Experts say there are 7 crucial qualities that a Court Reporter and Service MUST have to be the best court reporter for your case. Check the list and see if your court reporting service fits the bill.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some other considerations include availability, fees, ability to travel, location, reputation and other services.
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October 18, 2021