Five Tips When Scheduling a Last Minute Court Reporter

It happens about once a week.  We receive a phone call from a panicked client asking if there’s any way possible to send a court reporter to a deposition…right now.
These calls immediately take priority in the office.  Our goal is to get the job covered as quickly as possible and by getting some crucial information from the client on the initial phone call, we can launch into action.  Below are five tips that help us find the right reporter for your deposition in as little time as possible:

  1. If the reporter needs to drive to the location, are the attorneys willing to wait for his or her arrival?  If we don’t have a reporter nearby, she will need some lead time to get to the job location.  If we know ahead of time that the attorneys are willing to wait 30 minutes or so for the reporter’s arrival, we know we have the option of calling a reporter who is located farther away.
  2. How many hours do you expect the deposition to last?  If you have a good idea on the end time, we may be able to send a reporter who has a job later that day, as long as she will be finished well before the start time of the next.
  3. Send an official case caption or notice of deposition to our office, or provide one to the reporter on site.  It is preferred that we receive an official caption before taking depositions in any new case, but if it is for a last minute job, it may help the reporter understand the subject matter of the deposition and build her job dictionary.
  4. What type of deposition is this?  By learning ahead of time what type of a job the reporter is needed for, we can ask follow up questions to find out if she needs to bring special equipment (realtime cables, telephone, extra laptop, etc.)
  5. Who is the taking attorney?  If the attorney is a regular client, we can notify the reporter if he has any special requests before the deposition.  A special request can be administering a specific oath to the witness or a standing order on a transcript.
And although it does not meet the notary requirements or the rules in the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, we have seen counsel agree that thecourt reporter swear-in the witness and record the testimony telephonically.
We’ll be happy to help the next time you need a last minute court reporter.  If you keep these five tips in mind the next time you call, we will be able to get a reporter to you in no time!
Source: Tech Tested Lawyer Approved