Questions to Ask When You Hire a Court Reporter

As an attorney or business person, you may need to hire a court reporter to record a deposition, transcribe a live meeting or recording, or provide closed captioning for an event. If you’ve never done this before, it can be confusing or overwhelming. Before you go to a search engine and hire the first person on the list, take time to get to know them with these questions to ask when you hire a court reporter.

What are your qualifications and experience?

Every state has different qualifications for court reporters. In North Carolina, there is no certification requirement but in neighboring South Carolina, for example, there is a certification requirement. Ask if they are part of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) which is the leading organization for the industry. Even if North Carolina doesn’t require certification, a well-versed and continually educated reporter would likely be a member of the association, setting them apart as a leader.

Also consider that your court reporter may have experience in a particular area like depositions and court proceedings but not in real-time reporting or transcribing digital recordings so it is important to ask what their experience is as well as qualifications.

Are you available on the dates requested?

I remember a client who asked me to cover social media for one of their events. We spent time getting to know each other but when it came time to check availability on the event date, I was unfortunately not available. While I had made a good connection, we’d wasted time in the hiring process. The lesson? I now ask clients what their timeline is for projects before committing. The same goes for you and your court reporter.

Court reporters are busy and may be scheduled weeks or months in advance. Always ask if their calendar is open on the dates you anticipate needing them.

What is the turnaround time?

While they may be available on the deposition date, the court reporter may not be able to deliver the transcript in the timeframe you need. Make sure you let them know if it is a rush job and other pertinent details they need to deliver the transcript to you on time and accurately.

At Ruffin Consulting, we are dedicated to providing the best court reporters and meeting your deadlines. The more notice and information you can provide up front as well as subsequent changes, the better can continue to serve you. Call us today to learn more.

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