National Court Reporting and Captioning Week

The guardians of the record have been officially recognized by Congress! 

This week, February 17th through February 23rd, kicked off the first official National Court Reporting and Captioning Week, according to the NCRA. 

As the leading court reporting association in the nation, the NCRA has cited that this special week now acknowledges “the hard work of court reporters and broadcast captioners nationwide.”   It was even acknowledged in Congressional Record on February 14th by Congressman Ron Kind of Wisconsin. 

Congressman Kind’s wife is a court reporter…  He must know firsthand the dedication the profession commands.  Poor Congressman Kind has probably had many dinner cancellations, many weekends interrupted, and many nights ruined by last minute call-ins, daily copies and unbearable witnesses!

Thank you for the recognition, Folks…. it’s not easy!



Does Your Court Reporting Agency Offer You Free Videoconferencing?

The latest technology in court reporting is here and you should capitalize on it! Videoconferencing is a great way to get the testimony you need from out-of- state or even out-of-country witnesses without leaving the city.

Videoconferencing suites at your court reporting agency should be fully accessible to valued clients at no charge. For example, Ace Reporters, Inc. offers not only the complimentary suite, but also any necessary amenities such as, copying service, couriers, breakfast and / or lunch, free Wi-Fi, etc.

Here are three good reasons why you should be using videoconferencing:

  • Videoconferencing will save you money. There may be a charge at the remote location, but the fees are far less than traveling expenses.
  • Videoconferencing will save you time. It’s convenient to stay nearby and take the deposition in a familiar and comfortable setting.
  • Videoconferencing cuts out the unknown. No more hiring reporters that you don’t know! Remain confident with an agency you know and trust taking your important notes of testimony.


How a Difficult Witness Affects Your Transcript

A difficult witness not only affects counsel, but also the court reporter, and in turn, your transcript!

Here are some tips to preserve an accurate record:

Get the court reporter involved.

While we are normally sitting quietly in our positions, when it comes to witnesses cutting off questions or grunting or hand gestures, court reporters don’t mind jumping in and helping out. Most times the witness is mad at the attorney who is slinging the questions, but they also usually feel bad to hurt us with their antics. This situation can usually be remedied by the court reporter with a polite request and brief explanation to the witness regarding how hard our job is. In turn, this will help keep your transcript clean and accurate.

Mark questions.

Experience shows there is something magical in the words “can you mark that question, please.” The everyday witness seems to believe that is code for “I really have him now.” They seem to straighten right up become cooperative instantly!

Don’t forget to put it on the record.

Describe the witness’s behavior for the record. We don’t have a parenthetical for “Witness looks annoyed” or “Witness is pounding his fists on the conference table.” So be sure to spell it out so the record reflects the behavior accurately.



Five Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Court Reporter

Every attorney has their own style when it comes to taking depositions. Mostly all are equally effective in soliciting the information needed to argue their case, however, few are court reporter friendly.

To get the most out of your court reporter, we recommend the following:

1. Upon scheduling the deposition, provide all pertinent information, including a full case caption. The fastidious reporter will have this loaded into their document files and ready to go as soon as they boot up their laptop. In essence, a well prepared reporter is an effective reporter.

2. Provide any names that may be tricky or even products, brands or companies that may come up and that could cause interference of your flow. Trust us, we HATE to interrupt during your deposition, but it is our duty to have full and accurate information and spellings. This is especially important with realtime. The job where “Shores, Inc.” constantly translated as SURE/STINK was a real concentration-breaker for all parties involved!

3. Never skip instructions to the witness! Yes, we know it gets monotonous for you to say them day in and day out; and yes, the witness said he was deposed before; and yes, you want to get to the meat of the examination, but please, please, please give full instructions anyway! Again, our goal — at least here at Ace Reporters, Inc. — is to be seen and not heard. We DREAD interrupting!

4. Please note that your turnaround requests are paramount for reporters. Please let them know as soon as possible if you need a daily copy or even expedited. Reserving this upon scheduling is ideal. Anything other than normal turnaround time (which should never be more than 10 business days) affects the court reporter’s whole world! Oftentimes, they will need to be taken off the schedule for the next day, line up their scopists and proofreaders and even cancel dinner plans!

5. And last, but positively not least, don’t forget that we can’t do ANYTHING with our hands while you are talking, unless it is off the record of course! This includes marking exhibits, reading back and even eating lunch! We are trained to be fast in the bathroom, eat on the go and be as silent as possible, but following these tips will keep us proficient and loving our jobs, so thank you in advance!