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Blog Category: Arbitration

Planet Depos Releases the Ultimate International Deposition Guide for 2024

The 2024 Planet Depos International Deposition Guide is your ultimate resource hub when conducting international depositions. From understanding different legal systems to obtaining the necessary permissions, we’ve got you covered. Our experienced team is well-versed in managing depositions around the globe, ensuring a smooth and efficient process no matter when or where they take place. 

Getting Ready for International Depositions
As you will learn in the guide, proper preparation is the key to a successful international deposition. Here are three important aspects to consider: 

1. Select the Right People for the Job
Planet Depos offers a global network of English-speaking, certified court reporters, legal videographers and interpreters, many of whom already live abroad in various countries and are well-versed in the intricacies involved with legal proceedings.  

2. Assess Logistics and Travel Considerations
Planning and coordinating an international deposition involves careful logistics and travel considerations, ranging from securing the necessary visas and travel documents to booking accommodations and arranging transportation. Planet Depos’ experienced team can help you navigate these processes and ensure your international deposition proceeds as scheduled.  

3. Take Advantage of Litigation Technology
Sometimes, it’s not always feasible or affordable to depose a witness on-site in another country. That’s where remote depositions come in. Planet Depos’ secure and user-friendly videoconferencing solutions can ensure clear audio and video quality for all parties involved, regardless of geographical barriers.  

And these three tidbits are just the tip of the iceberg! To learn more about what it takes to conduct a successful international deposition, be sure to request your free copy of the 2024 Planet Depos International Deposition Guide. If you’re ready to schedule an international deposition, submit an online inquiry or contact our team of international experts.

Not Just Playing Court Reporter on TV (Updated)

Not Just Playing Court Reporter on TV (Updated)

Court reporters do make appearances in the movies and on TV. They are portrayed as quiet, in-the-background working people in a courtroom, usually. They are, in fact, quiet, competent, in-the-background people working on a monumental task but making it look easy. Taking down every word that is said in a hearing or a deposition is no easy task! But there they are, cool as cucumbers, registering no shock or disgust at any sensational moments, no boredom during legal harangues, and paying attention the whole time and not missing a beat. This doesn’t even include all the tasks and duties court reporters accomplish “off camera,” which are many and impressive as well. These are formidable professionals, and they deserve a spotlight in real life.

Well, one of them, at least, is getting just that. Judy Justice is back for a third season, and on this show, the real-life and onscreen court reporter, gets more attention than TV court reporters usually get. Whitney Kumar, certified CA court reporter, reads back the record in real-life cases adjudicated by Judge Judy, demonstrating one of the many valuable services court reporters provide.

Whitney isn’t the only court reporter with screen credits. Harvey Keitel was a court reporter in New York for a few years before the acting bug bit him and nipped his stenography career in the bud. Michelle Pfeiffer attended court reporting school for a few months before switching to acting and becoming a star. The most famous court reporter you didn’t even know was a court reporter would have to be Charles Dickens. Before he bequeathed us Ebenezer Scrooge, Dickens was taking down the record at trials ranging from debtors’ cases to murder. His experience as a court reporter gave him a background in the legal system that proved invaluable in the writing of a novel or two!

Court reporting in and of itself is a cool, rewarding profession, even if one does not wind up on TV or writing bestselling books. Those who achieve realtime certification will find boundless opportunities. A top realtime reporter is in high demand to cover intricate cases, often involving high-profile parties (think Samsung or Ford). Travel abroad is a real possibility. Court reporters possess not just impressive technical skills but a “can do” attitude, adventurous spirit and the best poker face at the table.

Planet Depos court reporters are stars in the legal world, if not on TV. They have been covering legal proceedings all over the world for decades. To schedule a court reporter for your upcoming proceeding, contact Planet Depos at 888.433.3767 or schedule online.

How Court Reporters and Their Teams Can Work Better Together (Updated)

How Court Reporters and Their Teams Can Work Better Together (Updated)

Teamwork makes the dream work

Do you ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get transcript pages produced? Is your inbox full of requests to move this transcript ahead of that one because someone just realized they have a hearing coming up? Are you simply fatigued from being overworked because there’s more work than reporters? Here are some thoughts on a strategy you may wish to consider to lessen the stress and keep your clients happy and impressed that you can always come through for them.

