Tag Archives: court reporter

Court Reporters

Digital Recorders Or Court Reporters?

Digital recorders or Court Reporters 

Digital recorders have been a very controversial topic in the legal community. Our blog this week will go over a few reasons why hiring a court reporter is the right choice for an accurate transcript.

How are court reporters superior to the use of digital recording devices?

  • Court reporters capture only the words that are spoken and relevant to the specific proceedings, whereas digital recorders often record everything, including the noise from shuffling papers, various audible interference and private conversations between attorney and client.
  • Court reporters can  stop the proceedings for clarification and read back when necessary.
  • Court reporters can easily read back requested testimony in a matter of seconds, whereas audio recordings all depend on the operator’s ability to properly annotate the proceedings.  In addition, many attorneys and judges prefer not to listen to the entire length of the recording.
  • Court reporters working in realtime  allow for annotations. In addition, the words  appear on the users’ screens seconds after they are spoken.
  • Court reporters are professionals, specially trained and state licensed
  • Court reporters personally purchase and maintain all required equipment and software.
  • Audio recordings do not allow judges or attorneys to do research during a proceeding; however ,when using realtime they can annotate during the proceedings as well as  organize their marked testimony. The court reporter will also be using software that will make it possible to cut and paste.  The court reporter’s notes can be put on a screen or printed out in a report.
  • Audio recordings still require transcription in most cases. 
  • Audio Recordings have upfront costs for equipment acquisition.
  • Audio recordings  require ongoing costs to the court for purchasing and maintaining equipment and upgrading software.
  • Audio recordings have instances of incomplete, inaudible and unintelligible recordings. 

If you found this blog informative or helpful, please feel free to visit our blog page to learn more about what we do here at Phoenix Deposition Services.  If you’re looking for the very best in Phoenix court reporting, look no further than our Phoenix court reporters to get the job done.

 

Avoid Bad Q&A

Depositions : Avoiding bad Q&A

This blog is about recognizing and avoiding bad questions and answers during a deposition or trial. Assisting your client in refreshing their memory regarding facts pertinent to the case is important but that’s just the start of what is in store for the preparation of your witness for upcoming deposition or trial.  You also need to prepare your client for problem areas of questioning.  In this blog we have listed some problem questions and how to react and answer them properly during the course of a deposition of your client:

Compound Questions

Compound questions, which incorporate two questions in one, such as, “Do you smoke marijuana every day or just once a week,”,  the first question in this statement is “Do you smoke marijuana”,  and if yes, is it every day or just once a week , this form of  questioning is very deceptive and dangerous because a yes- or-no answer can be interpreted as an affirmative response to the underlying predicate.

Questions in Absolute Terms

Whenever an attorney uses such terms as, “Do you always” or, “Have you never,” they are attempting to lock your client into absolute terms. There is nothing wrong with being absolutely sure, you just want to make sure that that is in fact the case.

Exaggerations

There is nothing that more quickly undermines a claim or gives rise to the all-popular defense mantra of “secondary gain” than needless exaggeration.

Opinions

Stay factual!  Do not guess and do not speculate.  You do not have to have an answer to every question, and that is okay.  You are only human.

“Would It Be Fair to Say…”

Anytime a witness hears a question prefaced with such a line, they should make sure they in fact agree with the proposition set forth in the question, as this is often unfair to the witness.

For more information on this topic we recommend reading The five worst things to do during cross-examination.

Looking for the very best in Phoenix court reporters ? Call us today at 602-230-2499.

 

 

Book Conference Room

Booking A Conference Room

Booking a conference room offers convenience and allows all parties to gather at one place so that more can be accomplished in less time.

When exploring your options for a conference room to hold an upcoming deposition or interview it is important to think about the features that you’ll need in the space.

Is the Conference Room Wi-Fi and Technologically Capable?

