How to Annoy Your Court Reporter

We took to social media groups for court reporters and asked what happens in a deposition that makes them cringe. Some of the responses were funny while others were serious. All of them gave us insight into how to annoy your court reporter (or not).

Nom Nom Nom!

From gum chewing to crunching nuts and chips, reporters across the board would love a quieter, less foodie-filled deposition. And don’t get us started on the slurping, sniffling, and lip smacking! As a rule, we recommend not eating unless there’s a break and please sip quietly.

Gimme a Break!

Speaking of breaks, we love when you schedule them! Not only that, but ask us if we want lunch!

Too often attorneys never ask if we want to stop and eat. Even worse? They bring lunch in for everyone besides us and never stop the deposition so we can eat too. One reporter said they’ve felt like passing out more than once and another said she saw a colleague pass out right in the middle of a deposition! Yikes! Don’t let that happen to your Sacramento court reporter!

Lights, Camera, Best Behavior!

Reporters say that when it’s a video deposition, everyone, attorneys included, behaves better than when there are no cameras. Apparently we don’t want to see ourselves behaving badly especially if opening night is happening in a courtroom.

Does this mean all depositions should be recorded? Probably not but it does mean you may want to be strategic about who you’re recording.

Coach the Witness

Take it easy. It’s not that we want you to coach their answers. We just want you to keep in mind while you may have participated in hundreds of depositions, this may be the first one for your witness. Take time to prepare them in the process as well as answering only the questions asked, and avoiding non-words like umm and uh-huh. Your court reporter will thank you for a witness who is prepared and speaks clearly.

Help a Reporter

Your court reporter has the important job of capturing what is said in a deposition. It doesn’t help when you talk over the witness, or worse, argue with opposing counsel. It’s likely that we won’t be able to capture everything that is being said; even if we can, it may not make sense in the final transcript.

The best you can do is speak clearly, avoid non-words and nodding, and not speak over each other. Otherwise, you could annoy your court reporter to the point they may not want to work with you again and we don’t want that to happen! It’s always our goal to bring together the best attorneys and court reporters for a good experience.

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