Exploring Different Types of Court Reporting

May 24, 2023

Court reporting plays a crucial role in the legal system, ensuring an accurate and verbatim record of proceedings. While court reporters are often associated with traditional courtroom trials, their expertise extends beyond that. In this blog post, we will explore different types of court reporting, including depositions, trials, hearings, and more, highlighting their unique characteristics and the role of court reporters in each setting.

1. Depositions: Unveiling Witness Testimonies
Depositions are out-of-court testimonies given under oath, typically held in an attorney’s office or a neutral location. Court reporters play a vital role in capturing the witness’s words during the deposition. These transcripts are invaluable during case preparation, discovery, and trial, allowing attorneys to examine witness statements, identify inconsistencies, and develop effective legal strategies.

2. Trials: Documenting Courtroom Proceedings
Courtroom trials are perhaps the most well-known setting for court reporters. They are responsible for creating a real-time, verbatim record of every word spoken during the trial. By using stenographic machines or other advanced recording technologies, court reporters ensure the accuracy and integrity of the trial proceedings. Their transcripts become crucial references for judges, attorneys, and other parties involved in the case.

3. Hearings: Recording Administrative Proceedings
Hearings, often conducted by administrative bodies or agencies, involve the presentation of evidence and arguments on specific issues. Court reporters accurately capture all spoken interactions, testimonies, and evidentiary proceedings during administrative hearings. These transcripts serve as an official record of the hearing and may be referred to during subsequent appeals or other legal processes.

4. Arbitrations: Capturing Alternative Dispute Resolution Proceedings
Arbitrations are alternative dispute resolution processes where parties present their cases before an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators. Court reporters play a vital role in accurately documenting the proceedings, ensuring that all statements, evidence, and arguments are recorded for future reference. The resulting transcripts provide an official record of the arbitration process and can be crucial for any potential legal challenges.

Court reporters are instrumental in capturing and preserving the spoken word in various legal settings. From depositions and trials to hearings, and arbitrations, their expertise ensures that an accurate, verbatim record is maintained. Understanding the different types of court reporting highlights the essential role court reporters play in the legal system, providing a reliable record of proceedings that is vital for the pursuit of justice.

                                      To book your next deposition, please call our office at (336) 923-7429 or click here to book now!

The Different Types of Video Depositions

May 23, 2023

There are several options available for video depositions that can be tailored to your specific needs. Here are some alternatives you can consider:

In-Person Video Deposition:

Conducted face-to-face, this type of deposition captures the witness’s testimony while they are physically present in the deposition room. The entire proceeding is recorded on video.

Remote Video Deposition:

This option allows for the deposition to take place remotely, with the witness and attorneys participating from different locations. Videoconferencing platforms, such as Zoom, facilitate the virtual interaction and recording of the witness’s testimony. This approach offers convenience and cost savings by eliminating the need for travel.

Picture-in-Picture Deposition:

Similar to a remote video deposition, this format includes an additional feature where the witness’s image is displayed within a smaller window, simultaneously with the larger image, video, or document being presented. This setup enhances visual context and provides a more comprehensive recording of the proceedings.

Day-in-the-Life Video Deposition:

Primarily used to document an individual’s daily activities following an injury or accident, this type of deposition captures the witness going through their routine. The recorded footage serves as evidence that can be presented during a trial to illustrate the impact of the incident on the person’s life.

Hybrid Video Deposition:

Hybrid video depositions offer a flexible and innovative approach to conducting legal proceedings. In this format, some participants attend the deposition in person at a designated location, while others join remotely via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. This combination allows for face-to-face interactions among certain individuals, while accommodating the convenience and cost-saving benefits of remote attendance for others. Hybrid Zoom video depositions provide the opportunity to leverage the advantages of both in-person and remote depositions, ensuring effective communication and collaboration while adapting to various logistical considerations. This hybrid approach is particularly useful in situations where participants are located in different geographical areas or face travel constraints, enabling seamless integration of diverse perspectives and maximizing efficiency in the deposition process.

By considering these various options, you can select the most appropriate type of video deposition that aligns with your specific requirements. Whether you opt for an in-person or remote format, or choose to incorporate additional visual elements, leveraging these options will allow you to obtain the precise outcome you seek.

