If you need to hire a court reporting service and you are looking for the right selection criteria, you will find two counseling schools: one that tells you to evaluate court reporting services and one that encourages individual court reporters to evaluate them. In this article, we present selection criteria for selecting the best individual court reporter, because whatever the reputation of a Court Reporting Services, it is ultimately the reporter’s quality that will leave you satisfied or dissatisfied with your hiring decision. There are two groups of selection criteria that should be applied to your list of potential court reporters according to law firms and organizations contracting with court reporting services: basic skills, and exceptional professionalism and reputation.
Although different types of legal proceedings require different standards of court reporters’ proficiency, all court reporters have basic requirements, starting with state certification. Service qualification indicates a lawyer has completed a credential exam that attests to his or her court-reporting skills. A minimum typing speed of 200 words per minute is also a critical requirement. Although depositions may be lethargic, when a witness speaks quickly and gives long answers they can also be quickly paced. The computer skills and research skills are a third essential requirement. A reporter may need some computer skills research skills that other court reporters don’t need, depending on the type of reporting you need. The editing and proofreading skills are another critical requirement. Reporters conduct proofreading and editing prior to submitting a copy to ensure consistency and cleanliness of the text. Since anyone can claim to possess editing and proofreading skills, it is best to ensure that the development of those skills is part of the official training of a reporter.
Exceptional credibility and integrity
Any law firms and companies make the error of believing the nature and attitude of a court reporter is meaningless. Although reporters rarely interact with witnesses, their degree of poise, professionalism, and respect may indeed affect the quality of a deposition. Even as judges and prosecutors are not prone to discrimination , racism and adversarial reasoning, neither are not trial reporters either. Aside from potentially interrupting a witness and sabotaging the line of questioning or misportraying the nonverbal behavior of a witness by an attorney, reporters lacking professionalism can also be a technical nightmare for reporting process. Less than professional reporters have done everything from showing up for depositions in unprofessional attire to arriving late and not delivering transcripts on time. To judge the professionalism of a reporter or lack of it, it is a smart idea to investigate their past history of work and not simply rely on the assessment of their conduct by their agency.