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Scanning Court Reporters

Court Reporters and Scanners – Win, Win, Win!

Recently the wonderful Mike Miller, Depoman, posted on Facebook – “Asbestos depo, 5 people in the room, 10+ on the phone.  Expert produces 50 pages of handwritten notes.  Phone people object to not having the notes.  I scanned them, sent them on, and the deposition went forward.”

Many of the great court reporters bring small scanners to depositions or use their smart phones.  I asked a couple of my brilliant court reporting friends what they use and asked if I could share their advice to court reporters everywhere.

Marjorie Peters suggested reporters use the CamScanner app.  You can use your mobile phone to take a picture of whatever needs to be scanned.  It allows for auto edge cropping if you are so inclined to clean up the background.  The CamScanner generates a high-resolution JPEG or PDF file.  CamScanner OCRs text files and then allows you to email the image.  (You can use it also for scanning attorneys’ business cards, notices…”

Mike Miller advises that the Fujitsu ScanSnap ix1500 is the best solution.  He and his brilliant wife, Susan Perry Miller, will set it up unobtrusively across the room and scan exhibits at breaks, which is particularly helpful on rush jobs.  Looking at the Fujitsu web page, some of the benefits are that it is wireless, uses a touch screen, has speedy 30 ppm color scanning, and you can scan 50 sheets in the Automatic Document Feeder.    Mike also likes the ScanSnap s1300.  It will only scan about 20 pages at a time, but it is much more portable than the ix500.

Court reporters are carrying a lot of equipment to the job, and a scanner might seem excessive, but when we are in an intense, high-stake deposition, and can pull off a quick scan, particularly if there are attorneys who are attending remotely, you will become even more invaluable.

Another scenario I can picture is if you have a scopist working remotely on the job while you’re writing, and you can send exhibits that attorneys are reading from, it is a win-win-win.

rosalie@kramm.com

Court Reporters and Golfers practice for perfection.

COURT REPORTERS – How to Write SUPER FAST with Stress

I was reading a fantastic article in the Wall Street Journal about Francesco Molinari’s win at the British Open Golf Championship, “The Uncomfortable Practice Habits of a Champion,” and immediately thought about court reporters and particularly court reporting students.

The article, by Brian Costa, talks about how in past years Molinari would practice hitting balls on the driving range, hitting perfect shots, was always considered a top golfer, but never made the cut. Molinari was frustrated and decided to hire Dave Alred, a soccer/rugby sports psychologist. Alred wrote the book, “The Pressure Principle.” He advises athletes (court reporters) “you need to add stress to sometimes otherwise mindless practice shots” (speed tapes).

Golfers in many ways are like court reporters. They practice at their own speed, improve at their own pace, and don’t require teammates to make them successful. Becoming a great golfer takes hundreds of hours of practice and a special talent that only certain people are born with. Court reporters learn their theory and then spend hundreds of hours practicing for speed and accuracy, many hours alone only motivated by their strong desire to be great (or pass a speed test).

When Alred was hired by Molinari, Alred asked, “Do you want to be comfortable, or do you want to be ready?” As a court reporter, I know that I can write clean and fast when everyone is speaking clearly with a consistent cadence. But when it is time to pass the CSR, CRR, RMR… even though the speakers are speaking clearly and with a consistent cadence, nerves set in, and the writing becomes a challenge.

Costa writes, “Molinari went on to win the British Open with a stellar short game and almost robotically steady play on a volatile leaderboard. But his ascent to become the first Italian to win a major championship is rooted partly in a change he made only to the past two years. It wasn’t in the way he swung. It was the way he practiced.”

Costa goes on, “At their first session together, at the Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles, was a preview of how things were about to change. Alred had Molinari practice a tricky flop shot on a downhill lie and asked him to keep hitting it until he had stopped five balls within 3 feet of the hole. It took him 48 tries.”   Alred made Molinari practice at a high frustration level

Another sports psychologist, Cordie Walker says, “We want to have learning environments that foster skills that are retained on the golf course.” (Speed test.) “Desirable difficulty,” a term coined by cognitive psychologist Robert Bjork argues that introducing a certain degree of challenge to the learning process boosts long-term retention.

The bottom line is the experts believe that practicing just for the sake of practice is not good enough. Practice needs to be intense and even uncomfortable. I am thinking it would be good to practice at quick bursts of speeds beyond my capability, slowing down to write sustained complex material, and then have another speed burst. That would be very tiring for my brain, but perhaps a beneficial exercise for increasing speed and accuracy.

