Court reporters may take many depositions in their lifetimes, but far fewer will be entrusted to take the record during a trial. While the process is essentially the same, there are a few notable differences between court reporting at trial and taking a witness deposition in an attorney’s office.
As you prepare to transcribe a court record, be aware that there may be issues with:
- Confidentiality. Court reporters can lose their licenses if they reveal case details, lose copies of transcripts, or even speak about any case they are transcribing.
- Punctuation. The words used in court are important, but the punctuation used can completely change the meaning of a sentence. An exclamation point in place of a period can make a witness seem aggressive, while the sentence “I fired three times?” completely changes with the addition of a question mark.
- Clarity. There are a lot more people present in a courtroom than in a deposition, and they have a tendency to talk over one another. You have to keep the record straight, so don’t be afraid to stop the action if more than one person is speaking at a time.
- Comfort. Always take the same breaks attorneys and witnesses are given. Get up, go to the bathroom, and do some quick stretches to get you mind and body focused on the second half of the proceedings.
- Technology. Court reporters should always back up their work, but the best reporters have multiple forms of backup to prevent unnecessary (and often permanent) loss of the court record.
At Casamo, all of our court reporters are certified, highly trained, and can store your transcript in our specialized database for easy court access months or even years into the future. Visit our court reporting services page to find out how we can help you and your