Make Your Court Reporter’s Job Easier with These Quick Tips

Accurate transcripts are vital to a powerful deposition, which are highly important to the foundation of a case. Ensure that your transcript is the best it can be by helping your court reporting with these few, easy steps.


Provide Correct Spelling of Key Words/Phrases

The device court reporters utilize (the stenograph) is different from normal keyboards. The keys are sorted by phonetically, meaning that reporters must press a number of keys to record a sound that makes up a word. This means that court reporters must go back and correct spelling in a second draft. If the court reporter is unfamiliar with a word, name, or if the word has more than one spelling, reporters will be unable to tell whether or not they are spelling the word correctly. Before the deposition, present your reporter with a list of key words, phrases, and names that may cause spelling errors, so they can present you the most accurate transcript possible.


With typing speeds averaging between 180 and 200 words per minute, court reporters are able to keep up with what was said in a deposition, or in the court room. However, they are still limited by human senses. If a witness or attorney mumbles, speaks too quickly, or speaks over another person, it can be difficult to discern what was said and who said what, leading to inaccuracies in reporting. Help your court reporter by speaking slowly, clearly, and not cutting off attorneys and deponents.

Use Complete Words, Not Inarticulate Sounds

In everyday speech, inarticulate sounds are commonplace. Sounds such as “uh-huh” and “uh-uh” replace “yes” and “no,” which is easily understood, but it is not easily recorded on a stenograph, as there is no shorthand notation for these sounds. If your witness uses these implied sounds, please as for clarification of their meaning so everything can be accurately recorded for later use.

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