I found the article about Molinari to be inspiring. I want to be better. Pushing out of our comfort zone will make us better than ever!

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

 

Setting Goals and Winning

7 Tips for Achieving Your Goals – Attorneys, Paralegals, Court Reporters

I have found reading different experts’ opinions on how to achieve goals to be extremely helpful in not only my writing steno as a court reporter, but in running my business.  The San Diego Union Tribune published one of the best articles I have ever read under their “SUCCESS” column, “Getting to the Goal,” by Marcel Schwantes.

Schwantes cites research performed at the University of Scranton which found that 92 percent of people who set New Year’s goals never achieve them.  Not achieving goals that you mindfully made and set out to achieve, only to fail, is disheartening.  The question is, what do the 8 percent of people who do achieve their goals do differently?

Schwantes’ 7 Tips:

1. Begin with the end in mind.  Write out your goal and then create a roadmap on how to achieve the goal including the sub-goals you need to achieve and the resources that will get you there.

2. Build a support system around you.  Build a network of experts who care about your success in reaching your goals, including friends and colleagues.  Super successful people surround themselves with mentors, coaches, and other successful people in different industries that are like-minded and have a similar desire for greatness.

3. Set specific and challenging goals.  Researchers Edwin Locke and Gary Latham found that when people set specific and challenging goals, it led to higher performance.  For example, if you want to lose 25 pounds by the end of the year, maybe in September you will go on a sugar-free diet for 10 days and in October train to run a 10-K in November.  With clarity, you have a better chance of success.

4. Recognize when you are procrastinating.  Schwantes suggests:  A) Have clearly prioritized to-do lists, schedules, and time frames.  B) Work back from your deadlines to know how long you need and when to get started so you don’t finish late.  C) Focus on one task at a time.

5. Practice the 52 and 17 Rule.  Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness, co-authors of “Peak Performers,” found that adopting the rule of 52 minutes of work and 17 minutes of rest creates an environment for peak performance.

6. Listen to music for focus.  I love this one, and I believe it is absolutely true.  Schwantes suggests the key is to experiment first and find suitable music that helps you focus.  Coffitivity is an app that provides background noise that emulates the ambient sounds of a café.  I think we all have found music to be a great way to keep our energy up.

7. Don’t multitask.  Schwantes says, “The most successful people are patient and avoid juggling many things.”  Research has shown that multitasking can be DAMAGING to your brain.

My goal is to choose one of the goals that I truly want to achieve and mindfully apply these seven steps.  I am excited to start, because I believe I will WIN at the end, and I wish for all of my friends and colleagues to WIN as well.  Let’s go for it!

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

Deposition by Written Question

Federal Rule 30 – Deposition by Written Questions – Best Practices

Upon occasion attorneys will provide the deposition officer (court reporter) a set of written questions that a deponent is to answer pursuant to Federal Rule 30.  Court reporters around the country have contacted me asking for advice when written questions come in as far as the logistics and format, so I have come up with the following best practices for attorneys and court reporters so the examination can go smoothly.

The rule reads:  (3) Participating Through Written Questions. Instead of participating in the oral examination, a party may serve written questions in a sealed envelope on the party noticing the deposition, who must deliver them to the officer. The officer must ask the deponent those questions and record the answers verbatim.

Best Practices for Attorneys:

1. Number questions starting with No. 1.  It will make it easier for the court reporter to provide a transcript that you can easily discern which answer corresponds to which question.

2. Alternatively, include the written questions on a flash drive in the sealed envelope.  The court reporter could then easily copy/paste your question before the answer if you prefer to see the question and answer together in the final transcript.

Best Practices/Procedure for the Court Reporter:

1. Swear in the witness
2. Read the whole of the question to the witness
3. Upon completion of reading the question, report the witness’ answer verbatim.
4. Attach a certificate to the end of the transcript including the fact the witness was duly sworn, each question was read to the witness and that the witness’ answers were taken down verbatim, along with the language used in your standard Federal Rules certificate.

ADVICE:  Before the questions are read, inform the deponent that you will not be commenting in any way, shape, or form on the questions.  Many times witnesses will ask how they are supposed to answer or ask to have something clarified.  DO NOT COMMENT ON THE QUESTIONS.  Let the witness know that you are only to write down their answers verbatim.

If you found this article helpful, you might want to read the article, Federal Rule 30(e) – Deposition Read/Sign.