Stenograph and Advantage Software both offer a solution that is revolutionizing how busy reporters keep pace with the demands of transcript production. For Stenograph, the product is called RealTeam; for Advantange Software, the product is called ConnectionMagic. Both vendors have created a product that allows your scopist and/or proofreader immediate access to your live file, including your audio backup. Have you considered how your transcripts could look, whether or not providing realtime, if your scopist is editing as you are writing a job? Not only are you looking like a fabulously organized and professional reporter, but your transcripts are produced in a more timely and efficient manner. Additionally, your scopist has the ability to ask you a question on the spot about a spelling or a technical term which, in turn, you may clarify with the witness or counsel at the next break.

Let’s go one step further: What if your proofreader could be proofreading the same job right behind your scopist? Can you even conceive of this possibility? Well, it’s reality!

How might your life change if at the end of each day your job was already scoped, proofed and ready for you to finalize and turn in? Suddenly, that backlog that has weighed so heavily on your mind for months is a thing of the past. Now you are free to write every day knowing that your support folks are working in the shadows, and at the end of the day when the client asks how soon the transcript can be delivered, you can proudly say, “I can deliver it in a few hours.”  Not only have you made a client very happy, but you now can charge expedited rates. A win for everyone!

If you would like to learn more about these products, please visit this link for information about RealTeam and this link for ConnectionMagic.

Diamond in the Rough – Tips to Receive a Polished Rough Draft, Part Two (Updated)

Diamond in the Rough – Tips to Receive a Polished Rough Draft, Part Two (Updated)

We have been examining what attorneys and their teams can do to receive a helpful rough draft, focusing on the steps you can take prior to the deposition. The importance of preparation cannot be overstated when it comes to court reporters providing a quality rough draft. So, you’ve sent them prep materials, provided spellings, tested your audio with the technician and logged in early. Now you are taking the deposition, and the court reporter is taking down the record, and you are confident you will receive a clean rough after the deposition concludes. And you will! Keep these tips in mind during the deposition to keep your rough draft on track.

Make your admonitions. Remind the witness that a deposition is not a conversation, and to avoid slipping into conversational speech. Remind them not to anticipate your question but to let you finish your question before they answer. Remind them to give verbal responses. Ask them to spell their name on the record. Remind them (and yourself) to speak up, speak clearly and slowly, for the benefit of the court reporter and an accurate record.

Make use of your technician in remote depositions. The technician, among other duties, shares and marks exhibits in remote depositions. Even if all the attorneys present have copies of the exhibits, have the tech display them for the reporter’s benefit, so the reporter is not double-tasking trying to pull the exhibits from the chat while simultaneously taking down an accurate record.

Check in with the court reporter on breaks. If you know you speak quickly or quietly, or that the matter at hand is packed with tongue-twisting terminology, during a break, ask the reporter if they’re ok. Court reporters have seen and heard it all, but they are human and may need you to slow down, or speak up, or provide them with the spelling of a name or term. Stephanie Battaglia, court reporter of 34 years, noted that if you think you’re going too fast, you probably are, so just double check with the reporter at the first and subsequent breaks.

Mind your manners and let each other speak in the deposition. There is no other way to say it. Try to not speak over each other. Lori Stokes, veteran court reporter, points out that it isn’t even a matter of not getting down what is said, but that people are not saying their complete thought, being talked over or interrupted. And it will be frustrating to read a rough and final filled with dashes because participants weren’t letting each other finish their sentences. Cassidy Western, court reporter of three years, reiterated the importance of parties finishing their sentences and suggests the taking attorney repeat the admonitions given at the start of the deposition as needed. Witnesses often need to be reminded to let attorneys finish the question, give verbal responses, and the like. This not only translates to a clean, complete rough, but fewer interruptions by the reporter seeking clarification when there is crosstalk.

