Category Archives: Court Reporter Tips

Court Reporters – Recent Graduates

As one of the few court reporting agency owners who actually speak to new graduates and, yes, I meet many of them, here are some pointers how not to get a second chance, in other words, be called again. After looking at many new reporter transcripts recently, I would strongly suggest you have a knowledgeable friend, relative or professional read over your transcript before you send it in. I would think that every firm has somebody proofreading transcripts of new reporters, as we do, but it does not really bode well for you if you have lots of mistakes and corrections. It is very time-consuming for the office, even if they are charging you to do the corrections, which I recently found out some court reporting agencies do charge for doing corrections.

I think my biggest pet peeve is reporters using wrong words. It sounds like what I wrote so I will just pop it in, having really no idea of the meaning of the word and how it is used. Actually I was shocked at the extent reporters do this. It doesn’t get caught in a spell check and only a very careful proofreader will pick it up because it looks good to them, too. It won’t look so good on an errata sheet which a lot of people in the office see. When we get one back that is particularly horrible, we are finished with that reporter, no matter what their work looked like before. You just never know what kind of work product you will be getting. First impressions on everything count and court reporting has become terribly competitive so sharpen all your professional skills. There is still lots of work around for those who put in the time and effort in every aspect of their work.

Court Reporters & Scopists

Many court reporters use scopists which enable them to take more depositions while having a scopist do their editing. It is very important when a court reporter starts working with a scopist to give them guidelines regarding how they need their transcript produced. Every agency has different requirements. It is also important to give the scopist some basics regarding how the court reporter wants their parentheticals to read. I have seen the simple words “discussion off the record” go from one line to two lines and even three lines. Each agency has its own ideas on how these simple parentheticals should appear in the transcript. In addition, the reporter should have some written guidelines for simple punctuation and numbers. This will result in consistency throughout the transcript. A court reporter should be aware that it takes time for a scopist to understand their own style, and it is important to give a new scopist guidelines which will make everybody’s job a lot easier.