Court Reporting: Bigger is Not Necessarily Better

By Stewart I. Edison, President, TLS Deposition Services

In all types of litigation, taking depositions is a necessary part of the discovery process. A deposition is the out-of-court testimony of a witness, which is reduced to writing for later use in the court or for discovery purposes. Court reporters are tasked with transcribing that testimony, and their rough and final transcripts are sent to the attorneys working on that case. These transcripts help litigators build their case, so it is essential to have an experienced court reporter who can deliver an accurate transcript. 

While it is not hard to find an agency that can provide you with a court reporter for your deposition, it is difficult to know what the quality of the work will be like. Here is where our tip comes in: Bigger is not always better. Some of the bigger agencies can neglect attention to detail because they use a network of smaller agencies to cover jobs instead of dealing with reporters directly. For example, let’s say you are in New York and want to schedule a court reporter for a deposition in California. You call your account manager at your firm’s deposition agency in New York, and he/she says they will take care of it for you and thus you hand it off to them. Your account manager then actually calls their partner agency in California and asks them to staff someone for your deposition. While this California agency will take care of it and get you a court reporter, experience shows that they will “save” their best reporters for local clients. This is not to say that the court reporter assigned to your deposition will not be competent, but you are certainly not getting the best service there is to offer. 

This particular issue was addressed when TLS founded its own court reporting1 division in 2006. Since then, we have built a network of independent reporters with whom we work directly in order to avoid the problem described above. This approach allows our sales, scheduling, and production teams to be more involved in monitoring the process, which in turn enables us to ensure the highest quality reporters and deliverables for our clients. 

Regardless of the size of your chosen vendor, it is important that they ultimately have your best interest in mind and do not lose sight of the importance of the litigation. The bigger the agency, the less likely it is that they will be able to adapt to fit your particular needs, and the less customer service in general that will be available to you. Partnering with a court reporting vendor who values customer service and will be with you throughout the whole process will truly make your life easier, allowing you to focus on preparing and winning your case.

Contact TLS Deposition Services at +1 212.400.8845 or click here to submit an online request for a deposition.