Ten suggestions for obtaining an accurate transcript.
1. Explain the role of the court reporter to the witness. Instruct the witness to answer with an audible response, as opposed to “uh-huh,” “un-huh,” sounds or shakes or nods. Instruct the witness to wait until the question has been completely asked before he begins his answer.
2. Try not to speak on top of one another. Court reporters have difficulty transcribing two or more people talking at once.
3. When numbers are involved, specify the context. Numbers can be confusing in a transcript when lawyers do not specify whether they are talking about dollars, quantities or percentages.
4. Before the proceeding, give your card to the court reporter and write on it whom you represent so you will be properly identified in the transcript.
5. Be sure to clearly specify letters of the alphabet if they are discussed individually and identify them in spellings; i.e., “V” as in Victor.
6. If an interpreter is used for a foreign language-speaking
witness, be sure the interpreter speaks in lieu of the
witness and in the first person. The court reporter
must be able to understand the interpreter to accurately
transcribe the proceedings. This also applies to "mumblers"
and "speedtalkers". If a document is being
read into the record be sure that the reader realizes
that reporter is taking down this information
as it is being read.
7. Don’t hesitate to ask the reporter to read back a question or an answer if you are in doubt as to a response. Be aware that this process can be time-consuming, especially if the read-back area is located much earlier in the deposition.
8. Spell all proper, foreign or unusual words and acronyms. If time permits, provide the reporter with a word list before the deposition begins.
9. If you are planning to have your deposition videotaped or reported in LiveNote or Summation, advise all opposing counsel by so indicating in the deposition notice so that they cannot object at the time of the deposition. Advise the court reporting firm so the reporter is prepared.
10. Communicate all special requests such as expedited delivery, rough ASCII disk, realtime hookup to the court reporting firm at the time you schedule the deposition.