If an interpreter was scheduled for the deposition, use their talent to get the best rough draft. Often a deponent may speak excellent English even if it isn’t their first language. However, even if they are fluently bilingual, words may come up that don’t directly translate, or they may have a beautiful accent which isn’t so easy to understand, especially in a remote setting. If you took the time to reserve a professional interpreter, let them help you, the deponent and the court reporter make a clear record.

The court reporter is hard at work even on breaks. Pleasantries and small talk are always nice, but your court reporter is more than likely working hard to get you a clean, usable rough draft as quickly as possible. This means utilizing precious minutes to hone the rough draft so they don’t scramble at the end of the deposition. They typically work through breaks in the deposition, checking spellings, cleaning up messy spots and the like.

No, the rough draft is not without imperfections. It is a rough draft, after all, not the certified final. However, conscientious court reporters pride themselves on providing a quality rough draft. They recognize the rough’s value, for which attorneys pay a premium, so they deliver the best possible rough whatever the circumstances. Optimize those circumstances with these tips and see for yourself what a diamond your uncertified rough draft can be at the hands of a sophisticated court reporter!

Planet Depos has been covering depositions for more than a decade, and our court reporters have centuries of experience combined. For more expert tips, check out the PD Blog Page. To schedule your next proceeding, contact Planet Depos at scheduling@planetdepos.com, or schedule online.

 

Diamond in the Rough: Tips to Receive a Polished Rough Draft, Part One (Updated)

Diamond in the Rough: Tips to Receive a Polished Rough Draft, Part One (Updated)

Rough drafts are such an added value to attorneys, especially in fast-moving litigation. The uncertified rough draft, ideally delivered by the court reporter within hours of the proceedings, is the “unofficial” transcript provided before the final transcript is ready. These unofficial transcripts are useful to prepare for future depositions in the case, determine if additional documents are needed, and much, much more. The better the quality of the rough, the more helpful it is. What can attorneys and their teams do to receive the best possible rough draft? We asked a few of our own powerhouse court reporters for their insight, and it turns out, there are a few things that make a big difference in the quality of the rough draft. In fact, there are enough thoughtful tips from our reporters that you’ll have to check back for more! For right now, let’s look at what you can do before the deposition to position the reporter to provide a sparkling rough draft.

Request a rough draft when you schedule the deposition. Court Petros, court reporter of four years, confirms the most helpful thing an attorney can do when ordering a rough is to make the rough draft request in advance. This allows the scheduling coordinator to reserve a reporter who has the flexibility to provide the rough in the time frame requested. Equally important, advanced notice enables the court reporter to head into the deposition knowing they need a rough ready by XX date. The reporter will then prepare accordingly – rough drafts do require extra preparation.

Help your court reporter build a dictionary. Court reporters take down the record with speed and amazing apparent ease. One tool helping reporters do this is the dictionary they have built over their career, a lexicon pulled from a wide variety of case matters with medical, legal or technological terminology, and any other subject matter you can think of. But each case is unique, so to aid the reporter in building the dictionary relevant to your case, send them a list of specific names and terms.

Speaking of dictionaries, provide spellings to the court reporter. This tip was universal, with every reporter highlighting how helpful it is to receive spellings from the legal team, either prior to the deposition or on breaks. This shaves off valuable minutes spent seeking correct spellings, meaning the rough is ready that much sooner, and is that much more accurate!

Make sure the court reporter can access exhibits. If possible, make exhibits available to the court reporter prior to the deposition, whether remote or in-person. Court reporting professionals love prep materials – as veteran court reporter Lori Stokes says, the more they can prepare in advance, the better the rough will be. Having the exhibits prior to the deposition is a huge help to the court reporter, as they may also contain spellings, terms, etc. that the reporter will need for the rough.

Additional prep materials are always welcome and helpful to court reporters. If there are previous transcripts in the case, send them. Cassidy Western, court reporter of three years, specifically said the roughs she has turned around fastest were those where she had access to previous transcripts in the case. If previous depositions were covered by the same court reporting agency, they will already have those transcripts to provide to the reporter, but double check to make sure the reporter has all previous witnesses. There is no such thing as too many prep materials. This was another unanimous tip from all the reporters polled. Hint, reporters always love receiving a copy of the Notice of Deposition.