Unveiling the Importance of Deposition Transcripts in the Legal Process

May 22, 2023

Depositions are a critical component of the legal process, allowing attorneys to gather sworn testimony from witnesses and build their cases. During these proceedings, accurate and comprehensive deposition transcripts are invaluable assets. In this blog, we will explore the significance of deposition transcripts and shed light on how they shape legal proceedings and facilitate effective case preparation.

1. A record that cannot be changed.

Deposition transcripts serve as an immutable record of the testimony provided by witnesses. They capture the exact words spoken under oath, preserving the intricacies of the deposition process. These transcripts are a vital resource for attorneys as they review and analyze witness statements, identify inconsistencies or contradictions, and develop their strategies accordingly. The precision and accuracy of deposition transcripts play a crucial role in ensuring justice and fairness within the legal system.

2. Essential Discovery Tool

Deposition transcripts are an essential tool during the discovery phase of a case. Attorneys use these transcripts to gain valuable insights into the opposing party’s position, strengthen their arguments, and uncover potential evidence. By carefully studying the deposition transcripts, attorneys can identify key points and use them to challenge witnesses during cross-examinations or support their own witnesses’ testimonies. These transcripts are invaluable for developing a comprehensive understanding of the case and formulating effective legal strategies.

3. Building a Strong Case

Deposition transcripts provide attorneys with a wealth of information to build a strong and persuasive case. By reviewing witness statements, attorneys can identify favorable or damaging testimony that can significantly impact the outcome of the case. The transcripts allow them to meticulously prepare for trial, highlighting inconsistencies, contradictions, or credibility issues that can be used to challenge opposing witnesses or support their own client’s version of events. A well-prepared attorney armed with thorough deposition transcripts can present a compelling case and navigate the complexities of the legal process with confidence.

4. Collaborative Case Preparation

Deposition transcripts facilitate collaborative case preparation among legal teams. Attorneys can share and discuss deposition transcripts with colleagues, paralegals, and experts to gain different perspectives and insights. These transcripts serve as a foundation for discussions and strategic planning, allowing the legal team to collectively analyze and interpret the information contained within them. Such collaboration enhances the overall quality of case preparation and helps ensure that all aspects of the case are thoroughly examined.

5. Documentation for Future Reference

Deposition transcripts also serve as valuable documentation for future reference. Attorneys can refer back to these transcripts during trial, redirecting witnesses or refreshing their memory on specific points raised during depositions. Furthermore, deposition transcripts can be used for post-trial analysis, appeals, or any subsequent legal proceedings. They serve as a permanent and reliable source of information, allowing attorneys to revisit witness testimony accurately and effectively.

Deposition transcripts are an integral part of the legal process, providing a verbatim account of witness testimony that can shape the outcome of a case. They serve as a crucial resource for attorneys during case preparation, discovery, and trial, enabling them to build strong arguments, challenge witnesses, and craft persuasive narratives. The accuracy, comprehensiveness, and accessibility of deposition transcripts contribute significantly to the pursuit of justice and the smooth functioning of the legal system.

Zoom Depositions – Part 2 – How to Handle Exhibits

July 22, 2020

When all attorneys are going to be appearing via Zoom, it’s important that if you are going to introduce exhibits you follow these rules:

1.  Make sure you get the exhibits to the reporter at least 24 hours prior to the deposition.  This allows the reporter/court reporting agency time to print said exhibits to be available for the witness to look at during the Zoom deposition.

2.  If you are sending in last-minute exhibits, please call the agency and let them know so they can put a rush on getting them printed.

3.  If you find yourself in the middle of the deposition and need to show an exhibit you had not already sent to the court reporter/court reporting agency, you can do a screen share.  Please make sure you have the document available on PDF.  Bring it up on your computer and click screen share.  This will enable everyone on the Zoom meeting the ability to see what is on your screen. 

4.  If you do a screen share and decide to make that an exhibit, please don’t forget to send it to the court reporting agency so they can mark it and include it in the transcript.

For your next Zoom deposition, please call Winston-Salem Court Reporting:  336-923-7429.

Zoom Depositions – Part 1 – What is a Zoom Deposition?

Court reporters have been using Zoom depositions for years.  Back in the day, when attorneys didn’t want to travel, we would often use conference calls to facilitate depositions.  Over the years, this then changed to videoconferenced depositions where one IP site would connect with another IP site.  This technology took specialized equipment on both ends.  Over time, this method has been used less often and people have switched over to Zoom depositions.  Since COVID-19 and the requirement to social distance, our Zoom depositions have shot up significantly.  So I would like to start by explaining what exactly a Zoom deposition is.

