Basic Etiquette When Working With Court Reporters

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Court etiquette doesn't exist simply to make sure that everything is conducted smoothly and politely. It is also necessary to make sure that court reporting is carried out in the most accurate manner possible.

Place The Reporter Near The Witness

Place the court reporter as close to the witness as possible. This will allow for the court reporter to more easily hear what is being said by the witness. Some witnesses can be soft-spoken and difficult to hear even in a small room.

Clarify If You Are On Or Off The Record

Make sure to verbally state when you are going off the record. Sometimes, the court reporter can determine if you are going on or off the record based on the tone of your voice. But there are some circumstances where it is difficult to tell.

Speak At A Moderate Pace

Always speak at a moderate pace. This is generally a good idea, but is especially a good idea when working with a court reporter. Court reporters can type at a very fast speed. However, even when typing quickly, it is easy for the court reporter to become overwhelmed during a dynamic conversation in the courtroom. By speaking at a moderate pace, it will be much more likely that what is recorded will be accurate. The court reporter may even ask you to slow down at some points.

Stop Talking When The Reporter Marks The Exhibit

If you ask a court reporter to mark exhibits, make sure to stop speaking until the the reporter has finished marking the exhibits. It is impossible for the court reporter to take down what you are saying orally and to mark exhibits at the same time.

Provide A Spelling Sheet

There may be unique terminology that is very case specific. Make sure to provide a spelling sheet for these terms so that the court reporter can record using the correct spellings. The court reporter will be able to perform his or her job more efficiently and the reporter will also be able to avoid making mistakes that may create confusion in the future when reading over the documents.

Don't Ask For The Court Reporter's Opinion

Never ask a court reporter for his or her opinion on the case. The court reporter is required to be neutral and any opinion that the reporter expresses on your testimony may interfere with this. While court reporters cannot provide an opinion, hiring a great court reporting service will ensure that everything is properly recorded and you will be able to focus on your case.

For more information, contact local professionals like Farrell Court Reporting.