Test with the remote technician before the deposition. Yes, we keep saying it. It’s essential. You need to test your internet connection and speed, test your audio and video, microphone, etc. before you log in to take the remote deposition. Everyone participating in a remote deposition needs to be able to see and hear. The reporter who can’t hear the participant who didn’t test their connection and equipment can’t promise a highly accurate rough draft (or final). Schedule the test.

For remote depositions, log in early. It is always recommended to log in early to remote depositions. You can quickly check your connection, audio and video. Make it a habit to log in early to give the reporter your name, firm name and names of other attorneys from your firm who will be joining. If possible, providing a list of attendees from your firm before the remote deposition would be even better.

These tips outline what you can do from scheduling the deposition right up to the moment you go on the record. They set you firmly on the path to a quality rough draft from the court reporter. Next, we’ll be sharing the list of actions you can take during the deposition to secure your speedy and accurate rough draft.

Planet Depos court reporters have been covering legal proceedings in all variety of case matters, all over the globe, with a combined experience totaling centuries. From realtime to roughs, in-person or remote, the Planet Depos court reporter will make it happen. To schedule your next proceeding, contact Planet Depos at scheduling@planetdepos.com, or schedule online.

How Lawyers Use Rough ASCIIs and Uncertified Rough Drafts (Updated)

Litigation teams worldwide find rough ASCIIs (unofficial rough draft transcripts) to be a useful, cost-effective resource in providing key information to prepare for the next proceedings. The rough ASCII enables counsel to view, search for words or phrases, color code Quick issues, write notes, and even drag and drop portions of the testimony into other documents while maintaining the integrity of the original ASCII transcript. These capabilities enable litigation teams to work smarter, faster and more effectively.

While a rough ASCII transcript may not be quoted from, as it is an unofficial record of the proceedings, it may be utilized in refreshing a witness’s recollection without “quoting” from the transcript. It may also be used as a tool in terms of ensuring that questions have been answered fully and completely, that you have pinned down the witness on all salient points, for tracking of exhibits and ultimately in the development of rebuttal and cross-examination.

Rough ASCIIs may be delivered in the form of E-transcripts files, and may be saved to a flash drive, wireless device, e-mailed and archived. Because electronic transcripts rely upon the integrity of the device upon which they have been saved, it is recommended that any notated, searched or highlighted versions of an ASCII be archived in more than one place, such as in a hard drive and flash drive, or in the cloud, or transcript repository and Smartphone. If the notated, indexed and highlighted transcript is only saved to a laptop, or flash drive and laptop, rather than to the cloud drive or transcript repository, it is recommended that the two pieces of hardware be kept in separate places to ensure that the files are always available in the event that one archived medium becomes unusable or otherwise unavailable.

A realtime feed from the court reporter is different from a rough ASCII in that with a realtime feed counsel connects either wirelessly or via cables to the court reporter’s laptop and receives a live feed of the rough, unedited transcript. In a realtime mode, counsel and support staff have the opportunity to mark, notate and highlight the rough ASCII immediately, rather than waiting for the unofficial transcript to be provided at a subsequent time. The rough ASCII, which is provided shortly after the conclusion of the proceedings, is generally free of untranslates and mistranslates, making it even more useful to counsel.

Planet Depos supports the following transcript viewer/manager providers:

  1. Bridge (Free download)
  2. CaseViewNet (Free download)
  3. LiveNote (Free Download)
  4. LiveLitigation
  5. TrialBook

Free transcript viewer software typically provides counsel with all the functionality needed during a deposition, including quick marking, searching forward, backward and moving from one keyword or quick mark to the next.

The Planet Depos Tech Support Team will send your realtime link as early as two business days prior to the deposition, or as soon as the stenographer is assigned. 

