Questions to Ask When Hiring a Court Reporter

August 13, 2021 12:20 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Over the course of your legal career, you’ll need to hire a court reporter for various proceedings. Do you know which questions to ask to ensure you’re getting a great one?

Since court reporters can have such a huge impact on your case—especially when it comes to preserving a written record for appeal—you need to hire a court reporter who is fast, accurate and reliable. Even if you have established relationships with a few great court reporters, they may not always be available. Here’s what to ask when you need to hire someone new:

  • Licensing and certifications: The first thing you’ll need to know is whether the court reporters are licensed and certified—and the second thing to ask is where their licenses and certifications were granted. State certification or the National Court Reporters Association certification are two good types to look for.
  • What’s included in the rate: It’s important to not just ask about their rate, but what’s included. Some firms charge for add-on services, like cloud storage and conference room space, while others include those features in their rate.
  • Advance notice: How much advance notice do the court reporters need before a hearing? This is crucial, especially if you’re in an emergency situation.
  • Transcript turnaround time: It’s always important to know when you’ll get your written transcript. Some cases can’t wait days or weeks for the written record—sometimes you need them immediately. Ask if there’s a fee for faster turnaround, and how much that might be.
  • How to schedule: Next, find out how the firm schedules reporters—can you request them through a website or email, or do you need to call the firm? Will you get a confirmation email?
  • Remote depositions: Today, many proceedings are taking place remotely. Does the court reporting firm offer remote deposition services? Is there a different fee for remote proceedings than in-person proceedings? How experienced is the firm with this type of deposition?
  • Real-time reporting: Real-time reporting is becoming increasingly popular, both in-person and remotely. Find out if the court reporting firm offers these services, and how the fee differs from traditional court reporting fees.
  • Service areas: Knowing where your court reporter is willing to travel is important—if they’re unable to travel to the courthouse or do not provide remote services, you’re better off going with another firm.
  • Complex testimony: Finally, find out whether the court reporters are equipped to handle complex testimony. While court reporters are highly trained, not everyone is as adept with complex testimony and cases as others may be.

Hiring the right court reporter doesn’t have to be difficult. Asking these questions will help you get a sense of each court reporting firm and what to expect. You’ll quickly discover which services are right for your proceedings.

When you need accurate, reliable and professional court reporters for a proceeding, call Bartelt | Nix Reporting, LLC. Our team is equipped to handle everything from in-person testimony to remote depositions. Reach out to us today to get started.

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