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

Certified Shorthand Reporters' ethical obligations in California

Court Reporters’ Legal Obligations – California Code of Regulation

Below is the language that court reporters are to adhere to in California. I have summarized Items 1 through 8 to simplify the regulation for court reporters and attorneys.

Summary:

  1. Court reporters are to make truthful and accurate public statements when advertising professional qualifications and competence and/or services rendered to the public.
  2. Maintain confidentiality of information.
  3. Perform professional services competently. If you determine you are not competent, notify the parties present or the presiding official (judge). The court reporter may continue if all parties present stipulate or upon an order of the presiding official.
  4. Comply with legal and/or agreed-to delivery dates and/or provide prompt notification of any delays.
  5. Promptly notify, when reasonably able to do so, all known parties in attendance at a deposition or civil court proceeding of any request for the preparation of all or any part of a transcript and/or rough draft. (No such notification is necessary if it comes from the Court.)
  6. Act without bias or prejudice against any party or their attorney
  7. Do not enter into a relationship that compromises the impartiality of the CSR, including if compensation is based on the outcome of a proceeding.
  8. Do not give or receive any gift in the aggregate that is more than $100 in a calendar year.

 

FAQs:

Q.  Do I have to put my CSR number on all of my emails after my name and on invoices to the agencies I work for?

A.  In reading No. 1, yes, you proudly will put your CSR number on all professional correspondence after your name.

Q. Do I have to tell the attorneys if the judge asks me to provide a transcript or rough draft?

A.  In reading No. 5, “No such notification is necessary if the request comes from the Court.”

Q.  When I am in court and report a civil trial or hearing, and an attorney asks me to get them a transcript or rough draft, but not to tell opposing counsel, can I do that?

A.  Once again in reading No. 5, the court reporter is to advise all parties if a transcript or rough draft is ordered when reasonably able to do so.

Q.  I cannot keep up with the witness and the attorney has a thick accent. I don’t think I can produce a record. What do I do?

A. According to No. 3, notify everyone. If they stipulate to allow you to continue (writing to the best of your ability) you may continue. (Good luck.)

Q. Is it true that we are not supposed to give a gift that is more than $100 per year to an attorney, legal secretary or paralegal that we do business with?

A.  No. 8 goes into detail about gift-giving, which is a chronic problem in our industry.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

CA Code of Regulation, Title 16, Division 24, Article 8, section 2475:

 

(a) Consistent with any action that may be taken by the Board pursuant to Sections 8025 and 8025.1 of the Code, the Board may cite a business that renders professional services, namely shorthand reporting services, within the meaning of Corporations Code Section 13401 or cite or discipline any certificate holder, including suspending, revoking, or denying the certification of a certified shorthand reporter, for violation of professional standards of practice.

(b) Every person under the jurisdiction of the Board who holds a license or certificate, or temporary license or certificate, or business that renders professional services, namely shorthand reporting services, within the meaning of Corporations Code Section 13401, shall comply with the following professional standards of practice:

(1) Make truthful and accurate public statements when advertising professional qualifications and competence and/or services offered to the public.

(2) Maintain confidentiality of information which is confidential as a result of rule, regulation, statute, court order, or deposition proceedings.

(3) Perform professional services within the scope of one’s competence, including promptly notifying the parties present or the presiding officer upon determining that one is not competent to continue an assignment. A licensee may continue to report proceedings after such notification upon stipulation on the record of all parties present or upon order of the presiding officer.

(4) Comply with legal and/or agreed-to delivery dates and/or provide prompt notification of delays.

(5) In addition to the requirements of Section 2025.220(a)(5) of the Code of Civil Procedure, promptly notify, when reasonably able to do so, all known parties in attendance at a deposition or civil court proceeding and/or their attorneys of a request for preparation of all or any part of a transcript, including a rough draft, in electronic or paper form. No such notification is necessary when the request is from the court.

(6) Act without bias toward, or prejudice against, any parties and/or their attorneys.

(7) Not enter into, arrange, or participate in a relationship that compromises the impartiality of the certified shorthand reporter, including, but not limited to, a relationship in which compensation for reporting services is based upon the outcome of the proceeding.

