Monday, March 5, 2012

Houston Court Reporting and Legal Video, a Match Made in Heaven

Some things are just meant to go together… When it comes to litigation support services, the combination of Houston court reporting and legal video is a dynamic duo that can go a long way toward helping an attorney provide the best service to their clients. The teamwork between a court reporter and legal videographer can provide benefits before, during and after the deposition process.

Before the Action Starts
The teamwork noted above can certainly be applied with a court reporter and videographer from different firms, but using a team from the same firm can provide a more refined and intuitive cooperation between the two distinct litigation support elements. Not only will the court reporter and legal video specialist be very familiar with each other from the start (no “getting to know each other” lag time), but they will likely share the tech equipment required, from microphones to monitors. Logistics are usually simplified as well when both court reporter and videographer are from the same firm, as they can use the same transportation to the proceedings and arrive with a well-planned out process for working together to set up the equipment required.

Getting Connected
One example of this teamwork comes when a client requests internet deposition streaming services. The court reporter transmits their transcript along with the videographer’s live feed to counsel and team members via the internet. By working closely with the court reporter, the legal videographer is able to connect the court reporters transcript feed through the audio/video equipment to create a streamlined and perfectly synchronized recording of the video with the realtime transcript from the court reporter.

When the Dust Clears
After the depositions are over, court reporters can reference videotaped depositions to verify comments during the editing process, to ensure an extremely accurate final transcript. The court reporter is also able to provide the videographer with a digital version of the transcript to help assist the videographer in editing and synchronization processes. By working closely together as a team, the court reporter and videographer can ensure that all depositions are transcribed and recorded accurately in both video and text forms.

There’s No “I” in Team
When an attorney needs all aspects of Houston litigation support to work flawlessly together, finding the right court reporting services firm that can provide both court reporting and legal video services is a great way to ensure that legal proceedings run smoothly at every turn.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Where to Find the Best Houston Court Reporters

Attorneys in Texas have a significant amount of options to choose from when looking for the best Houston court reporters. The role of a court reporter is extremely important, as their ability to precisely transcribe testimony during depositions and other legal proceedings will go a long way toward determining how efficiently attorneys can represent their client’s interests. Before an attorney starts looking at individual court reporting services providers, it is important to determine whether a larger litigation support firm is the best fit for their needs, or if a freelance court reporter is sufficient for the task.

Search, Scan, Scrutinize
Now it’s time to build a list of potential candidates, and the best place to start a search is with an online search engine. The vast majority of litigation services firms and established freelance court reporters these days have their own commercial website, and the firms that don’t have their own website are likely to at least have a listing in one of the many litigation support directories available on the web.

Breaking Them Down
The next step in determining which court reporter or court reporting firm is the best fit is to narrow down the search results based on the attorney’s particular needs and preferences. By asking pointed questions that are relevant to specific aspects of the case, the list can be shortened to just a few targeted candidates. A few areas of inquiry that the attorney should consider are:

Availability: Does the court reporting firm provide their services in the locations required? Are they able to meet the scheduling considerations for the job?

Qualifications and Experience: Is the court reporting services provider experienced? How much of that experience is in the specific field required for this case? Can the court reporting firm provide references?

Services: The most important questions that attorneys and support staff should ask candidates involve the portfolio of services they offer. Do they provide realtime court reporting? How about legal videography services? Do they offer access to an online transcript repository? Can they handle any video conferencing or internet deposition streaming needs attorneys may have? Once you know what services are available, the attorney should ask which services are included with every transcript package, and which services will require an additional fee.

Communication Skills: When attorneys contacts individual court reporting firms, they should note how articulate their client services staff is. Court reporting is all about precise and accurate communication, so a court reporting firm that doesn’t communicate well with you on the phone is unlikely to be the best provider of Houston deposition services.

