#4 Stuff Court Reporters Like – Attorneys Who Lie

UPDATE 8-28-2020. To be 100% honest, I would never write a blog post like this these days. My lame attempt at humor really smacks of a disgusting mix of trying too hard and being plain old rude. I don't feel this way and I doubt if I ever did. The word lying is so packed with ugliness. I apologize if anybody has been offended. I debated simply taking this post down because somebody commented on it 11 years after its initial posting. But then I figure perhaps it's better left as is -- BUT UPDATED WITH THIS APOLOGY -- as a preamble in order to memorialize my own growth as a blogger and human being. Again, please accept my apologies for this immature blog post.


If there’s one thing every court reporter loves is a lying attorney.  I know, “you’re shocked, SHOCKED,” about this fact.  I will spare you the prerequisite quip about “lying attorney” being a redundant term.  Nevertheless, when an attorney lies to a court reporter (or the agency), it really makes their day.  Check out these examples of our favorite lies and remember -- all you law firms out there -- please don’t stop accruing those frequent liar miles!

The I-Never-Scheduled-This Lie
Court reporters love it when law offices call, fax or submit website requests for deposition services.  “Please be at such and such office at such and such time in the matter of such and such.”  Okay, no problem.  We’ll be there.  Thank you for the work!  Comes now the day before the job, the agency places a confirmation telephone call to their office and it’s “I never scheduled that.” 

US: What do you mean by, “you never scheduled that”? We have you down here clearly requesting our services.

THEM: Yeah, well, that’s not my problem.

US: No, ma’am, it’s not your problem but somehow we ended up with a job request from your firm with clear and specific date/time, case name, et cetera.

THEM:  We did not request your service nor do we need it.  Thank you for your time.

US: But, but –

(Phones goes dead)

Court reporting agencies love this type of ‘he said/she said’ back and forth stuff.  Why if it wasn’t for this we’d have to be actually doing real work that brings in real income and produces things like real transcripts.  We would hate that!

The I-Did-Schedule-This Lie
Right around 10:15 a.m. is every court reporting agency’s favorite time.  Second best is 2:15 p.m.  Why, you ask?  Because typically most jobs start at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Calls slightly forward of those start times invariably go like this when the I-Did-Schedule-This Lie emerges:

US: Todd Olivas & Associates, may I help you?

THEM: Where’s my court reporter?

US: Which job are you referring to, could you give me some details?

THEM: It’s supposed to be going on right now.  You are 15 minutes late.  I spoke to you yesterday and confirmed this.

US: (After researching in our calendar) I apologize, but I spoke with you yesterday and you had no idea about this job even being scheduled with our firm.  Don’t you remember that conversation?

THEM:  That wasn’t me.

US:  I spoke with you,  your name is [insert name here].

THEM: Yes, that is my name.  But I confirmed this with [insert name here] from your office yesterday.

US:  I’m sorry.  There is no [insert name here] who works here. 

THEM:  This is ridiculous.  What kind of Mickey Mouse operation are you running over there, anyway? 

US:  But, but –

THEM:  I’m going to tell my boss never to use your reporting service ever again.

US: But, but –

(Phones goes dead)

Court reporting agencies love to be lied to.  Perhaps even more than that, however, is what’s known as GTUTB -- Getting Thrown Under the Bus.  The above dialogue is a prime example of GTUTB.  And it’s really a lot of fun.  If ‘tweren’t for GTUTBs, we would have to actually scope transcripts and do court reporting type things like hone realtime skills and stuff.  Who wants to do that when you can rescue a legal secretary from having dropped the ball plus scatch another notch on the old GTUTB belt? 

The I-Never-Ordered-This Lie
Immediately after a deposition is a great time to lie to a court reporter.  An attorney has the unique opportunity to lie about needing a certified copy.  And the court reporter may even memorialize this request on the record:

THE REPORTER:  Mr. Jones, would you like a copy of this transcript?

MR. JONES:  Yes, I would like a copy.

Everybody is happy; right?  Not so fast!  The I-Never-Ordered-This Lie looms on the horizon.  A couple weeks after the deposition, the transcript is readied for mailing out to the parties, including to Mr. Jones, per his on-the-record request.  A phone call like this ensues:

US: The transcript in [insert case name here] is ready to be shipped out.  We just need COD approval before sending.

THEM: We never ordered that transcript.

US: According to page 79, line 8, Mr. Jones told the court reporter, “Yes, I would like a copy.”

THEM: Oh –

US: So based on that on-the-record request, we have produced the transcript and just need to send it out COD.

THEM: Let me place you on hold for a moment. [hold music]

US: Okay.

THEM: I just spoke with Mr. Jones, he says the court reporter mistyped what he said.  He actually said, “No, I would not like a copy.”

US: But, but –

THEM: So is there anything else I can do for you?

US: But, but –

(Phones go dead)

The above examples are just some of a court reporter’s favorite ways to be lied to.  Space permitting, I could elaborate about some of these other tried and true doozies:

  • The I-Never-Requested-The-Transcript-To-Be-Expedited Lie
  • The I-Settled-The-Case-Already-So-I-Can’t-Pay-Your-Invoice Lie
  • The The-Other-Side-Is-Supposed-To-Pay-For-My-Copy Lie
  • The I-Was-Told-By-The-Court-Reporter-That-I-Would-Get-A-Free-Rough-Transcipt Lie
  • The I-Have-Never-Been-Charged-That-Much-By-A-Court-Reporting-Firm-In-25-Years-Of-Practicing-Law Lie
  • The I-Will-Use-Your-Services-From-Now-On-If-I-Can-Get-A-Discount Lie

Feel free to borrow from this list or be creative and come up with your own next time you have the opportunity to lie to a court reporter!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

  Comment by Sinde’el dawson | Friday, August 28, 2020
I believe the court reporter on a case took a different testimony because I was there and did not hear what is on the transcript . How can I know the truth because they are using the transcript in another case.

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