• 6 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Court Reporter

    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.

     

  • Depositions 101

    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.