If there’s one thing we all appreciate, it’s when our day runs smoothly. I can’t tell you how many times I wake up with a thoughtfully planned course of action, only to have my day take a completely different turn. While we aren’t always in control, there are some things we can do to ensure a better outcome. For example, if you need to be somewhere first thing in the morning, set two alarms. If you know you’ll be tempted to snack on office treats at work, bring your own healthy treats from home. It’s the little things that make a big difference. This industry is no different. A smooth deposition is what we all strive for, and as court reporters, we work hard to make that happen. But we can’t do it alone. You can help! Consider the following:
Speak up – The main goal of a great court reporter is to catch every word. So help us out by speaking clearly. Avoid mumbling, putting your hand over your mouth, reading too fast, or anything else that might make it difficult for your court reporter to hear or understand your words.
Wait your turn – No matter how talented or skilled your reporter is, we aren’t superheroes! Reporters simply cannot write two people speaking at once – no way, no how! Therefore, don’t assume that the reporter will make the right call as to which words are the most important to get down when more than one person is speaking simultaneously. Speak one at a time, and your words are sure to be included in the transcript.
Take a break – Although it’s tempting, resist the urge to “power through” lunch. Even if it’s only 15 minutes, your reporter needs time to nourish her body and rest her hands, spine, and brain. Even if you are on an extremely tight schedule, you don’t want a hungry, exhausted reporter in charge of your record.
Remove the guesswork – To maintain accuracy and keep moving, give your court reporter a helping hand. Take time before the deposition begins to instruct your witness to spell names as he or she says them. This will lead to a more accurate transcript with fewer interruptions.
Let us do our job – Your exhibits may be pre-marked, which is perfectly fine. However, more often than not, exhibits are marked as the deposition progresses. In that case, allow your reporter to mark the exhibits. Reporters have little tricks of the trade to help us stay organized while marking exhibits. If you jump in and start marking, the reporter may lose the ability to keep exhibit numbers in the proper order, to ensure there are no duplicate numbers, etc. Remember that marking exhibits is our job, so let us do it.
At Donovan Reporting, we strive to provide our clients with the highest level of service. When we work together, we can do just that.