Blog gives tips on helping reporters get clean depo transcripts

Showing up early to organize documents for easy reference, providing a written glossary of unusual terms that might be used in a deposition, and making available a copy of the case caption are key to ensuring a clean deposition transcript to use at trail, according to a blog posted Dec. 16 by the JD Supra Business Advisor.

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Transcript doesn’t exist for Hardy’s first trial, yet

ProFootballTalk.nbcsports.com reported on Sept. 15 that defense attorneys for Greg Hardy, NFL defensive end for the North Carolina Panthers, hired a court reporter to ensure his initial trial was recorded and transcripts provided. Under North Carolina procedures, initial trials are held before a judge before going before a jury and are not required to generate a transcript of the proceedings. Harding is being tried on domestic assault charges.

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The last page

TRUTH OR DARE

Q. You can do that at trial. This is a deposi­tion. I just want the facts. I want to under­stand this. That’s all I’m trying to do here.

A. I wish you were under oath, that you were just asking for the facts, because your nose would be growing.

Q. Like Pinocchio?

A. Exactly.

Q. Well, a good thing I’m not under oath, then.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas
 

THAT EXPLAINS IT

Q. Let me just ask you this, ma’am. Had your husband been drinking or doing any drugs or anything like that before the accident?

A. No. We are Christians. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke. We don’t do anything.

Alan Turboff, RPR
Houston, Texas
 

NO STANDARD

Q. Do you know what the standard of care is in Missouri?

A. I have no definition of the standard of care in Missouri.

MR. JONES: I object to the form of the question. It’s argumentative. There is no standard in Missouri.

Barbara Prindle, RPR
Brunswick, Ga.
 

UNKNOWN

A. He told me that the defendant showed up at his apartment a week ago with an unknown man.

Q. Did you ask him the identity of the unknown male?

A. Unknown.

Q. He did not know who the male was?

A. Unknown.

Q. So that means he did not know?

A. That’s correct. Unknown male.

Q. I just had to clarify that.

Linda Breech, RPR
Santa Clarita, Calif.
 

SAY AGAIN?

It would all be determined at the time and what the circumstances were, what the weather was, you know, what the condi­tions were. I mean, it wouldn’t seem too logical to me to go take somebody back outside after they just fell down to the area where they just fell down to see where they just fell down to see because they just might fall down again.

Denise Thomas, RPR, CRR
Salt Lake City, Utah
 

WHAT I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN

THE COURT: All right. What month — since my last name starts with A I know I always have to get my plates in January, but what month is L? When do you?

THE DEFENDANT: June.

THE COURT: June? What’s the law? Do you have until the end of June?

MR. PARK: Pardon me?

THE COURT: Do you have until the end of June?

MR. PARK: Yeah, I believe so.

THE COURT: This was a June 4 ticket?

THE DEFENDANT: July 4.

THE COURT: He says on or before — on or about 6/4.

THE DEFENDANT: Oh. Well then not guilty.

(Laughter.)

THE COURT: Well, let me look at this police re­port (indicating). His police report says July 4, but he wrote his ticket for June 4, so.

THE DEFENDANT: So?

THE COURT: It’s, you know, the State can move to amend the ticket to reflect the appropri­ate date.

THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, I’m not denying it.

THE COURT: Yeah.

THE DEFENDANT: That was just a joke.

THE COURT: All right.

Melissa Odens, RPR
Armour, S.D.
 

TEETH OR NO TEETH?

MR. JONES: Your Honor, I’m sorry. I can’t hear a word here. It’s just mumbling.

THE WITNESS: Can you hear me now?

MR. JONES: Your volume is fine. It’s just your words are running together. Maybe it’s just me.

THE WITNESS: Do you need me to take my teeth out?

MR. THOMAS: I don’t know if that would help.

THE WITNESS: It would.

MR. PETRANO: I don’t – I’m not going to ask that, Your Honor.

Karen Ambroziak, RPR
Blythewood, S.C.
 

