Court Reporters & Legal Videographers – Team Work Makes the Dream Work
By Rosalie Kramm, CSR, RPR, CRR
Principal – Kramm Court Reporting, A Veritext Company
As many of you might know, I am married to a legal videographer, Chris Jordan. Naturally, we met at a deposition, and it was a doozy of a depo. It took place at a witness’ home. His two angry Rottweilers greeted us at the door. That deposition took place on August 2nd, 1994. Every year on August 2nd, we send a thank you note to the noticing attorney, and Chris and I celebrate that deposition.
One of the things I learned from Chris Jordan is that great videographers genuinely want the court reporters they work with to succeed and produce a great transcript. And I believe great reporters respect their videographers and want them to succeed as well.
What are some of the things videographers do for court reporters?
Provide a live feed of the monitored, clear audio to the reporter’s laptop.
Provide a feed from their audio to the court reporter’s headset (and even provide headsets).
Provide a wav file after the deposition for the reporter.
If the reporter has a computer issue, take extra time to set up microphones or “do whatever it takes” to give the court reporter more time to troubleshoot whatever the issue might be.
Help to set up iPads around the table and watch to see if the real-time test strokes come up.
At breaks and lunch, offer to get the court reporter coffee, water, etc.
Be empathetic about the level of difficulty, speed, or demeanor of the people at the deposition.
When a court reporter starts lifting their shoulders and fidgeting, silently mouth out or signal to the court reporter the time until the next disk change.
When necessary, make a disk change before the disk has run out of time.
Keep track of elapsed time at a deposition. This is particularly important for the 7-hour rule.
What are some of the things court reporters do for videographers?
If the reporter arrives at the deposition before the videographer, set up so you can move your machine and laptop easily. Videographers are tasked with dealing with lighting in a room, windows, and space for their gear.
Provide a caption or notice if the videographer doesn’t have one.
Move laptop out of the shot, if necessary.
If the reporter is using the videographer’s audio feed to their headset, help get attention of any person whose microphone falls off, or if hair is making noise.
Give videographers the time stated when going on or off record, if videographer asks.
I have had the privilege of listening to videographers’ and reporters’ conversations around the office or during social events. Videographers talk about depositions and court reporters and how much they like the reporters, respect the reporters, can’t believe what court reporters are able to do, and brainstorm new ideas about how to help reporters with different kinds of wav files, compressing files, new software…
I believe legal videographers “go to war” with court reporters, and they get it. I am grateful for their professionalism and kindness and am glad we are on the same team.