Make Your Court Reporter’s Job Easier

What can mean the difference between a successful and failing case? An accurate transcript. While court reporters have been trained to produce the most pristine transcript possible, there will be times when issues in a deposition or court can pose problems for their draft. Make your court reporter’s– and in turn, your own– life easier by following these simple tips.

1. Provide a List of Key Words and Phrases

Stenographs, the machines court reporters use to record the proceedings of a court room or deposition, may look similar to a regular laptop, but that is as far as those similarities go. The keyboard is not a regular QWERTY keyboard– it is written phonetically. This allows for faster typing speeds, but can case incorrect spelling in an initial draft. Court reporters always go back and refine their transcript, but when there are words or phrases a reporter is unfamiliar with, it can post a problem. If you are aware of names, words, or phrases that may pose a spelling error (be it through language barrier or simply because of multiple word-spellings), provide your court reporter a list of these words so they can get things right the first time.

2. Clearly Enunciate

Court reporters may be able to type over 200 words a minute, but that does not mean they are not limited by human senses. Do not mumble, speak too quickly, or speak over another person so to ensure court reporters can properly understand what was said. This allows them to produce the most accurate transcript possible. If a witnesses does any of these things, kindly ask them to speak clearly for the record.

3. Use Complete Words, Not Inarticulate Sounds

In everyday speech we use sounds to replace words– such as “uh-uh” and “uh-huh” in place of “no” and “yes.” Stenographs do not have keys to accurately record these sounds, causing confusion for the court reporter. When the witness or opposing counsel uses one of these sounds, ask for clarification to ensure an accurate transcript.

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