WATCH WHO YOU’RE CALLING BABE

Q. Well, my wife is a lot smarter than I am. She’s got a Ph.D. in math, Ph.D. in statistics. If I have a statistics question, I lean over and say, “Hey, Babe, you know, can you help me out?” I’m slow; I’m just a lawyer. She tells me that when you’re doing an analysis to try and determine something’s been impacted, in order for to it to be statistically relevant, you have to compare it to some sort of baseline. Is she leading me astray, my wife?

MR. SMITH: Objection, form.

A. I’m quite confident your wife would never lead you astray. I’m sitting here wondering how she reacts when you say, “Hey, babe.”

Q. She reacts positive.

A. When you say, “Hey, babe”?

Q. When I say, “Hey, babe” to somebody else, that may be another story. I’m very careful about that.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas
 

DETAILS, DETAILS

Q. From the time that you felt the bump until the time that you looked, did that happen almost instantaneously?

A. Yes.

Q. And this bump you described is something that alerted your attention to you looking 360 degrees to try to see where the bump came from?

A. Yes.

Q. All right. But we know you did not see a car after you felt the bump; correct?

A. Correct.

Q. All right. So you make a right-hand turn onto Main Street and pull over?

A. Yes.

Q. Can you describe the damage for me, please?

A. The front fender was damaged, cracked. The headlight assembly was shoved in or pulled in. The front passenger’s side bumper was shoved in between the tire and the frame.

Q. Okay. Anything else that you remember?

A. And there was a bumper in between the fender and the tire.

Q. A bumper that was not yours?

A. Yes.

Leanne Fitzgerald
St. Augustine, Fla.

The Last Page: Nothing to laugh at

KEEP IT UP

Q. And when you say “we renewed the contact,” you still ride bikes with Mr. Jones but can’t keep up with him as far as exercising?

A. Yes.

Q. OK. These bike rides —

MR. BROWN: I think he objects to that.

Elsa Jorgensen
Birmingham, Mich.

WATCH YOUR WORDS

Q. Doctor, wouldn’t you agree with me that only an idiot would walk into a doctor’s office and, after being told that there was a videotape that the doctor had reviewed, that that person would then put on, as you described it, such a show? Wouldn’t only an idiot do that?

A. Well, you make a very good point about your client, sir.

Dana L. Young, RMR
Tulsa, Okla.

WHAT A LINE!

Q. Okay. Why don’t you describe for me, sir, what you recall from the moment you put your feet in that pail of water.

A. She got out a tool of which I have — my lawyer and I have a copy of, which I was familiar with, and she then started using this particular tool to work on the bottom of my feet. As I sat in the chair and watched her for a moment, I noticed the customer right next to me, Lakita, which was a very attractive, middle-aged black woman, which caught my eye immediately. I then started a conversation, at which time both my pedicurist and Lakita’s pedicurist were, I would imagine, thrilled at what they was hearing me say to Lakita, and I had all three women smiling and happy over what I was saying. That’s it.

Q. Do you have any specific recollection as you sit here today of anything that you had said that you regarded at the time as particularly thrilling for these folks?

A. Yeah. I have certain lines that I use on women that I meet that I like and one of them is to snap your fingers, and when I ask a woman will she snap her fingers, naturally, she gets curious and asks me, “Why do you want me to snap my fingers?” And I then reply, “So you can snap me out of this trance you’ve got me in.” And that, you know, brings about a certain response from an individual woman, along with a couple of other lines that I’ve been using for years that always have the same effect on a woman.

Mary Lorentz, RPR
Milwaukee, Wis.

THAT’S LOGIC FOR YOU

Q. I don’t find it there now. I’ve misplaced my copy of it. Here it is. It’s always the last place you look for it. You know why?

A. Why is that?

Q. Because when you find it, you quit looking.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas

JUST CAN’T QUIT

Q. Do you have a Facebook page?

A. I actually deleted it.

Q. Is that possible?

A. Yes.

Q. It’s like quitting the gym.

Renee M. Bencich, RPR
Galt, Calif.

