Steps a Court Reporter Takes to Prepare a Transcript for Production

Do you ever wonder about how a court reporter gets such a great transcript to you after your deposition and the steps she takes to accomplish this?

Imagine this:  You’ve just completed an all-day deposition of the expert witness in your case and you’ve lightened the load in your briefcase by giving all your exhibits to the court reporter.  You’ve told her that you need the transcript expedited.  You’ve been watching the realtime screen all day, so you know how clean the transcript is.  It can’t be that difficult or take that long to get the transcript ready for delivery, right?

While your favorite court reporter is very good at her job – she must be, otherwise you wouldn’t hire her, right? —  producing a transcript isn’t as easy as hitting the print button on her computer.

Here are some of the steps a good court reporter will go through once the deposition is over in order to produce a clean, accurate transcript that will help you and your client:

  • The court reporter will either read through the entire transcript herself or she will hire a person called a scopist that will read through the transcript.  The purpose of this is to correct any untranslates (words that don’t translate from steno into English on the court reporter’s computer), adding punctuation, and to check spellings of proper names.
  • The court reporter will also insert the descriptions and page locations of each exhibit mentioned during the deposition in order to create the index page.
  • She will also add the title pages which requires her to enter the caption of the case and the addresses of all the parties present.
  • Once the court reporter is finished with these steps, either she will proofread the entire transcript again or she will hire a proofreader to proofread it.  This step allows the proofreader to catch any minor errors that the court reporter may have missed while reading through it the first time.  The proofreader will also check to make sure the page numbers on the index match up with the transcript.
  • The court reporter will then have to make any corrections that need to be made after the proofreading step, and then either handle the production herself or send it to her court reporting agency to produce the transcript and send it to the attorneys.

Depending on the type of deposition and the complexity of the case or the witness, it could take up to two times the length of the deposition for the court reporter to complete the transcript.  So for a four-hour deposition, she could spend eight hours on editing and proofreading that transcript.

So remember, after your all-day deposition is over and you’ve expedited that transcript for overnight delivery, your favorite court reporter will be up for hours that night reading, editing, and proofreading in order to provide you with the great service and accurate transcript you’ve become accustomed to.



Angie Starbuck is a court reporter in Columbus, Ohio, and the owner of PRI Court Reporting, LLC. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Google+.

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