Hiring the Right Court Reporting Firm

How do you select the right Colorado court reporting agency from all those that are available to handle your case?  You should do it carefully and deliberately by having a list of questions ready ahead of time that you’ll use to narrow your search before picking the right one for your important deposition or entire case.    Keep in mind that choosing an accurate and professional court reporter is important to ensure the success of a case.

10 questions that you should ask a court reporting agency

1.  What is the agency’s experience?

Check the given references when hiring the services of a court reporter. Ask about his/her certifications and number of years reporting.  In verifying the references, shoot questions that need more perceptive answers than just a simple “yes or no.” Your questions should be focused on the area of court reporting matters that you are more concerned about.

2.  What cities/areas does the agency serve?

Since depositions take place in different cities in most cases, the court reporting firm should have a network to coordinate its activities regarding court cases. This may not really be a major issue for court reporting firms that are nationally or regionally focused because most often they have multiple offices located in different regional areas or nationwide.

3.  What services does the agency offer?

The court reporting agency should offer a number of services. These may include standard or realtime court reporting, and use of a technological base that can provide a case repository online. Ask about the formats that they provide for the transcript and determine how fast they can submit the transcript. Considering the various services are being offered by court reporting firms, make sure that the one you’re hiring can really provide the kinds of services that you need in managing your case effectively.

4.  What service packages does the court reporting agency provide?

There are companies using advanced technologies that can offer packages to submit the transcripts in multiple formats. For example there are some agencies that can submit transcripts and provide case materials stored online or on a USB flash drive which you can carry anywhere.

5.  How do they charge you?

Court reporting agencies will charge their costs differently.  Be aware of your options so you can contain your costs while allowing you to receive the litigation services that you need.  Always ask for a rate sheet when scheduling so you are not surprised later by higher than expected fees.

6.  How long have the reporters been in the profession?

You’ll be able to know the years of experience and the reputation of the court reporting firm by asking this question. Ask about the firm’s reputation based on dependability, professionalism and proficiency. Ask your peers for recommendations and check out the search engines for reviews.

7.  Are the court reporters experience and certified shorthand reporters?

The court reporting firm that you will hire should be highly experienced.  More experienced reporters can be more expensive, but they will understand your needs better than a less experienced reporter and potentially save you many hassles in the process.   You will also want to ensure that the court reporter you are assigned has at least a CSR (certified shorthand reporter) certification.

8. Does the firm have technical specialists that can handle the requirements of your case and other relevant testimonies?

This question is important to determine the firm’s ability to provide an accurate transcript so that you don’t have to spend your precious time correcting or explaining technical information. The court reporting agency should have a staff that has experience in the area of the testimony, and they should utilize the latest technology to help ensure a precise, accurate transcript.

9. Are there any hidden fees involved in the service?

You may not be aware about extra fees that may be charged to you while the case is ongoing or after its completion.  You will want to be aware of the fees to be charged in advance of the transcription appointment.

10. Is the firm truly a “full service” court reporting firm?

The Court reporting agency should offer you full service capabilities, and a 24-hour rush and emergency service across the country. Once you have answers to these questions, you’ll be able to evaluate the potential firms on your list. These answers can be your guidelines and criteria in determining if you’re receiving the kinds of services that you require at an affordable price. Picking an excellent court reporting agency is a great help in the litigation process. Take the time to research the firm you employ carefully and use the questions above to help guide your research.  Your colleagues will thank you.

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