Trying to give an accurate record of court proceedings can be difficult if those speaking don’t take a few things into account. In order to make it more possible for the court reporter to maximize the accuracy of the record, there are a few simple things a lawyer can do to help when given a deposition.
Clarity Remind witnesses that court reporters need to record every sound they make so it is necessary to answer clearly. In order to make it completely clear what is being said, ask them to use complete words and avoid “sound” answers such as “uh-huh” and filler sounds such as “um”.
Don’t Rush During the deposition, the court reporter needs to capture not only the witnesses’ answers, but also things like marking exhibits. Give them time to do each task before mixing in a second or third one.
Breaks While you may want to work non-stop, keep in mind that others may need a few minutes to visit the restroom or grab a quick bite to eat. Be sure you don’t risk tiring out those who are recording the deposition by keeping them working non-stop.
Quotes When quoting from documents, don’t change any of the words. Changing them makes it difficult for us to record what is and isn’t a quote when the words are changed even a little.
Terminology Many times there are technical words court reporters are not familiar with. If this is the case, please provide a list of pertinent words, so spelling can be done correctly. Having to look up each unfamiliar word adds time to the transcription, making it take longer to get to you. It also makes it frustrating and limits the ability to concentrate on what is being said as our mind ponders the correct word.
Colleen Jilio-Ryan is the Owner of Jilio-Ryan, a Tustin based premiere law consulting firm. The firm along with its certified court reporters is dedicated to providing the highest quality deposition and litigation services to attorneys, insurance companies, and corporations. With her sincere efforts, Colleen is committed to meeting the highest standards of the legal industry, and is an industry leader when it comes to on-time court reporting and deposition scheduling.