As attorneys, we tend to evaluate the strength of our cases based on objective information, but not on the support system that elucidates that information. Despite television dramas that portray an attorney as being the sole determiner of a case, we know better than anyone that, before a case reaches court, numerous individuals working in various capacities can make or break its quality, one of which is a court reporter. As all attorneys know, the strength of most cases is ultimately determined by the strength of depositions. But while attorneys scrupulously examine depositions, rarely do they examine the qualifications of deposition reporters. In most cases, attorneys are too busy to examine a court reporter as if they were examining a witness. But there is a way for attorneys to select the best reporters without investigating them: contacting a reputable court reporting agency. Below, we list three aspects of the reporter screening process that define a reputable reporting agency. Court Reporting New York City
-Screening of References
Certified court reporting is based on having the right certifications for the job. But anyone who has had a bad experience with a certified reporter can attest that a reporter’s value depends on more than his or her certifications. One way to determine a reporter’s value beyond certifications is to rigorously screen references, particularly non-listed references. Every certified court reporting agency will screen a reporter’s listed references. But the best agencies also ask for several references that aren’t listed on a reporter’s resume. By examining a broad range of references, a reporting agency can determine whether a reporter has conducted only a few commendable reporting assignments or has a true reputation for quality.
-Screening of Technical Abilities
Like most occupations, court reporting is becoming increasingly defined by technical practices, particularly real time reporting and video reporting. If you require these abilities in a reporter, you won’t have a hard time locating reporters that possess them. But you may have a hard time discerning how proficient a reporter is in your particular reporting needs. Just as some attorneys take on cases that they don’t specialize in, some reporters take on reporting assignments that they aren’t proficient in. To avoid these reporters, always hire through a reporting agency that actually tests their reporters’ skills instead of judging their skills by their certifications.
-Screening of Personality
That court reporters should be screened on the basis of personality might sound strange. After all, court reporters are generally silent and sedentary during their assignments. But court reporters’ personality has more than to do with how they present themselves during depositions; it also has to do with how they react to deponents in terms of the deposition manuscript. A reporter that is easily bored, prejudiced or reacts angrily to certain topics could product a transcript that is untrue or highly flawed in terms of the deponent’s non-verbal reactions. Again, some court reporting agencies rely on a reporter’s credentials. But a reporting agency that deeply values its clients will screen its reporters based on personality.