By: Karen White, Client Services Manager
Litigation teams are often under intense pressure to develop the optimal case strategy, comply with key filing deadlines and confer regularly with their clients every step of the discovery process. With all of these crucial responsibilities to manage, it’s understandable that lawyers and paralegals would be tempted to view court reporting services for their case depositions as a routine task that just involves making a call and scheduling a reporter. To ensure quality, it’s not that simple.
Just as litigators need to invest time in case preparation to do their best work for a client, court reporters can deliver a higher quality service and more positive experience to you if they are able to invest time in advance preparing for the deposition.
Here are some examples of how advance preparation of court reporters can improve your service experience:
- Cleaner transcripts
A court reporter can provide a more useful transcript to you if they are able to update the dictionary in their transcription software in advance. You should expect your court reporting firm to send the assigned reporter an electronic file containing prior depositions and pleadings in advance of the deposition. This is especially important in realtime depositions.
- Address special requirements
Court reporting firms can make sure that special deposition needs are met when they are given time to prepare. For example, do you need a videographer for the deposition? Will an interpreter be necessary? Will you be deposing an expert witness in a highly technical field or perhaps a witness with a significant language accent? These are special requirements that can be addressed with advance preparation.
- Deposition schedule
The litigation process can be extremely unpredictable — it’s common for certain depositions to be shorter or longer than you might have anticipated — but to the extent possible, you should prepare your court reporter in advance with an estimated length of time for the deposition. This information allows them to make appropriate personal arrangements, especially if you think the deposition or hearing might go into the evening hours. This will reduce the risk of disruption to the deposition.
- Turnaround time
All depositions are assumed to be important, but in practice some are more time-sensitive than others. If you know in advance that you will need an expedited transcript from the court reporter, it is important to make that request ahead of time so the agency’s Calendar team can work with the assigned reporter to schedule appropriate time to meet your delivery requirement.
It’s important to understand that not all court reporting firms use the same processes for selecting, assigning and preparing court reporters for depositions. For example, at Henderson Legal Services, our court reporters are selected based on the specific needs of the client. We match reporters with the type of case/litigation, experience working on depositions in specific industries, overall level of experience, and special skills required, if any.
Moreover, Henderson Legal Services is also unique in the way we prepare reporters for each deposition. We provide the reporter with the Notice of Deposition, complaint(s), pleadings, interrogatories, key terms list, list of acronyms, and copies of any available deposition transcripts previously taken on the same matter. Whenever possible, we also work to assign the same qualified reporter to multiple depositions to be taken on the same matter to deliver maximum continuity of service to our clients.
For more information or to schedule a deposition, please click here or call 877.548.8787.