Conference Rooms should have available Wi-Fi connectivity. The ability to use laptops and  tablets that are logged onto the internet are a must have for conferencing and recording of video depositions.

Is it Cost Effective?
Cost-effectiveness is another consideration that can guide you to the right conference space. When you are scheduling phoenix court reporting services for your meeting, a conference room may be available free of cost for added convenience.

Audio/Visual Equipment for Video Conferencing
When it comes to video conferencing, it is important that the room has the necessary equipment in place to be able to record both audio and visual data. It is important to have features such as adequate seating, whiteboards, charts, Wi-Fi connectivity, televisions and monitors, and recording systems in place so that the deposition can be accurately recorded for future use by the courts.

ADA Compliant
The conference room must be large enough to be ADA compliant. This means that there is room for all parties to be present and that all ADA guidelines are met in the way of confidentiality and professionalism.

The right conference room will also be conveniently located  so that it is accessible for all parties involved in the meeting.

 

If  your in need of Phoenix court reporters who can get any size job done accurately, affordably and the way you want it, then look no further . Call us today at 602-230-2499 or visit our websites schedule a deposition page.

What to Expect When Working with Court Reporters

Court Reporters in Phoenix ArizonaAlthough much of what court reporters do occurs behind the scenes, they play an integral role in the legal system. In this respect, court stenographers are not unlike paralegals. But despite the similarities, it has been my observation that many paralegals are uncertain of what to expect from court reporters.

Given the amount of interaction that paralegals and court reporters have with one another, it’s important that you know how best to work with court stenographers to foster a better working relationship.

Professionalism in Court Reporting

Court reporters are conditioned to abide by some of the strictest deadlines in the legal field, and for good reason. Since legal proceedings cannot begin until the reporter arrives, punctuality is not just a courtesy, it’s a must. Add to this the fact that law firms can’t bill for lost time, and only then can one truly appreciate the gravity of promptness. Hence, it goes without saying that when you hire a court reporter, there should be no doubts about his ability to show up on time.

Similar to timeliness, courtesy is expected from all court reporters. As a matter of fact, most reporters are so polite that you will rarely even hear them during proceedings, but make no mistake – their presence has a tremendous impact on the overall success of the case. Furthermore, you should anticipate this type of professionalism not only during the proceedings, but also when receiving the transcript, along with any other interaction that occur thereafter.

Confidentiality of Stenographers

In addition to recording legal proceedings, court reporters must also safeguard confidential information. In fact, the majority of information that comes into a court reporter’s possession is private and shouldn’t be divulged to anyone who isn’t part of the proceedings. Court stenographers understand that a breach of confidentiality may spell disaster for their case and for the court reporting industry, as a whole.

This is why as a paralegal; you should feel confident in the fact that your court reporter will maintain the highest level of integrity with the information that you entrust to him. Indeed, depending on the circumstances, there may be times when court reporters come in contact with information that may be struck from the record, which further necessitates the need for confidentiality.

Impartiality in the Court Reporting Profession

The bulk of what you do, as a paralegal, involves carrying out various tasks for your clients to improve the firm’s odds of winning the case. As such, it isn’t your responsibility to present the case of the opposing party or to be neutral in your proceedings. However, the same does not hold true for court reporters. This means that even though the court reporter was hired by your firm, her position calls for neutrality in all proceedings and does not allow her to say or do anything that could imply bias.

Furthermore, court reporters are trained to avoid expressing their opinion, as it relates to any case that they may be involved in. In essence, your court reporter’s role is to record and deliver a written transcript of the information – as presented – with the highest level of impartiality.

Court Reporters and Accuracy

The very nature of a court reporter’s job requires accuracy. So you should always expect your court reporter to display a firm commitment to accuracy, when delivering transcribing trials, testimonies or other proceedings. Likewise, inaccurate transcripts can prove damaging to your case and that of opposing counsel. While court reporters are not perfect and mistakes may happen, from time to time, you should still expect high standards where accuracy is concerned.