(8) Other than the receipt of compensation for reporting services, neither directly or indirectly give nor receive any gift, incentive, reward, or anything of value to or from any person or entity associated with a proceeding being reported. Such persons or entities shall include, but are not limited to, attorneys or an attorney’s family members, employees of attorneys or an employee’s family members, law firms as single entities, clients, witnesses, insurers, underwriters, or any agents or representatives thereof. Exceptions to the foregoing restriction shall be as follows: (A) giving or receiving items that do not exceed $100 (in the aggregate for any combination of items given and/or received) per calendar year to or from an attorney or an attorney’s family members, an employee of an attorney or an employee’s family members, a law firm as a single entity, a client, a witness, an insurer, an underwriter, or any agent or representative thereof; or (B) providing services without charge for which the certified shorthand reporter reasonably expects to be reimbursed from the Transcript Reimbursement Fund, Sections 8030 et seq. of the Code, or otherwise for an “indigent person” as defined in Section 8030.4(f) of the Code.

Kramm Court Reporters & Legal Video has the court reporters and videographers that are familiar with the rules and are happy to answer any questions you might have about your next deposition.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

 

 

Important Documents

How Long Do We Have to Save Important Documents?

I was reading a great article put out by Consumer Reports on how long and why certain documents need to be kept and thought it would be beneficial to court reporters, attorneys, all legal professionals.  It is suggested that you categorize your documents in four ways:  Papers you need to keep for a calendar year or less; papers you can destroy when you no longer own the item; tax records; papers you need indefinitely.

Category 1 – Papers to Keep for the current calendar year (or less):

1.  ATM, credit card, and bank deposit receipts – reconcile with monthly statement and then shred
2.  Keep insurance policies and investment statements until new ones arrive

Category 2 – Papers to keep for a year or more:

1.  Keep loan documents until the loan is paid off
2.  Hold onto vehicle titles until the vehicle is sold
3.  For stocks/bonds, keep investment purchase confirmation until you sell the investment unless that info appears on your statement (in order to establish your cost basis and holding period).
4.  Receipts for home improvement (help offset capital gain taxes when the property is sold)

Category 3 – Taxes:

1.  Keep records seven years.  (If you fail to report more than 25 percent of your gross income on your taxes, the IRS has six years to collect from you.)

Category 4 – Papers to keep indefinitely

1.  Military discharge papers
2.  Birth certificate
3.  Estate planning documents
4.  Life insurance policies
5.  Social security card
6.  Marriage certificate
7.  Inventory of your bank deposit box

Michelle Crouch, Personal Financial Writer states, “The IRS considers electronic documents as good as paper. Just make sure you encrypt the files and store backup copies on a USB flash drive, a CD, a DVD, a portable hard drive or with a web-based storage service.

Tanza Loudenback, Business Insider writes, “Anything with an original signature or a raised seal needs to be kept in its original condition:

  • Birth certificates
  • Citizenship papers
  • Custody agreement
  • Deeds and titles
  • Divorce certificate
  • Loan/mortgage paperwork
  • Major debt repayment records
  • Marriage license
  • Military records
  • Passport
  • Powers of attorney
  • Stock certificates
  • Wills and living wills

One of my personal goals for 2018 is being more organized than ever, and knowing what documents I need to physically keep, what I am allowed to save in an electronic format , and what I can throw away eases my mind so that I don’t worry about not doing the right thing in saving important papers.

 

Deposition by Written Question

CFR United States Department of Labor OSHA Deposition Guidelines

Reading through the Code of Federal Regulations, OSHA guidelines regarding depositions, there are many differences from Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30 when it comes to the court reporter and videographer. The provisions are set out as follows:

2200.56(a) General. Deposition of parties, intervenors, or witnesses shall be allowed only by agreement of all parties, or on order of the Commission or Judge following the filing of a motion of a party stating good and just reasons.  All depositions shall be before an officer authorized to administer oaths and affirmations at the place of examination.  The deposition shall be taken in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, particularly Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30.

2200.56(b) When to file. A motion to take a deposition may be filed after the filing of the first responsive pleading or motion that delays the filing of an answer, such as a motion to strike.

2200.56(c) Notice of taking. Any depositions allowed by the Commission or Judge may be taken 10 days written notice to the other party or parties.  The 10-day notice requirement may be waived by the parties.

2200.56(d) Expenses. Expenses for a court reporter and the preparing and serving of depositions shall be borne by the party at whose instance the deposition is taken.

2200.56(e) Use of depositions. Depositions taken under this rule may be used for discovery, to contradict or impeach the testimony of a deponent as a witness, or for any other purpose permitted by the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, particularly Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 32.

