What To Do If
You’re Running Late to a Proceeding
By Jan Schmitt – RPR, CSR, CCR – Principal, Washington
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:
If you do everything in your power to be timely, you will be prepared for anything that comes your way.
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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.