Taking a deposition is serious business, it requires a high level of attention to detail and accuracy, when a court reporter finishes writing a job, they transcribe it and the office produces and delivers the transcript. This is not the end of the process for getting the transcript production completed. The court reporter’s office or the reporter, depending on their understanding, has to follow up and make sure a number of things are done.
A witness is given 30 days in which to read, correct answers, and sign their deposition, after they receive it. The reporting firm will send the transcript to the witness’s attorney, if there is one, or directly to the witness, except in certain circumstances. The court reporters office should also be tracking the time passing, in order to inform all attorneys who ordered copies of the transcript, if there have been any corrections made, and if the deposition was signed.
Many times the reporting office never hears back from a witness – or the witness’s attorney – about the transcript. In this event, the original transcript, which is often kept by the court reporting firm, gets bound, a forwarding letter is put into the front of the transcript, and the transcript is put into a sealed envelope and sent to the attorney who took the deposition for safekeeping, until a trial in the case occurs. Copies of any correction pages are sent to all counsel who ordered copies of the transcript.
If the court reporting firm fails to follow up and the attorneys don’t get any correction sheets or signed deponent certificate pages, then when the job is ready for hearing or trial, the reporting firm is going to get a series of phone calls, messages, and emails from paralegals, secretaries and potentially attorneys involved in the case, asking where the depositions are, was there any corrections? Did the deponent sign the transcript? There can be a number of other questions related to getting prepared for trial.
When attorneys are uninformed about what’s happening with their transcripts, they can become nervous, in turn their secretaries and paralegals can become uncertain and nervous which starts the trickle down effect on down to the reporting firm and the reporter, this doesn’t help anyone get anything done and it can make it uncomfortable for everyone and this is an unproductive use of resources and an unnecessary waste of time and energy.
Our commitment here at http://reporting.com is to have our court reporting office be on top of all deposition’s. From the taking of the deposition to the production of the transcript and its delivery to whoever is responsible for getting signature. Then the staff should follow up in 30 or so days to see what’s happened: Did the deponent read and make corrections? Did they sign the certificate page? How many attorneys are involved in the case who need some follow-up information, and where are they located? Did the deponent not have enough time to get the reading and correcting finished, or does she need more time? There are a number of things that can slow down the process, but if you don’t know there is a problem, you can’t correct it or speed things up, if you need to.
Of course when the transcript is either expedited or rushed, where transcript delivery is required the morning following the deposition – or rough drafts are requested at the end of the day – everything moves much faster, but all the steps still have to be done correctly, unless the reporter is told that the process is being changed by counsel. Then the reporting firm double checks with the attorney, when necessary, and follows through with how things are going to be handled on that job.
Follow up from the court reporter’s transcript is very important for the attorney, the witness, and the client. If follow up isn’t done properly by the court reporting firm or it isn’t done at all, there are problems the attorneys are going to run into when they want to use the transcript in court. That kind of trouble is going to come back to the reporting firm that didn’t follow up, and it’s entirely possible the attorney will never call that firm for reporting services again.
You must be professional and follow up; otherwise you can create problems not only for counsel, but also for the court reporting firm itself. It’s always best to go the extra step and make sure transcripts are followed up on, to help counsel and the entire team of people involved in a case. Here at Tempest court reporting our commitment is to provide steady reliable service for all of our clients! We are committed to reliably delivering impeccable, accurate transcriptions and excellent customer experiences for all of our clients big or small! We have built our reputation on these principles and have been reliably delivering outstanding results for our clients for over 25 Years!