While finding the best Houston court reporting firm may seem like a difficult proposition on the surface, a well-structured and organized approach can provide the type of vision that attorneys need in order to make the right choice. Attorneys should always remember that there is no such thing as asking too many questions, and that focusing on areas that apply directly to their case is an excellent way to end up with the right court reporting firm to get the job done.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Internet Deposition Streaming Technology Connects San Antonio Court Reporters with Remote Counsel

For situations where an attorney has multiple depositions scheduled in different locations, or is looking to reduce travel costs, internet deposition streaming is a powerful litigation support tool that enables busy attorneys to virtually be in two places at the same time.

Internet deposition streaming allows San Antonio court reporters to share the realtime transcript as well as the legal video and audio from depositions. By streaming the depositions, the court reporting firm provides the ability for remote counsel, expert witnesses and others to view depositions from witnesses, field experts and other testimony providers, while also viewing a text copy of the court reporters transcripts as they are being produced. By providing co-counsel or other members of their legal team in remote locations the ability to sit in on depositions, an attorney can save a substantial amount of travel time and money.

How Internet Deposition Streaming Works
The process is fairly simple…as a 100% web-based application, there are no software downloads required. Participants use an internet browser on their computer or mobile device to log on to a password-protected website that has been set up by the court reporting services provider. With the built-in encryption and other security features involved, the participants can be confident that the deposition content and important case materials are being viewed only by authorized individuals. Internet streaming deposition services will also provide an instant messaging platform, so attorneys and other participants in remote locations can securely text chat with each other while testimony is being taken.

Just a few of the benefits of internet deposition streaming services are:

• Allows participation of multiple parties in remote locations wherever they have an internet connection
• Sharing of exhibits and other important case materials in real time
• Enables participants to view the realtime court reporting transcript, legal video and audio
• Reduces travel time and costs, which increases productivity
• Ensures a forceful presence is conveyed during the course of remote depositions

That’s a Wrap
When depositions are completed, attorneys can request a rough draft of the deposition transcript. When the internet deposition streaming services are combined with online case repositories, eTranscripts and other litigation support tools, San Antonio court reporting firms can empower attorneys to not only save money, but serve their clients with the highest amount of efficiency.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why Dallas Court Reporters Provide Realtime Services for Attorneys

Litigation Support is a highly competitive industry, and Dallas court reporters who want to retain their existing clients – and develop new ones – really need to keep up with technology and advanced litigation services. Among the most useful tools available to attorneys these days are realtime court reporting services. Quickly becoming the standard, realtime court reporting is the process where a court reporters transcript is converted into text form as it is being typed. The court reporter’s stenotype machine is directly connected to a computer, which allows for a nearly instantaneous translation from spoken testimony or depositions to an organized and searchable text document on the attorney’s laptop computer or other mobile device.

Why Realtime?
Lawyers who use realtime court reporting realize a number of benefits. An attorney can review testimony and highlight sections for further scrutiny without interrupting the legal proceedings. They can also search for specific words or phrases in multiple documents simultaneously and review transcripts from the court reporter to locate previous or conflicting testimony. An attorney can utilize the realtime services to quickly create transcript and annotation reports and email them to co-counsel or other colleagues for immediate review. A few of the other benefits include:

• Realtime access to proceedings, as well as rough drafts
• Immediate internet streaming of legal proceedings
• Enhanced ability to search and annotate text as it happens.
• Easy accessibility for the hearing-impaired
• The ability to add and edit notes during depositions

With all of the different court reporters and litigation services providers in Dallas, the court reporter that can provide advanced technology to their client and save them time, money, and increase their efficiency will always be in demand. Realtime court reporting services are a great way to take all three areas to entirely new heights.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

DepoTexas Opens New and Expanded Corporate Headquarters for Court Reporting Services

Strong market demand drives need for Texas’ leading court reporting firm to relocate its Houston, Texas headquarters to a larger state-of-the-art facility.

Houston, Texas – February 1, 2012

DepoTexas, the award winning court reporting firm announced continued expansion with the relocation of its corporate headquarters into a state-of-the-art office space in Houston, Texas. The new facility further expands DepoTexas footprint by more than doubling the previous space used by the Company. Conveniently located in the same office complex, the new headquarters will address an increase in demand for the Company’s comprehensive portfolio of deposition and litigation support solutions.

