IRRITATING BEHAVIORS OF COURT REPORTERS AND COURT REPORTING AGENCIES
IRRITATING BEHAVIORS OF COURT REPORTING AGENCIES
After I listened to my court reporter’s gripes about lawyer behavior, she asked what court reporters and court reporting agencies do that makes lawyers’ jobs difficult. I said:
- Overcharging Out-of-town Counsel
Many of my depositions are taken out of town. I was shocked to see bills submitted by some court reporters or court reporting agencies located far away, who apparently aren’t competing for my return business. I asked my regular court reporting agency to review some and confirmed that the bills were unjustifiably high.
- Not Disclosing Pricing
Many court reporters and court reporting agencies issue bills that don’t disclose how the billed amount was calculated. I forward most court reporting bills to my clients for reimbursement, and many bills generate questions by my client. Court reporters and court reporting agencies that don’t clearly explain billed amounts put me in an uncomfortable position with clients who depend on me to manage their resources wisely throughout litigation.
- Inability To Read Notes
I admire the skills of court reporters and have developed a reliance on those skills to help me through depositions. Occasionally, though, I’ve encountered court reporters that lack basic skills I expect in court reporters. These basic skills include reading back testimony from notes. I may need to confirm a witnesses’ verbatim testimony, or I may need to refocus on a train of thought. I depend on court reporters to be able to record and read back relevant verbatim notes of testimony, and I pay them well for that ability. When court reporters can’t read their notes, or their notes aren’t accurate, I not only lose an essential service, but I lose confidence in the court reporter’s ability to produce an accurate transcript.
- Not Alerting Me To Problems
I understand that many problems can derail the creation of a record, and these problems may be beyond the control of court reporters or court reporting firms: video equipment may malfunction, conflicts of interest may become apparent, scheduling conflicts foreclose expediting a transcript or continuing a deposition. When problems arise, I need court reporters and court reporting agencies to tell me immediately so I can arrange the best solution to the problem. Waiting to disclose a problem, as some court reporters or court reporting agencies have done, may result in a deposition , or in testimony, being lost.