Zoom is offered by most court reporters.  There are also other versions, of course, Cameo, etc, but they’re all powered by Zoom technology.  Zoom has been around since approximately 2011.  Winston-Salem Court Reporting has been using Zoom since approximately 2015.

Zoom  is much like Facetime or Skype but it can be used across many different platforms; i.e., laptop, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, desktop computer, Chromebook, etc. 

Zoom earlier on this year got some bad press with people breaking into meetings.  This has been fixed on the platform by requiring a password.  Please make sure your court reporting company provides you both the link, meeting ID, and the password.  The password will keep your meeting secure.

Zoom is unique in that it can allow up to 100 participants to connect.  All participants are sent the same link with meeting ID and password. 

Once connected all participants can see each other with a split screen and it will jump screens as people speak. 

There is also a function where people can  text within  the app.  Simply scroll to the contact to start a private chat.

Winston-Salem Court Reporting can now record your Zoom deposition.  All you have to do is request this when booking. 

To book your next Zoom deposition with Winston-Salem Court Reporting, please give us a call at 336-923-7429 or book online.

When Your Deposition Witness Becomes Unhinged

May 20, 2020

As a deposition court reporter, you’ll take the testimony of witnesses from all walks of life. One of the biggest perks of the profession is the knowledge that there’s no such thing as a normal witness or a normal day.

One type of witness all court reporters have encountered at one time or another is the confrontational witness. These witnesses are usually parties to a lawsuit or intimately involved in the events in question and feel that the attorney who’s questioning them is out to get them. They’ll stonewall, make snide comments, and sometimes scream and curse. Some will even physically confront the taking attorney or another person in the room.

Sometimes a witness comes completely unhinged, as happened in the videotaped deposition of longtime political operative Roger Stone.

In the days leading up to Roger Stone’s sentencing for involving himself in a conspiracy to help foreign interests influence our 2016 presidential election, Judge Amy Berman Jackson allowed Stone to be deposed by conservative lawyer Larry Klayman. So, in the two days right before Valentine’s Day, Stone was forced to sit and take questions from Klayman about more than a handful of civil cases the political operative is also involved in. Those include a libel case with lawyer Larry Klayman himself, whom Stone opined “could be the single worst lawyer in America” and has an IQ lower than 70.

Judge Jackson allowed the deposition to take place in a Florida court reporter’s office. In video of the 5.5-hour, two-day deposition, Stone shakes and does stressful stuff with his teeth and his hands, while losing his trademark cool a lot. Like a lot a lot. Like an unhinged amount. Highlights pulled out by Politico include Stone saying he isn’t going to be “badgered by this bastard” Klayman, as well as calling Klayman a “bitch.”

Politico’s video shows Stone making the objections himself and taking it upon himself to question Klayman – as if he were the attorney taking the deposition.


It should be noted that Klayman released the video; it would be unethical for the court reporting firm or the videographer to release the video.

While it’s entertaining to watch, these types of witnesses (and attorneys) make it difficult for the court reporter to capture a verbatim record. In such an explosive environment it’s imperative that the court reporter remain calm, maintain neutrality, and interrupt the deposition when necessary to ask the parties to either slow down or not talk over each other. The court reporter, in their discretion, may leave the room if they feel physically threatened. Although a court reporter’s duty is to guard the record, they are not required to put themselves in physical danger to do so.

Another Reason to Use Remote Depositions

January 14, 2020

A major force behind the skyrocketing popularity of the practice of taking videoconferenced (remote) depositions is the massive cost savings it offers (in time and money) to law firms and their clients.

Videoconferenced depositions also allow “the show to go on” when weather emergencies or natural disasters strike. Wildfires, hurricanes, blizzards, and earthquakes can cause airports to close for days and have led to major delays in getting a case to trial. Clearly, if parties to a case or their counsel are in the midst of such a disaster it’d be impossible to hold a deposition no matter what type of technology was available. Sometimes, though, the only reason the deposition is at risk of cancellation is because there is no way the out-of-town attorneys can travel to the deposition location (treacherous roads, airport closures, etc.). In that case, conducting a deposition remotely can offer a solution to the problem.

