Court Reporting Terminology

January 15th, 2019
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Whether you're an attorney, a paralegal, a court reporting student, or a lay person who's (willingly or unwillingly) become involved in a legal proceeding, you know that there's a lot of legal terminology and acronyms to be familiar with. When working with a court reporter, you'll encounter additional terminology and acronyms that you might not have heard of before. Here are some terms you might encounter in a deposition, a courtroom, or in conversation with your court reporter.

·         Affidavit - A written declaration made under oath before a notary public or other authorized officer.

·         ASCII - A computer term which stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Many litigation support software programs require transcripts to be added in ASCII form, to preserve the original page and line numbering and other formatting.

·         CAT - Computer Aided Transcription.

·         Certificate Page - The last page to appear within a transcript, dated and signed by the court reporter who took the matter, attesting that the transcript is true and correct.

·         Certified Question - A question extracted from a deposition and transcribed by the reporter to be taken to a judge having jurisdiction in the matter for a ruling.

·         Condensed Transcript - A miniaturized copy of the original transcript printed in such a way as to place multiple pages of transcript on a single sheet of paper, usually four transcript pages on one letter-sized sheet of paper.

·         CSR - Certified Shorthand Reporter, a designation granted by the National Court Reporters Association and various state licensing boards.

·         CVR - Certified Verbatim Reporter, a designation granted by the National Verbatim Reporters Association.

·         Deponent - A person who testifies under oath. The person answers questions put to him, and these questions and his answers are recorded in shorthand by the court reporter.

·         Errata Sheet - A page separate from the transcript upon which a deponent is permitted to correct any errors he or she claims are present in a transcript.

·         E-Tran - Short for E-Transcript, which is a product sold by RealLegal, but which can also be used to refer to any type of electronically-delivered transcript.

·         Exhibit - Document, object, etc., shown in court as evidence. Exhibits are marked with an identifying number by the court reporter and then indexed and described in the transcript of the proceedings.

·         Expedite - An expedite is a job that has been explicitly ordered by one of the attorneys at a deposition to be delivered sooner than normal in exchange for an increased fee.

·         Expert Witness - A type of witness who gives testimony in relation to some scientific, technical, or professional matter.

·         Freelance Reporter - A self-employed reporter or one who works for an agency to report depositions and other proceedings as a subcontractor.

·         Interrogatory - A formal or written question, or series of questions, which must be answered under oath.

·         Official Reporter - A reporter who works in a courtroom setting or does reporting for governmental agencies.

·         Parenthetical - An expression or statement added to a transcript by the reporter to explain non-verbal situations or movements which occur during a proceeding.

·         Protective Order - An order issued by a court to permit one party to temporarily hold back certain documents or information, or to protect a person from harassment or service of process, may also be used when interrogatories or requests for production are oppressive or burdensome.

·         Readback - When the court reporter reads a prior question or answer back, from their stenographic notes, to deposition participants or to the Court. The reporter may be requested to read back portions of testimony following an objection, when a question needs to be rephrased, or following a brief recess in the proceedings.

·         Read & Sign - Deposition witnesses have the right to read the prepared transcript and sign an errata sheet either stating that the transcript is accurate, or listing any corrections by page and line number.

·         Reporter's Worksheet - A pre-printed worksheet a court reporter uses at a deposition to note appearances of counsel, other people attending, start and stop times, objections, and any other special instructions from counsel.

·         Rough Transcript - A transcript which is not fully edited and may contain errors; does not include a title page, appearance page, or certificate page, but should contain a disclaimer and header or footer stating that it is a rough draft.

·         Stipulations - Agreements among counsel as to certain things that occur at the beginning of a deposition, a motion hearing, or trial.

·         Subpoena - A court order for a witness to appear.

·         Subpoena Duces Tecum - A court order for a witness to appear and produce specified documents at a set time and place.

Our helpful and professional reporters and office staff are always here to help decipher court reporting terminology and answer your questions. Schedule your next deposition online or by calling 919-682-7757  today!