Depositions can make or break a case. Creating a winning record is a team effort for the Court Reporter and the Attorney. Below are five tips for lawyers from Select Court Reporters, Inc. in Orlando, Florida to make sure your depositions, hearings, and trials are accurately and efficiently reported.
1. Make sure to give each witness ground rules before beginning each deposition. Court reporters and lawyers generally know the process for taking depositions. Witnesses are often in the dark. Giving each witness ground rules will make your deposition go smoothly and thus quicker, which will save you money.
2. Have witnesses spell out names of people and places. Routinely asking witnesses to spell out the names of people and places will ensure that your court reporter is able to accurately and efficiently transcribe your deposition, hearing or trial. Providing proper spellings during testimony will prevent unnecessary delay in receiving your transcripts.
3. Arrive early and pre-mark exhibits. Asking your court reporter to mark exhibits while transcribing will delay your deposition, interrupt the flow of your examination, and may lead to confusion. Just like court clerks, court reporters appreciate marking exhibits prior to testimony whenever possible.
4. When quoting, reading, or arguing; do so at a moderate pace. It’s easy to forget that a court reporter is typing everything you say, especially in the heat of a highly contested hearing or a heated deposition. Remember that you will rely on the accurate transcription of your court reporter to appeal any ruling or raise any objections made during depositions. Help ensure that your record is accurate by avoiding inadvertent “fast talking”.
5. Speak clearly and don’t let witnesses or opposing counsel talk over you. If you want to be “heard” in a deposition or hearing, it is very important that you are the only one talking, especially when you are making an important point. A court reporter can only record one person at a time, and will have to play “catch up” if two people are talking at once. To ensure accuracy for your client, make sure that you are the only one talking when you need your words on the Record.
Suzie Katz is the President of Select Court Reporters in Orlando, Florida. With over 30 years’ experience, she knows what is necessary for a winning record. Contact Suzie Katz at (407) 977-7725 or book your next deposition, hearing, or trial online at SelectCourtReporters.com.