Certified Court Reporting – Choosing the Right Reporters

As lawyers, we strive to determine the strength of our cases based on empirical facts, but not on the network of support the elucidates the facts. Despite television dramas that portray an attorney as the sole determinant of a case, we know better than anyone else that, before a case reaches court, numerous individuals working in different capacities can make or break its quality, one of them being a court reporter. As all lawyers know, in the end, the outcome of most lawsuits is determined by the strength of depositions. But although lawyers scrupulously analyze depositions, they rarely review reporters’ credentials for deposition. In most cases, the prosecutors are too busy to examine a reporter in court as if they were questioning a witness. But there is a way for lawyers to select the best reporters without having to investigate them: to contact a reputable court reporting agency. Below, we list three aspects of the screening process for reporters that define a reputable reporting agency. Kaplan Leaman & Wolfe Court Reporters of West Palm Beach has some nice tips on this.

Reference-screening

Certified court coverage is focused on getting the work proper certifications. However, anyone who has had a bad experience with a certified reporter will testify that the credibility of a reporter depends on more than its certifications. One way to determine the value of a reporter beyond certifications is by screening references rigorously, particularly those not listed. A reporter’s reported sources will be checked by every accredited court reporting agency. But the best agencies also ask for multiple references not listed in a reporter’s resume. By examining a wide range of references, a reporting agency can determine whether only a few commendable reporting assignments have been carried out by a reporter or have a true reputation for quality.

Technical Ability Screening

As with most professions, court reporting is increasingly being characterized by technological practices , particularly real-time reporting and video reporting. If you want these abilities in a reporter, you won’t find reporters who possess them hard to locate. Yet you may have trouble discerning how professional a reporter is in your unique news needs. Much as some attorneys take on cases they don’t specialize in, some reporters take on assignments that they aren’t specialized in reporting. To avoid these reporters, always hire through a reporting agency that is actually testing the abilities of their reporters rather than judging their abilities by their certifications.

Personality Test

It could sound odd that court reporters are to be screened based on personality. After all, court reporters are generally silent during their assignments, and sedentary. But the personality of court reporters has more to do with how they present themselves during depositions; it also has to do with how they react to deponents in terms of the manuscript of deposition. A reporter who is easily bored, prejudiced or violently reacts to certain topics may generate a transcript which is untrue or highly flawed in terms of the nonverbal reactions of the deponent. Again, some agencies of court reporting rely on credentials from a reporter. But a reporting agency which values its customers deeply will screen its reporters based on personality.