Booking a deposition may seem like a relatively simple task. However, we find that attorneys, their paralegals and assistants, do not all do so in the same way. How you book a deposition may help your court reporter be more prepared to do a better job for you during the deposition.
When booking a deposition:
- Schedule the hearing or deposition with the court reporting agency at the earliest opportunity. Remember that they are a part of your team and include them from the time the deposition is first scheduled. Keeping them informed of changes in the date and time, or cancellation, of the deposition will also be appreciated.
- If you are preparing a notice and/or subpoena, send a copy to the court reporting agency. Any information they receive about the deposition in advance helps the court reporter to prepare for the deposition and saves time at the deposition. This is especially important when the reporter is going to provide realtime. For realtime depositions, sending an electronic file of prior depositions and pleadings helps the court reporter build a dictionary so that the rough draft is cleaner and more useful to the attorney.
- Let the agency know an estimated length of time for the deposition or court, especially if you think it might go into the evening hours. This allows the court reporter to make any necessary childcare arrangements, etc., and also prevents having to take a recess in the proceedings while those arrangements are made. If you know you will be pushed for time and plan not to take a lunch break, inform the court reporter ahead of time.
- Make the reporting agency aware of any special needs such as whether you need a videographer and/or an interpreter. Let them know if it is a technical witness or one with a heavy accent. This information helps the agency to match your deposition needs to the skill level of the court reporter.
- This is also a good time to specify what format you prefer as far as the transcript. There are many options: hard copy, condensed transcripts, and the various digital formats such as ASCII, PDF and E-transcript. Consult your paralegal if you are not sure. At Cleeton Davis we try to keep our clients’ preferences noted to ensure they receive what they are expecting no matter which court reporter covers the job.
- If you will need a rough draft of the transcript or an expedited transcript, you should let the reporting agency know when you book the job so the court reporter can arrange their schedule in order to accommodate your needs.
- Be aware when scheduling early morning video depositions that the videographer will need access to the location at least 30 to 40 minutes prior to the start of the deposition in order to set up their equipment.
- If you need a court reporter in another city/state, consult with your local reporter first. Many firms will network with reporters in other cities and will be happy to set the deposition up for you at no extra cost.
This article is part of a more comprehensive guide called What Court Reporters Wish New Attorneys Knew…and a Few Seasoned Attorneys As Well! In the guide, we cover what we, as court reporters, wish new and seasoned attorneys knew about the 3 stages of depositions. Learn more about it here.