If you have been tasked with hiring a court reporter, you may rely on a quick internet search or referrals from colleagues to start narrowing down your choices. Avoid surprises or delays along the way by asking the following questions to help you find a qualified court reporting agency.
What is included in your rate?
Expect the court reporter you hire to be upfront about what their services cost. When comparing rates, consider everything you get for the price. For instance, some firms may offer access to valuable add-on services for no extra fee, including 24/7 case management information, a digital document depository, and conference room space. Then again, other firms charge for these services separately, so make sure you know what you’re getting.
What licensing and certifications do your court reporters have?
To legally work in the state, San Jose court reporters must obtain a California Certified Shorthand Reporter License. It’s also wise to hire a stenographer in good standing with the Court Reporters Board of California. These credentials ensure the court reporter you hire has the skills necessary to transcribe accurate testimonies during the court proceedings.
Can your court reporters handle complicated testimonies?
If your case involves technical language or medical terminology, it’s reasonable to request a court reporter with experience handling these sorts of testimonies. At the very least, you want a stenographer with years of experience transcribing the spoken word into shorthand to ensure fewer pauses and interruptions during the proceedings.
What is your turnaround time?
Court reporting firms typically have a “regular delivery” schedule, or a set number of days clients can expect to receive their final transcripts. Find out the standard turnaround time for your type of case, as well as options for expediting the process if you need your transcript sooner. Confirm whether you will have access to rough drafts and electronic transcripts when required.
What are your service areas?
While it’s great to find a local San Jose court reporter you can build a relationship with, you may need regional, national, or global coverage to perform remote depositions with long-distance witnesses. A broad service area also takes the uncertainty out of finding a court reporter if you need to prepare a case out of state.
What services besides court reporting do you offer?
It’s beneficial to work with a court reporter that can provide all the supporting litigation services you need. These may be delivered in-house, or the firm may have relationships with local service providers, allowing them to arrange legal videography, interpreting, and other related services required for your case. This saves time, money, and effort compared to finding individual providers on your own.
At Talty Court Reporters, we utilize the latest technology to deliver the very best results in your legal case. Turn to us for top-quality court reporting and transcribing services, video and audio conferencing, remote depositions, and much more. For additional information about our services, or to request a cost estimate, please contact us today.
Do you have a witness who can’t be present for a court hearing? Are you hoping to eliminate surprises and feel more confident entering a trial? Depositions are the ideal way to gather testimonies, evidence, and expertise from third parties before the case appears before a judge. If you are new to the legal process, or have been asked to give a court deposition, learn more about this process to help you understand why it’s so important.
What is a deposition?
A deposition is a witness interview that goes on the record before the trial takes place. Sometimes, depositions are recorded on paper only, but video depositions enhance the narrative and provide more credibility.
No matter what form they take, depositions are the foundation of a legal case. In fact, some are so convincing that they persuade the other party to drop the charges or settle the case outside of court.
How long should a deposition be?
A legal deposition can be as short or long as necessary for the witness to deliver their sworn statement. However, in California, depositions are limited to seven hours per day. This limit coincides with federal law.
Where do depositions typically take place?
An attorney’s office is the most common place for depositions to be held. Both parties can also agree to meet in a secure, third-party location outside the courthouse.
Conference rooms at court reporting firms are specifically designed to facilitate legal depositions in a private setting. Video conferencing is also available to allow for remote depositions to take place if the witness is out of state.
How does an attorney prepare for a deposition?
Attorneys with years of experience taking depositions may not require much preparation. However, it’s recommended that they answer the witness’s questions and tell them what to expect during the interview to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Keep in mind that attorneys are prohibited from leading or coaching the witness, which could affect the testimony the witness provides.
What should an attorney do during a deposition?
To help the process go smoothly, attorneys should do the following when taking depositions:
- Provide everyone in attendance with instructions before the interview begins.
- Make the environment as comfortable as possible for all participants.
- Instruct the witness to answer questions as succinctly as possible without providing any superfluous information.
- Minimize distractions by asking everyone to silence their cell phones and other noise-making devices.
- Avoid deviating from the written questions.
- Speak clearly so the witness and stenographer can understand.
Who should attend a deposition?
