question giving testimony adds a reasonable amount of stress to any first-timer’s case. We recommend that you practice with your attorney as well as alone. Your preparedness and your knowledge of what is to come is your most powerful tool you possess in keeping your cool.
Be honest and accurate-
Never let the line of questioning back you into a corner. It’s all right to say, “I don’t know” or ” I don’t remember.” Most witnesses believe they should know the answer already or that they have to remember while under the stress of questioning.
Understand the question fully before you answer-
Don’t answer anything until you know exactly what the question means and fully understand what you are being asked first. This is where you shouldn’t be afraid to ask the attorney to repeat or rephrase his question into terms you understand.
Assist your court reporter-
By waiting to answer for a few seconds after the attorney is done asking the question, this will make transcribing the deposition much easier for the court reporter, plus the added benefit of a few more seconds to think before you speak.
Try to make the best impression you can-
Try not to let the stress you may be feeling come off as annoyance or anger towards counsel or the line of questioning. This could make you look unfavorable or untrustworthy, when one of your goals during a deposition is to appear as a solid, likable and credible witness.
For more testimony tips or to schedule a deposition with the best court reporters located in Phoenix, AZ, visit our website or call us today! 602-230-2499.
This blog addresses video conferencing pro’s and con’s. We will also provide you with some quick and easy solutions to the potential con’s. Nearly every industry has been changed by the advancing technology of today’s modern world, including one of the world’s oldest professions, court reporting.
What is Video Conferencing ?
To put it simply, videoconferencing is a realtime meeting between parties through the use of a computer, telephone or camera and an internet connection. Some may use programs or applications such as Skype to aid in this process. This type of communication is most useful in the event that necessary parties aren’t able to be in the same physical location but still need to hold court hearings, depositions, and consultations that may not be able to be completed via phone conversations or emails. Video conferencing is much more cost effective these days thanks to how widespread and readily available the necessary technology has become.
Pro’s Of Video Conferencing
Not only is video conferencing a faster way for witnesses, attorneys and other legal parties to conduct their legal proceedings, it’s also less expensive since no one has to incur transportation costs or pay for lodging. Another advantage of video conferencing is that it allows court reporters and attorneys to practice their cross-examination, transcription and court techniques while they are outside of a courtroom. When communication is done with high-definition technology, the learning experience is made that much more realistic.
Another advantage of video conferencing with court reporting is that it allows for more collaboration. For example, there could be a traditional court reporter on one end of the video conferencing call and an attorney several states away on the other. There are limitations that come with traditional court reporting and the use of standard transcription equipment. Those limitations can be eliminated through the use of digital recording equipment that records what’s being said from a variety of vantage points.
Con’s Of Video Conferencing
The first is that no matter how good the equipment is, it will never be as good as physically being in the same room as someone. Then there is always the risk of failure in the internet connection or the equipment itself. That is why here at Phoenix Deposition Services we take every measure to ensure flawless delivery of every service we offer. Book a deposition today and see for yourself.
Resources; Planet Depos, NCRA.
Official court reporters vs freelance reporters is the topic of this week’s blog.
There are two main categories of court reporters: freelance and official. When I tell people what i do for a living they usually assume I work directly for the Courts. Most people that are not in the legal field have no idea that freelance court reporters exist. However, did you know that a majority of court reporters work outside of the courthouse? According to the NCRA, over 70 percent of America’s 35,000-plus court reporters work outside of the courtroom. Here is a brief description of the difference between the two.
Official Court Reporters
When you think about the court reporter in the courtroom recording a trial on his/her steno machine, you’re thinking about an official court reporter. These types of court reporters are employed by the judicial system. It is their responsibility to take the spoken word and transcribe it into text during legal proceedings in the courtroom. They must ensure that they produce an accurate and complete record of the proceedings.
Freelance Court Reporters
Freelance reporters, on the other hand, are often independent contractors or work for a court reporting firm. They are hired by law firms and other organizations to cover depositions, arbitrations, meetings, business sessions, and much more. Due to the varying types of assignments, freelance reporters often travel to different locations and work long, rigorous hours depending on the demands of job.
Even though they do not often work in a courtroom, freelance reporters still play a significant role in the legal process. Take depositions, for example. During a deposition a court reporter is not only needed to accurately record a witness’s oral testimony but he can also administer an oath to the witness and swear them in. They, too, ensure an accurate and complete record of the proceedings.
We hope you found this blog to be fun and educational. We sincerely thank our readers for taking the time to read our little nuggets of knowledge.
If you need a court reporter who knows every in and out of the profession, look no further and schedule a deposition with us today!