Are you working with a court reporter or planning on doing that sometime soon? People who work with certified court reporters on a regular basis or are planning on doing so in the future might feel nervous about doing so, but not to worry—working with a certified court reporter isn’t so tough. All you need to know are a few guidelines.
If you are currently working in a field that collaborates with a certified reporter or looking into entering a career field soon or in the not-too-distant future, you will need to follow certain protocol and have certain mannerisms when you are working to be as efficient as you can and that will help the reporter do their job to the best of their ability.
Read on to find out some good etiquette to roll out when working with a court reporter or stenographer that will help make things easier for everyone!
Be sure that the reporter is as close to the witness as they can be.
Sitting a court reporter close to a witness—as close as possible—when an interview process is going on is key because it’s going to allow them to hear what the witness is saying more easily. If they are closer to the witness when they are speaking they will be able to hear what they are saying all of the time, even if the witness’s voice gets louder or softer in tone.
State what is going on or off of permanent record.
Since they are going to be taking down what goes on or what is not put on the permanent record, you want to be sure that you are stating what is going on or off the record clearly. This way the reporter will not have to speak up and you can be sure that they have heard what you said as well.
Remain quiet if not necessary to speak and keep a good pace.
If you are not being spoken to or the reporter is marking exhibits, then you can just remain silent. When speaking, be sure not to speak too slowly or too quickly, and again, not too quietly. Additionally, read documents at a good pace and make sure you enunciate.
Give words’ correct spellings.
Give the correct spelling of words if using legal or medical terminology so they can be documented correctly.
Communicate using your words.
Body language such as nods or shaking the head cannot be recorded. Answer questions using words and not body language.
Take breaks if you need to.
This will not only let you get yourself together but reporters should take breaks as well to allow themselves to maintain constant focus. When on a break, don’t ask them about a case as they cannot give their opinion.
Let a court reporter know if you need anything.
Special requirements and more should be alerted to the reporter so they can accommodate you or others. If you have a rush on the deadline, let them know.