Selecting a Court Reporter

During a hearing, every word is under scrutiny, and it is crucial that the court reporter keep scrupulous records of each statement and each exchange without the omission of seemingly insignificant asides. When it is necessary to hire a court reporter there are a few things to keep in mind to guarantee the most accurate service. Court reporters work long and hard to provide you with a service. The more you can do to help them do their job more efficiently will help everyone involved. Machine writing is what most people think of when they think of court reporting, pecking out shorthand on stenographic machines.

However, this process has evolved significantly, thanks to new software which translates the shorthand into plain English. The machine writer is an expert in transcribing speech verbatim, and generally renews his or her certification annually. Before the hearing figure out who the assigned court reporter is and check his or her references, paying attention to level of experience. The more information all parties have upfront, the more smoothly the entire process should go. If you need any special materials, let the court reporter know, even if it’s just the ASCII file, you’ll do better to be upfront about all your expectations.

However, if you need more specialized coverage, like real time transcription, let the firm know well in advance, as the court reporter is unlikely to have the necessary equipment otherwise. Captioning uses translation software in tandem with the stenographic machinery to deliver the details of the hearing in real time to the hearing disabled. Double check his or her rates, and make sure you aren’t surprised by any hidden fees. More than likely the reporting firm will have a fully detailed price list, but if you have special requests, just ask the charge. Some of the charges you might expect include mileage and drive time fees, appearance and material fees, and charges for any hardware like video and ASCII discs.

You may also be charged for the use of conferencing rooms, teleconference equipment, or unusually complicated transcripts. It is therefore wise to let the reporter know ahead of time about how long you expect the hearing or deposition will probably be. This courtesy will allow the firm to schedule other items around your hearing, and as thanks, the court reporter may waive extraneous fees.

However, the strictest ethical codes should be adhered to, so keep your interactions with the court reporter professional, lest any breach of ethics influence the hearing. If you expect the deposition to be laced with jargon or material that may be unfamiliar to the court reporter, you might want to supply a “cheat sheet” defining those terms, and if it is a trial, a guide to correctly spelling the names and locations that will be examined will also be helpful in recording the trial, and when reading through the transcripts.

Every detail must be accurately recorded or legal complications might arise should it be necessary to review the case in the future.

Check out Central Virginia\’s leading court reporter and provider of ancillary support services to law firms.

Check out Central Virginia\’s leading court reporter and provider of ancillary support services to law firms.

Author Bio: Check out Central Virginia\’s leading court reporter and provider of ancillary support services to law firms.

Category: Advice
Keywords: Court, Law, Tips, Staff

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