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.

malpractice deposition

The Medical Malpractice Deposition

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.

 

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.

litigation

Litigation Tips for A Successful Deposition

Litigation Tips for a Successful Deposition

This blog is to inform our audience about litigation tips for a successful deposition. At Phoenix Deposition Services we provide many services to aid in the deposition process and to litigation itself. These services are often vital to a given deposition, allowing for expedient tracking of records, statements and streamlining the preparation process for litigators on every side of a case.

Over the years providing these services, we’ve seen just about every possible situation or behavior from litigators – and we know the kinds of things that work and don’t work in this situation. Here are a few basic tips we can offer in litigation to avoid mistakes and ensure a smooth, effective deposition that accomplishes the desired goals.

Avoid Stipulations on Record

You may have the ability to put stipulations onto the record at the start of the deposition, but we generally recommend against this. This will allow the opposition to reserve their objections and may lead to some trickle-down issues later on in the case. It’s advantageous to you if your opposition makes their objections during the actual deposition itself, allowing you to counter them immediately rather than waiting for trial.

Witnesses and Competence

In certain high-stakes cases, you may have witnesses looking to evade your questions. One of their primary methods for doing so will be to dodge claims of competence – they may say they don’t remember a given event, for instance, or don’t understand what you’re asking them.

If you sense this kind of difficulty could be at hand, it’s best to lead the witness to admit their own competence at a separate angle. The best litigators try to accomplish this before they ask sensitive questions about the case so that once those questions come up, witnesses cannot then back out and say they were not competent.

The Litigation “Witching Hour”

Within the deposition world, this is a term used to describe when the patience of a given witness begins to wear down. Many opposing witnesses have been coached or have prepared responses, but you can wear away at this and steer toward the truth if you work at it. Tactics here will vary depending on the subject matter and the witness’s personality.

Awkward Silence

A great tool at your disposal in any deposition? Simply being silent. Many people become very uncomfortable in prolonged silences, and witnesses often ramble or say things they wouldn’t otherwise when they’re uncomfortable.

Non-Speaking Objections

If your opposing counsel in a deposition is highly argumentative and will not stop objecting, you may want to consider requesting a non-speaking objection. If approved, this will force the opposing counsel to make their objections in a way that will not direct your witness toward answering in a way that benefits them, a common tactic used to evade the truth.

For more on how to avoid any mistakes during a deposition, or for information on any of our court reporter or video conferencing services, speak to the pros at Phoenix Deposition Services today.

oral deposition

Pro’s & Con’s of Taking an Oral Deposition

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!

 

 

Court reporters type

How Do Court Reporters Type So Fast

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.

The Machine

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.

clean record

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 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 —
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 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.