AWARENESS OF THE RECORD. The participants should never lose sight of the fact that their utterances are being recorded. Consciousness of the record and its importance will impel clarity of thought and speech and, thereby, promote accuracy and readability of the transcript.
INABILITY TO HEAR. Between the resonant utterances of the gifted orator and the almost inaudible mumbling of the incoherent witness lies a wide range of speech mannerisms and peculiarities. Rhetorical speakers often rise to heights of forensic eloquence, suddenly to descend to a whispered, inaudible completion of the thought cycle. Nothing is more upsetting to the reporter than the inability to hear distinctly each word uttered.
INSTRUCTIONS TO WITNESS. Explain the role of the Court Reporter to the witness. Instruct the witness to answer with an audible response versus uh-huh or huh-uh sounds or shakes, nods or gestures. Also, instruct the witness to wait until the question has been completely asked before beginning to respond.
OVERLAPPING. Try not to speak on top of one another, overlapping. Court Reporters have difficulty transcribing two or more people talking at the same time.
IDENTIFYING YOURSELF. Before proceeding, give your card to the Court Reporter and write on it whom you represent, so you will be properly identified in the transcript.
NUMBERS. When numbers are involved, specify the context. Numbers can be confusing in a transcript when counsel does not specify whether talking about dollars, quantities, percentages, et cetera.
LETTERS. Be sure to clearly specify letters of the alphabet if they are discussed individually, and identify them in spellings; i.e., “v” as in Victor.
MARKING EXHIBITS. Exhibits for the plaintiff are marked “Plaintiff’s Exhibit 1, 2,” et cetera; for defendant, “Defendant’s Exhibit A, B,” et cetera. When the entire alphabet has been gone through, the next series is lettered “AA, AB, AC,” et cetera; then “BA, BB, BC,” then “CA, CB, CC,” et cetera. This avoids the cumbersome result which follows from just adding another letter, which can lead to confusion when having to refer to "Exhibit AAAAA".
OFF THE RECORD. Counsel will say, “Off the record,” the signal for the Court Reporter to stop reporting. Discussion continues apace until counsel becomes aware that something of importance is not being reported. This could easily be avoided by telling the Court Reporter, “Let’s go back on the record.”
GLOSSARIES. In cases involving abstruse terminology, trade names, foreign names, technical, patent, acronyms, et cetera, the process will be facilitated if a glossary of unusual terms is provided to the Court Reporter at the outset. In this way the Court Reporter will be acquainted with the terminology of the case, and tend to avoid interruptions during the discovery or trial process.
INTERPRETER. If an interpreter is used for a foreign language-speaking witness, be sure the interpreter speaks in lieu of the witness and in the first person. The Court Reporter must be able to understand the interpreter to accurately transcribe the proceedings.
READ BACK. Don’t hesitate to ask the Court Reporter to read back a question or an answer if you are in doubt as to a response. Be aware, though, this process can be time-consuming, especially if the read-back area is located much earlier in the proceeding.
SPECIAL REQUESTS. Communicate all special requests, such as expedited delivery, rough-draft ASCII disk, realtime hookup, video sync, et cetera, to the court reporting firm at the time you schedule a Court Reporter.
If you received your E-Transcript via disk:
Place the disk in your disk drive. Using either Windows Explorer or My Computer, locate your A: drive. Click or double-click on your A: drive. A listing of the files located on the disk will appear. Find the file on the list.
To save it:
Select the file. Right-mouse click, select Copy. Proceed to the folder or location where you would like to place the E-Transcript file, right-mouse click, select Paste.
To open from the disk:
Double-click on the file name. A small window named “E-transcript Security Check” will appear. Check the box next to “Don’t show this message again.” Then press Okay.
If you received your E-Transcript via e-mail:
Right-mouse click on the E-Transcript attachment. Your choices are View Attachment, Open With, Save As and Print. It is recommended that you select Save As, and then save it to your Desktop, local drive, or network drive, and then open it from that location.
- Navigation – Use scroll bar, Up arrow, Down arrow, Page Up, Page Down. Ctrl-Home jumps to the beginning of the file. Ctrl-End jumps to the end of the file.
- Search – Click on the Find button (Binoculars) or press Ctrl-F. Type in the word or word string, and press Enter.
- Copy & Paste – Highlight the text you wish to copy, then press the Copy button. Open the document you wish to paste to, and press Ctrl-V to paste the text. Under View, General Options, Clipboard Copying, place a checkmark in the Include Citation box. Then when you copy the citation to the deposition, including page and line number, the text will be included.
- Print – Go to the File. First select Page Setup and make any desired changes to the page setup. Then select either Print Full-Size Transcript, Print Condensed Transcript, or Print Word Index. (The Page Setup is particularly helpful in setting up the condensed transcript to suit your needs. You can have two pages print on one sheet or as many as 16 pages print on one sheet of paper. You can leave space for making notes, and choose fonts and borders.)