The idea of halting lawyers in their tracks during depos when they’re on a roll or speaking at supersonic speed to “save time” can feel be intimidating.
But if your goal is to produce high-quality indecipherable-free transcripts that leave everyone happy – learning to professionally and respectfully interrupt parties is vital, especially with issues with the “new normal” of remote depositions due to COVID-19.
When too many people are speaking over each other or parties are speaking too fast, it’s up to you to halt proceedings.
So how can you make sure your interruption is well received?
Focus on what you say as well as how you say it.
It’s the difference between professional and frustrated, see below:
➤ Raising your hands and saying, “Counsel, could you please slow down?” or “Excuse me,” in a measured, respectful and experienced tone.
➤ Throwing your hands up and stating, “you’re going to have to slow down if you want me to get all that” in a stressed, frustrated and demanding tone.
While it may be scary, being able to speak to your needs as a court reporter ultimately marks you as a true professional, additionally enabling you to deliver higher quality transcripts. Frustration is temporary, but transcripts are permanent.
Check out CRB’s, The Court Reporter’s Dilemma: Interrupt or Drop, to learn more best practices on how to interrupt proceedings.