Make the Most of Your International Deposition in Hong Kong

If you have an upcoming international deposition in Hong Kong, we’ve got you covered! Follow these top tips and recommendations for a memorable experience:

1) Taxi Tips in Hong Kong

Once you’ve arrived in the city, you’ll likely need to get from the airport to either your hotel or deposition location. If you’re looking to hail a cab, it’s important to note that there are two separate lines for taxi stands at the airport. Be sure to double-check which line is appropriate for your destination. It’s also wise to have your destination address translated in Cantonese on your phone, as some taxi drivers may refuse to pick you up if they can’t understand where you need to go. Additionally, keep in mind that taxis only accept cash, so it’s a good idea to be prepared and have some Hong Kong dollars (HKD) on hand when you’re ready to leave the airport.

2) Get an Octopus Card

If it’s your first time in Hong Kong, consider getting an Octopus card. This handy card can be purchased at major subway stations and costs 200 HKD. That price includes a 50 HKD deposit that can be refunded, along with 150 HKD that you can use immediately for the subway, ferry or other local transportation within Hong Kong. It’s also widely accepted in many stores and shops, making this a “must-have” item for your stay!

3) Stay Cool in an Urban Jungle

Hong Kong is known for its towering skyscrapers and concrete streets, which can get scorching hot during the summer months. If you’ve ever experienced a Florida summer, you’ll find the heat comparable. Fortunately, there are many connected buildings that offer respite from the heat as you navigate the city, so take advantage of this whenever you can!

4) Explore the Sights

During your downtime, we encourage you to explore the vibrant attractions Hong Kong has to offer. Consider visiting the Man Mo Temple on Hong Kong Island for a unique cultural experience. For wildlife enthusiasts, the Hong Kong Zoo and Zoological Park offer the opportunity to observe orangutans up close.

On the Kowloon side, take a stroll along the Avenue of the Stars to capture a picture with Bruce Lee’s statue. Nearby, you’ll find the K11 mall that features different styles of art on each floor. If you’re looking for contemporary art, we recommend visiting the M+ and the Museum of Modern Art. If you’re a history buff, take some time to explore the Kowloon Walled City Park, which is a former infamous locale that now serves as a peaceful park with a memorial and small museum.

If you’ve only got an hour or two to spare, we recommend trying to at least take a ride on the star ferry. It costs just 4 to 5 HKD, and it’s the most iconic Hong Kong experience you can fit into a small window of time!

5) Nearby Attractions and Side Trips

If you have a full day to spare, consider a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland. Despite being the smallest park in the Disney franchise, it’s an enjoyable experience, especially on weekdays! Don’t be afraid go through the “Mystic Manor,” which is Hong Kong’s twist on the wildly popular and well-known Haunted Mansion ride.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, take a side trip to Macao, which is easily accessible from Hong Kong by ferry. Just remember to bring your passport. Alternatively, you can venture into mainland China, but this requires a Chinese visa. Without one, you can explore Shenzhen with a Visa On Arrival, but your exploration will be limited to that city.

6) Embrace the Fast-Paced Lifestyle

Last but not least, be aware of your surroundings! People here move at lightning speed, and it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the city. Watch where you step as well, as parts of Hong Kong, especially the island, consist of hilly terrain. It’s not uncommon to encounter sudden declines or slippery stairs!

Remember these tips and tidbits when it’s time for your next international deposition in Hong Kong! For even more information about depositions in Hong Kong and other parts of the world, check out the latest edition of the Planet Depos International Deposition Guide or submit an international inquiry online.

Mobile Videoconferencing (MVC): 10 Tech Tips for a Better Experience (Updated)

Mobile Videoconferencing (MVC): 10 Tech Tips for a Better Experience (Updated)

Remote depositions and hearings through a videoconferencing platform, such as Zoom or WebEx, have been happening for some time. Do you have one coming up?

All remote attendees can and should schedule a remote test session with Planet Depos’ Tech Support prior to your scheduled session. Simply e-mail Tech Support or your Planet Depos account executive, and we will set up a date and time. You may have had a demo when remote proceedings became popular in spring 2020, but the advances in mobile videoconferencing technology since then will surprise you.

Updates in the technology realm are frequent and potent! Think of all the updates you constantly download to your phone. A refresher demo will keep you current, so your remote proceeding runs smoothly. Tech support will make sure you are able to join and can be seen and heard at the depo, as well as answer any questions about what to expect during the remote session. We also recommend that you join 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of your actual deposition or hearing to allow time to troubleshoot in the event you have an unsuspected technical issue.

