Should You Use a Court Reporting Service or Freelance Reporter for a Federal Case?

You’ve had some good experiences with court reporters in the past, but you’ve also had some mishaps that you’d rather not repeat. Now that you’ve moved into federal casework, you can’t afford to roll the dice when it comes to choosing your staff; you need a competent worker who can keep up the pace without sacrificing quality.

Using a Freelance Court Reporter or a Reporting Service for a Federal Case

There is no problem with using a freelance reporter to take on federal cases. Freelancers may be just as competent as reporters who are contracted under a court reporting service; however, there are significant advantages to booking a reporter who is part of a larger organization, including:

  • Reliability. On of the biggest benefits of court reporting is that a reporter can work on his own time, essentially becoming his own boss. However, if a reporter falls ill or is stuck in traffic, there is no other staff member that can be sent in to replace him—leaving you to do the legwork of finding a new reporter at the last minute.
  • Technical education. Court reporters must be certified to perform work in their field, but they should also stay abreast of emerging technologies that would make them more valuable to the court. Real-time reporting and captioning are becoming more and more popular even with smaller cases, so a familiarity with the software is a necessity. While freelancers may have their basic reporting certifications, many do not have the resources to provide virtual transcription.
  • Procedural experience. Freelancers may take depositions for years before they ever set foot in a courtroom. Unlike the relatively low-key atmosphere of the deposition, a court is packed with many people—often all talking at once—and proceedings can drag on for hours. A freelancer who is out of his depth will get no sympathy from a judge, attorneys, or clients who are all concentrating on doing their own jobs.

At Casamo & Associates, we employ a wide range of court reporters with a variety of case knowledge. Our reporters have an average of ten years’ experience in the legal profession, and many are active members of the National Court Reporter Association. If you need a last-minute replacement for a federal case or need a reporter with a specific qualification or legal background, use our Online Scheduler today to make your request.

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