You, as an attorney, legal assistant, or paralegal, have either already been tasked with, or will soon be burdened with, hiring a court reporter to transcribe the testimony of a deposition or trial.
It’s possible that finding a court reporter will appear to be a simple task at first. Results from even a quick online search or recommendations from co-workers are likely to be many. You may have a harder time finding the right court reporter to meet your needs, goals, and budgetary limits because not all court reporting services are created equal.
Ask about your rates, specifically, what do you gain access to?
Expect the court reporter or agency to be honest about the cost of their court reporting services and describe precisely what is and is not included in the quoted price. It’s a good idea to find out how much the stenographer usually charges per page and per appearance.
Does your firm only hire certified or licenced court reporters? Can they handle intricate testimony?
Although most states require some sort of qualification or licencing to work as court reporters Tacoma, certain jurisdictions have no such rules. It is standard practise in business to find out what kind of training the court reporting agency’s staff has. Deposing an expert witness or dealing with technical or medical terminology in your case may necessitate hiring a reporter with knowledge in these areas. The hearings will go more smoothly if you have a reporter who is familiar with the specific terms involved in your case.
How long does it typically take for an order to be fulfilled? Can your reporters provide live coverage, rough draughts, or quick transcripts?
Most court reporters and reporting firms have their own “usual delivery” schedules that outline how long it should take from the date of your matter to the date you may expect to receive the finished transcript. You can get this schedule by contacting the company directly. Request processing times can vary widely; it’s important to learn the norm in case you need your transcript sooner than expected. Inquire about the many alternatives available, as rush rates vary based on how quickly you need your transcript.
Where exactly do you offer your assistance? Can you serve the entire country?
While it’s always best to “shop local” and develop a rapport with a court reporter or court reporting firm in your nearby area, you should still find out how far afield their services extend. It’s likely that your line of work and the cases you choose to take on will require you to go to another state and coordinate with court reporters there.
What other services, if any, do you provide?
When your legal needs go beyond just a written transcript, it’s helpful to work with a provider that can set up a wide range of other litigation support services. This is because it will reduce the amount of effort and stress you put into tracking down certain service providers.
In addition to scheduling your court reporter, several court reporting agencies also have established connections with legal videographers, translators, and trial technologists. They can also help you find meeting spaces, provide document review, and set up video conferencing services for your case.