What to Look for When Choosing a Court Reporting Firm

Court Reporters Cheering

The demand for court reporting services has led to the proliferation of court reporting firms and freelancers. Some firms are more reliable than others, and you should be able to identify which will provide superior service. There are also firms that provide court reporter back office support. Their services simplify the business tasks of court reporters and also open opportunities for freelance court reporters to have affordable back-office support. For your next deposition, hire a court reporting firm that meets the below mentioned criteria.

Understand your need: When it comes to choosing a court reporting firm, you should understand what services you expect. After understanding your needs, hire an all-around, general-use court reporting firm, a court reporter with experience in your particular areas of expertise, or a stenographer with similar background.

Quality court reporters:  Everyone is searching for the best court reporters for their depositions. A good court reporting firm should have skilled and experienced staff and they should send a quality reporter to their clients, every time. Court reporters should be licensed and should act professionally. Court reporter business assistance firms do a tremendous job by supporting the efforts of court reporters.

Court reporters should be:

  • Professionally dressed.
  • Confident and accurate during read back.
  • Careful with spelling and important details.
  • Polite and respectful to others.
  • Highly skilled in proofreading, editing and researching.
  • Able to type a minimum of 200 words per minute.

 Professional support staff: Good customer service is something you want from a court reporting service. If the staff or court reporters are impolite or lack candor, you should look for another firm.

Updated website: An up-to-date website offering all the necessary information, including deposition scheduling, and an array of document depository features is indispensable for a court reporting firm.

High-quality transcripts: If transcripts offered by the firm are of poor quality, then you should look for another court reporting company. It is necessary that the transcripts provided abide by the standard formats or regulations fixed by the appropriate court reporting governing bureau for the area in which you live.

  • Transcript should be concise and accurate.
  • Transcript should be provided in such a way that it can be easily unbound for internal copying use.
  • Transcripts should be delivered promptly and on time.

Some companies deliver transcripts before the standard time, however, you should see that they don’t compromise on quality. Transcripts carry important information for a case, and their accuracy is paramount.

Multiple locations: Choose a court reporting company that has multiple locations across the state or nation so that they can cater to the various deposition needs possible. Otherwise, you may have to rely on multiple companies for wide-ranging court reporting needs, such as CART/captioning services, or note taking. Select a company that is capable of offering high-end services like voice-to-text transcription, to transcribing from audio files, to remote internet real-time streaming.

Reputation: Reputation is another factor you should consider while choosing a court reporting firm. Apart from a court reporting firm’s experience and reputation, understand the type of clients they usually work with. A court reporting agency with over five years of experience will know how to handle a deposition accurately.

Cost of services: Cost can be a determining factor in choosing a court reporting firm. Before starting a project, the cost of the services should be thoroughly discussed and agreed upon. The client and the company should discuss a convenient billing schedule to avoid any future disagreement. Your time-limit parameters should be communicated to the firm clearly, along with defining your court reporting needs.

Researching prices and making comparisons is good practice, if you are looking to save money. You should consider page rates and hourly sitting fee. Some firms provide additional services like legal videography and video conferencing, at no extra cost. Discounts are given for big cases by some firms and you can check if your project may be eligible for those discounts.

Technology: A court reporting firm should be able to provide a team who knows how to employ a mix of stenographic, real-time stenographic and voice writing technologies. The client can benefit from real-time translation and litigation-support technology.

Management skills: When you do business with a company, you expect them to be very competent and efficient in everything they do. If the company compiles proposal requests on time and accurately, this may reflect positively on their ability to do future work. They should also possess good project management skills.

Online efficacy: A court reporting firm with good online expertise, is greatly in demand. Clients can benefit from online repository that allow 24/7 access to all documents, transcripts, video library and exhibits. When you are on the go, you can access any details of your cases and prepare accordingly.

In some places it is not necessary for a court reporter to obtain any certification, in such cases you should be extra careful while choosing a court reporting company. Good reporting agencies, who are committed to work professionally and ethically, provide good references to potential clients. Keeping clients happy and satisfied should be the primary goal of any court reporting agency. With a friendly staff at their side, a court reporting agency can achieve its goals.

Court reporter services are often a necessity, as individuals and agencies are greatly benefitted thanks to our skilled professionals. The above criteria will help you hire an excellent court reporting firm. Similarly, if you are a freelance court reporter or court reporting firm looking for assistance in making your court reporting services less challenging to provide, get in touch with CRC National today!

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