When involved in an examination for discovery, there are many rules of etiquette to follow. If you are relatively new to the process, On The Record has compiled a few helpful tips that will assist you when working with a court reporter.
1) State verbally when going on or off record:
Informing the court reporter when the speaker is speaking on or off record is good practice. Although they may have extensive court reporting experience, at times this can be difficult to gage by the tone of voice. In these instances, stating this fact ensures the court reporter is able to obtain an accurate account.
2) Moderate pace in verbal communication:
Like any skilled profession, court reporters can ultimately get fatigued from typing and attempting to speak at a moderate pace can be beneficial. In addition, it is best to keep all communications verbal as opposed to a wave of hand or repeated head or hand gestures to convey a message.
3) Providing spelling for case-specific terminology:
Every case is different in nature and court reporters often prepare beforehand the terminology used in the industry of the case in question. Similarly, in cases that require definitive terms or nouns that are difficult to spell, the court reporter should be given a copy of the same before trial. This saves the reporter an immense amount of time having to backtrack and correct.
4) Court reporters do not give case opinions:
Court reporters, by duty, are required to be impartial. Both parties may be tempted to ask the court reporter their opinion about the case as it unfolds – this should be avoided at all costs. By giving their opinion, the reporter’s neutrality could be compromised. It is best to refrain from asking for any form of opinion.
5) Seat the court reporter close to the witness:
At times witnesses might be soft-spoken or nervous and in those instances, ideally they should be seated next to the court reporter. This will ensure the reporter does not miss any details.
By following these simple rules of etiquette, the trial process becomes easier and more efficient, allowing the transcript to retain all of the important information in the examination. By doing so, a healthy environment is created during an examination, allowing the court reporter to be most effective and efficient.
To book a court reporter for an examination, meeting, or mediation, or to discuss a court reporting position with On The Record, call one of our locations today, conveniently located in Whitby and Barrie. We look forward to discussing your court reporting or mediation needs.