Jane the Court Reporter

Photo:  Jane with her light speed steno machine

Photo:  Jane with her light speed steno machine

I met Allison when I was a defense lawyer.  She was so darling that she became my go-to court reporter.  When I became a plaintiff lawyer, nothing changed.  I still used Allison.  Others liked her as well, so Allison grew her business (Verb8tim Reporting) and hired Jane.

Yesterday, Allison was the court reporter for me.  This morning it's Jane's turn.

 sCourt reporters are neutral professionals.  They don't take sides.    Allison and Jane are my two favorites.  They always have a smile.  Never fall asleep (I would).  And do a great job.

Today, we are shooting the breeze, talking about Jane's newest greatest steno machine.  Goodbye large metal stand carried in a suitcase.  We chat about her dog and dad.  Dad has just turned 99.  Amazing.  And about some of the funny things she's transcribed over the years.  Like the witness who testified that the "car driver was driving erotically."

The moral of this story is that court reporters are people too.  Here are some tips on how attorneys should treat a court reporter.

  • Say good morning, how are you, yes please and thank you.
  • Make eye contact occasionally.
  • If the deposition is going to go through the lunch hour - make sure that's okay.  (I once knew a court reporter who had hypoglycemia and grew faint when lunch time came and went).
  • If the deposition is going to go past normal business hours - make sure that's okay in advance.
  • If you need a transcript on a rush basis, do not yell and throw a fit.
  • When reading, do not race through the text.
  • When speaking do not mumble or speak with your chin resting on your hand
  • Ask the court reporter where you should sit if you are unsure
  • Do not talk at the same time as the witness
  • Do not talk at the same time as the other attorney
  • Do not talk at the same time as the interpreter
  • Wait until the court reporter has finished marking an exhibit before you start talking again
  • Make sure to provide a case caption
  • Be prepared to help provide the correct spellings for names and other case specific terminology