When an attorney participates in a deposition with a realtime court reporter providing instantaneous translation of the testimony, there are best practices that an attorney can use to create a better record and get the most out of the realtime service.
Following are 7 tips for attorneys coming from a court reporter’s perspective:
- If you need to use your own laptop because you are utilizing Case Notebook, Case Map, or a different case management software, and it is the first time you are working with a particular reporter, it is important to arrange a meeting with the court reporter/court reporting firm so that drivers can be loaded (if necessary) into your laptop and any connectivity issues that might come up can be resolved. It is very difficult for a court reporter to troubleshoot problems onsite minutes before the deposition or hearing is to begin.
- If you don’t have realtime software on your laptop, request the court reporter to bring an extra iPad or device with realtime software installed and ready to go – “plug and play”
- As an alternative to Tip #2, you can install free software into your computer. Go online and download Bridge software.
- Don’t worry if you see steno show up in the transcript or if the reporter writes “tier” instead of “tear.” Court reporters write things out phonetically, and even though realtime court reporters have trained themselves to write for your eyes and write without conflicts (their, there, they’re), when writing on the fly, there may be a proper name that comes up that the reporter doesn’t have in his/her dictionary, and the word won’t translate, or the court reporter may make a misstroke. The court reporter can read the steno. The final transcript will have the correct name/word.
- If you do believe the court reporter misheard a word or number, because something comes up incorrectly on your realtime screen, and the witness was not clear, it would be fine to ask the witness to clarify, “Did you say internet or intranet?” The court reporter will appreciate the clarification.
- After the deposition is over, it is a common practice that the realtime court reporter will send or have sent a “cleaned-up” rough draft to you as a part of the realtime service so you can import the cleaner version into your realtime software and maintain your marks and notes.
- Understand that not all court reporters provide realtime. When you wish to take a deposition and have realtime services provided, you must inform the court reporting agency that you would like a realtime court reporter. Many realtime court reporters have special certifications that indicate a proficiency in realtime court reporting. CRR and CCRR are two of the certifications that a court reporter can attain. Becoming a CRR or CCRR requires a timed speed test with an incredibly high translation rate (perfect writing).
Realtime depositions are essential when streaming the transcript text to remote locations. Using realtime at a deposition also allows attorneys to mark testimony, make notes, see the exact question and answer that might later be used as a clip at trial to be presented to the trier of fact. Realtime is a powerful tool for litigators.
If you have any questions about realtime court reporting, give us a call at 800.939.0080.