Some attorneys are hesitant to make the change, either because they don’t trust the technology or because they feel they will be more effective by being in the room with the deponent. One attorney who routinely traveled to take depositions nationwide changed his mind about remote depositions after bad weather forced him to stay home.
One corporate patent counsel at a major pharmaceutical company traveled to key witness depositions in Europe until a snowstorm forced him to stay home. Watching a deposition remotely turned him into a staunch supporter of the technology because it saves him the cost and hassle of traveling while still allowing him to communicate with deposition counsel: “Going to Europe used to be fun, but at this point in my life I would rather save the two full travel days and $5000 in airfare.” Remote deposition streaming saves on travel, but what’s even more important is that it enables corporate counsel to be “at” the deposition without ever leaving their office.

As the attorney said, travel expenses for out-of-town or out-of-state depositions are a big factor considered by attorneys and their clients when compared to a remote videoconferenced deposition.

The time and cost of travel to take depositions adds up quickly. Travel costs for out-of-state depositions are generally much higher than the actual deposition itself. Airfare, car rental, lodging and meals can be two or three times as much as the court reporter costs.

There are some other benefits to taking a deposition remotely. By using videoconferencing software such as Zoom, which Legal Media Experts offers, all of the participants can view exhibits, drawings, videos, spreadsheets, et cetera, simultaneously on the screen. In a remote deposition, you’ll never have to continually tell the witness or opposing counsel what page you’re on, and you won’t need to make a copy of the exhibit for each participant. That saves a lot of trees – in addition to the baggage fees you’ll save if you’re lugging voluminous exhibits across the country.

Also, your privacy and security are ensured. Even though videoconferenced depositions are streamed over the web, today’s video conferencing offers the utmost privacy due to secure internet connections, file encryption, and private chat options, ensuring that only approved parties can participate in and view the deposition.
Putting the fear of change aside, conducting a remote deposition is easy. Your court reporting firm will provide a conference suite equipped with Zoom (or a similar provider) and trained staff that will operate the software and equipment for you. There’s no need for you to invest in the equipment.

Platforms such as Zoom also have the ability to create a video recording of the deposition as it’s occurring, but some court reporting firms offer that only upon request, so be sure to let the scheduler know you’d like that option when you are scheduling the deposition. Digital copies of the video will be provided (at an additional cost) to all counsel who request one, and those digital copies can be viewed on numerous devices, including computers, laptops, tablets, and cell phones. This way, any involved party can clarify a statement the witness made by pulling up the video on whatever device is most convenient.

Winston-Salem Court Reporting offers videoconferenced depositions in its conference rooms. To schedule yours, use our online scheduling form or call 336-923-7429.

Court Reporter Disciplined for Posting about Case on Facebook

June 26, 2019

Whether in a deposition suite, a courtroom, or any other setting, a court reporter is required to be an impartial reporter of proceedings and treat both sides equally.

The Kansas Board of Examiners of Court Reporters recently recommended that a court reporter in a high-profile murder case be reprimanded after she made multiple Facebook comments about the case while it was on appeal.

A disciplinary board ruling says the judicial court reporter for the murder trial of Dana Chandler deserves public reprimand for offering her opinion on the case in social media comments.
Punishment for the court reporter, April Shepard, will be determined by the Kansas Supreme Court, which could issue a public reprimand or impose more serious consequences.

The Board of Examiners of Court Reporters recommended discipline after Shepard admitted to violating a rule that requires court reporters to be impartial. A hearing in April on whether to keep any punishment private involved a volley of shots from Shepard’s attorney directed toward Keen and Eileen Umbehr, a couple known for their relentless advocacy for Chandler’s release.

The board rejected Shepard’s arguments in a ruling last week, saying the court reporter “should have known that her comments would carry the strength of real or imagined authority because of her official role in the trial and the fact that she had a front-row seat to observe all the evidence.”
In 2016, while the case was under appeal, Shepard entered debate about Chandler’s guilt on Keen Umbehr’s Facebook page. Shepard had changed employment by then from Shawnee to Wyandotte County District Court.

Shepard asserted her role as the court reporter in multiple comments to bolster her opinion that Chandler was guilty and would be convicted again if granted a new trial.
“I’m confident they got the right perpetrator in this case,” Shepard wrote. “Look, I was there, I reported that whole case. I saw firsthand this case.”

The Kansas Supreme Court will consider the board’s recommendation without hearing oral arguments.
Discipline could include public reprimand, probation, professional education, suspension of a court reporter’s certificate, or revocation of the certificate.

