Are you Frustrated by a Court Reporter's Interruptions?

December 10th, 2018
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Here's How You Can Prevent Them.

Believe it or not, your court reporter wants to interrupt a deposition about as much as you want them to. That is, they'd rather not interrupt at all. Court reporters are the guardians of the record, however, a responsibility they take seriously. They are concentrating on every single word uttered by each participant in your deposition or hearing and will interrupt immediately if they aren't able to capture what is being said.

Clearly, when the court reporter speaks up it disrupts the flow of your questioning and could cause you to forget where you were headed. The reporter doesn't mean any harm by interrupting; they're just doing their job.

The most common reasons a court reporter will interrupt a deposition are:

  • ·         Speed - All court reporters can take down fast talkers, but there's a limit.
  • ·         Mumbling - This usually goes along with speed, but not always. Instances of mumbling increase when witnesses or attorneys are reading along with a document or going through standard deposition instructions. If the witness is naturally mush-mouthed, you'll need to instruct them to enunciate.
  • ·         Volume - If the court reporter can't hear it, it can't get into the record. Attorneys usually don't have a problem making themselves heard, but a soft-spoken witness might need to be reminded to speak up.
  • ·         Multiple people talking at the same time - When multiple people are talking at the same time, the court reporter can only take down what one speaker is saying. You won't have full control over making sure deposition participants don't talk over each other, but if you do your part by letting the other person finish speaking before you speak, that will go a long way.

At your next deposition, keep these tips in mind and you'll experience few, if any, interruptions.

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