Recording Remote Depositions: What to Know as a Court Reporter

person's hand typing on a keyboard

Recording Remote Depositions: What to Know as a Court Reporter

person's hand typing on a keyboard

In April 2020, the world stood still, but the work of the courts had to continue. Enter in the remote deposition.

As depositions moved remote, many believed that recording is an equal substitute for videography. Yet, there is a difference between hitting the record button and having a videographer present.

If you are a court reporter, you may be wondering if the court will admit a deposition you recorded. The answer is, it depends.

Keep reading to learn more about the admissibility of recording remote depositions.

Court Reporter Transcripts Versus Video Recordings

A recorded deposition is not an equal or a replacement of a certified court reporter’s transcript.

Recently, in Alcorn v. City of Chicago (2020), Judge Harjani ruled that Plaintiff could not use recorded testimony in her case. Plaintiff thought that the symmetries of the certified transcript proved the veracity of the recording.

Yet, pairing a certified transcript with a zoom recording does not certify the recording.

Several factors affect admissibility. One issue is that no one annotates the video and states start and end times for the record.

But, the most critical issue that Judge Harjani underlined was that there was no videographer present.

Why Does a Video Recording Need to Be Certified?

Court reporters ensure the integrity of the transcribed testimony. Competing counsels would each present their versions of the deposition without a certified court reporter. As a result, it would be impossible for the judge or jury to find the truth.

Likewise, a videographer certifies the accuracy of a video recording. Without certification, Judge Harjani argues, each side could present their own contradictory recordings.

How Is a Recording Certified?

Videographers do much work to ensure that the recordings they take are admissible in court. There are over sixty standards that a videographer must meet for a recording to be permitted.

The videographer has to label each recording with the date, the run time, the existence of protected material, and much more. They also have to maintain a chronological log of recorded depositions and document the chain of custody.

These steps are there to ensure the deposition was recorded with fairness and transparency.

It’s easy to see why the court reporter in Acorn v. Chicago would not certify the recording without a videographer present.

Remote Depositions Are Here to Stay

Virtual depositions emerged out of necessity during the pandemic, but it appears they are here to stay. Zoom depositions have proved helpful when it is impossible to have all parties meet in the same country, let alone in the same room.

As a court reporter, you must remember that courts will not accept all recorded remote depositions.

The only way to ensure that your recording is admissible is to have a certified videographer present. Hiring professionals ensure that your recorded deposition goes effortlessly, even when it’s time for the dreaded breakout room.

We at Depo International offer expert legal videography services. Contact us to schedule your recorded remote deposition.

5 Characteristics of Great Court Reporters

women typing on a computer with a drink beside her

5 Characteristics of Great Court Reporters

women typing on a computer with a drink beside her

The median court reporter salary was $60,130 last year. If you’re wondering how to become a court reporter or you’re looking into court reporter school, does that figure motivate you to get more serious about pursuing court reporter jobs? 

What is a court reporter anyway? Court reporters sit in at trials, depositions, and other legal proceedings to transcribe word-for-word what is said. Many states require licensing or certification for this important job. 

What does it take to be a great court reporter? Keep reading to learn these 5 crucial characteristics every court report should possess.

Punctuality 

It is imperative that a court reporter shows up on time to court, depositions, and every legal proceeding. It is not acceptable to have attorneys, witnesses, and judges left waiting for you to appear to start your very important job. 

It’s not fair to waste someone’s time and it is very unprofessional. If being punctual is not in your DNA, this isn’t the job for you. 

Possess Excellent Grammar and Spelling Skills 

Do you know how to use your and you’re correctly? How about their, there, and they’re? Excellent grammar and spelling skills are a must for a court reporter. 

There are editing and proofreading involved in reviewing the court transcripts to prepare them for clients and the court. The transcripts should be free of spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. 

Strong Time Management Skills 

Once the deposition or court proceeding has concluded, a court reporter works independently to prepare the transcript. Being able to effectively manage time is important. There are deadlines to meet. You need to be able to balance your appointments with the follow-up work of editing and proofreading that is also part of the job. 

Accurate and Speedy 

You have no control over how fast people are speaking in a trial or deposition. You have to record exactly what they say, so it’s important to be extremely accurate. This requires focus and speedy typing skills.

When training for the job, you are required to pass a speed test so this skill is vitally important. 

Respects Confidentiality

If you love to gossip, you have to push that trait aside when you’re working as a court reporter. You’ll learn things in court about people that is not public information. It’s up to you to act as a professional and keep the details of any court proceeding to yourself and the transcript you’re preparing. 

A Team of Great Court Reporters 

Do you know who can help you with your court reporting needs? We at Depo International are the “Trial Lawyer’s Choice” for comprehensive court reporting, legal support and legal videography services with over 40 year’s experience in the business. 

Contact us today and learn more about our comprehensive services.