Professional court reporting may be a demanding and complex field. A reporter’s responsibilities extend beyond only recording what is said in court; they also include being familiar with and comfortable using a wide range of technical equipment. In addition, he or she must establish rapport with the lawyers and witnesses in order to deliver high-quality service and precise transcribing.
There are always new methods and ideas to learn that can help you become more productive no matter where you are in your career or how long you have been working in the same field. These first eight examples should serve as a good jumping off point.
Don’t just show there on time; be prompt. And Please Do So In Advance
Timely arrival, as measured by the clock, is often equivalent to tardiness in many contexts. Arriving late not only increases the stress of the attorneys waiting for you, but it also forces you to set up in a hurry and gives you little time to prepare for or respond to difficulties that may arise. You need to come there at least half an hour early to settle in at your desk, chat with the attorneys, and learn the layout of the place. Choosing the court reporters bend is essential here.
Play the Part of the Translators
It is likely that an interpreter will be needed if the people involved do not share a common first language or if one of the parties uses sign language. It is the role of the court reporter to swear in the interpreter with the proper terminology and to clearly indicate when a witness is testifying and when an interpreter is speaking. Do your best to be ready for this possibility.
Details With Respect to the Spelling
Never assume that a witness’s first and last names are spelled correctly in the record without first checking with them. This is especially important when dealing with common names. When opportunities to check spelling during testimony are few, such as during breaks, or after the deposition, they should be taken advantage of. After the deposition is complete, you will have time to accomplish this.
Working Together with Lawyers
It’s crucial to build rapport with the attorneys you interact with directly and provide them support that’s adapted to their needs. It’s not unusual for people to ask for transcripts to be sent quickly or for them to be kept secret. Please elaborate on what you mean by these requests. Similarly, secrecy is a sensitive issue that requires careful handling. You’ll need to be sure the whole transcript will be labelled in this fashion, and if it will, you’ll need to nail down the exact sentence that goes on the cover. Some legal counsel may want page headers emphasising the need for confidentiality. Again, this information must be double-checked in advance to avoid disgruntled customers.
Taking Statements at Face Value
Not all witnesses feel comfortable taking an oath. For all intents and purposes, affirming one’s testimony is the same as swearing under oath, although some people’s religious beliefs may prevent them from doing so. You may make an oath-like statement by affirming your testimony. Get yourself ready for everything that could happen.