High Quality Transcripts

Transcripts represent your court reporter’s output or end product. If you’re working with an experienced court reporter, you should expect to receive a high quality transcript that is not only free of errors but that follows standardized formatting guidelines of the profession. Furthermore, while each state may have their own formatting requirements, your court reporter should be familiar with the standards and apply them to the final transcript.

In summary, a court reporter is a trained professional, whose role in legal proceedings is highly valuable to you and other members of the legal community. Accordingly, your court reporter should always strive to meet your expectations, which will ultimately lead to smoother trials, depositions, testimonies and other legal proceedings.

Seven Qualities to Look for in a Court Reporter

official court reporters vs freelanceIf you are looking to hire a phoenix court reporter or anywhere else, just like any other new hire, if you already have an idea about your expectations, as well as what you need from the service.  There are also several “serious” needs whenever you hire someone, so be confident about your overall expectations.

Court reporters are critical to any legal proceeding. To better serve you in this regard, listed below are seven areas that should be on your list of must-haves:

1.  Court Reporters Must be Competent

Competency is a multiple edged sword, as it is more than just having a license.  The reporter should be licensed, and you can’t have qualms about asking for qualifications and perhaps more important, recommendations. Note here that the recommendations must be verifiable. If this information isn’t easily accessible on a website, then ask for and receive the information.

Experience can vary, and it is easier to hire a court reporter for the court who is experienced in depositions. You don’t have to have the exact experience as long as they have a similar experience, and proof of a cool head under fire.

2.  Punctuality in the Court Reporting Field

A court reporter can never be late. Everyone else can be tardy, and often are, but the court reporter is held at a standard above the rest and should always be early, never frazzled, and over prepared.

3.  Timely Turnaround on Transcripts

Can the court reporter handle an expedited request? Are they able to recognize that counsel has forgotten a trial is coming up so quickly that the normal process is not going to meet review deadlines and point it out? You need a confident court reporter.  One who has top skills, can be an asset and not be a drag on proceedings, and always delivers high-quality transcripts.

4.  Emphasizes Attention to Details

When it comes to court reporting, details are critical. For example, information is indexed to make it easy for counsel to reference it, so it’s important that the court reporter pays attention to the minutiae—including and up to spelling words properly.

The reporter needs to ensure they have all the information needed to prepare a transcript.  Many attorneys look to the court reporter to organize and keep control of the exhibits so being meticulous is a skill set you want. Attention to detail is a reflection of the best court reporters.

5.   Pleasant Demeanor

The court reporter must know their business, but be able to gently guide witnesses or deponents and never take sides. Willingness to coordinate the needs of all parties, and ensure that all present are comfortable, and at ease is also important, as it contributes to an environment of unity.   The court reporter is there to protect the record as opposed to advancing theories or opinions.

6.   Timely Turnaround

Verbatim transcripts of legal proceedings such as depositions, meetings, and hearings is an absolute must. A court reporter’s work is sent to all parties and counsel involved.  Errors in any of these areas can be detrimental to someone and can be highly costly. Likewise, delivery of the transcripts promptly is just as important as the work being exact. Delivery before a deadline, instead of arriving at the last possible moment gets high marks and recommendations.

7.    Professional Court Reporting Firm

A court reporter must deeply understand their business and always be prepared and know what’s expected of them. The reporter must know the players, agencies, attorneys, judges, advantages, facilities, and abilities of the parties involved. The court reporter should also dress in a professional manner.  Hence, attire should never get in the way of the job.

In Summary

Those are the top seven areas that should be high on your list of priorities the next time you need to hire a court reporter.  Other areas include availability, fees, well spoken (no speech impediments or problems speaking before a crowd), if you need to hire other vendors to complete the service, and the ease of use in being able to hire the court reporter.