Here are some tips from Planet Depos’ Tech Support team to have ensure a better experience for all participants joining your remote deposition or hearing. They can help if you are experiencing issues with latency, frozen screen, poor quality audio/video, or connection.

  1. Use wired (Ethernet cable) Internet connection
    Whenever possible, use a wired Ethernet connection during your videoconference. Connect a cable directly from your computer into the wireless router, or if in an office or court, into a wall data jack. Disable wireless (WiFi) on your computer. Other computers and devices using the same network, while in a remote videoconference session, can cause the network to slow down and cause audio and video issues. If possible, ensure that your computer is the only device using the Internet connection.
  2. Have an Internet speed that is fast enough
    For the videoconference application, it is recommended to have at least 3-5 Mbps download speeds. The higher the speeds, the better the experience. You can check your speeds by opening a web browser and visiting https://fast.com/ or do a Google search for Internet speed test web sites.
  3. Adjust your location
    If you must use a wireless (WiFi) connection, try to move the router closer to your computer or move the computer closer to the router to help maximize signal quality and strength. A WiFi router has a particular distance range, so as you move further away from it your connection becomes weaker, and your video and audio could freeze or become choppy. You should also note that walls and staircases can weaken the WiFi range. If your wireless router and computer support the faster 5Ghz WiFi network you should use it, although keep in mind the 5Ghz has a shorter distance range.
  4. Close unnecessary applications on your computer
    Videoconferencing applications can require significant memory and processing power from your computer. Closing all unnecessary computer applications, such as e-mail programs and web browsers, will help the application run better.
  5. Reboot your computer
    Reboot your computer prior to any remote videoconferencing meeting. This helps clear out and remove temporary files. Rebooting your computer regularly is good practice in general.
  6. Use a standalone phone
    If you are experiencing audio issues in the meeting, dial into the meeting using a standalone phone and disable the audio in the videoconferencing application to avoid feedback. If there are multiple people in the room, use a speakerphone.
  7. Avoid other activities on your computer during the remote session
    The videoconferencing application should be the only application running unless you are sharing your screen to present exhibits. Avoid using other tasks that are computer-processing and internet-connection intensive. Also, do not do any internet-connection intensive tasks on other computers or devices that are using the same network, such as large file downloads or uploads; video streaming (e.g., watching videos on YouTube); transferring files over the Internet/network; or computer backups.
  8. Stop your webcam/video when not needed
    If you do not need to be on camera in the proceeding you can disable the video by clicking on the “Stop Video” button. This will reduce internet traffic going out on your network. When or if you need to show yourself, you can click the same button to start your video again.
  9. Disable HD webcam video
    Sending high definition (HD) webcam video requires more bandwidth, so disabling HD video will revert the quality to standard definition (SD) and free up more of your Internet connection. To disable HD video:
    • Zoom: Open the Zoom Desktop App. Open Settings (gear icon), select Video and uncheck HD.
    • WebEx: Open the WebEx Desktop App. Click your profile picture (or initials if you don’t have a profile picture set), select Settings > Video and uncheck Enable HD
  10. Router Maintenance
    Router manufacturers routinely provide updates to their router. These can be security updates as well as performance improvements. It is good practice to not only restart your routers regularly, but to check for updates. Refer to your router’s documentation on how to check and install available updates. If your router has a power button, you can restart it by turning it off, waiting 60 seconds, and then turning it on again. If the router doesn’t have a power button, you can restart it by unplugging the power cable for 60 seconds and then plugging it back in. It can take a few minutes for the router to reboot and reinitialize. Refer to your router’s documentation on how to properly restart the router.

Planet Depos has been covering depositions and all the details for more than a decade. Request your demo to see how our remote platform exceeds expectations. It takes only 15-20 minutes! For more tips, check out additional pieces on the PD Blog page. To schedule your next proceeding, contact Planet Depos at scheduling@planetdepos.com or schedule online.