2200.56(f) Excerpts from depositions to be offered at hearing. Except when used for purposes of impeachment, at least 5 working days prior to the hearing, the parties or counsel shall furnish to the Judge and all opposing counsel the excerpts from depositions (by page and line number) which they expect to introduce at the hearing.  Four working days thereafter, the adverse party or counsel for the adverse party shall furnish to the Judge and all opposing parties or counsel additional excerpts from the depositions (by page and line number) which they expect to be read pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 32(a)(4), as well as any objections (by page and line number) to opposing party’s or counsel’s depositions.  With reasonable notice to the Judge and all parties or counsel, other excerpts may be read.

2200.56(g)(1) Telephone depositions may be conducted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(4)

2200.56(g)(2) If a party objects to a telephone deposition, he shall make known his objections at least 5 days prior to the taking of the deposition. If the objection is not resolved by the parties or the Judge before the scheduled deposition date, the deposition shall be stayed pending resolution of the dispute.

2200.56(h) Video depositions. By indicating in its notice of a deposition that it wishes to record the deposition by videotape (and identifying the proposed videotape operator), a party shall be deemed to have moved for such an order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(3).  Unless an objection is filed and served within 10 days after such notice is received, the Judge shall be deemed to have granted the motion pursuant to the following terms and conditions:

Stenographic recording. The videotaped deposition shall be simultaneously recorded stenographically by a qualified court reporter.  The court reporter shall administer the oath or affirmation to the deponents on camera.  The written transcript by the court reporter shall constitute the official record of the deposition for purposes of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(e)(submission to witness).

2200.56(h)(2) Cost.  The noticing party shall bear the expense of both the videotaping and the stenographic recording.  Any party may at its own expense obtain a copy of the videotape and the stenographic transcript.

2200.56(h)(3) Video operator. The operator(s) of the videotape recording equipment shall be subject to the provisions of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 28(c). At the commencement of the deposition the operator(s) shall swear or affirm to record the proceedings fairly and accurately.

2200.56(h)(4) Attendance. Each witness, attorney, and other person attending the deposition shall be identified on camera at the commencement of the deposition.  Thereafter, only the deponent (and demonstrative materials used during the deposition) will be videotaped.  Identification on camera of each witness, attorney, and other person attending the deposition may be waived by the attorney for the parties.

2200.56(h)(5) Standards. The deposition shall be conducted in a manner to replicate, to the extent feasible, the presentation of evidence at a hearing.  Unless physically incapacitated, the deponent shall be seated at a table or in a witness box except when reviewing or presenting demonstrative materials for which a change in position is needed.  To the extent practicable, the deposition shall be conducted in a neutral setting, against a solid background, with only such lighting as is required for accurate video recording.  Lighting, camera angle, lens setting, and field of view will be changed only as necessary to record accurately the natural body movements of the deponent or to portray exhibits and materials used during the deposition.  Sound levels will be altered only as necessary to record satisfactorily the voices of counsel and the deponent. Eating and smoking by deponents or counsel during the deposition will not be permitted.

2200.56(h)(6) Interruptions. Videotape recording will be suspended during all “off the record” discussions.

A couple of the more interesting provisions require the videographer to be sworn in to video fairly and accurately, and no eating or smoking is permissible at the deposition.

Kramm Court Reporters & Legal Video has the court reporters and videographers that are familiar with the rules and are happy to answer any questions you might have about your next deposition.  Here is a link to more information about Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 30(e) regarding reading/signing depositions.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

Arbitration conference room - Kramm Court Reporting

11 TASKS THAT PARALEGALS CAN DELEGATE TO COURT REPORTING FIRM

Paralegals oftentimes are the engine that keeps a law firm running.  They are incredibly efficient with time, resources, and know how to delegate
important tasks that need to be done correctly in an expedited manner.  Kramm Court Reporting looks for opportunities to support our paralegal clients.

Below are 11 of the most common tasks that paralegals can rely on a court reporting firm to complete:

1. Find and reserve a conference room anywhere worldwide

2. Set up interpreters

3. Recommend process servers in the area to process deposition subpoenas

4. Provide a common calendar for parties including location, witness name, time, noticing party

5. Organize exhibits and pre-assign exhibit numbers for cases with multi-track depositions

6. Arrange for videographers and the syncing of transcripts

7. Provide suggested language for notices to include video and real-time transcription

8. Archive errata sheets of witnesses’ changes and signature

9. Set up mobile videoconference (MVC) depositions/trial testimony worldwide

10. Set up teleconference depositions with access numbers supplied to all parties

11. Coordinate standing orders of rough drafts, real-time with iPads, synced transcripts, et cetera

It is a pleasure to support our clients and help paralegals coordinate deposition services.  If you would like to learn more about setting up
a mobile videoconference or best practices for teleconference depositions, please read our articles found below or contact me, Rosalie@kramm.com.