The reporter should also be mobile and able to get around the city during normal business hours.  Likewise, everyone has time when they must take off for personal reasons but trying to squeeze those in between appointments can be a disaster waiting to happen. So it also helps to find a reporter whose personal life doesn’t interfere with their work life.

There are many more areas, but the seven listed above are the ones you shouldn’t do without — ever. If you have questions about this article or would like to learn about court reporting in Phoenix, AZ contact Phoenix Deposition Services at (602) 230-2499 or complete our form today!

The Paralegal’s Guide to Scheduling Depositions

As a paralegal, your job is critical to the success of the law firm or organization that you serve. Indeed, paralegals are tasked with a vast array of legal duties, among them is participating in depositions. While the primary depositional duties are taking notes and observing the plaintiff’s behavior, paralegals may also be asked to schedule depositions. However, due to the amount of detail and the number of steps involved, doing so can be intimidating.

As a paralegal, your job is critical to the success of the law firm or organization that you serve. Indeed, paralegals are tasked with a vast array of legal duties, among them is participating in depositions. While the primary depositional duties are taking notes and observing the plaintiff’s behavior, paralegals may also be asked to schedule depositions. However, due to the amount of detail and the number of steps involved, doing so can be intimidating.

Having worked for many years in the court reporter profession, I wanted to provide a helpful overview for paralegals seeking to schedule their first deposition. If you follow the steps provided below, you should find it to be a manageable process, despite its complexity.

Scheduling a Deposition – How to Document the Scheduling Attorney

If you are looking to schedule a deposition but are not the scheduling attorney, you must be prepared to provide details on the scheduling attorney, including contact information. The typical contact information required is:

  • Name of the scheduling attorney
  • The name of the firm
  • Physical address of the firm
  • Best phone number
  • Fax number
  • Email address

It’s vitally important that you include this information in the deposition request because the court reporting firm needs to be able to reach the attorney in order to share any news or information that they might receive.

The Notice of Deposition and Case Detail Documentation

Upon contacting the court reporting firm to schedule the deposition, typically you’ll be asked for the case caption, which contains pertinent information, such as the name of the witness, docket number and case name. This information is also included in the notice of deposition, so you should keep it handy. If you do not have the notice of deposition prepared at the time of scheduling, it is critical to send it as soon as you have it ready.

There are several options for the method of delivery, however, email tends to be the most preferred, as it offers several unique advantages. First, the court reporters will immediately receive your notice of deposition, and typically they will confirm that they have received your emailed notice. Alternatively, you may choose to schedule your deposition online, through the court reporter’s website. In this case you simply enter the relevant information, and the court reporting firm will contact you to confirm that they have received your notice.

Scheduling the Proceedings

When scheduling the proceedings, you must provide the following information:

  • The name of the deponent
  • The chosen location for the proceedings
  • The time and date that the proceedings will begin
  • Whether there is a requirement to schedule a conference room

Estimated Duration of Proceedings

Most firms will request that you disclose the estimated length of time required for the proceedings. This will help the court reporting firm in scheduling any other depositions, as court reporting firms typically handle many depositions in any given day. If you believe that your deposition may take up the entire day, it is important to notify the court reporting firm, so that they can provide you with a reporter who is available for the number of hours required.

Other Items to Gather

A case description is highly useful to the court reporting firm. If the deposition is going to deal with medical or technical language or other professional jargon, your court reporting firm may choose to send a reporter with more experience in the language spoken by professionals in those fields.

You should consider whether you will need special services from the court reporting firm, such as a videographer, a real-time reporter, streaming video, conference room reservation, an expedited transcription, a speakerphone, online deposition, or an electronic transcript. If any of these services are pertinent to your deposition, make sure you let your court reporting firm know beforehand.

In closing, scheduling a deposition can be an intricate process, especially for new paralegals. Nonetheless, it’s a task that becomes more manageable with time. The key to developing proficiency in depositions is repetition and the sort of foreknowing, that only comes from ‘hands on’ experience.