October 7, 2014
Professional court reporters need to be careful about what they say to attorneys during a deposition. While seasoned court reporters tend to understand proper responses, new court reporters may need guidance in certain situations. The following tips on what not to say can help court reporters who have been hired to transcribe depositions.
• “I don’t have time to have your transcript ready by Monday because my birthday is this weekend.”
Some attorneys need to expedite a transcript. When it happens you need to deliver because that’s simply the nature of the business. If you are a freelance court reporter you won’t last long if you can’t meet rushed deadlines. Always have backup help ready to step in when something like a birthday comes up.
• “Can you speed up the deposition so that I can meet with someone this afternoon?”
The only time when it’s proper to explain your own commitments that are unrelated to work is when you report them upfront to the office at the time the work is assigned. It may mean handing off the assignment to someone else, but that’s better than accepting the assignment and not being available to complete the transcription.
• “Here’s my opinion on this case.”
You are required as a court reporter to have a neutral position and to not state opinions during the deposition. Even if attorneys ask for your opinion, you should remind them that you have no opinion in the case, especially since you may not have been exposed to both sides of the case.
• “After discussing this case at the office, I have some advice.”
As a court reporter you agree to keep information from a deposition confidential, so it is improper to discuss it with anyone. Giving legal advice is also improper and unprofessional.
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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