You wouldn’t dream of holding a deposition without a certified court reporter, but have you ever wondered what those reporters wish they could tell you? In a deposition, you’re focused on getting testimony that will help you win your client’s case, often with trial in mind as an eventuality. Smart litigators know that the power of a great deposition transcript cannot be underestimated. When your transcript is clear and accurate, you’re able to present the best evidence possible to a judge or jury. To help you get the most from your deposition, we asked some court reporters to tell us a few things they wish attorneys and paralegals knew about their work!
- Provide introductory information
When you take the time to give your court reporter a list of relevant attorney names, proper names, and technical terminology, they’ll be able to add it to their dictionary and make note of it before any errors occur. Preparing before the deposition will result in a faster turnaround and a cleaner overall transcript.
- Leave time for markings
A small change that could make a BIG difference in your deposition boils down to exhibit markings! When court reporters assign exhibit markers, they can’t transcribe at the same time. This means that while you’re revealing “Exhibit B,” your court reporter can’t always follow you immediately into the next sentence. Pausing for a moment after indicating exhibits will help both you and your reporter ensure that you have your bearings.
- Communicate expectations clearly
Not every deposition is the same, which is why it’s important to communicate about any special circumstances or expectations that you may have before you begin. If your case requires a realtime reporter, be sure to request one before beginning your deposition. Realtime reporters require special certification, and not every court reporter can write in real time. If you need a realtime reporter, an immediate rough transcript, or otherwise expedited service, be sure to communicate with your deposition service provider. At First Legal, we’re happy to take care of any of the above requests.
- Take breaks
Quick breaks throughout a long deposition are good for you, not just your court reporter! They’ll not only allow you to rest and stretch, but they’ll be able to bolster your overall endurance. By taking breaks and allowing for periods of refocusing, you’ll ensure the most accurate transcript.
- Not too fast, not too quiet
Beware of talking too quickly or allowing witnesses to mumble. Court reporters never want to interrupt a deposition to ask for clarification or for someone to slow down, so do your best to moderate your witnesses, make sure they speak up and don’t cover their mouth with their hands.
- Minimize arguments
Depending on the topic of your deposition, you should be prepared to run into some heated arguments. That being said, your interest should always be preserving a good record. It may go without saying, but you should try not to talk over anyone or interrupt.
When you utilize all of these tips, you’ll be heading into your deposition as prepared as you can possibly be! For more information about First Legal’s Deposition services, call 800.889.0111.