As continued budget cuts hit the court systems, many courts are eliminating their in-house court reporters. While this certainly has a negative impact on those involved, it does open us to more opportunities to serve our local lawyers.
Here are some best practices that will help local lawyers and law firms make the best court reporter hiring decisions (us!) and what they may expect:
- Hearings, Part I: Court reporters need to provide the clerk certain paperwork when reporting a hearing, whether the court reporter is “Court Approved” or not. This paperwork includes the court reporter’s CSR number, the type of transcription software they use, and other such items. This responsibility is fully on the court reporter. All of our reporters are fully aware of this requirement and fully prepared to meet it.
- Hearings, Part II: If the court reporter for your hearing is not "Court Approved", that court reporter must provide paperwork and ask the parties to sign a stipulation allowing that court reporter to handle the transcription.
- Hearings, Part III: Often, you'll find more than one court report assigned to a given courtroom for the Court's law and motion calendar. The reporter handling your hearing should introduce him/herself to you before the first proceeding begins. This court reporter only reports your hearing, unless they were hired to report for another as well.
- When all is said and done for your hearing, tell the court reporter if you want a transcript. Government Code Section 69950 dictates per page pricing for the transcript.
- Trials, Part I: Most judges must have a realtime court reporter. Of course, there are different levels of ability of realtime court reporters. For complex trials, especially those with complex business, patent, or sophisticated subject matter, choose your realtime court reporter carefully. You want to make sure the judge can read the realtime feed. In addition, if you want rough drafts at the end of the day, you will want them to be readable and usable. We can do that for you.
- Trials, Part II: You know the value of appellate transcripts as well as when you need them. Make sure that your court reporter knows how to produce them. Ours do.
Hiring the best court reporter is important. Court reporters are the "keepers of the trial" so to speak. Whatever is said for the record is maintained for you by the court reporter. Make sure you get the best.