While some court reporters attend deps simply to make a record of your proceedings, Network court reporters do that and more. If we can somehow make your witness more comfortable, help in keeping track of documents, or anything else that would be of assistance, please let us know. Court reporters are masters of multitasking and understand how just a little help can make a big difference in the success of a deposition. Below are just a few ways that you can help us in return before, during, and after a deposition.
Just like attorneys, court reporters are only able to work with the information presented to us. While many court reporters are masters of Internet sleuthing, we never want to rely too heavily on Google or Facebook. Whenever possible, providing your court reporter with information prior to the dep; such as the witness list from a client’s Answers to Interrogatories or a simple heads-up on a difficult to spell or frequently used name, term, or phrase; will help the deposition process go more smoothly and cut down on time needed after the dep for confirmations.
Modern technology has become somewhat of a catch-22 in the world of court reporting. Advancements in recording mean that lawyers can swiftly collect names, addresses, and phone numbers without having to stop and wait for the reporter to write them down; this allows for more expedient transcribing, as well. On the other hand, technology sometimes fails us at the worst times. Court reporters get just as frustrated as attorneys do when equipment does not work the way it should. A little patience goes a long way when troubleshooting is needed in order to provide a quality product.
Court reporters as professionals are bound by a code of ethics and integrity put in place to ensure fair proceedings. While we are present at a deposition, we are typically focused more on sound quality and confirmations than forming judgments. It therefore puts us in an awkward position when an attorney asks us whether we think a witness is lying or will fare well at trial because we don’t have a full picture, nor opinion, of the case.