EARTH-SHATTERING PAIN

Q. All right. Within the first 30 days after the accident, how would you describe the pain in your neck as far as the intensity of the pain? If we were to use a zero to 10 scale where zero is no pain and 10 is the worst you can imagine, what was your neck pain like in the first 30 days?

A. It was at a 10 on the Richter scale.

Alan Turboff, RPR
Houston, Texas

YOU DON’T SAY?

Q. So you don’t remember, but you don’t deny that you could have said that?

A. I can’t say I’m saying I said it and I can’t say I’m not saying I didn’t say it.

Donna S. Cascio, RMR, CMRS
Somerset, Pa.

DEFINITION, PLEASE

Q. How close were you to Mr. Glesner?

A. He is a brother-in-law.

Q. Forgive me. Geographically, in feet?

A. Oh.

Santo “Joe” Aurelio, RDR
Arlington, Mass.

OH, THE IMPLICATIONS

MS. JONES: My investigator introduced himself, and halfway through his sentence, the witness went off on a crazy tirade about how he was a civil servant, he has the right not to be shot, not to be shoved, he has certain inalienable rights. He sounded like a lawyer when he was talking. It was crazy. He went crazy, literally.

THE COURT: He’s crazy because he sounds like a lawyer? Is that what you said?

Kimberly Bennett, RMR, CRR
Roseville, Calif.

STATING THE OBVIOUS

Q. Let me ask you a few things about your family life if I could. You’re married to your wife, correct?

A. Most people are.

Q. Obviously.

Barbara Prindle, RPR
Brunswick, Ga.

ON THE RECORD

Q. This Mr. Claus, do you have a good address for Mr. Claus?

COURT REPORTER: The North Pole.

MR. BERTINI: You just couldn’t resist, could you?

COURT REPORTER: Nope.

MR. BERTINI: I thought court reporters weren’t supposed to talk during a depo.

COURT REPORTER: They’re not.

Lorraine Brazil, RMR, CRR, CBC
Missouri City, Texas

STATISTICS AT WORK

Q. One patient starts off at 89 percent, right? The first day she has an 89 percent chance of disease-free survival?

A. All the patients have an 89 percent at the day of diagnosis.

Q. Understood, but each one has the same chance, correct?

A. Not really because some of them — the whole crowd has an 89 percent and what happens to them, all we can do is see what happens to the whole group of a hundred patients.

Q. And you don’t know who the fortunate 89 are?

A. I wouldn’t be here. I’d be polishing my Nobel Prize.

Diane Amoresano DiTizii, RMR, CRR
Montville, N.J.

STEP ONE

Q. If you would, look at page 45 of your report. Hold your finger there and then find page 14.

A. 45 and 14.

MR. SMITH: Are you trying to teach him origami?

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR
The Colony, Texas

If you’d like to contribute, please send your funny transcript excerpts to NCRA Publications Manager Austin Yursik at ayursik@ncra.org.

Ontario union fights for accuracy in justice system

On May 30, the National Union of Public and General Employees, based in Ontario, published a statement on its website protesting the Ministry of the Attorney General’s plans to create a private regulator to control all aspects of court transcription. The union states that this change will not serve the administration of justice and will result in a loss of quality, transparency, and accountability.

The Last Page: Who’s laughing now?

TWINKLE TOES

Q. And you used to be a dancer. When you say “a dancer,” what do you mean by that?

A. Not a stripper.

Q. That’s not what I meant. In fact, that wasn’t even what I was thinking. I’m wondering whether it was, like, you know, ballet or what.

Elsa Jorgensen, Birmingham, Mich.

YES OR NO

Q. Your attorney and I will try to pay attention, and if you say “Uh-huh” or “huh-uh,” we may go, “You’ve got to say yes or no.” Don’t let that shake you, because I bet you will say “uh-huh” once or twice today.

A. Uh-huh.

Q. Smart aleck.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR, The Colony, Texas

DOES THAT COUNT

Defense attorney: Yes, ma’am, have you served in the military?

Female potential juror: No, I’ve never served in the military, but I’ve done a few military guys.

Lisa B. Johnston, RMR, CRR, CCP, CBC, Palm Bay, Fla.

