Working with Court Reporters

Court reporters can be extremely helpful in a wide range of circumstances—they are able to provide accurate transcripts of meetings and legal proceedings, they can read back any dialogue that's taken place, and they can provide a record of any proceeding as soon as it has concluded. If you are considering hiring a court reporter in Palo Alto, California, but are unsure of how to interact while he or she is on the job, continue reading for a few tips on proper interactions.

court - reporter

Prepare the Court Reporter

Before the proceedings begin, introduce yourself to the professional court reporter. This is also a good time to inform the court reporter about specific terms that may come up during the proceedings. For instance, if there will be expert witnesses who may use technical terminology, let the court reporter know this and provide a list of the terms that may be mentioned.

Speak Carefully

While court reporters have extensive training that allows them to accurately record any proceedings, they cannot record the speech of more than one person at a time. Avoid interrupting and speaking over other parties, and be sure to allow others enough time to finish speaking before you begin. Speak clearly and at a normal pace. Ask that witnesses state and spell their names so that the court reporter can record them accurately.

Clarify Non-Verbal Communications

Court reporters are trained to record spoken words, so the record they provide may not capture all of the non-verbal communications during a proceeding. Be sure to verbally confirm and clarify unspoken communications, such as gestures, nodding, and pointing. This way the court reporter can provide you with an accurate and complete record of the proceedings.

Correct Any Mistakes

If you make a verbal mistake, be sure to withdraw it as soon as possible so that the record can be updated. Similarly, if certain interactions are off the record, such as a sidebar conference, be sure to let the court reporter know that this is the case, and indicate when the proceedings go back to being on the record.