The recording is meant to be private and secure, so in most cases, the attorneys for both parties and the witness being interviewed are the only people who should be present.
Talty Court Reporters makes it easy to take depositions from anywhere in the country with our deluxe conference rooms and remote recording services. To learn more about this process, or to schedule a deposition in San Jose, please contact us today.
Many law firms and court reporting agencies have made the switch from filing cabinets to digital repositories. Instead of printing off each legal case, all recordings, photographs, deposition transcripts, written files, and more are stored in the “cloud.” Here are the benefits of using this online system for your next legal case.
Digital Repositories are Accessible
Thanks to the advent of digital file storage, it’s no longer necessary to hire a courier service or wait for files to be delivered to your door. All you need is your log-in information to request a deposition transcript, video, or other data from Talty Court Reporters’ 24/7 virtual case management office. Pull up and retrieve files from any internet-enabled device for maximum convenience.
Digital Repositories are Secure
While you crave easy access to your case information, you still want to keep prying eyes out. Rest assured that digital repositories are encrypted and password-protected to ensure maximum digital security. This restricts access to the appropriate staff, so you don’t have to worry about highly sensitive information being accessed by unauthorized intruders.
Digital Repositories Save Time and Storage Space
Attorneys’ offices are traditionally lined with filing cabinets stuffed with case files. When all of your data is stored digitally, it’s not necessary to keep physical paperwork on hand, freeing up space in your office. You also reduce the number of working hours your couriers spend retrieving and filing away documents. All of these factors help your office run more efficiently.
Digital Repositories Conserve Paper and Ink
When there’s no need to print off all your court documents, you reduce your legal firm’s paper and ink consumption. This eco-friendly change is a great way to promote the “green movement” aimed at conserving natural resources. You also reduce the expense associated with buying printer paper and ink cartridges, which really add up over time.
Rest assured that you can still take advantage of hardcopy services when you need them, including scanning, printing, and binding—you simply aren’t required to take these steps with every document in every case.
Digital Repositories Keep You Organized
How often have you lost an important document and spent hours trying to track it down? Storing your files digitally makes retrieval far faster and simpler—as long as you utilize an efficient document management system.
Upon learning about digital repositories, some attorneys are eager to design their own methods of storing and organizing digital documents. However, deciding how to tag, profile, and categorize items can be a complex task. Even if you succeed, it’s difficult to train every staff member to use the system the same way.
A better option is to work with Talty Court Reporters. We can keep your documents in a safe repository for quick, secure access that allows you to work on your case at anytime from anywhere without security concerns. To learn more about gaining access to our convenient digital repositories, please contact us today.
Law firms, corporations, and any other entity that frequently deals in official documents such as contracts can benefit from working with notary services near San Jose. One major reason to use notary services is that they can save your company valuable time. If need be, court reporters and a notary public could travel directly to your location, which allows you to devote more of your time to your work. Notary services are essential for authenticating any official documents, particularly affidavits and depositions.
Notaries can help to execute and finalize a number of legal documents and services. If your firm processes mortgages and other real estate transactions, you will need a notary to confirm the agreement. Notaries can also administer oral oaths and affirmations that aren’t strictly connected to legal documents, as well as act as a jurat to confirm that the contents of a legal document are true. You may also wish to use a notary to witness signatures on important legal documents ranging from deposition transcripts created by court reporters to legal agreements made during mediation. Hiring a notary from the same company you use for court reporters can make the process of formalizing documents and transcripts faster and more efficient.
Legal cases are often won and lost, not due to facts or irrefutable forensic evidence, but by a witness’s ability to communicate their account convincingly. That’s why successful litigation depends on establishing credibility during your deposition. Here’s how to help ensure your witnesses get the facts across succinctly and consistently as you prepare to take your case to trial.
Consider Your Communication Strategy
Whether you’re taking a deposition or arguing your case before a judge and jury, it’s important to show rather than tell. This means guiding your audience to the same conclusions you came to without making declarative statements. To accomplish this, you must provide your witness with opportunities to highlight the merits of your argument naturally.
