Teamwork – noun, “work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole.”

As a freelance court reporter, it is sometimes easy to forget about the importance of teamwork — especially in today’s ever-changing technology-driven environment. Our profession has become (and viewed by many)  a cottage industry (by definition, working at home with your own equipment).  Sure, we go to the job and do our magic on that “little machine”, but rarely interact much with the participants.

When I started my company late last summer, I associated myself with a local videography firm, Law Media Productions, to handle videotaped deposition requests. They were the natural and logical choice for me because they provide Certified Legal Video Specialists (a must!). Nearly 50% of the depositions I handle are videotaped.

The roles of the court reporter and videographer are intertwined, and there’s significant synergy and teamwork between myself and my videographer from start to finish!

Our teamwork begins by the videographer arriving approximately an hour prior to start time. This enables him to set up his equipment and do any necessary testing prior to my arrival, which is 30 minutes before the deposition is scheduled to begin. My arrival after the videographer allows him the opportunity to set up at his leisure and no worries about anyone hovering. It’s then my turn to set up. Setup is quick and easy for the court reporter: boot up the computer, attach your tripod to your machine. The videographer then provides a direct audio feed to my computer and we’re ready to go!

Once all the parties, attorneys, and witness are situated and before we go on the record, I always make a quick check to ensure that everyone has their microphone clipped on their lapels. A quick acknowledgement by myself to the videographer lets him know that we’re ready to go on the record. Our teamwork is like a well-oiled machine and the process works smoothly throughout the day.

Once the deposition is concluded, our teamwork continues through the production phase. At times video-text synchronization is requested. Video-text synchronization captures the witness’ testimony via videography along with the certified court reporter’s transcript.  A trial-ready CD or DVD allows you to show the witness’ words appearing on screen as they are being spoken.  Adding a video component to the deposition process brings the written words “alive”! Video depositions capture the witness’ facial expressions, pauses, change in tone, demeanor, and mannerisms that will never be captured with the written word alone.

In an effort to aid the videographer in his production role, as the court reporter, I can provide him with a timestamped transcript for the process of synching and/or editing of the deposition. The videographer and court reporter, doing two different functions or tasks, working in cooperation with each other, can create an excellent multimedia tool for later use in the courtroom. Some of the benefits of video-text synchronization are as follows:

  1. view video on a computer screen alongside the written transcript
  2. perform search with keywords to find exact testimony you need (saves you time)
  3. playback at trial to engage a jury more effectively

The videographer and the court reporter are a cohesive unit working together (teamwork) to provide attorneys and legal professionals a value-added multimedia tool/product that’s essential to the success of their trial or arbitration. Call or schedule online to book your next video deposition with Omega Reporting, your Memphis court reporters!

“Alone we can do so little.  Together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

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