How to Make a Clear Record During Your Deposition
Conducting a deposition requires you to exercise certain skills that don’t come up during an average interview. As the deposing lawyer, it is important to keep in mind the fact that your goal is to have a written record that accurately reflects the deposition as it occurred. Read on to learn about how to make sure that your deposition transcript is accurate, and enlist the services of a skilled Arizona court reporter to further ensure that the deposition is accurately recorded.
Spell all names.
Even common names often have more than one accurate spelling. Be sure that you or the witness spells the names of those who come up during the course of the deposition, so as to avoid any confusion caused by an incorrect spelling appearing in the transcript. Along these lines, provide your reporter with a glossary of technical terms that you believe may arise, so that you won’t need to pause and spell or clarify these terms during the deposition.
Remember that gestures can’t be transcribed, and clarify when needed.
Normally, gestures are a common part of conversation, and it’s easy to miss when a witness uses a gesture while answering your question. Stay alert for these moments, and be sure to clarify them on the record by explaining what the witness did. For example, if a deponent indicated areas of their body that were injured in an accident by pointing to them, add, “let the record reflect that the witness pointed to her forehead and left shoulder.” Likewise, you can use these explanations to indicate nonverbal or whispered communication between a deponent and opposing counsel, or a long pause before a deponent answers a question.
Consider how your statements will appear in writing.
The court reporter’s job is to create as accurate a written reflection of the deposition as possible. This means that the reporter will include all mistaken uses of a wrong name, hesitations, false starts, and filler words. Take your time when speaking to ensure that your thoughts are clear and you say what you mean. Also keep in mind how interrupting or speaking over a witness will appear in the written record. Don’t be so eager to get out your next question while a witness is still talking that your reporter is unable to discern what either of you said, resulting in the dreaded testimony, “[inaudible].”