5 THINGS THAT IRRITATE COURT REPORTERS
After an intense day, my court reporter confided that attorneys – just some – behave in ways that make her job difficult. I asked her to describe the most irritating, and she identified five:
Court reporters want to deliver accurate transcripts to counsel. Transcript quality is threatened when attorneys talk at the same time as a witness or other counsel. The reporter can’t record all the words because they either can’t distinguish all the simultaneous words or can’t record quickly enough two simultaneous independent monologues.
Sometimes lawyers forget life outside a lawsuit; Professional demands make them neglect families, communities, and churches. It’s not surprising, then, that some attorneys forget their court reporters have lives when making last-minute demands for expedited transcripts or other services.
My court reporters want to meet my needs, and they know I can’t always anticipate a need for expedited service. But often they may need to arrange child care, cancel appointments, or delay other work to accommodate my demands. They appreciate knowing my need as early as possible so they can arrange their lives.
Requests To Not Provide Service To Opposing Counsel
Some attorneys ask court reporting agencies to deliver expedited transcripts without telling opposing counsel. This places court reporters in a most unfair position; While they want to serve an attorney, a litagation support service has a professional duty of independence and fairness, and offering service to one party and not another threatens the appearance of impartiality and their role as keeper of the record. The practice is unethical under rules of the National Court Reporters Association.
Requests To Discount Bills
Under the same duties of independence and fairness, court reporters and court reporting agencies can’t charge different rates to different parties. Discounting a party’s bill is also an unethical practice under rules of the National Court Reporters Association.
Hiring Multiple Court Reporters
Court reporters and court reporting agencies hate this; a reporter is engaged for a deposition, but arrives to find another reporter is also engaged by the attorney, the attorney’s secretary, or opposing counsel. Two reporters reserve the day, dressed, travel to the deposition, pay for parking, and perhaps refuse other work, but one leaves unpaid. Attorneys wouldn’t put up with it, and neither should a litagation support service
While this article is about the problems that reporting agencies have with attornies, but to be fair the next piece will be about the concerns that lawyers have with court reporting agencies.