Tips to Help Your Court Reporter

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Provide Correct Spelling Of Important Words

Court reporters record the proceedings of a trial or deposition using a stenograph– a machine that notates phonetically as opposed to with letters like a traditional keyboard. Because words are recorded through sounds, reporters must go back and refine transcripts to ensure proper spelling. Sometimes, reporters can’t be sure if a word is spelled differently than it sounds, especially if that word is in a foreign language, dialectal, or has multiple spellings. Provide your reporter with a list of key words, phrases, and/or names to help them during the refining process.

Enunciate and Speak Clearly

While court reporters can type at practically inhuman speeds (upwards of 180 words per minute), human senses still limit their abilities. If your court reporter cannot hear you or your client, the transcript will not be accurate. Make sure you do not mumble, speak too quickly, or speak over another person.

Use Complete Words, Not Inarticulate Sounds

In every day speech, we regularly use inarticulate sounds to convey meaning– such as “uh-huh” for “yes” and “uh-uh” for “no.” In face-to-face interaction, this isn’t a problem, but it is for court reporters. Stenographs do not have keys to type out these sorts of sounds, and as a result, they could not record this on a transcript. If a witness or opposing counsel uses one of these sounds, ask for clarification so it can be accurately recorded.

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