Court Reporter Objections That Attorneys Need to Heed
Everyone eventually finds there are certain irritating things about his or her job, regardless of the field or how rewarding the profession is most of the time.
- My coworker Howard talks too much.
- Jessica keeps expecting me to handle any project that bores her (and she gets bored a lot).
- Mrs. Mullins in accounting—what is with her and that perfume?
However, despite any frustration or social friction, you still need to do your job and do it well. On the other hand, what if certain pet peeves directly affect your ability to perform your duties adequately? What can you do then?
Unfortunately, this type of interference occurs more often than you might think between court reporters and attorneys. The results: irritating interruptions and costly delays.
Common Pet Peeves That Make Court Reporters Want to Scream
Although you may not realize it, court reporters have a uniquely difficult job. In order to produce a perfect record, they must transcribe every word uttered during a proceeding…in shorthand…in real time. If you’ve ever had to take notes during a lecture, you should know how difficult making an outline can be, let alone recording every word spoken.
Despite the difficulties, seasoned reporters work hard to quickly and accurately transcribe your proceedings to a T. However, they can’t do this when you, a witness, or another attorney adds obstacles to an already difficult job. These “obstacles” can vary from person to person, but the most common grievances court reporters have involve the following issues:
- Volume control. In order to accurately record what is being said, a court reporter must be able to clearly hear each and every word. This means that even though an attorney may alter his volume to create an effect, he must still be loud enough for the reporter to hear. Similarly, witnesses and other speakers must also be instructed to maintain a reasonable volume throughout the proceedings.
- Vocal speed. It is hard enough to decipher normal speech patterns—especially when accents are involved—without the added difficulty of deciphering them at lightning speeds. Attorneys and witnesses need to adjust their speaking rate in order to ensure the court reporter understands and records everything said. Otherwise, your reporter may find it necessary to interrupt the proceedings in order to get a clarification, as is her duty to ensure an accurate record requires. You don’t want that! Interruptions may disrupt your presentation or even put you in a bad light as an inconsiderate advocate.
- Vocal clarity. It is impossible for a court reporter to accurately record two dialogues at once. In order to accurately record even one dialogue, she must focus all her attention; therefore everything said in a secondary dialogue will be missed. More likely, though, a second dialogue will prevent accurate recording of anybody’s speech. Attorneys, witnesses, and other speakers need to take turns and refrain from talking over one another if they want a clear and accurate transcription.
As a renowned court reporting service, we’re eager to learn more about court reporting grievances. Whether you’re a reporter yourself or an attorney who frequently interacts with reporters, we’re curious to know your pet peeves. Please take advantage of our comment section to vent and debate your court reporting frustrations. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll be helping us to understand issues better in an effort to improve our own services. Thank you.