You have exhibits to schedule and coordinate, plus transcripts from those deposed in Tacoma to Timbuktu, not to mention the million other tasks on your plate. Now, add the stress of a changed work environment. It can feel like everyone is depending on you. After all, no one understands litigation behind-the-scenes, and all of the preparation, thousands of documents, time, and costs like a paralegal does. But, who can you lean on when you’re not strong?
The answer should be your court reporting firm. A good court reporter provides support in five key areas when scheduling depositions:
1. Scheduling court reporters and/or videographers for in- or out-of-town depositions
2. Videoconferencing/Zoom depositions
3. Booking conference rooms
4. Exhibit retention
5. Offering advice
Turn Your Deposition Scheduling into a Smoother, Stress-Free Process
When a litigation team must depose a witness in or out of town, it’s often your responsibility to locate and book a qualified court reporter, a videographer, and a facility. These can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming tasks without local connections and familiarity with the area.
Partner with a court reporting firm that has national reach for instance, reliable access to the best court reporters, videographers, and conference rooms in the area. Using a well-connected agency may result in the COD payment waiver. Imagine reliable service and well-appointed conference rooms just a phone call or click away.
Expert tip: Finding a court reporter or agency you can trust is as easy as asking your colleagues which particular firm or individual they use.
Use Videoconferencing to Cut Costs and Health & Safety Risks
Litigation requires deposing local and out-of-town witnesses. Now, there are the risks to all parties’ health and safety to consider. Videoconferencing or Zoom allows you to participate via a secure, high-quality internet connection, which saves time and money, plus allows you to focus on other responsibilities.
Your court reporting firm should be masters of videoconferencing and Zoom technology, especially now. Ensure your reporter has mastery in troubleshooting to avoid potential hiccups and delays on the day of or during the deposition.
Expert tip: Agencies and court reporters can offer a wide range of services, including videography, real-time reporters, videoconferencing, next-day delivery and more. Think about your current and future needs and choose an agency that exhibits proficiency in those areas.
Imagine Reliable Service and Well-Appointed Conference Rooms Just a Phone Call or Click Away
While technology has ushered in an era where attorneys can easily practice law without the need for a formal conference room or even an office per se, there are situations that call for a conference area.
Your court reporting firm should be able to offer or schedule a conference room with service. This is convenient for when you’re in charge of locating, booking, and arranging payment for one.
Get Support with Retaining and Organizing Exhibits
Generally, you are responsible for organizing and retaining depositions exhibits. Due to video conferencing and Zoom, paralegals and lawyers now need to be even more organized with exhibits.
Get support from a court reporting firm that offers repository services, accumulating, and cataloguing. This avoids confusion over which exhibits have been used with which witnesses and eliminates unnecessary duplication.
Another benefit is that exhibits have uniform numbers and are retained by your court reporting firm as an independent third party. Documents used in exhibits are stored in the cloud to assure consistency. Last but not least, preparing trial exhibits is easier because a single, comprehensive list and set is maintained.
Expert tip: Evaluate the level of professionalism. Don’t overlook certified court reporters as individuals (some states require court reporters be state certified – Missouri being one). Professional reporters are on time, ready to go on the record and are waiting on you. They are dressed for success and are reliable. They can produce an accurate transcript, provide a real-time feed, a rough ASCII (an unedited transcript) without delay or excuses.
Benefit from Receiving Objective, Helpful Advice on a Variety of Topics
Objective, helpful advice that can result in efficiencies and cost savings shouldn’t have to be asked for, but rather offered. Your court reporter should be asking questions and helping solve your challenges.
Take the schedule for example. Your court reporter should ask for the length and type (real-time v. non-real-time, dirty ASCII, etc.) of deposition to determine who is the best professional for the job. Court reporters have different levels of skills and not all reporters have the same capabilities – so the more information you can provide, the better you’re served. It is helpful for the notice to be provided when scheduling a deposition. Also, having correct email addresses for everyone involved is important, so you receive the finished product as seamlessly as possible.
One of the most supportive relationships in law is between you and your court reporting agency, one that can and does act as your extension, and therefore the law firm. The best partnerships are those in which the court reporter anticipates your needs and provides services to match, meaning you have the level of support that brings calm to any storm.