Making a Record and More

A court reporter provided me with this article which could be entitled “The Court Reporter’s Lament.” The reporter’s comment to me when he gave me the article was that sadly they don’t teach lawyers things like how to make a record and that, with fewer civil trials, what lawyers used to know about making a record has become a lost art. With that, here’s the article packed with practical suggestions.

“They sit quietly in the corner, their fingers flying across the small, boxy keyboard. Two hundred words a minute, if not more. Their faces are blank, expressionless and impartial. On many occasions, attorneys and witnesses may even forget that there is someone in the room recording every spoken word. But ask court reporters what they’d like to say to the attorneys whose questions they record, and the response is uniform.

“’How much time do you have?’ laughs Doris Pfeiffer, a reporter with approximately 23 years experience. There are many players in the judicial system, but few are as overlooked by the others as court reporters. Judges wield considerable power and influence, the attorney plays off one another, and the clients pay the bills. The reporter sits alone. That’s the most important thing for practitioners to remember, says Pfeiffer. ‘Remember we’re there, and our job is to preserve the record.’ . . .” Click here for the full article with advice on how to speak in court, shop talk, getting it down on paper and rush demands.