Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. Wyatt Earp said that, and our team at DLE Court Reporters agrees. Sort of. Because in our industry, fast is everything, and so is accuracy.
For court reporters, accuracy is not celebrated; it’s mandatory. Preserving the official record is crucial for all those involved in a case, and perfect deposition transcripts are vital when attorneys are intent on building a strong one.
Enlisting the services of a highly-respected court reporting firm is a brilliant start toward ensuring the retrieval of an accurate record of any legal proceedings, but there are also ways the rest of the legal team and witnesses can help. Here’s a list from our talented court reporters:
- Speak clearly. If your court reporter can’t understand the testimony, it can’t be accurately recorded. A reminder to speak slowly, directly into the microphone (when applicable), and avoid turning away while talking always helps the accuracy rate of the final record.
- The same goes for controlling cross-talking and overlapping speech, including the normal conversation act of interjecting “Uh huh,” “I see,” and even “Okay” as a way of encouraging the speaker. Most attorneys have developed fantastic skills for slowing even the most nervous, rambling witnesses, and we can tell you that our court reporters appreciate that skill.
- Whenever possible, provide your court reporter with a list of applicable names and terminology related to your specific case under discussion. If the details are crucial to your case, make sure your reporter has access to the correct ones.
- Provide copies of important documents being entered into the record. When a document or statement is read into the record, it is usually at a faster rate of speaking than a normal conversation. A copy of the document or statement is extremely helpful.
- Be clear when you’re off the record and when withdrawing questions. Court reporters are trained to go off the record only if all parties agree to do so, so it’s important to direct your reporter when to stop writing and when to start again. In terms of questions withdrawn, reporters can strike questions when they’re false starts, but if a fully formed question is asked and there is any colloquy to it, the question remains on the record and withdrawn in colloquy form only. A clean record is easier to read and understand.
When in doubt, press pause on the proceedings. This practice works wonders on heated temperaments and perfect transcripts.
If you’re seeking a court reporting firm in Miami that always works to be the fastest, most accurate team in town (and out-of-town, for that matter), contact us at DLE Court Reporters.