10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Court Reporter
Not all court reporting companies are the same. With the rapid change in technology, court reporting companies must keep up to ensure they are meeting the needs of attorneys and courtrooms. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), remote depositions are here to stay for the foreseeable future as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic. However, pandemic or not, many attorneys and courts find that remote proceedings have other benefits.
As such, attorneys must assess court reporting companies by asking various questions. Choosing a court reporting company is not as simple as it seems. Knowing what to ask can help to narrow down which companies have the capacity to meet an attorney’s needs. At Kusar Court Reporters, we have provided a list of questions to ask when hiring a court reporter that we believe can be a helpful tool for you. Contact us today by calling (800) 282-3376 to find out how we can meet your court reporting needs.
Question No. 1 – Are Your Court Reporters Certified by the NCRA Guidelines?
The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) provides court reporters with the option to receive an NCRA certification. Having an NCRA certificate places many court reporters at the front of the pack. Some states may not require court reporters to earn any degree or certificate. As such, earning an NCRA certification demonstrates a high level of proficiency and competence in the court reporting agency. Asking about NCRA certification is definitely a top question to ask when hiring a court reporter.
Question No. 2 – Do You Offer Remote Services?
Remote deposition services are in great demand in the time of a pandemic when in-person proceedings are not possible. Court reporting companies that do not offer remote proceedings are behind the curve. While some in-person proceedings occur in conference rooms and courtrooms across the nation, remote depositions and court proceedings are becoming the normal way of litigating for many law firms and courts.
Question No. 3 – What Is Your Turnaround Time for Transcripts?
An important question to ask when hiring a court reporter is the expected turnaround time for a completed transcript. If an attorney needs a rush transcript following a deposition, that information should be discussed immediately. At Kusar Court Reporters, we have the capability to expedite transcripts on an as-needed rush basis. Our court reporters are diligent in ensuring they comply with special requests.
Question No. 4 – What Fees Should I Expect to Pay for a Deposition?
The costs of depositions vary based on the specific needs of the parties. A rush transcript request will cost more than a request for a standard turnaround time. The use of a videographer will add to the cost and any technological features requested, such as real-time transcription. Finding out all potential fees at the forefront are critical questions to ask when hiring a court reporter.
Question No. 5 – Do You Provide Nationwide Services?
Living in a remote world has some advantages. Court reporters can often provide nationwide services so long as they have a good internet connection to handle video conferencing. Zoom, Webex, and other virtual meeting platforms enable qualified court reporters to reach a broad spectrum of clients nationwide. A court reporting company that can provide remote services and locate a superior court reporter in a specific area possesses the qualities needed in a successful court reporting company.
Question No. 6 – Can You Locate a Court Reporter on Short Notice?
Depositions and court proceedings sometimes occur at a moment’s notice. An attorney may be scrambling to find a court reporter for a deposition to occur the following day. When hiring a court reporter, an essential question is whether a court reporter can be available on very short notice. A court reporting company that cannot guarantee a court reporter will be ready to help is not the right company to pick. Successful court reporting companies anticipate all scenarios and understand the importance of timeliness and urgency in legal proceedings.
Question No. 7 – Do You Have Substitute Court Reporters Ready in Case of an Emergency?
Emergencies happen. If a court reporter becomes ill or has a family emergency and cannot appear in person or virtually to transcribe a deposition or court proceeding, a court reporting company should have a backup plan to ensure a substitute court reporter can arrive within a reasonable time.
Question No. 8 – Do You Have Interpreters to Help with Proceedings?
When a deposition involves a language other than English, an interpreter may be required. As such, one of the most important questions to ask when hiring a court reporter is whether the court reporting company has an interpreter available to assist in the translation of testimony.
Question No. 9 – Do You Have Videographers for In-Person and Remote Depositions?
If a videographer is needed, the court reporting service should be able to provide a videographer for a remote proceeding, which can be recorded online. Additionally, for in-person depositions, most of which are now videotaped, a qualified videographer must be on staff to assist the court reporter. Videographers and court reporters work collectively to help ensure a smooth proceeding.
Question No. 10 – Do You Provide Services Other Than Court Reporting?
Another question to ask when hiring a court reporter is whether the court reporting company provides services beyond transcription (both in-person and virtual) for depositions, court proceedings, and any other proceedings that require transcription of sworn testimony. Many court reporting companies offer trial support services. In such cases, attorneys can avoid hiring two companies when one company can handle all necessary tasks. Knowing the scope of a company’s services from the beginning can help to ensure the court reporter and the attorney or client are a good fit.
Contact Kusar Court Reporters Today
If you need a court reporter for an upcoming deposition or another proceeding, consider contacting Kusar Court Reporters. Our talented court reporters, videographers, and other stenographic professionals are adept in new technology and can meet the unique needs of attorneys and courts in a time of unprecedented uncertainty. To learn what Kusar Court Reporters offers, contact our office today by calling (800) 282-3376.