One of the reporters I work with, a 12-year veteran, told me to help alleviate her fears for the first two years of being a court reporter, she would go to the attorneys’ directory and look up the attorney she would be working with at a deposition and study the photograph. That way when the attorney walked in the room, she knew it was the client and was ready to shake her/his hand and introduce herself.
I have a similar practice, looking attorneys up on their websites and getting to know who they are. Advice: Don’t let people know you read their bio or looked at their photo before you meet them. It seems to make people uncomfortable. At a deposition I thought I would make friends with an attorney and told her, “Oh, I read you went to Yale and were a UCLA undergraduate and you enjoy horseback riding.” She accused me of being a stalker and was kind of mean to me the rest of the deposition.
I suggest court reporters go on the internet and Google expert witnesses and doctors when assigned to upcoming depositions. You can start putting together terms of art for the industry that witness is in, briefs, and get a feel for what you are going to be hearing when you are on the record.
I have been reporting for almost 30 years, and I still get nervous before certain depositions. Sometimes you know you are going to be walking into a battle with complex, technical terminology. The more information you have about what to expect, the easier your day will be – plus the attorneys will perceive you as being an expert court reporter ready for action with a good understanding of the subject matter.
Being a court reporter means you have to be ready to write about all industries, different sciences, and every subject matter known to man. Use the internet to know the participants and what people are going to be talking about. You will be GREATER THAN EVER!