February 14, 2019

Key Things Your Court Reporter Wants You to Know

By: Colleen Jilio-Ryan | Posted in: court reporter

court reporter

When it comes to court proceedings or depositions, your court reporters have a crucial role to play. They produce a written record of the proceedings that you may frequently rely on to build your case. By following some simple measures, lawyers and witnesses can not only make the court reporter’s job easier but can also help them create a flawless deposition.

Read on to learn what steps you should take to make sure that your court reporter works efficiently for you.

Tips for Witnesses

A court testimony can be stressful for a witness because it involves public speaking and too many rapid-fire questions. However, besides knowing how to dress for the legal proceedings, a witness should be effective during the deposition. Here’s a list of important tips that court reporters want the deponents (especially those who are new) to follow and ensure a favorable testimony that’s helpful for their case.

  • Listen to the questions attentively to simply answer the question being asked.
  • Reply by stating “I don’t know,” if you are unaware of the answer.
  • Request to rephrase a question that you don’t understand.
  • Don’t interrupt the questioner.
  • Use verbal communication only and avoid nodding your head to answer.
  • Listen to your attorney.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a document review for the questions you can’t recall.
  • Don’t allow the opposition party to force you select answers you are not entirely sure of.
  • Explain your answers when required.
  • Stay calm and collected.
  • Always tell the truth.

Tips for Attorneys

As an attorney, you are undoubtedly aware of the power of an excellent deposition transcript which is more likely to offer the best piece of evidence to a judge or jury. For this reason, you wouldn’t think of holding a deposition without a qualified court reporter. However, are you aware of what those reporters wish to tell you? Here are some suggestions from court reporters that can help lawyers improve their next deposition.

  • Provide Introductory Information

    Share all the relevant information with court reporters such as attorney names, proper names, and technical terminology to get a faster turnaround and a perfect overall transcript.

  • Leave Time for Markings

    Break off for a couple of minutes after demonstrating exhibits to allow some time to your court reporter because they can’t simultaneously transcribe and mark exhibits.

  • Communicate Expectations in Advance

    It’s important to convey any special requirements such as the need for a real-time reporter before you begin. Real-time reporting requires specific certification and skills.

  • Minimize Arguments

    Heated arguments are mostly unavoidable. However, it would be best if you always avoid to talk over anyone or interrupt in an attempt to maintain a clear record.

  • Seat Court Reporters Close to Witnesses

    Seat your witness and the court reporter next to each other to ensure that the court reporter clearly hears the witness’s answers. This will help your court reporter to take down every spoken word as it is said.

  • Declare Verbally for Going On and Off the Record

    It would really help if you verbally announce when you are moving on or off the record to make sure your court reporter is prepared to note down your spoken words. This is essential to get an impeccable record that is vital for you and your client.

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.

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