Depositions can be long and grueling. Their importance and the resulting transcript cannot be understated for a case though. Sometimes lasting days or weeks, court reporters, attorneys, paralegals, and key witnesses can prepare themselves for a smoother experience by keeping a few of these tips front and center when heading into a new deposition.
Plan time for introductions
When first meeting your court reporter, introduce yourself and who you represent. Also take time to prepare the witness with clear instructions and expectations for the day. Specifically, reminding them to speak loudly and clearly is important for ensuring an accurate recording of the proceedings.
Be cognizant of gestures and non-verbal cues
It’s difficult to accurately capture non-verbal communication, so if your witness gestures in any way, either ask them to restate in words what the gesture communicates or repeat it yourself. For example, “For the record, the witness indicated the distance of one foot.”
On and off the record
Whether a video deposition or not, it is important to clearly state when you are going off the record, and to be clear if it is off the written and video record or just the video record.
Consider your room arrangement
When possible, seat your court reporter next to the witness or interpreter so they have the best visibility and opportunity to hear the witness testimony.
Plan for breaks
For everyone’s sake, but especially your court reporter’s, plan for short breaks every two to two and a half hours and a longer break for lunch. Staying mentally and physically sharp with short breaks is important for maintaining the stamina required in a deposition.
One of the major goals of your deposition is to ensure an accurate and useful transcript of the proceedings. Work together as a team with your court reporter and legal team and you’re more likely to get there successfully.
No matter if you’ve done one deposition or one hundred, it’s important to step back and review these tips to ensure a smooth deposition and clean transcript. If you’re looking for an experienced court reporter for your next deposition, give us a call at First Choice Reporting. You can reach us at 800-939-0093 to schedule a deposition.