Prepare the Witness
While attorneys are prohibited from leading or coaching their witnesses, it’s perfectly acceptable to engage in witness preparation. This is advisable even if you believe a witness will come across as credible from the get-go. Witness preparation involves answering questions about what to expect during depositions and trials to prevent confusion and panic. After all, these reactions don’t lend credibility to a case.
When preparing your witness, communicate the importance of delivering concise answers. Giving testimony is not the same as having a conversation, and without preparation, a witness may be compelled to offer unnecessary information that could end up hurting your case.
Tell a Deliberate Narrative
Think of every case you handle as a narrative that needs to be told accurately and thoroughly. As an attorney, it’s your job to reconstruct the key events your witnesses observed by asking the right questions. Develop a strategy that hits on specific details that support your case.
Remember the importance of consistency in your content. If the witness changes their story or goes back to fill in any information they forgot the first time around, a rock-solid argument could start to seem less convincing. With all the facts outlined and contextualized consistently, your audience will feel more invested in your position.
Review Your Deposition Transcript
Depositions are often taken in advance and presented to a judge at a later date. To prevent errors or surprises that could compromise your credibility, carefully review any transcripts or videos for accuracy and clarity before submitting them to the court. If you feel anything needs to be clarified, take care of it immediately.
Record Your Deposition Professionally
Transcribing your deposition is certainly important, but videotaping the interview can enhance the narrative and provide more credibility. Choose a suitable setting to hold the deposition, and hire a legal videographer with access to professional recording equipment. Then, convey to the witness that they should arrive well-dressed for the interview.
Talty Court Reporters can help you establish credibility during your deposition by providing deluxe conference room rentals, professional video reporting, and expert transcription services. To learn more, or to schedule a deposition in San Jose, please contact us today.
When interviewing or questioning someone who doesn’t speak English well, or at all, an interpreter is necessary to bridge the language gap. Having an interpreter helps put the witness at ease by allowing them to speak openly in their native language rather than struggling to find the right word in English. Ensure the translation process goes smoothly by avoiding these mistakes when hiring a legal interpreter.
Appointing an Inexperienced Person
Before you select an interpreter for the job, meet with them to make sure they are qualified. Federally certified court interpreters with years of experience understand the role they play in the deposition or interview process. They conduct themselves professionally, maintain the appropriate tone, and stay focused on the task at hand. Their fluency helps ensure accuracy and brevity in the translation, with no embellishment or explanation that could taint the original testimony.
Failing to Prepare the Interpreter
If this is your first time working with a legal interpreter, you may be unaware that some preparation is required. After all, while the interpreter may be fluent in English and the language the witness speaks, your case may involve unique terminology that will be used during questioning.
Speak with the interpreter before the interview begins to ensure they are comfortable enough with both languages to avoid confusion during the translation. If the interpreter requests anything to assist with the process, make sure you have it available upon their arrival.
Directing Your Questions to the Interpreter Instead of the Witness
Because you can comprehend what the interpreter is saying, but you can’t understand the witness, it may feel natural to look at the interpreter during the interview. However, the witness is the person you’re questioning, so you should maintain eye contact with them while you or they are speaking. Directing questions to the witness is more professional than giving all your attention to the interpreter.
If you need an unbiased, professional, and accurate interpreter for your upcoming court case or deposition, Talty Court Reporters can help. We have years of experience coordinating and scheduling interpreters who speak Spanish, Haitian Creole, Navajo, and more. Our services are suitable for legal depositions, video depositions, and court proceedings.
Contact us today to arrange legal interpreting services in San Jose.
If you need someone to transcribe an upcoming deposition or trial, you want the agency you hire to provide an experienced, certified court reporter for the job. This might make you wonder what it takes to become a court reporter in San Jose. Consider the demanding requirements that ensure these professionals are up to the task.
Meet Licensing Requirements
The minimum prerequisites to become a certified court reporter include the following:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Hold a high school diploma or equivalent
- Have a clean criminal record
Candidates must also have one of the following:
- 12 months of full-time work experience in shorthand writing and transcribing
- A Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) Certificate or Certificate of Merit from the National Court Reporters Association (NCPA)
- A license to practice shorthand reporting in Georgia, Nevada, or Texas
- A certificate of completion from a California-recognized court reporting school
Complete an Educational Program
If candidates lack any prior experience, certificates, or state licenses, they must complete an approved educational program. Students must complete 660 academic hours, log 2,300 machine hours, and be able to type at least 45 words per minute to be awarded certification from the California Court Reporters Board.
