Q: What do I do if I’m running late to a proceeding?
A: If there is the slightest chance you are going to be late, immediately contact the reporting agency so they are aware of the situation and can advise the client of a possible delay.
Oftentimes, through no fault of your own, you are late to a proceeding. If there is the slightest chance you are going to be late, immediately contact the reporting agency so they are aware of the situation and can advise the client of a possible delay. Be sure to realistically estimate your time of arrival. The earlier the client knows you may be late, the less frustrated they will be when you arrive.
It could be the hiring attorney’s office failed to contact the reporting firm, the information you received from the reporting agency was incorrect, or perhaps you are covering for someone who has called in sick. No matter what caused you to be late, do not make excuses or place blame. The worst thing you can do in this situation is throw your reporting agency or someone’s legal assistant under the bus. Just apologize and set up as quickly as possible. If you are the one who misunderstood the date, time or place, didn’t set your alarm for the right time, ran out of gas, etc., own it, apologize, and move forward with the deposition.
In the end, preparation is the key to avoid any delays. Make sure that for each proceeding you are doing the following:
Contact your calendar team immediately
If there is the slightest chance you are going to be late, immediately contact the reporting agency so they are aware of the situation and can advise the client of a possible delay.
Review your job assignment details immediately
Review your job assignment details immediately after you receive them (there may be more than one courthouse or Providence hospital in your coverage area).
Arrive at least 30 minutes early
Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time. The reporter should always be the first to arrive.
Familiarize yourself with the area you will be working in
Determine how long it will take you to travel to the destination, where to park, which suite is which, etc
Use Google Earth
If you are unfamiliar with the area, type the address into Google Earth so you can see what the building looks like and what the parking situation might be.
Check the traffic situation (Waze is an awesome app to use for this).
Double Check Your Emails!
Double-check your job confirmation and make sure your time and location are accurate.
If you do everything in your power to be timely, you will be prepared for anything that comes your way.
Have you been in an “on the job” situation that you were unsure how to handle?
Email us at email@example.com with a scenario you’d like a solution for!
Jan Schmitt – RPR, CSR, CCR – Principal, Washington
Jan Schmitt has been a professional court reporter for over 30 years, working in Portland, Oregon and Southwest Washington. Her experience and professionalism has attracted and retains the top court reporters and videographers in the region. Our court reporters average over 20 years of experience, with most of them having worked with Jan their entire career. Jan continues to report as well, as she enjoys the client contact and the relationships that develop over years of reporting.