“We are extremely excited about our Houston expansion. As our reputation for quality deposition services continues to grow, our need for more operations and meeting space is likewise expanding,” said Michael Clepper, Chief Executive Officer of DepoTexas. “As a company we are focused on ensuring that our organization and facilities are of the highest quality and capable of supporting future business and our strengthening position in the court reporting industry.”

Texas is among the top markets within the United States for court reporters with some of the largest numbers of leading law firms and corporate legal departments. The opening of the new corporate headquarters is the latest in a series of strategic expansion plans for DepoTexas. The Company also recently moved its Corpus Christi operations to a brand new facility and remodeled its Dallas office to accommodate growth in both markets.

About DepoTexas:
Since 1987, DepoTexas has provided fast, accurate and reliable court reporting and legal video services to the legal community. As the leading privately held deposition and litigation services firm in Texas, the Company is headquartered in Houston with six additional fully staffed office locations throughout the state. The Company is known for its industry knowledge, technology leadership, and professionalism. Clients count on DepoTexas to help them better manage their caseloads and strengthen their productivity. DepoTexas was recently voted Texas’ Best Court Reporting Service by Texas Lawyer Magazine readers. For more information, visit

Andrea Abramson

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Where to Find the Best Court Reporters in Austin

An attorney looking for the best Austin court reporters has a lot of options to choose from. The role that a court reporter plays is extremely important, as their skill in transcribing testimony during depositions and other proceedings goes a long way in determining how well an attorney represents their client’s interests.

Log On!
With the widespread use of the internet, almost every Austin court reporter and litigation support firm out there has a website set up to promote their services. By starting out with a targeted search term like “Austin court reporters” or “court reporting services in Austin,” an attorney can establish a large list of potential candidates to choose from. From that point, it is just a matter of determining which Austin court reporting firm is the best fit.

Due Diligence
Once an attorney has their initial search list ready, it becomes time to start making calls and asking questions. By speaking with other attorneys whose opinion is trusted, a number of court reporting candidates can be highlighted for additional scrutiny during an attorney’s due diligence. A few of the areas that an attorney should consider digging into for each deposition services firm on the list are:

How Well Do They Communicate?: The most important skill set that a good court reporter can have is the ability to communicate. This is crucial to the process of transcribing depositions, and if the firm isn’t able to communicate well with you on the phone, how well can you expect their court reporters to communicate during depositions?

Experience and Certifications: Another important area for an attorney to consider is the experience of the court reporter; not only in general, but in the specific area required by the attorney. Ask questions that specifically point to how much experience they have in relevant industries or cases. Checking any and all references that are provided helps as well. By verifying any industry certifications provided by the court reporter, an attorney can get a good feel for their skill level.

Services and Technology: As the field of court reporting has evolved through new technology, it becomes even more important to work with a litigation services firm that can provide industry-leading technology. Can they provide legal video services? Internet deposition streaming? Do they have an online transcript repository available? Will you receive your transcripts on a CD, or a state-of-the-art reusable USB flash drive?

Wherever, Whenever: Does the Austin litigation support firm provide court reporting services solely in Austin? Or do they have offices in multiple Texas cities? Will they be able to meet the scheduling considerations?

Finding the best Austin court reporting services can take a little bit of work, but by organizing your search using the criteria noted above, an attorney can be assured that they will make the best choice. Attorneys who take the time to verify credentials, referrals and other bonafides that are provided are far more likely to end up with court reporters that are a perfect fit for their needs.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tips for Finding the Best San Antonio Court Reporting Services

An attorney has a wide range of options when it comes to finding the best San Antonio court reporting services. Choosing the right court reporter is an important task, as their ability to precisely transcribe testimony during the deposition process will help determine how effectively the attorney can service their clients. Will a freelance court reporter be the best fit, or will a larger litigation services firm be able to provide a more qualified court reporter?

Time to Start Digging
The vast majority of litigation support firms and independent court reporters these days have their own website, so the internet is a great way to get started. By typing the keyword phrase “San Antonio court reporter” into a search engine, the attorney will immediately have a long list of court reporting candidates. Once that initial search query has been performed, it’s time to narrow down the field.