Classroom courses cover the following topics:
- English and vocabulary
- Medical terminology
- Legal terminology
- Transcript procedures
- Resource materials
- Apprentice training
Depending on the exact program a court reporter chooses, training can take anywhere from one to four years.
Pass the California Licensing Exam
The final requirement to become a certified court reporter in San Jose is to complete the three-part state licensing exam, which includes performance and written tests. To pass, applicants must transcribe at a rate of 200 words per minute while maintaining an accuracy of 97.5 percent.
The Dictation and Transcription Exam includes a four-voice recording from an actual trial or deposition. Test takers are expected to maintain a rate of 200 wpm for 12 to 13 minutes at a time throughout the three-hour exam.
After passing the skills portion of the test, candidates must past two written exams: the English Examination and the Professional Practice Examination. These take two hours each and are administered in a computer-based testing center.
Retain a Court Reporter’s License
After obtaining a license, court reporters must renew their certification annually. It’s also necessary to take continuing education classes every two to three years to keep the license active. This ensures court reporters stay up-to-date on the latest technology and techniques used to transcribe depositions and court proceedings.
At Talty Court Reporters, we pride ourselves on having a team of well-qualified, highly trained, and experienced court reporters to fulfill your legal transcription needs. Our court reporting services ensure the professional and accurate outcome you expect. Please contact us today to learn how we can assist you with your next legal case.
Video depositions can be enormously helpful for attorneys and witnesses alike. They are convenient, save time and money, and help cases move forward faster. With the help of a court reporter and an experienced video deposition team in San Jose, you will find that this style of testimony can become a regular part of many of your cases. However, there are a few mistakes that can make your video deposition less efficient and useful than it could be. Avoid these potential missteps to make sure you get the best possible outcomes from your deposition.
Not Accounting for Time Differences
It may seem obvious, but a common mistake people make when planning video deposition is not being clear about what time zone the deposition is scheduled in. Video depositions save everyone expensive travel costs and make it easier to use time efficiently, but since they are so often conducted across time zones, being specific while scheduling is essential. Avoid any last-minute needs for rescheduling by specifying the time zone for every video deposition you plan.
Not Delivering the Exhibits in Time
If you plan to use exhibits as part of the deposition, then you need to ensure that they are in front of your witnesses in a timely manner. If the exhibits do not arrive in time, you will need to reschedule the deposition, because the witness needs to have them available to view—you can’t simply show them over video. Leave an ample amount of time for the exhibits to be delivered so that you don’t risk a costly delay in your case preparation process.
Not Hiring the Right People
For video depositions, not having the right people on hand can render the process useless. In addition to having a court reporter who is experienced in video deposition transcription, hire a video service with experience in legal videography and specifically with recording video depositions. Often, court reporters work with videographers with legal experience.
Putting technology to work in your next deposition
Are you looking for ways to improve your legal depositions in San Jose? If so, then consider taking advantage of the cutting-edge deposition services offered by Talty Court Reporters . We are the largest independently owned and operated, as well as the most experienced, court reporting agency in Silicon Valley, and our team makes use of the latest available technologies in the court reporting industry. For this reason, you can count on us for providing high-quality litigation services.
When you choose Talty Court Reporters for deposition services, we may use videoconferencing technology along with LIVE-depo services, web conferencing or teleconferencing to provide you with advanced deposition solutions. We offer state of the art conference rooms, and our experienced team takes the time to learn the details of cases, allowing them to provide clients with the best deposition, litigation, or reporting solutions for their needs. If you’d like to learn more about our services or the technologies that we use, then please visit our website.
A certified court reporter is the key to ensuring that the words spoken in your hearing, deposition, or trial are accurately documented. Reviewing a verbatim transcript can bring details to light that you might otherwise miss. This is why it’s so critical to choose the best court reporter for the job. As you search for the right candidate, look for the following qualifications.
Mastering the stenography machine takes time and practice. That’s why you should find a court reporter with years of experience transcribing the spoken word in shorthand. This increases the chance of a smooth deposition or court proceeding with fewer interruptions, pauses, and clarification requests.
