If you are a stenographer, court reporter, or professional transcriber, creating deposition transcripts can determine the direction of a lawsuit. You must make sure that you capture every detail accurately and precisely.
Court reporters are human, meaning they are not immune to making mistakes. That is why it is always a good idea to review your deposition transcripts before trial to eliminate any errors and ensure that the information therein is accurate.
Here are a few tips on how to create quality deposition transcripts:
Check for spelling mistakes
Stenographers work phonetically when recording depositions. This means they are likely to make so many spelling mistakes in the first draft. You should, therefore, give the court reporter a list of phrases or words they might come across during the deposition process. This is particularly important if you are working with the court reporter for the first time. Your list of phrases can help the reporter avoid spelling mistakes.
Enunciate your words
One of the qualities of a good court reporter is the ability to type words quickly and accurately. Court reporters can type at speeds of up to 200 words per minute. However, this means you need to speak your words clearly all the time to ensure the reporter captures accurate records. You should avoid speaking over others and instead enunciate your words. This will guarantee that there is a consistent flow and that whatever is transcribed is as accurate as possible.
Avoid using sounds
Even though stenographers work phonetically, you should avoid using strange sounds when creating depositions. In essence, avoid using sounds like uh-uh, ah, or yah when trying to say no or yes. Try to use words as much as possible to make everything clear and avoid delays. In any case, sounds do not have shorthand notations, and this might make it difficult for the stenographer to produce accurate transcripts. As a reporter, you should clarify anything that seems unclear and encourage your clients to use words instead of sounds.
Work with an experienced court reporter
The quality of your transcript can make or break a case. You should, therefore, work with an experienced court reporter if you want to have an excellent set of transcripts. An experienced stenographer has what it takes as far as producing accurate reports is concerned. They know what guidelines to follow and they are highly trained in transcribing in a variety of formats.
Make sure the reporter identifies everyone correctly
If you want to start your depositions on the right note, then you must make sure that you identify yourself and get to know the identity of everyone present. This will include, the witnesses, attorneys, videographers, and everyone else in the room. The reporter must identify everyone correctly in their transcripts to avoid discrepancies. They must also state the name of the case, date, exhibit numbers, and every other relevant detail.
Focus on your job
Whether you are a court reporter or an attorney, having a sense of focus on the task at hand will ensure that you produce quality deposition transcripts.