Rosalie’s Advice to Court Reporters: Accessing Veritext Virtual Via the Partner Portal
By Rosalie Kramm – CSR – Principal, San Diego
Today I accessed my first Veritext Virtual deposition via the new single sign-on feature in the Partner Portal! Veritext provided me with two tech people to help everything go smoothly. I learned a lot and have a few great tips I would like to give to court reporters. Personally, I found it to be super fun to have so much control over the deposition, and I think court reporters will like it.
Go to your Portal. The first time you use the Single Sign-On, click the TEST CONNECTION button. It just ensures you can get into Zoom and turn on your camera and audio. It takes seconds. Then click LEAVE MEETING.
It will help you if you have a printout or write down at least the last names of the people you expect to be at the deposition. You can find the attorney names on the Partner Portal by navigating to the “Appearance” section of the Attorneys Present step to help generate your Appearance Page. It is especially important to know the witness’s name since you will be looking for that person’s name later to let him/her into the deposition room.
In your Portal, click on START MEETING.
Hover your mouse over PARTICIPANTS and bring up the participants dialog box that will be on the right-hand side of your Zoom screen.
There are two groups of people in the PARTICIPANTS screen. There is only you in the meeting (and maybe a videographer if one is assigned.)
You will see another box that has people WAITING TO ATTEND. You will see the names of people in that box that are ready to come in (counsel and the witness).
You as the court reporter allows them into the deposition. To allow them into the deposition hover over their name, and then a green ADMIT box appears as well as a red REMOVE box. Click on the ADMIT box – UNLESS IT IS THE WITNESS WAITING TO GET IN. DON’T LET THE WITNESS IN UNLESS THEIR ATTORNEY IS ALREADY IN THE DEPOSITION ROOM. At that time I ask the witness’ attorney, “Mr. Jones, the witness John Dean is waiting to come into the deposition room. Would you like me to admit him now?” If the attorney says, “Yes,” let the witness in.
If the witness gets to the waiting room early, I think it is a nice idea to write them a little message. If you click on CHAT, you will see two chat boxes appear. One says “Chat for Zoom Room,” the other says, “Chat for Waiting Room.” Go to the waiting room chat box and type something like, “Hello, this is Rosalie, your court reporter. We are waiting for the attorneys to arrive. I will bring you into the deposition room momentarily.” The communication to the waiting room is one-way only. The witness/people in the waiting room cannot send you a message back. (But the rumor is that Zoom is working on changing that so the waiting room people can write a message to the court reporter host.)
If someone sneaks into the deposition and they are in the waiting room, you can ask the attorneys, “Do you expect someone named Mary Carpenter to attend this deposition?” If everyone says, “No,” you can hover over her name and remove her. I doubt that anyone will sneak into the deposition room, but who knows? That would be the remedy to remove them.
A super great thing we can do as the host is rename the people in the boxes. For instance, if someone comes in as “Yesenio’s iPhone,” you can hover over the PARTICIPANTS box at any time, then hover over the name you want to change. A little pop-up will appear with the word “more.” Click on MORE to bring up the option to change the name. Click on CHANGE NAME and a little box will appear where you can type in whatever identifier you wish. Today I had an interpreter, so I wrote in her box, “Interpreter Mary Sanchez.” I changed my name to “Court Reporter Rosalie Kramm.” One of the attorneys just had the name Joseln, so I changed it to “Joselyn Carter.” It is easier as the court reporter to see the whole name for quick identification when different people speak.
As the host, we have the power to give people the ability to screen share. In my opinion, I don’t want to mess around a lot with screen share or have to go off the record when a second attorney wants to screen share. So what I do is, before the deposition begins, I click on the SECURITY icon down at the bottom of the Zoom screen and I give all participants the right to screen share. I doubt very much that there would be a fight amongst participants trying to share screens. If that were to happen, you can take away the rights and only give them to one person at a time. That’s my personal opinion.
Before a deposition begins, I will ask the Noticing Attorney, “How do you wish to present exhibits today?” The attorney might say “via screen share.” Then I suggest that the attorney tries sharing her/his screen before the deposition. They are usually grateful for that opportunity to practice, and there is less fiddling around during the deposition since they are now confident how to screen share.
All in all, I think having the power to be the host is a good thing for court reporters because we have the opportunity to control the room and rename boxes. It is all very user-friendly and makes sense once you are in the Zoom room.
About Rosalie Kramm – CSR – Principal, San Diego
Rosalie Kramm began her career as a court reporter and owner/operator of Kramm Court Reporting in San Diego, California over 30 years ago, before joining Veritext Legal Solutions, the national leader in deposition services.
She sat on the Court Reporters Board of California with the Department of Consumer Affairs from 2013 through 2018 and has served as president of the Deposition Reporters Association of California, Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting, and General Reporters Association of San Diego.
Kramm is a Certified Court Reporter in California and holds the national license of Certified Realtime Reporter. She also is a certified LiveNote trainer and frequent presenter for advanced workshops on the use of interactive real-time software, including Realtime with LiveNote, Summation, and Bridge. She also serves on the board of the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program.