Court reporters spend years honing their craft in order to produce thorough, high-quality, and perfectly accurate transcripts. But why? Why do transcripts have to be 100% precise to be useful? As long as you’ve got the gist of what was said you, should be able to adequately relay it in court, right?
Anyone who has ever played the party game called Telephone knows this is laughably unreliable. You know the game: the first player whispers a long, complex sentence to Player 2, who then tries to relay the message exactly by whispering in the ear of Player 3, and so on. By the time the final player repeats the message aloud, it’s been hopelessly garbled. Everyone laughs.
Without the court reporter’s dedication to precision, the trial record could become just as muddled. However, in addition to allowing perfect recall of witness testimonies, an accurate transcript can also be used in a variety of other ways to benefit your case.
Advantages of a Clear Record
A perfect transcript can have more uses than just providing a record of the proceedings. In fact, a good lawyer can use a word-for-word (and action-to-word) transcript to boost all aspects of his case, from pre-trial planning to filing an appeal. A clear transcript can help lawyers and their clients accomplish the following:
- Formulate trial plans. Studying a clear transcript prior to your trial can allow you to fully prepare your overall plan of attack. In addition to allowing you to recall the information that was said during the deposition, reading a thorough transcript can help you comprehend more of what was said (with less effort), including subtle nuances and word choices that you may have missed during the deposition. Furthermore, you can take notes, highlight testimony, and review your case without having to worry about misremembering or misinterpreting what may have been said.
- Formulate questions. By having a complete record of a deposition during a trial can help remind you of key statements that need clarification, as well as help you decide what questions you want the jury to hear (and which one’s you’d rather let the opposing counsel ask).
- Formulate trial tones. Transcripts aren’t only good for reiterating what was said in a deposition, but also what was felt. The specific way a witness recounts a story can give insight into how he was feeling at the time. By reiterating how something was said, you can set the tone of the trial.
- Formulate appeal plans. Since transcripts provide a verbatim record of exactly what each participant says, they can be used as evidence in an appeal. For instance, if your client was found guilty on a technicality, you can reread the transcript to determine what went wrong and to cite procedural errors that can be a basis for your client’s appeal. Showing a miscarriage of justice—or at least a disregard for due process—is the quickest way to get the attention of an appellate court.
Trust and Accuracy
Considering all the ways that you could potentially use a court transcript, why would you trust its accuracy to just anyone? The answer is that you wouldn’t. You mustn’t. You, your client, and your case all rely on the precision of the court record to verify facts and testimonies. As such, you can’t gamble on a mediocre court reporter—you need experience, focus, and professionalism. You need Casamo and Associates! Contact us today for more information on how to secure your next deposition. Trust us, you won’t regret it.