In many county courthouses throughout California, Friday is law and motion day. Every hour a new calendar is called by the judge with approximately 10 matters. Attorneys will hire a court reporter to report their hearing if they feel it is important to have a record of the proceedings for a later date. Many attorneys have more than one matter to cover on any given Friday and will rush in, argue their motion, and then immediately leave. In these situations, it is tough for the court reporter to get the appearances. Even though the judge will have counsel state their appearances for the record, later it is incumbent upon the court reporter to track down the address, phone number, and email address of each attorney. Using the California Bar Attorney Search is helpful, but sometimes attorneys say their names incredibly fast, mumble, or have a common name that is shared by many other attorneys in California.
As a court reporter who has reported hundreds of hearings, I thought it might be helpful to suggest best practices to ensure an accurate and quick transcript.
- Find time to hand the court reporter your card with information written on it including who you are representing.
- When you state your appearance, speak slowly and clearly.
- If you cite a case or points and authorities, be ready to email the documents to the court reporter.
- When reading a cite, read slowly and enunciate each word. Don’t feel as if you need to rush and skip over the small words.
- If you are appearing via CourtCall, state your name and law firm clearly, and spell your last name.
- Let the reporter know if you will need a transcript of the hearing. The court reporter will not assume you automatically want the transcript. Many attorneys don’t want the transcript until and unless there is an appeal.
- If you know you will want a transcript before the hearing, have whomever is calling the court reporting agency to let the reporter know beforehand a transcript is being requested to be immediately written up. The agency will not send a court reporter who has a backlog and might not be able to quickly get the transcript out.
Court reporters want to do a good job for you. The more information they have, the more efficient they can be in getting out a transcript.
Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)