What To Do If
The Assignment Goes Longer Than Anticipated
By Joe Grabowski – RMR – Principal, Maryland
A: When accepting an assignment, you should be prepared for the unexpected.
In spite of everything in place to get an estimated length of time an assignment will last, attorneys and their staff don’t always know, or something unexpected happens during the proceeding that makes it go longer than anticipated. When accepting an assignment, you should be prepared for the unexpected. If you’re in a situation where you have to be finished by a certain time no matter what, best practice is to let everyone know you have to leave by a certain time before the job starts. If that is not possible, do so during a break, or in an emergency, go off the record to let everyone know.
If the job is definitely going longer than you can stay, tell everyone you need to make some arrangements or call the office to get relief. Once you do, it is important to immediately let the attorneys know what time that person will get there so those present can plan accordingly. No matter what, always remain professional, polite, and courteous. Never say or do anything that would show your frustration or anger. That’s one of the classic situations that prompt clients to call and request that a particular reporter not be assigned to their jobs in the future.
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Joe Grabowski, RMR, principal of Gore Brothers/Veritext began reporting in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area in 1976 and started providing realtime to attorneys and the deaf/hard-of-hearing in the mid-1980s. Joe has covered depositions in various locations in the United States, Spain, Greece and has taken statements from survivors of WWII German concentration camps in Poland.
Joe is a member of the National Court Reporters Association, past president and board member of the National Network of Reporting Companies, and past president of the Maryland Court Reporters Association. Joe is chairman of the Education Advisory Committee of the Maryland Court Reporters Association and was appointed by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell to the State of Maryland’s first Court Reporters Committee.