HE MEANS, ALL RISE

The Court: Do you have him in foster care?

Witness: He actually is in a group home. He needs some counseling. I think his mom passed away right in front of him, and he was in the car with her, and so there are lots of issues that probably have never been addressed at all.

Mr. Smith: That’s all I have.

The Court: Step down. Thanks.

(The witness was excused.)

The Court: Based on the evidence that I’ve read, there’s probable cause to believe that this child is deprived. Temporary custody is with the Department. If the mother applies for an attorney, I’ll consider that.

Mr. Smith: Judge, if she applies for an attorney, we’re going to have a problem.

Barbara Prindle, RPR, Brunswick, Ga.

CALIFORNIA DREAMING

Q. How long did you work there?

A. A year.

Q. It didn’t work out. Okay.

A. I went to California.

Q. Much better idea. What did you do in California in 1967?

A. Nothing.

Q. Like most people in California in 1967.

Elsa Jorgensen, Birmingham, Mich.

LISTEN TO THE ANSWER

Q. You made that check out directly to the insurance company, didn’t you?

A. Yes.

Q. And, of course, you receive your cancelled checks back from your bank every month?

A. No.

Q. Do you receive a photostatic copy of your cancelled checks back every month?

A. No.

Q. Did you save the check?

A. I don’t receive them. So, no, I didn’t save it.

Barbara Prindle, RPR, Brunswick, Ga.

HOW DO YOU SPELL THAT?

Q. Is it a jolting type of bump?

A. No, it’s just — it’s not really like a — you hit a pothole or something like that. It’s just — it doesn’t dip you down or anything. It’s just going over it. Just dumt-dumt.

Q. Dunt-dunt?

A. Dumt-dumt. I’m sorry.

Q. That’s all right. I don’t know how she’s going to spell that but —. All right.

The reporter: That’s a new one.

Mr. Smith: Yeah, and I have no suggestion for you.

The reporter: Thanks.

Diana D. Sabo, Tinley Park, Ill.

MARK OF SHAME

Q. By the way, you said you went to Universal Studios — or the Harry Potter World, is that it?

A. Yeah.

Q. Did you buy any souvenirs?

A. Yeah.

Q. What did you get?

A. Don’t judge me.

Q. I won’t.

A. I bought a wand.

Ms. Smith: Oh, my god.

Mr. Miller: I don’t even know what that is so I can’t judge you. A wand?

A. Yeah. You have to. Like, you’re there.

Ms. Smith: You don’t know that magicians have wands, Bill?

Mr. Moran: I am out of the loop on this.

By Mr. Miller:

Q. Okay. So you bought a magic wand at the Harry Potter place?

A. Yeah.

Mr. Jones: Objection, I think that mischaracterizes the testimony that the wand was a “magic” wand.

Michelle M. Paoletti, RPR, CRR, Tinley Park, Ill.

DAMN SOUND-ALIKES

State’s Attorney: The State has exorcismed — I mean exercised their last strike.

The Court: Congratulations to you all, the State has determined you are not possessed.

Jessica Paulsen, Pierre, S.D.

 

If you’d like to contribute, please send your funny transcript excerpts to Austin Yursik at ayursik@ncra.org.

The last page: Oh the drama!

THE FORGOTTEN HOBBY

Q. And what are your hobbies aside from riding and shooting?

A. That’s really it. Guns, motorcycles. That’s really it. Hanging out with my friends, going out with my friends.

Q. And now you’ve got your wife?

A. I’ve got my wife, yes. I have to include her, make sure she’s in there.

MR. MILLER: That’s a hobby.

Alan Turboff, RPR, Houston, Texas

NO STANDARDS

Q. Do you know what the standard of care is in Missouri?

A. I have no definition of the standard of care in Missouri.

Mr. Jones: I object to the form of the question. It’s argumentative. There is no standard in Missouri.

Barbara Prindle, RPR, Brunswick, Ga.

