[Guest Post] Court Reporters’ Role in Depositions

Monday, August 10, 2009

Below is a Guest Post from Kat Sanders. Note: Under the Indonesian Legal System, an Institution called Panitera (Registrar and court secretary) is responsible for logistic and case administration from the beginning to the end. The registrar is a civil servant working under the Supreme Court. Normally it is required that they have a law degree.


Court Reporters’ Role in Depositions

A court reporter is perhaps the most important person in the courtroom if you’re looking for the history of the trial – he or she is responsible for ensuring that every word said in the courtroom is transcribed into indelible records that can be analyzed and scrutinized down the ages. Court reporters are also very useful when it comes to recording depositions of witnesses, especially the ones whose testimony is very important to the case.

When using a court reporter for a deposition, accuracy and precision are important. To that extent, it’s wise to:
  • Talk to the court reporter and advice them about the nature of the case
  • Familiarize them with the name of the witness and other parties relevant to the case.
  • Instruct your witness to talk clearly and concisely
  • Talk at the pace you want your witness to talk too and enunciate the words clearly.
  • Avoid talking at the same time as your client or anyone else so that the deposition is recorded clearly
  • Advise your witness to also refrain from answering questions before you’re done asking them and from interrupting your sentences.
  • Make adequate arrangements to bring copies of all your records to the courthouse.
  • Tell your court reporter how often you require copies of the deposition.

Court reporters are trained to take down every word that is said in court and record a witness’ deposition word for word. This helps lawyers build their case and argue it later in court. Court reporters also facilitate the process of appeals with their transcripts which are reviewed by the concerned lawyers and sent to the higher court where the appeal has been filed. Witness depositions help lawyers prepare their cases more efficiently and easily.

There are various court reporter schools that offer degrees in the USA – they are usually distance education degrees that can be taken from the comfort of your home. In most Eastern countries, court reporting is a profession that is learned through experience. The reporters know how to take quick notes and are trained on the job to be able to record transcripts verbatim. Court reporting is a profession that is gaining in stature all over the USA, more because of the number of cases that are being tried every day.

This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of online court reporter school at her blog Court Reporter Schools. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: katsanders25@gmail.com.