What New Attorneys Should Know About Depositions

April 26, 2019

As a new attorney entering the world of taking depositions, you’re probably anxious about your performance – asking the right questions, not mumbling, and covering all of the material you need to cover. When your client is the deponent, though, be sure to focus a great deal of your preparation time on them.

Knowledge is Power

While you’re understandably nervous about your upcoming deposition, your client (unless they’re a seasoned expert witness) is probably 10 times as nervous. Giving a deposition isn’t an everyday occurrence, and the more your client knows about the procedures, the participants, and what to expect, the more comfortable they will be.

By spending some time conducting a mock deposition with your client, you’ll both be more prepared for the big day. Your client will gain confidence and you’ll be able to see any potential pitfalls before they occur. During the mock deposition, emphasize the importance of listening closely to questions and pausing before giving the answer. Ask the client questions you expect opposing counsel to ask, even “gotcha” questions, paying attention to your client’s reaction and demeanor.

A large part of preparing your witness for their deposition is helping them understand deposition procedure. Explain that they will be placed under oath, and the process of direct and cross-examination. The witness should also understand who all of the deposition participants are and the role they play.

It’s a Trap!

You never want to hear your witness say, “Can I add to that?” The best answers are always yes, no, I don’t know, and I don’t recall – and they’re effective in avoiding traps that opposing counsel has set. Be sure to tell your client that if there are times they feel they should elaborate on a yes or no answer (and opposing counsel doesn’t ask for any clarification) that they can talk to you about the issue privately during a break in the deposition and you might revisit the issue during cross-examination.

Your client should be prepared to hear you object to opposing counsel’s questions and how to handle them.
It is crucial to stress the importance of sticking to the truth. The witness should know not to guess or reach for the answers they believe the opposing counsel wants to hear.

It Isn’t About Winning

Depositions are an opportunity for the client to tell their side of events and to discuss the facts of the case, not to win or lose. Depositions should be used to gather and share information, and your clients should be instructed to keep their answers as short and direct as possible.

It’s Not Off the Record   

Your client should know that nothing surrounding a deposition is off the record. This includes any conversations or interactions you or your client may have with opposing counsel or their client before or after the deposition. They should know that anything they say or do can be used by opposing counsel to craft their case or present it during trial.

The Bottom Line

Depositions can help clarify questions and diffuse potential challenges to your client’s claims and should never be taken lightly. Time spent preparing yourself and your client for the process will ensure a better outcome.

Call Winston-Salem Court Reporting for your next deposition in  the Piedmont Triad area.  We have experienced court reporters and legal videographers.  Remember, our conference rooms are ALWAYS free.  Call now to set up your next deposition (336) 923-7429 or book online now!

Need Quick Turnaround on Your Transcript?

March 29, 2019

Here’s How You Can Help

There are
times that you’ll need your deposition transcript sooner than the standard 10
business day turnaround. Whether you’ll need it in five business days or
overnight, there are some things you can do to help your court reporter with a
quick turnaround.

Let us know in advance

If your court reporting firm is notified ahead of time, your transcript can
be turned around overnight or even faster. With advance notice they can ensure
that the reporter assigned to the deposition doesn’t have other expedited
transcripts on the same day, and that production staff is available to deliver
the transcript. If the court reporter isn’t notified until the end of the deposition – or even just prior to its start – they will
still do their best to meet your request, but might not be able to.

Communicate with your staff

Make sure that your paralegal and support staff have accurate information
about deadlines and when you’ll need the transcript. This will avoid a
last-minute expedite request and the possibility that the court reporter won’t
be able to accommodate your request.

Be specific

People interpret things differently, so be extremely clear about when you
need the transcript. Attorneys often say “as soon as possible,” which
to a court reporter can mean, “drop everything else you’re doing and do
nothing else until I have this transcript.” Provide your court reporter
with a specific date and time you’ll need your expedited transcript.

Give additional information  

If you have multiple days of depositions in a row, let the reporter know if
you’ll need rough drafts of the transcripts the evening of or day after each
day of depositions. The rough draft won’t be perfect and it won’t be a
certified verbatim transcript, but it will give you something to work with.

Provide technical terminology in advance

If your deposition will be technical in nature, provide terminology to your
court reporter at least a day before the deposition. If you don’t have a list
of technical terms prepared, you can send the court reporter answers to
interrogatories or other discovery documents so they can scan them for
technical terms. This will save them time in looking up the terms or needing to
contact you for a spelling.