What to Look for When Hiring a Remote Court Reporter

A veteran Fort Lauderdale court reporter stated you need a qualified professional to handle your cases and future depositions. After all, a court reporter plays a crucial role when you prepare for an existing case or even all future depositions. With the help of a qualified professional, you can get accurate transcripts. As a result, you can gather the correct materials and evidence to prepare for your next trial. 

But if you’ve been looking for a while for a local, remote court reporter, it can be quite overwhelming. With all the potential candidates with the same training, certificates, and affiliations, how do you know which is the most reliable person that can meet your needs? After all, not all court reporters are made equal. Thus, you want to hire someone who can truly handle all the work with aplomb. To help you with the hiring process, keep the following considerations in mind.

Possesses a Strong Work Ethic

Apart from stellar qualifications, one of the most important qualities a Fort Lauderdale court reporter must have is a strong work ethic. What does this mean? A reliable professional commits to the hard work and never flakes out when things get rough. A good court reporter exhibits the following:

  • Accountability for deadlines
  • Superior performance in and out of the deposition chamber 
  • Showing up on time
  • Turning well-polished transcripts 
  • Job flexibility

All of these prove strong indicators of a good work ethic, especially working online. This means you can count on the person to show up on time, whether it is late in the afternoon or on a weekend. More importantly, this professional is eager to render quality work and tender great results. 

Exhibits Tech Savvy Skills

In the past years, court reporting technology evolved by leaps and bounds. A professional Fort Lauderdale court reporter shares that you must pick someone who has made it his or her duty to keep up with the changing times and tech. Today, court reporters don’t just need computer skills. On top of the steno-machine, they must be experienced in dealing with the following:

  • CART or Communication Access Real-Time Translation Software
  • Computer-aided transcription equipment 
  • Other in-house systems

Court reporters must rely on these tech advances to make their transcriptions more accurate and reliable. Thus, when you hire a remote court reporter, make sure you ask about what technology they’re familiar with. 

To illustrate, some court reporters provide access to high-tech conference room facilities. Hence, they can readily transcribe video depositions. This means you depose your witnesses remotely. Therefore, when you hire a court reporter with advanced tech skills, you make everything convenient for yourself and your witnesses. You can also save your time, energy, gas money, and effort. 

Exemplifies Strong Accountability

Some court reporters work for themselves. They are their own bosses who manage to provide exemplary services. Meanwhile, others may work for a court reporting firm so this person could be accountable to more people, such as:

  • Delivering to the production department
  • Providing on-time transcripts for checking to superiors
  • Reporting to the billing department for correct charges

Find out who they are accountable to because you want a court reporter that commits to delivering quality work no matter what happens. This can help you set expectations, especially when things get rough and hectic. 

Makes It Very Easy to Schedule Appointments

Another thing you should stay mindful about centers on scheduling your Fort Lauderdale court reporter. As the one hiring, you must find it convenient for yourself to make an appointment or book a schedule. Assess if you can do this readily online and how far ahead can you make the booking request. 

Remember, legal professionals plan most depositions or other hearings in advance. Hence, hiring a freelance remote court reporter when needed should not be an issue. However, you also want the added assurance that if you have a last-minute meeting, your needs can be accommodated easily. 

You may also want to find out if the court reporter accepts out-of-town depositions. Perhaps, they may also have a network with other firms in other areas that they can recommend if you have a sudden meeting out-of-town or even out-of-state. This can save you from the hassle of scouting for one in the area. At least if they cannot work for you due to licensing issues, they can refer to the best ones in the area. 

Maintains a Positive Attitude Amidst Pressure

You want to work with a Fort Lauderdale court reporter who maintains a positive attitude. Beware of someone who exhibits the following:

  • Being uncooperative
  • Gives short or minimal responses
  • Has a heavy or dark aura
  • Doesn’t work well with the other staff

Many firms opt for a newbie reporter with a good personality trait over an experienced one with a bad attitude. Keep in mind; skills can be learned and improved with time. However, a terrible attitude runs innate and cannot be taught. Besides, people with bad personalities will most likely never change. You want a court reporter with a great disposition, who cares about clients, and maintains grace under pressure. 

Provides Easy Availability of Transcripts

Do your due diligence and find out the normal turnaround time for transcriptions from your prospective Fort Lauderdale court reporter. You must find out this detail because you need adequate time to receive these important documents. After all, you need accurate and timely transcripts to prepare for the case. 

Moreover, don’t forget to ask about expedited services in case you have sudden, rush requests. Don’t forget to ask about the following details:

  • Ask about expedited rates
  • Possibility of access to rough draft transcripts
  • Real-time court reporting services if this is possible

Manifests an Overall Good Life Experience

Finally, apart from possessing credentials and affiliations on their resume, a Fort Lauderdale court reporter must have a well-balanced life. Having hobbies, interests, and other opportunities for learning exemplify balance. This means your court reporter can handle the stress and will not burn out on you midway through your high-pressure case. 

Besides, activities such as time spent exploring Europe or studying another language can help with their job. Other experiences with finance organizations or other affiliations can also enrich their knowledge and skills. Holding responsibilities for other endeavors exemplify how serious a person is in terms of fulfilling obligations and being punctual. No matter what area it is, any indicator that a court reporter looks for ways to increase knowledge and experience is always a good sign.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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