As a courtroom reporter for a service like L & L Reporting Service, Inc., it is your job to record any and all proceedings that occur in the courtroom. When recording, it is crucial that this information is recorded with objectivity and accuracy, as bias and mistakes are not permitted in a job like this. This process can be very lengthy and taxing, which can easily lead to fatigue. Because of this, it can result mistakes. To minimize this from occurring, here are a few tips to increase your chances of success in the courtroom:
Tip #1: Take Breaks Whenever Possible.
Court reporting is a job that is very demanding – not just on the body, but the mind as well. This is because you must be 100 percent attentive for extended periods of time – often hours – without the time for a break. So, when there is a time for a break, you need to take it. This is true even if it is just a five- or 10-minute break. Head outside and get a dose of sunshine or grab a bite to eat or a drink from a food truck. This will give you time to step away from your challenging work and recharge before you have to get back in there and type away for several more hours.
Tip #2: Inform Attorneys of Any Requirements Prior to the Hearing.
Since you need to be able to record information with 100 percent accuracy, it is important that you inform speakers ahead of time to speak slowly, with clarity, and articulate their words as much as possible. This helps to ensure that you can record accurately and provide a proper transcript. You can inform your attorneys to inform their speakers to do this before they go into a hearing, deposition, etc.
Tip #3: Don't Hesitate to Interrupt for Spellings and/or Clarity.
During a deposition or a hearing, it isn't uncommon for witnesses or attorneys to speak over one another or for them to simply not speak clear enough for you to understand what they said. In some cases, you may not know how to spell a name that was mentioned. To ensure a proper and accurate recording, you will want to interject to ask for the speaker to spell the name/word that they just said or to repeat what was just said. While you may feel that this is rude, keep in mind that your job is to record these proceedings with accuracy so the interjection is a benefit to everyone. Therefore, it is not rude; it is actually your job.