Ask, and You Shall Receive
Choosing the right San Antonio court reporter from a long list of unknown quantities isn’t an easy task, but by asking a lot of questions, and more importantly, the right questions, can help an attorney make the right choice for their specific needs. Some of the areas that an attorney should inquire about are:

What Services Do They Offer?: Twenty years ago, this wouldn’t have been nearly as important as it is today, but with the onslaught of technological advances that have evolved the field of court reporting, things have changed considerably. These days, choosing the best court reporter often means determining which one can provide the most useful services. Does the court reporter or litigation support firm offer realtime court reporting? Do they provide access to a handy online transcript repository? Do they provide videoconferencing or other legal video services? Once you know all the tools that each will bring to the table, find out what is considered standard for their transcript packages, and what services will result in an additional fee being charged.

How Well Do They Communicate?: Accurate court reporting is influenced substantially by the court reporters ability to communicate. If they are unable to communicate smoothly and effectively with you on the phone, how well will they be able to handle transcribing depositions?

Are They Experienced?: An attorney is best served by a court reporter who not only has a solid background of experience, but a healthy amount of experience in the particular field the attorney requires for that particular case. Ask for references, and do the due diligence required by checking them.

A Time and a Place For Everything: An attorney should always check to make sure that the court reporter is available to work at any and all locations required for the case. The scheduling considerations should be taken into account as well. Can the court reporter be where they need to be, when they need to be there, in order to get the job done?

Closing Remarks
It isn’t always an easy task to choose the right San Antonio court reporting service, but by asking the right questions – and paying attention to the answers – an attorney can navigate the process and emerge with the right litigation services required to support their individual needs. All court reporting services are not created equal, so choosing the right one can go a long way toward an attorney being able to effectively do their job and provide the best service to their client.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Career Options for Houston Court Reporters

Houston court reporters have a wide range of career options and employment opportunities in Texas to choose from, and not all of them involve actually being in court. Stenographer jobs encompass a wide range of industries and offer a plethora of different work environments, pay scales and job perks.

Breaking Down the Court Reporting Options
Court reporters can choose to provide their litigation supports services as a freelance court reporter. This provides a lot of flexibility in scheduling, but can limit the amount of money they make, due to fluctuations in workload. Since a large number of freelance court reporting professionals get paid by the page, a highly skilled – and self-motivated – court reporter can arrange enough jobs to earn a very solid salary. If the wide-open world of freelancing isn’t appealing, the court reporter can choose to take depositions for a larger litigation services firm, thereby ensuring a more stable salary structure and workload.

Considering Life Outside of the Courtroom
A court reporter who has just graduated from their vocational training can choose from a number of stenography-based career fields, including but not limited to:

CART Reporter – Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) reporters work with hearing-impaired students, as well as people who are learning English as a second language. They are usually required to caption high school and college classes and provide transcripts at the end of each session. Many CART reporters also work with the closed captioning of television programs and are considered to be “broadcast captioners.” For Houston court reporting professionals with aspirations of working in the education or entertainment fields, this position can be a very good launching point.

Medical Transcriptionist – Court reporters who wish to enter the medical field often start out as entry level medical transcriptionists. While there are some specialized equipment and training that goes into this position, it is still often used as a “getting started” point for those looking to develop their stenography skills.

Organizations That Can Help
There are many official organizations that have been established to help court reporters and other stenographic professionals find employment, continue their education and receive new certifications and many more industry-related services. Becoming a member of these organizations can ensure that the court reporter remains on the cutting edge of industry technology and is constantly kept apprised on new positions available that match their job skills. A few of the organizations a court reporter should become familiar with are:

• The National Court Reporter Association (NCRA): The top organization for court reporters, the NCRA offers a continuously-updated classifieds section. These classified listings include freelance work and permanent litigation services jobs in the USA, plus a number of positions overseas.

• The US Court Reporter Association (USCRA): For federal court reporters looking for openings, the USCRA is a good place to start. Upon joining the organization, a court reporter has access to an extremely wide range of job listings.

• The American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT): This industry organization lists career opportunities in both government and private companies.

