June 16, 2021 Travis Thorpe

6 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Court Reporter

Occasionally, you may find yourself needing to hire a court reporter. Selecting the ideal court reporter for your needs can be a daunting task. However, the record your court reporter produces is extremely important to you and your clients. For this reason, it’s essential to find a reliable and accurate trial, hearing, or deposition reporter. Asking the following questions can help you in the process:

What certifications do your court reporters have?

Depending on the state you are in, there may be a state certification exam court reporters must sit before working in the field. Alternatively, the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) furnishes a similar certification. In Hawaii, this certification is provided by the Hawaii State Board of Certified Shorthand Reporters. In addition, the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) furnishes a national certification, Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification.  In order to obtain the RPR certifcation, a reporter must pass the exam with a minimum test scores of 95% accuracy of a four-part test. A minimum certification of an RPR is a prerequisite to become eligible to take the Hawaii certification exam.  These two measures of accountability ensure your court reporter possesses the necessary skills and due diligence to properly carry out the duties of their job.

How long will it take to receive my transcript?

When you work with a court reporting firm, they will generally provide you with a standard turnaround window. During this time, you should expect to receive the completed transcript and all documents. Be sure to ask what the expected turnaround will be, so there are no surprises down the line. If you require expedited service, ask upfront. Doing so ensures the price points and timelines for rush orders suit your goals.  Not all court reporters can be able to expedite a transcript at the end of a proceeding.  Therefore, advance notice will allow the court reporting firm to schedule the appropriate available court reporter for the expedited proceeding.

Can you give me a quote?

A reliable court reporting company will be able to provide you with a quote for court reporting and transcript services. It’s important to know what’s included in your rate and what’s not. For a quote, it is best to provide a few facts for a more accurate quote, such as, type of proceeding (deposition, hearing, transcription, etc.), anticipated length of proceeding, rush turnaround, realtime or rough draft requests, videotaped, type of witness, location of the witness, and any other information pertinent to the proceeding. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about fees upfront. Cost can also help you decide between firms.

Do you offer conference rooms?

Sometimes, you need a location from which to host the deposition itself. Some court reporting firms handle this service and are able to furnish you with rented conference rooms. Contact your court reporting firm to learn more about conference room availability and additional services.

Which areas do you serve?

You may need a court reporting service in a remote area like Hawaii. Likewise, if you need to video conference with long-distance witnesses or prepare for a case out-of-state, you may prefer a more flexible court reporting option. One solution is to work with an experienced firm at that location that conducts court reporting and video remote depositions that understand and is knowledgeable of the local rules.

Do you offer videoconference depositions?

Ask your court reporting firm if they handle video depositions if you’re in need of that kind of service. Firms that are accustomed to performing video conferencing are more likely to be prepared for any technological and logistical difficulties that arise during videoconferences.  Ask if they provide moderators or remote technicians to address any technical issues that may arise and handle exhibits management to ensure a seamless proceeding so that the attorneys may focus on their cases.  If you feel you need to learn more about how to conduct a remote depositon, please contact us for a free training.

Still searching for a skilled deposition reporter?

Whether you’re seeking a rented conference space or videotaped remote deposition abilities, iDepo Hawaii is at your service. Located in downtown Honolulu, we are proud to offer service to neighboring islands, in addition to mainland depositions, international depositions, and videoconferencing options. As a full-service court reporting and record retrieval company, we are committed to providing outstanding legal support services in Hawaii and beyond. Reach out today to schedule a deposition!

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