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 an 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 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 too 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.

ethics

The Importance of Ethics in Court Reporting

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.

Integrity

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.

5 things court reporters want you to know

5 Things Court Reporters Want You To Know

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.

 

 

becoming a court reporter

Before Becoming a Court Reporter

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. 

legal documents

Download Free Legal Documents

 Download Free Legal Documents

This blog is about where to obtain free legal documents from the internet. If you find you are in need of some do-it-yourself legal documents or templates, visit the following websites for user-friendly manageability. The following websites cover everything from documents for the small business owner, all the way to divorce.

Business owners

Business.gov: This site helps businesses comply with government regulations and has many templates and documents business owners may find useful.

Business owner’s toolkit:  Use this site to obtain free documents and templates suitable for any small business.

Free business forms: Free forms for small businesses ranging from medical documents to real estate forms.

Ladies Who Launch: This Web page offers free legal forms, templates, and information for your business.

Legal and Business Forms: Download and draft your own legal documents for any U.S.-based small business.

Smart Biz: Has a large selection of free business forms to help get the most out of your business, including finance, management, compensation, marketing, worker safety and more.

Winmark Small Business Tools: Find model business documents, financial spreadsheets, checklists and official government forms at this site.

Internal Revenue Service: All legal documents or templates you need to file taxes.

Microsoft Office: Find many types of legal and business documents and templates here.

JaxWorks: This library contains a variety of spreadsheets any small business can use for legal matters

A variety of legal forms and documents

.docstoc: Find and share professional documents for legal, business, finance and more.

Find Forms: Thousands of free legal forms are listed at this site, ranging from accounting to workers compensation.

We hope legal professionals and our readers find these sources useful and helpful. For more helpful articles from our court reporters in Phoenix, AZ, visit our blog page.

tips deposition ethics integrity

Tips on Deposition Ethics and Integrity

Tips on deposition ethics and integrity

 

This blog is about tips on deposition ethics and integrity of our Phoenix, AZ court reporters. At Phoenix Deposition Services, we’re proud to offer high-quality court reporting services to the Phoenix community. We’ve been doing so for 30 years. Providing well-trained, expert court reporters who will ensure the integrity of a deposition.

Court reporting is a big part of this overall integrity, but it’s not the only factor. Let’s go over some of the primary areas to consider when thinking about behaving ethically in a deposition. Also how you can be as well-prepared as possible.

Hiring a Videographer

Our video court reporters and their services are not only practical, but they’re also often vital for ensuring the ethics of a deposition. What’s the simplest way to solve a dispute about what was said or not said in a deposition? The ability to play the entire thing back on video.

Not only are video depositions practical for this reason, but they’re also a tool to keep all parties on good behavior. People who know they’re being recorded are less likely to improperly object or otherwise behave badly. If depositions are a regular event for you, a video of the proceedings allows you to go back and review your own performance so you can improve in the future.

Planning and Rules

Both for ethical reasons and for the quality of your case, planning carefully before a deposition is important. One big element here is court rules, such as your potential ability to suspend the deposition if the opposing attorney is badgering or being unruly. There are cases where you can file a motion with the court for sanctions against the other attorney, such as when this party is badgering your witness and potentially hurting your case. You should make good faith efforts to end this behavior if it begins, but if you’re unsuccessful, know whether or not this option is available to you.

Objections

One common form of unruly behavior from attorneys on either side of a deposition is objections made too often or without just cause. Some attorneys even attempt to use this as a tactic. They try to scare their opponents who may be newer to the deposition game. Objections can also be used as a subtle form of witness coaching. This is expressly illegal even through indirect methods like this.

You should be on the lookout for this sort of thing or engage in it yourself. If you do feel that the opposing party is taking part in this behavior, be sure to state this fact notably for the record.

For more on proper ethics in a deposition, speak to the staff at Phoenix Deposition Services today.

transcripts

How Transcripts Are Made

How Transcripts Are Made

This blog is an in-depth article on how transcripts are made. First, there is the deposition. Following that there is a process performed by the court reporter in producing an official transcript for our clients.

Documentation of deposition

Using a stenotype machine the court reporter documents the deposition word for word.

