A Quality Court Reporter Doesn’t Just Happen

A quality court reporter takes intentional actions to achieve excellence.  This requires the professional court reporter and her court-reporting support team to implement Quality Assurance safeguards.  It’s these safeguards that provide stenographers a necessary ingredient in providing excellent customer service.

QA Steps Before and During Deposition

First-rate court reporting services go beyond arriving at a deposition early or expertly taking down testimony in the conference room.  A crucial component to superior services centers on an accurate transcription of the question-and-answer dialogue.  Objections raised at the time of eliciting a witness’s evidence are also important to get right.

Parties to a lawsuit are usually prepped by their counsel about the purpose of a deposition and ways to prepare for a deposition.  Fact witnesses can be unfamiliar with a deposition process and its procedures.  A conscientious court reporter may make the witness aware of her role and challenging situations that can be avoided such as speed reading and non-verbal answers before a deposition begins.  This lays a good foundation for when the lawyer taking the deposition gives the deponent instructions related to Rule 30(j) and general etiquette.  Good manners for the written record include avoiding answers with a nod or shake of the head, speaking over each other, etc.

While still at a deposition, the quality-focused court reporter is taking further steps to ensure a precise transcript.  You may hear her asking the witness for a proper noun’s spelling at a recess, speaking up during Q and A to stop simultaneous speech, or poring through exhibits to find a particular cite.

The Team of a Quality Court Reporter

Once the reporter leaves the conference room, she puts her team on task.  She may utilize a scopist or proofreader to assist in the transcription process.   A scopist takes the court reporter’s translated stenographic notes and goes through the file.  A scopist is seeking to correct words that were not recognized by the court reporter’s personal translation dictionary, words that were mistranslated, and punctuation marks that need correction.  A proofreader takes the court reporter’s scoped electronic file and proofreads for context, punctuation, and spellings.  Court reporters typically have longstanding relationships with a scopist or proofreader to ensure transcript preferences and grammatical styles are observed.  For quality purposes, it is best that a court reporter hires only a scopist or proofreader and undertakes the complementary task herself.  Sometimes this cannot be avoided due to a delivery schedule.

A final transcript file is turned in to the court reporting firm’s production office.  We know transcripts can contain errors, but a quality-oriented reporter and her team have developed ways of reducing mistakes.  A transcript enters CompuScripts’ Quality Assurance program once the reporter turns it in to our production team.  The transcript is scanned for misspellings, and a checklist is used to uncover common things that may have been overlooked,such as a mismatched day and date on the title page or a witness invoking his read-and-sign right with no inclusion of an errata page in the transcript.  A proofreader is assigned to assist the reporter if it falls short of the quality goals.  They efficiently work together to correct mistakes and identify areas for improvement in future transcript submissions.

Confidence in Your Record

We know accuracy matters.  Clients should have confidence in the words captured and transcribed on the record.  CompuScripts believes its Quality Assurance program developed by Deborah Dusseljee, Registered Professional Reporter, delivers high quality transcripts consistently from our well-qualified court reporters.  This reliability and consistency of accurate transcripts is one ingredient that makes our customer service exemplary.  You shouldn’t have to struggle with subpar transcripts.  If you are, we invite you to put a quality court reporter from CompuScripts to work.  They are really good!