QUESTIONS YOU DON’T ASK

Q. You’re not 160 now.

A. I’m like 150-something.

Q. You are?

A. Yes. I know. I’m glad you think it’s hard to believe.

Elsa Jorgensen, Birmingham, Mich.

WISDOM OF EXPERIENCE

Q. How many employees do you currently have?

A. One.

Q. You?

A. Just me. I can’t call my wife an employee because I’ll get killed, but she assists me at times.

Q. You’ve already demonstrated wisdom to me this morning.

Therese Casterline, RMR, CRR, The Colony, Texas

WHICH CAME FIRST?

MR. JONES: I understand that, your Honor. I just think, with all due respect to the Court, I think the Court is putting the egg before the hen. You have to get, with regard to Dr. Green’s affirmation in the motion, you have to get, with regard to his dispute of Dr. Smith’s testimony, from absorption to metabolism. Then you have to get to the effect. And the point is he doesn’t have the egg.

THE COURT: I don’t know what you’re referring to. You’ve lost me in the —

MR. JONES: I’m sorry, your Honor. It’s —

THE COURT: In the metaphor here.

MR. JONES: I get a little too cute for myself.

THE COURT: You know, who is the hen again?

MR. JONES: In other words —

THE WITNESS: I had eggs for breakfast.

MR. JONES: I get a little too cute for myself, I’ll admit that.

Aaron Alweis, RPR, CRR, Binghamton, N.Y.

DARN SOUNDALIKES

Q. You have to answer audibly. I’m sorry.

A. I have to answer oddly?

Q. Audibly.

A. Oh, audibly?

Q. I hope you don’t answer oddly.

Laurie Collins, RPR, Brooklyn, N.Y.

INAUSPICIOUS ENDINGS

Q. About how long were you married in ‘71?

A. I guess about two and a half years.

Q. And how did that marriage end?

A. Roughly.

Barbara Prindle, RPR, Brunswick, Ga.

QUIT CLOWNING AROUND

Q. Do you know how far back you were from the car when you were stopped?

A. No, sir. Just the normal, you know, being in line.

Q. But you never talked to her after the accident?

A. I did, yes.

Q. Okay.

A. Seemed like she was a clown or something.

Q. Was she dressed like a clown?

A. No. That was her business. Seemed like she gave me her card.

Q. She didn’t have like 50 people in her car?

A. No.

Barbara Rosado, RPR, Phoenix, Ariz.

JUST MAKING SURE

Q. Do you remember what date that fall was?

A. October 25, at 8 p.m.

Q. And what year?

A. 2010.

Q. 8 p.m. in the morning or 8 p.m. at night?

A. Night.

Q. Of course. 8 p.m. That was a great question.

Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, Salt Lake City, Nev.

CRAZY QUESTIONS

Q. Do you agree that Mr. X said to you the words that he says of himself; in other words, you say you don’t agree that you said what he says you replied, but you accept that he asked you the questions?

A. Sorry, your Honor?

Colleen Stacey, New South Wales, Australia

 

If you’d like to contribute, please send your funny transcript excerpts to Austin Yursik at ayursik@ncra.org.

CCRA President Early Langley defends official court reporters

In September, Early Langley, RMR, highlighted the importance of stenographic court reporters to the court system in an article  published  by the September 29 Marin (Calif.) Independent Journal. Langley pointed  out how recent cuts to official court reporter positions in California have essentially created a two-tiered justice system that separates those who can afford to bring in a highly-skilled stenographer from those who cannot.  Since  a transcript is needed for an appeal, litigants must either pay  to transcribe  the digital recording or pay to bring in a stenographic  court reporter. She asserted, “The integrity of the judicial process is at stake here with the average person no longer having access to equal justice.”

Source: http://www.marinij.com/tablehome/ci_21661409/budget-cuts-eliminate-manycourt-stenographersv

Stenograph unveils new app

ICVnetThe August 6, 2012, Law Technology News reported that Stenograph has unveiled iCVNet, its Apple iPad app based on its CaseViewNet realtime transcript viewer. The free app provides instant viewing of realtime deposition and trial transcripts on an iPad.

Source: Law Technology News