Within the courtroom, your primary job as a court reporter is to record the proceedings with the utmost accuracy and objectivity. This lengthy, and often taxing process may lead to fatigue, which can result in mistakes being made. Here you’ll find a few tips for making sure your primary function is never compromised, which will help ensure that each court hearing goes as well as it possibly can.
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Take small breaks. Court reporting can be demanding on the body and mind alike. You have to be attentive for hours at a time without frequent breaks. This means you need to take whatever small breaks you can.
Take a 15-minute lunch break. Step outside for 5 minutes and enjoy the sunshine. These activities take your mind off your work for a brief moment, allowing you the recharge you may need to do a few more hours of stenotyping.
Express your needs to attorneys before the hearing begins. The expectation placed on you is to record everything spoken with 100% accuracy. Sometimes the speaker – whether a witness, judge, or attorney – may not be speaking clearly or loud enough for you to understand.
Asking participants to keep their speech slow and articulate can mitigate these problems. You can also ask them to remind other speakers to do the same. It’s in everyone’s best interest to speak with clarity because it results in an accurate transcript of the proceedings.
Don’t be afraid to interrupt for clarity or spellings. Even when asking the attorneys to assist you, people may speak over each other or regress to inaudible speech that is difficult to hear and understand. When this happens, you should interject and ask the speaker to repeat what they said.
Your primary job is to record the proceedings accurately, and this provides benefits for everyone. Don’t be afraid to ask a witness to spell their name either. Interrupting the proceedings for the sake of accuracy benefits everyone involved.
Your job in the courtroom is indispensable, which requires you to be at the top of your game. Keeping these tips in mind will make your job easier while helping to ensure your transcript is flawless.