8 Things To Look For When Choosing A Court Reporting Firm

Court Reporting Firm Check List

Before hiring a court reporting firm for your next deposition, these are eight key points to ponder. While this list is not exhaustive, it covers the basics so that you're well on your way to picking the best possible court reporting service.

1. Make Sure They Send Quality Court Reporters
This one is self-explanatory. You want the best court reporters possible for your depositions; right? But beyond the minimum qualification of a CSR license, what else should you be looking for?

  • Is the court reporter on time?
  • Is the court reporter professionally dressed?
  • Is the court reporter easy to work with or is he/she stressed out?
  • Is the court reporter confident during the oath swearing process?
  • Is the court reporter confident and accurate during read back?
  • Is the court reporter polite and respectful when asking for spellings and information after the deposition concludes?
  • Is the court reporter a good ambassador for his/her profession?
2. Make Sure They Provide Professional Support Staff
You want to make sure that the court reporting agency you work with has good customer service. Everyone hates voice mail and long-winded menu options, Press 1 for this, Press 2 for that… Your court reporting firm should have real, live people to speak with. And those people need to be friendly and professional.

3. Make Sure They Have A Great Website
These days there is no reason why a court reporting firm shouldn't have its own website complete with deposition scheduling, client login and a whole host of document depository features. An excellent website that facilitates online scheduling with customer logins for time-saving purposes is a must in this day and age. Hint: Never schedule online with a court reporting firm who does not provide confirmation numbers after ordering!

4. Make Sure They Deliver Top Notch Transcripts
When you get your transcript from the court reporting service you want to make sure that the work product that you are paying for is top notch and high quality.

  • Does the transcript meet minimum transcript formats set by the state licensure board?
  • Does the transcript unbind easily or is there a plastic spine melted on? Hint: Always request 3-hole punched transcripts. They will be easier to unbind for internal copying use.
5. Make Sure They Service The Areas You Need
When you have to take that deposition out in the middle of nowhere, does your court reporting agency have court reporters who can travel? More importantly, does your court reporting agency have a local presence with conference suites readily available? Hint: A lot of agencies claim they cover state-wide or nationwide depos but which ones have actual physical locations in those towns?

6. Make Sure They Are A One Stop Shop
Who wants to have to deal with multiple vendors? When you chose a court reporting firm, you want to chose one who can handle as many of the aspects of the deposition as possible. With one phone call you should be able to schedule the court reporter, the conference suite, the interpreter, the videographer, et cetera. Hint: If you're still coordinating multiple vendors for your depositions, STOP! Find a One Stop Shop.

7. Make Sure They Have A Written Satisfaction Guarantee
When you work with a court reporting service you want to make sure they eliminate all risk of doing business with them (especially in the beginning when you are still trying them out) by providing a satisfaction guarantee. Hint: If your court reporting agency is not willing to provide a written guarantee of satisfaction - whether it's the court reporter, the transcript or the invoice - run for the hills!

8. Make Sure They Have A Good Reputation
When was the last time you used a doctor without getting a referral first? I have a saying that is my golden rule for restaurants, Never eat in an empty restaurant. The same thing holds true with court reporting services. Make sure the one you pick has good testimonials and the word on the street from current clients is positive.
Friday, May 15, 2015

Todd Olivas

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

  Comment by Max Jones | Monday, May 15, 2017
I really like how you talked about choosing court reporting services in your article, in particular what you should be looking for. My brother is a lawyer who has had issues with court reporting services in the past, and I think that giving him a list of what to look for could help him out. A court reporter who is confident during the swearing process is obviously a good choice, and I think that this would be a really good thing for my brother to have during his depositions.
  Comment by Annika Larson | Tuesday, July 11, 2017
For my husband`s next deposition, we are looking for a reliable court reporter. Thanks for sharing these tips to help us find the best court reporter for our needs. Like you said, we will be sure to look for someone that provides good customer service with friendly and professional people you can speak with.
  Comment by Malia Davis | Monday, December 3, 2018
Thanks for mentioning that we should check to make sure the court reporting firm has people who can travel to your area. I don`t think there are any court reporting companies in our small town, but there probably are some in the city next to us! I`ll have to see if I can find one there and ask if they can come over to where we are when we need them.

  Comment by Sharon Smith | Monday, December 10, 2018
I like that you suggested hiring a court reporting firm that has positive reviews from their current clients to make sure that they have a good reputation that they can rely on. This is something that I will make sure to remember because my best friend is looking for a court reporting, and she`s asking for my help. What I want is to find a court reporting company that can give her quality services. With that in mind, I`ll find a court reporting company that has a high rating.

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