How to avoid disaster during a deposition is the topic of this week’s article and it is intended to help the less experienced witnesses, attorneys and court reporters in the legal field.
Speak Loud Enough for Everyone to Hear You Clearly
As a court reporter, we are often lost in the background or forgotten about, so it is not uncommon for a witness or attorney to speak where they can be heard clearly by the court reporter. Speak up and remember that no matter how clever your questions are they will, in fact, end up as “inaudible” in the transcript. Court reporters are at times reluctant to interrupt the proceedings to ask an attorney or a witness to increase the volume of their voice more than once. The last thing a court reporter wants is to interrupt an attorney’s train of thought; however, it is our job above all to preserve the record, so remember, if you want it in the record, speak clearly and speak loud enough for everyone to hear you.
If asked to read don’t speed
When put on the spot and asked to read from a specific written document, sometimes people can end up flying through it and mumbling or jamming their words together. Our advice is to take a breath and enunciate when reading a written document. Another way to assist your court reporter is to provide a copy of any written documents that someone will read out loud so they can later check their notes in comparison.
Try to Remember Shop Talk Can be Difficult to Transcribe
I think every profession may have their own personal words and lingo for special terms specific to their field, but court reporters are not aware of all terms used by expert witnesses or attorneys in large or complicated medical malpractice cases and can get thrown off because of this.
Put It On Paper
Many things are lost when transitioning to paper, like body language or gestures that cannot be recorded unless doing a video deposition. Using a phrase like “let the record show” allows clarification of gestures made. The NCRA’s brochure Making The Record suggest this will “ensure a clean record.”
We thank you for reading our article this week, and remember, if you are in need of highly skilled court reporters in Phoenix, AZ, call us today or schedule directly from our website.