In order to serve as an official court reporter in San Jose, a stenographer must obtain a California Certified Shorthand Reporter License. It’s also a good idea to hire someone in good standing with the Court Reporters Board of California to ensure the court reporter you choose adheres to a professional code of conduct.
The cost of hiring one stenographer or another is a factor you should certainly consider. After all, unless the court provides its own official court reporter, you will be required to arrange and pay for your own.
To help you obtain accurate cost estimates from potential firms, define your time limit parameters, the technologies you want to utilize, and any other needs. Discuss the cost of services along with the billing schedule before launching the project to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.
Ethics and Impartiality
During a legal proceeding, you want your court reporter to do their job without bias to ensure accurate, trustworthy documentation. This means finding a stenographer who is not affiliated with anyone involved in the case.
Not all court reporting firms offer the same modern technology. While a paper transcription is useful in the courtroom, you could benefit from real-time streaming and audio or video recordings as well. It’s also helpful to have networking capabilities and an online repository with documents, transcripts, videos, and exhibits available to you at all times. If these additional services interest you, make sure you find a court reporter that offers them.
Court documents are often time-sensitive with strict deadlines. Choose a stenographer with a reputation for being punctual and turning in certified transcripts quickly. A court reporting firm with guaranteed turnaround times is the best way to ensure your expectations are met.
One way to track down a qualified stenographer is to ask other legal professionals what companies they have used. When screening potential court reporters, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The integrity of your legal proceedings is at stake, so it’s perfectly acceptable to be picky when making your selection.
At Talty Court Reporters, we are proud to provide a range of court recording-related services that utilize the latest technologies available. Expect top-quality transcriptions, audio and video conferencing, and more from our team of certified court reporters. To learn more about the benefits of working with Talty, please contact us today.
Every attorney and witness wants to create a flawless deposition to take with them to court. For this to happen, you need an experienced, reliable court reporter to produce a written record of the testimony. Of course, certified stenographers have years of experience and dozens or even hundreds of depositions under their belt.
If you’re still gaining ground as a new attorney, or you’re a witness who has never been deposed before, you could benefit from hearing a knowledgeable court reporter’s advice. Here’s how to help improve your next deposition.
Tips for Attorneys
You undoubtedly understand the power of an accurate deposition when making your case before a judge and jury. This is why you wouldn’t even think of holding a deposition without a certified court reporter present. Make their job easier with these tips:
- Provide case information in advance. When your court reporter has all the names and technical terminology pertaining to the case, you can expect fewer interruptions and requests for clarification.
- Plan time for markings. After presenting the exhibits, leave a few minutes for the court reporter to transcribe and mark them accordingly.
- Try never to talk over the witness. A clear record requires that only one person speaks at a time. Frequently interrupting the witness can result in a garbled transcript.
- Seat the court reporter close to the witness. This helps ensure the reporter can hear the witness speak clearly without the need to repeatedly ask for clarification.
- Verbally declare when you want to speak on and off the record. Being clear about this ensures the court reporter is prepared to pause and resume transcribing at the proper times.
Tips for Witnesses
Providing your testimony of an event can be stressful. It involves public speaking and keeping a clear head while responding to rapid-fire questions. Here are some tips to help witnesses be effective deponents so their testimony is helpful to the case:
- Listen attentively to the questions and strive to deliver simple, concise answers. Provide explanations if prompted.
- If you don’t know the answer to a question, simply state, “I don’t know.”
- If you don’t understand, request that the attorney rephrase the question.
- Don’t interrupt. Only provide your answer once the questioner has finished speaking.
- Answer “Yes,” “No,” or “I don’t know.” The court recorder can’t document head shakes, nods, or shrugs.
- Request a document review for any questions you can’t recall.
- Don’t allow the opposing party to force you into selecting answers you’re not entirely sure of.
- Remain calm and composed.
- Always provide truthful answers.
Talty Court Reporters provides court reporting services in San Jose. Not only do we accurately document depositions, but we also provide a wide range of other court recording-related services, including video conferencing, audio transcription, conference facilities, interpreter scheduling, and much more. To discover all the benefits of working with Talty, please schedule a deposition today.
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