Rules of Etiquette When Working with Court Reporters

Working with Court Reporters

Court reporters are a valuable part of the legal process. Often the quietest person in the room, they are perhaps the most important as they record testimony, take depositions, and make sure the record accurately reflects proceedings. It could be the difference in the outcome of the case. Sadly, they are often the most overlooked. When working with court reporters, there are some unofficial rules to follow so that you both have a good experience.

  1. Selection. At Constance Lee and Company, we are dedicated to selecting the best and most talented reporters for your courtroom and business needs whether that’s a long-term or last minute proceeding. Give us a clear description of what you need and we’re able to match the best reporter to fit your needs.
  2. Location. Location. This isn’t just for real estate. In order for your court reporter to do their best work, they need to be seated close to the witnesses. Whether it’s in court or an office for a deposition, they need to hear what everyone is saying, one word and one person at a time, no matter how big or small the room is.
  3. On or off the record. Be sure to clearly announce if what you’re about to say is on or off the record so the reporter can record accordingly. Otherwise you could be risking the outcome of the case for your client.
  4. Moderation. Court reporters aren’t human recorders so they need you and your witnesses to speak at a moderate pace and volume. Instruct witnesses and remember the same for yourself so your reporter can capture every word.
  5. Terminology. There will be cases when even an experienced reporter needs terminology provided that is specific to an industry. Rather than wasting time at a deposition or in court, provide them a list of names, phrases and terminology ahead of time. They can use as reference later when transcribing testimony.
  6. Silence. Remember a reporter’s specialty is a focused work environment so do what you can to make that happen. If you’ve asked them to mark evidence, it’s important for you and others relevant to the case to remain silent while the reporter works. They could miss otherwise important information if they’re trying to multi-task.

A court reporter’s job is important to your client’s case so providing them the best environment in which to work is critical to their performance. Using these tips, we hope your experience working with court reporters is a success!

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