Tricks and Tips for Telephonic Depositions

Five Tips for Successful International Mobile Videoconference Depositions

How Paralegals and Legal Secretaries Can Benefit From Having Exhibits in the Cloud

Tips for Videoconferencing Depositions and Trial Testimony

Sample Notice Language for Video and Real-Time Depositions

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

Deposition Arbitration Room

ATTORNEYS – 8 ADMONITIONS FOR DEPOSITIONS

As a court reporter, I have sat through thousands of depositions and heard thousands of variances on the admonitions attorneys give the witness at the beginning of a deposition.  Many attorneys have a checklist that they use so as to not forget any particular admonition.  These eight admonitions are the most common:
1. All testimony is under oath just as if the witness were testifying in a court of law.  Penalty of perjury laws apply.

2. Answers need to be audible, no shakes of the head, shoulder shrugs.  “Uh-huh” and “huh-huh” are difficult to interpret in a written form.

3. Witnesses may estimate, should not guess.  (Example:  How much change is in my pocket? = Guess.  How much change is in your pocket? = Estimate)

4. Everything that is said is being taken down by the court reporter verbatim, unless everyone agrees to go off the record.

5. You will have an opportunity to read/sign the deposition transcript and make corrections you believe are necessary.

6. Allow question and any objections to be stated before you speak.  The court reporter cannot take down more than one person speaking at the same time.  Otherwise, the record will be jumbled, and the questions and answers will be disjointed.   Pause before answering so counsel have a chance to object to a question.

7. Objections are for the record.  Unless your counsel instructs you not to answer, you are to answer.  The judge will later decide what questions and answers will be allowed in future proceedings.

8. Breaks are allowed.

________________________________________________________________________________

Admonitions that might bring objections or waive Federal Code provision:

1. You must answer a question that is pending before being allowed to take a break.

2. You will have a chance later to read/sign transcript; but if changes are made, and they are substantive, that can reflect poorly at trial on your being truthful while at the deposition.  (Court reporters are taught that if this admonition is given in a deposition that falls within the Federal Rules, Rule 30 comes into play, and the witness will have the right to read/sign.)

In another related article, we discuss Witnesses Unintentionally Waive Right to Read/Sign Under Federal Rules.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

 

Deposition Arbitration Room

TIPS FOR TELEPHONIC DEPOSITIONS FOR ATTORNEYS & COURT REPORTERS

Everyone is looking for opportunities to save costs these days in litigation. Many attorneys are choosing to take depositions telephonically so as to not incur travel costs and to save travel time.  Here are some ideas on how to make the telephonic deposition go smoothly.

  1. Have the court reporter with the witness. The reporter is able to swear in the witness and hear every word. As everyone knows, with teleconferences, if two people speak at the same time or there is any type of line interference, it is hard to hear or understand. Having the reporter with the witness ensures a better record.
  2. Advice to court reporters (especially if there are multiple people on the line): Rather than writing down each person’s information, including address and phone number(s), just get the attorney’s full name and website. It is much easier to look up the attorneys and create your appearance page(s) from a website than from scribbling down information over a phone.
  3. Court reporters, speak up if you are not understanding something, can’t hear, or don’t know who is speaking. Before the deposition starts, make a statement, for example, “Please identify yourself before you speak. There are multiple voices, and it is difficult to differentiate between them.” If someone starts speaking, and you are not sure who it is, you may interrupt with, “Excuse me. Who is speaking?” After a while, people will get the hang of it.
  4. Attorneys, if your court reporter interrupts, as discussed above, please be patient and understanding. They are not, in any way, trying to disrupt you. They are only trying to do produce the best record they can of the deposition.
  5. Court reporters, if possible, get a service list before the deposition begins and start inputting your appearance page or get a copy and check off names. You will need to know who the different participants represent. Once again, it is often difficult to get that kind of information with spellings over the phone.
  6. Court reporters, if the firm you are working with agrees and/or if you don’t mind giving out your personal email, give the participants your email address and ask the participants to email you who they represent.
  7. Be confident, court reporter. Nobody enjoys doing a telephonic deposition (or at least most people don’t). If you are polite, organized, and ready for action, your day may turn out to be one of the best ever!

In another related article, we discuss What Attorneys Need to Know When Using a Realtime Court Reporter.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)