6 Questions to Ask a Court Reporter

Finding a deposition reporter with experience in their field can be a challenge. And that’s especially true if you’ve never had to hire a court reporter before. Different court reporting firms provide various types of services at varying fee rates. They’re not all the same. To ensure you’re getting the services you need, consider asking the following six questions before signing a service contract. 

1. Are Your Court Reporters Certified?

Certification is regulated by each state. Therefore, it’s important to understand your state’s requirements and make certain your potential hire complies with whatever licensing and certification is appropriate for your area. If no state certification is required, certification from the National Court Reporters Association is an alternative that shows you can trust the court reporter is a trained professional.

2. How Much Will it Cost?

Of course, you should ask how much the court reporting services will cost! It’s understandable that costs depend on the exact services provided, so be sure you represent your needs clearly. A reputable reporting firm should be able to provide you with rates for transcript, travel, and appearance fees. It’s fair to expect a transparent estimate before signing a service contract. If a company seems hesitant to provide that information, consider it a red flag and take your business somewhere else.

3. How Much Advance Time do you Need?

Some circumstances require you to hire a court reporter without much notice. While it may not always be possible to fulfill last-minute requests, a busy reporting firm that works with several reporters will usually be able to accommodate you. But for everyone’s benefit, it’s best to be upfront with your timeline.

4. Do You Provide Realtime Services?

Not every deposition reporter is equipped with the technology or the training to provide Real-time reporting. With this advanced service, the reporter converts their stenographic notes into text, providing involved parties with immediate “in real-time” access to the testimonies being given. Even if you don’t need real-time services for this hearing, it’s helpful to know where you can find them in the future. 

5. When Will I Receive the Transcript?

Transcripts are typically available within a few days after a deposition. If a firm seems hesitant to provide a clear timeline, consider it a red flag. A reputable court reporting firm will clarify when transcripts will be finished and may also be able to provide expedited or same-day transcripts.