- Author: Janice Eidd-Meadows, Regional Director, Eastern Texas
When attorneys hire a court reporting firm, they want everything to go smoothly. Surprises may come from the witness testimony, but they shouldn’t experience any disappointments from the court reporting firm. To help in obtaining the best possible results, here are five things to expect from your court reporting firm.
A good court reporting firm should provide constant communication like, frequent progress updates and notification regarding any issues or incongruities.
A common complaint regarding some services involves the constant transferring of one person to another with no returned calls and no resolution.
Look for a service where the staff is well-trained in handling inquiries and issues such as order discrepancies and invoice questions. The staff should have all the tools they need to assist you, answer questions directly or get the proper person on the line based on the issue. The firm’s representatives should be knowledgeable in the letter of the law and provide a high level of service.
When you find outstanding service combined with highly skilled and professional court reporters and videographers, you’ve discovered a firm worth keeping.
Transparency means that the court reporting firm is open about the company, its policies and its people, including court reporters, videographers, technicians and office staff. You don’t want something like this to happen:
The court reporter who showed up for a Texas deposition was certified in California but not in Texas. Since the court reporting firm chose not to inform the client, the deposition was invalid and the client’s case could have been seriously damaged.
A transparent firm will willingly share its rate sheet and abide by it. They should provide itemized invoices on request and without hesitancy. Client billing preferences should be customizable and established for future engagements.
To match a client with the right court reporter, the firm should ask a series of questions to be sure they can fill service expectations and are prepared for the deposition.
It is important for court reporting firms to be innovative and keep up with rapidly changing legal technology. They should be experts with internet streaming and secure remote video deposition technology.
Clients should expect high definition video files in MPEG-4, rather than common, outdated formats like MPEG-1. The best firms have videographers, proficient in picture-in-picture (PIP) and ELMO document cameras, and trained in the production of high quality videos.
The firm should provide an on-line repository where you can access all your transcripts, exhibits, calendars and invoices. This on-demand feature provides clients the ability to obtain all their deposition related material, whenever and wherever.
Do you know the rules for requesting expedited transcripts, changing your mind about witness signatures, going on and off the record, who is responsible for 0&1 costs and the court reporter ethics guidelines for general fair dealing?
The court reporter rules, codified in the Texas Judicial Branch Certification Commission Statutes, Rules and Policies, go very deep into what a court reporter and/or court reporting firm can and can’t do (similar rules apply in other states).
Expect your court reporting firm to be experts in the rules and ethical practice of court reporting. Compliance knowledge is especially significant when you think of what is at stake. Violations of court reporter rules could make a difference in winning or losing a case.
Trust and Confidence
Excellent service, transparency, current technology and compliance knowledge all build trust and confidence in a court reporting firm. You should be confident that the firm will resolve issues promptly, deliver quality products and services, and provide clarity on cost/pricing.
When high standards govern the company’s actions, trust and rapport builds over time, and clients stay for years.
With a trusted court reporting service, clients see:
- Prompt and excellent service
- Experienced, skilled professional staff
- Ongoing education and training
- Consistent billing
They will not have to worry about:
- Hidden charges
- Not receiving what was requested
- Treatment that is not fair to all parties, such as different rates
- Getting burned with no-shows or late delivery of product
When clients trust their court reporting service, they experience the peace of mind and confidence that comes with knowing what to expect. We at Lexitas are honored to serve you and work hard every day to earn your trust and confidence.
About the Author
Janice Eidd-Meadows is the East Texas & Fort Worth Regional Director for Lexitas. She serves on the Court Reporters Advisory Board for the Judicial Branch Certification Commission under the auspices of the Texas Supreme Court.