Distinguishing Your Court Reporting Skills Above the Rest
Whether you’re looking for a great court reporter or training to be one, a memorable reputation is key to success. Although court reporters must be certified and show strong grammar and transcribing skills, training isn’t always a mark of greatness. Successful court reporters know that it takes more than just fulfilling the requirements to establish a great reputation. Likewise, lawyers and other clients know that it takes more than a certification to draw their attention for hiring.
This is why Casamo & Associates encourages all of our court reporters to go above and beyond the necessary requirements of a transcriptionist and put in the extra effort to be great at what they do.
Milestones That Measure a Court Reporter’s Reputation
We don’t expect you to accept mediocre work—neither do we. In addition to satisfying all transcription demands, our court reporters continuously work to build their reputations while taking initiatives to grow within the field. Initiatives all court reporters should take include:
- Arriving early for appointments. Arriving at least one-half hour early allows for the court reporter to have time to setup, talk to the attorneys ahead of time, and relax before the proceedings. Arriving on-time or—heaven forbid—late could cause panic and delays.
- Being friendly and professional. No one wants to deal with an antisocial or unprofessional court reporter. Show professionalism can be as easy as introducing oneself as soon upon arrival, shaking hands with attorneys, asking witnesses their names and how to spell them (for future reference), as well as answering any questions anyone may have about the transcription procedure.
- Getting to know the interpreter. Transcribing for an interpreter can be tricky, especially if the interpreter is unfamiliar with the proceedings or how the court reporter transcribes. Make sure to answer all of the questions the interpreter may have as well as establish a relationship to lessen errors and transcribe more smoothly.
- Paying attention to religious beliefs. When administering an oath to a witness it is helpful and courteous to know the difference between “I affirm” and “I swear.” You can avoid embarrassment and offense by not only knowing the difference, but also taking the time to ask the witness his preference before the proceedings begin.
- Staying current with technology. With the progress of electronics, depositions have become extremely high-tech. Knowing how to use computers, timers, and media equipment in addition to traditional transcribing equipment can help make the proceedings run more smoothly.
- Minimizing interruptions in the proceedings. If a question must clarified then interrupting is acceptable, but otherwise wait until a break to get additional information, clarify spellings, and gather exhibits.
- Taking control to protect the integrity of the transcript. A court reporter’s duty is to accurately transcribe the proceedings. This can’t be done if you’re lacking vital information. For example, when a witness is mumbling or reading too fast to be understood, the reporter can’t sit there passively; she needs to intervene in order to get the information in a usable form.
- Clarifying orders with both attorneys. Whether the transcript needs to be expedited, marked as confidential, copied, or otherwise presented, it is a good idea to get both attorneys’ approvals and insight to avoid problems down the road. This is also a good opportunity to discuss billing and other service requirements.
- Above all else, giving good service. The professional court reporter must practice her skills, return phone calls in a timely fashion, keep any promises given, provide accurate (double-checked and proofread) transcripts, and work to solidify a good working reputation with the lawyers and courts.
Looking for a court reporter with all of the above qualities? Look no further. Call Casamo & Associates today and see how our court reporters go above and beyond to ensure accurate transcriptions, excellent service, and an outstanding relationship with their clients.