Proofreading and Editing Transcripts

At this point comes the proofreading and editing portion of the rough transcript by the court reporter. Sometimes a scopist is hired for the editing but not always.  During the editing process, the court reporter or scopists makes sure that any “untranslated” words (words that are not translated by the computer program that translates shorthand) are translated from steno shorthand to English. Then, any misspellings or typos are corrected.

Title Page Creation

This is where the court reporter or scopist create a title page as well as insert the page numbers for easy reference.

Readback

The court reporter reads the transcript through once more for any final corrections or edits to be made.

Production of transcript

The court reporter then produces the transcript.

Sending it Promptly

This is where Phoenix Deposition Services or another court reporting firm would promptly send out the transcript to the client.

If you are looking for the very highest quality in transcripts, call our court reporters in Phoenix, AZ.

Thank you for reading our blog and have a great week!

 

 

 

Court reporting myths

Clarifying Court Reporting Myths

Clarifying Court Reporting Myths

At Phoenix Deposition Services, we’re proud of the court reporters who help in clarifying court reporting myths. Now we can provide great court reporting to our clients everywhere. Our real-time court reporting allows access to reporting during a deposition even before video has been produced, allowing our users to skip a typical step in the process.

Unfortunately, we hear a number of common misconceptions about our court reporters. These people are professionals who work very hard to attain and retain their position. Let’s look at some of the court reporting myths that have been spread about them. Doing so will help correct them and set the record straight.

It’s Easy – Anyone Can Do It!

Probably the most common misconception here is that court reporters are a replaceable entity. Many people think that this is the kind of job you can just put out a simple ad for on Craigslist, and still, others assume that given our modern technology, we could easily just replace court reporters with recording devices and automated systems.

Simply put, this is false. Even the most advanced automated programs out there still have major issues with things like audio volume, voice nuance and other particulars of this process. They also struggle big time by picking up any technical terminology or jargon used in the case – areas trained reporters will not have any issues in. And as we’ll go over in our next section, this is not simply a job anyone with typing skills can walk in and do instantly.

Typing is the Only Skill Needed

This is likely the most common misconception out there about court reporters. That as long as you can type a decent per-minute word count, you can step in and do this job with no further training. This is silly for several reasons. Mainly because court reporters aren’t even using a standard keyboard.

Court reporters use a stenograph machine, which uses 22 unmarked keys. Court reporters spend significant time training to learn how to use these keys to translate a shorthand. That allows them to quickly capture everything that’s said. The average court reporter is able to track at least 225 words per minute this way. That is far faster than even some of the fastest typers in the world on a standard keyboard. If you haven’t been trained on a stenograph, you’d be completely lost as a court reporter.  The terminology and procedures that court reporters need to know, which are significant.

Thresholds Are Low

Another misconception is the idea that once court reporters are trained, they have a guaranteed job for life. This isn’t true, court reporting is a competitive field that requires its professionals to continuously improve their quality. Speed and accuracy requirements are stringent. Those who don’t meet them are released in the pursuit of the right level of quality.

For more on clarifying myths in court reporting, or for any information on our certified court reporting services, speak to the pros at Phoenix Deposition Services today.

Video Conferencing Tips and Tricks

Video Conferencing Tips and Tricks

When it comes to video conferencing, anything can go wrong at any time. The key to success is preparation beforehand and remaining professional during any sudden technical issues that may arise. We have put together a few tips and tricks we have learned over the years and we hope you find them useful.

 

Triple check any equipment

This goes for any video settings too. Make sure that all microphones work and everything is a go before go-time.

Think about what is in the background

Avoid messy and distracting backgrounds altogether. Make sure when setting up your equipment that you are in a traffic-free area so there won’t be anyone else in view of the camera.

Simulate eye contact

Awkward camera angles can be especially distracting. Make sure that you keep the witness’s attention directly on the camera: that way their attention stays right where it is supposed to be and it appears as though there is proper eye contact between camera and viewers.

Prepare the witness

Be sure that everyone that will be in front of the camera is well versed on what is to be expected. It’s important to dress appropriately and professionally. Try not to slouch and speak loud enough for the microphones to record your statements clearly.

Mute all microphones not being used

Mute any and all microphones not in active use. This will help keep background noise to a minimum and keep anyone else chatting to a coworker from being picked up by the microphones.

When looking for Phoenix video court reporters, we recommend Phoenix Deposition Services for all of your court reporting and deposition needs.