• The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA): The NVRA is another professional group that provides updated classified ads for court reporter and other transcriptionist positions.

Regardless of which area of transcription a Houston court reporter chooses, remember to always keep up with the most current equipment and training for your field. By keeping ahead of the technology curve, a court reporter can be certain that they remain qualified for any new openings that may pop up, regardless of what that position may be.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Where to Find Expert Dallas Litigation Support

For attorneys in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the question of where to find expert Dallas litigation support services is an important one. Choosing the right court reporter to provide that support can expand the attorney’s capabilities, increase their efficiency, and allow them to provide better representation to their client.

Where to Begin?
Twenty years ago, this question would have a completely different answer. With the explosion of the internet, an online search is really the only way to go. The vast majorities of litigation services companies, as well as most freelance or independent court reporters, have a working website they use to market their services. A quick search for “Dallas litigation support” will yield several pages of court reporters and litigation services providers. To break that list down even more, the attorney needs to ask some hard questions…

The Services You Need
Discovering what services each court reporter and litigation support firm provides is the most important aspect of finding the right fit for the attorney’s needs. Does the Dallas court reporter provide access to an online transcript repository? If so, is the interface easy for the attorney to handle, or does it require a high level of technical savvy? Does the court reporter offer realtime court reporting? How about legal video services? Which of the services are included as part of each individual service package offered, and which services require an additional fee?

Are You Experienced?
The last thing the attorney needs when they head into an important case is to have an inexperienced court reporter taking the depositions. By asking several pointed questions, the attorney can determine how much experience the court reporter has, not only in general, but in the area required by the attorney for this specific case. Are references provided? Can the Dallas court reporter provide references that match up with the type of services required by the attorney? Once the references have been provided, the attorney needs to call those references and verify that all of the information provided by the court reporter is accurate, and not overinflated to make them look good.

Schedule and Logistics
Making sure that the court reporter is able to meet the scheduling and logistical requirements of your case. If depositions are being taken in multiple locations, is the court reporter able to travel to meet the need? All of the technical capabilities in the world are no good if the court reporter isn’t able to provide those services when and where they are needed.

By taking a very organized tact when searching for the best litigation support services in Dallas, the attorney can ensure that they make the smart choice from among all the litigation support options available. Asking the right questions and verifying the answers will give the attorney all the ammunition necessary to select the candidate who can provide the services and the expertise the attorney requires.

Monday, January 9, 2012

All Houston Court Reporting Services Are Not Created Equal

There is a wide range of court reporting services that an attorney can choose from in Houston Texas, and they are definitely not all created equal. From an organizational standpoint, an attorney could choose between freelance and independent court reporters, small court reporting companies and larger court reporting firms to meet their litigation support needs. How does an attorney determine which is the best fit for their particular situation?

…By getting organized!

First and foremost, an attorney should create a list of the factors that they feel are important.

Is budget an issue?
If so, then comparing the costs for various Houston court reporting services should be on the attorney’s list.

Are scheduling and logistical considerations important?
Determining the ability of the court report service to take depositions when and where the case requires is something the attorney should clear up early in the decision-making process.

What services and technological support are required?
For most attorneys these days, the ability of the court reporter to provide cutting edge tools like Realtime reporting, online case repositories for storing transcripts and more can make an attorney’s job easier and allow them to provide better value to their clients. If the attorney knows that they will need to share transcripts with other members of their legal team, a court reporting services company that provides depositions streaming, videoconferencing and mobile application support is probably the right direction to consider.

How experienced is the court reporter?
Does the court reporting firm have experience providing the services required? Does the Houston court reporting firm have a strong deposition services background in specific areas that could prove beneficial to the attorney in this case?

References are important
When it comes to choosing the right Houston court reporter, the right references go a long way. Make sure the court reporting services you are targeting provide proper references, and follow up on those references to ensure that they all check out.

All of these areas are important, but only the attorney can determine which are “most important” for their individual needs. Once that list has been prioritized, it simply becomes a matter of applying that list to the individual court reporters and court reporting firms in the Houston area to figure out which litigation services company is the best fit.