Every court reporter faces challenges during trial or examinations. There have been cases where lawyers have made it significantly more difficult for reporters to remain accurate when forming their transcripts.
OTR has managed to compile a list of common mistakes lawyers make during examinations:
Using hand gestures or talking
Avoid using hand gestures when making an objection; court reporters capture verbatim everything that is said and may not be able to guess what the motion indicates. In addition, if something is important and needs to go on record, make sure there is no disturbance or extra talking, as the reporter typically records one person speaking at a time.
Failing to inform when the transcript is needed
Remember to inform the court reporter when the transcript is required. It is best to inform before the examination so they can make arrangements ahead of time.
Forgetting to signal off record
Always make a point to notify the court reporter when you are off record; in other words, when something should not be included in the transcript. It is not the reporter’s job to interpret when something should go on or off record.
Pace of speech and noise
Although a reporter is trained to transcribe at over 200 words per minute, they definitely have a human limit and if the examination exceeds this limit, it can wear them out. Remember the goal is to have an accurate and clean transcript that reflects the trial – speaking at a reasonable pace can benefit both ways.
Additionally, any form of unnecessary background noise will not only distract the reporter, but it will also be noted that there was a disturbance It is better to pause the proceeding till the noise fades and continue thereafter.
Keeping distance between the reporter and witness
Seat the witness near the court reporter; if they are at a distance, it becomes difficult for the reporter to keep track and remain accurate, which could then encourage them to stop the examination to clarify statements.
These are just some of the conditions that can hinder an easy trial, for not only the court reporter, but all those involved. Trying to take necessary measures to improve the quality of an examination will definitely go a long way.
To book a court reporter for a meeting or a mediation, or even 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.