When you want to use a court reporting service, you will likely receive two different types of advice, with one being that you should analyze some court reporting services, while the other piece advice is to analyze individual court reporters. With that said, we are going to discuss criteria you should take into consideration when looking to hire the best court reporter because quality trumps a court reporting service’s reputation. Plus, the quality of work a reporter provides will either leave you satisfied or dissatisfy with your choice.
Generally speaking, there are two pieces of criteria that you should take into consideration. One of those are basic skills, and the other is reputation and professionalism. Let’s discuss the criteria in more details below.
Basic Skills And Requirements
Regardless of who they are or who they work for, there are a few basic requirements that all courtroom reporters will have to meet, with one being certified by the state they operate in. When a reporter possesses a state certification, then it means they have had to pass a test that proves their knowledge of the industry. Another requirement is a reporter has to be able to type at least 200 words per minutes, regardless if depositions can take a bit of time to complete.
However, many depositions can be fast, especially when witnesses provides long answers. Also, research skills are important. Computer skills are equally important.
Some reporters have a certain computer and research skills that other reports don’t have, and those skills may be required, but this depends on what kind of reporting you require. Also, editing and proofreading skills are important for court reporters to have because it is important for transcripts to be accurate and clean. Many people can claim they have editing and proofreading skills, which is why it’s important to make sure the court reporter had developed those skills when they underwent training.
Professionalism And Reputation
Many law firms don’t think a court reporter’s demeanor manners, but it does matter, and you should always use a reporter that has exceptional character and a good demeanor. Remember, their attitude and professionalism can affect the quality of the transcripts they provide. Court reporters are not immune to prejudice, as well as adversarial thinking and bias thinking. This is the case with many legal professionals.
Reports that are not professional can present a problem for the entire reporting process, and they could end up sabotaging questions that attorneys have, or they may misinterpret nonverbal behavior of the witness. Not only that, but they may not even show up to a deposition, or they will just arrive late, or they may not even dress professional. Besides that, they may not deliver transcripts when they are supposed to be delivered. This is why it’s a good idea to research a reporter’s past work history.