Choosing the Right Court Reporting Agency for Your Intellectual Property Case (Updated)

Choosing the Right Court Reporting Agency for Your Intellectual Property Case (Updated)

Intellectual property (IP) cases are intricate, highly confidential, massive undertakings. They often involve high-profile parties, source code and international depositions. This means you need a court reporting agency with solid IP experience. You want a court reporting team equipped to handle multiple tracks, next-day rushes, strict confidentiality, cutting-edge technology and it would be great if they have reporters, videographers and interpreters worldwide. Not every agency can provide all of the above and more, while providing top-tier service every step of the way. Here are some ways to quickly spot the ones that can.

Cohesive Teamwork: You should see the departments working together and your account executive working seamlessly with each department to ensure everything stays on track and you stay informed. Your account executive should gather the details of your IP matter and pass those to scheduling, keeping you in the loop. A scheduling case manager should follow up with you to gather any additional information needed or to clarify details, e.g., collecting any protective orders in the matter. From scheduling, you then go to production, where the production case manager will confirm particulars and establish your standing order in the matter. This ensures consistency throughout the entirety of the matter. Production’s extensive experience with IP matters means formatting is correct – from title pages and special certificates – to lines per page.

Find a Truly Global Agency: When IP matters are involved, an agency with international presence is ideal, as you will likely be deposing several witnesses overseas. Does your agency have reporters, videographers and interpreters all over the globe? Are they experts on the legality of depositions around the world? Can they guide you through the processes and protocols of depositions in South Korea, or Germany, for example? Do they offer an International Depositions Guide?

Interpretation is Key: Intellectual property matters tend to involve witnesses in various parts of the world, and they may not speak English proficiently enough to be deposed in English. You want a court reporting agency with a worldwide network of top interpreters, proficient in the various dialects that exist in different languages. These interpreters must have heavy deposition experience and subject matter familiarity, if not expertise! Keep in mind, the more intricate and technical jargon-heavy the deposition may be, the more you may want to consider a team of interpreters rather than one interpreter working solo. Accurate legal interpretation is both mentally and physically taxing. If you anticipate long depos with a lot of highly technological language, give some thought to an extra interpreter.

Expertise With Handling Exhibits: Make sure the court reporting agency makes handling all those exhibits a breeze. You want to see a court reporting agency that has thought out everything you need – limitless, secure storage, a system allowing easy collaboration and sharing with colleagues, seamless marking of digital exhibits when all parties may be remote, etc.

Realtime Saves Time: Make sure the agency has realtime reporters because in an IP matter, you want realtime. Particularly for interpreted depos, realtime saves a lot of time. The benefits of realtime are many – instantly flag testimony for follow-up, plus avoid constant readbacks by the court reporter. Keep in mind though that not every court reporter provides realtime, so do discuss this option immediately with your account executive to guarantee a realtime reporter is on your case.

It comes down to this: does the court reporting agency know what they’re doing? Look at their service offerings. Look at their processes. Talk to the account executive frankly about your needs, concerns and expectations. They should be able to outline a process that makes you comfortable the team will not miss any details, hears and appreciates your concerns and has solutions at the ready for difficulties that you do or do not anticipate. You want a confident team, a team that has seen it all in their IP casework and knows how to manage all the exhibits, protective orders, parties and details IP matters entail.

Planet Depos has been covering depositions all around the world for more than a decade, leading the court reporting industry in international depositions. For questions about international depositions, IP, or to schedule your matter, contact Planet Depos at 888.433.3767, or schedule online.

5 Considerations When Choosing an Audio Transcription Provider (Updated)

5 Considerations When Choosing an Audio Transcription Provider (Updated)

Choosing an Audio Transcription Provider

By Olivia Ignacio

It seems straightforward. You have audio you need transcribed. There are companies providing audio transcription. You pick one. Right? Well, you could do it like that, but really you want to pick the right audio transcription provider. To determine that, you should ask yourself five questions before making your selection. Only the company with satisfactory answers to all five questions should win your business.

Is the transcription being performed by a person or by a computer-generated program?

Sure, it sounds easy enough to simply load your audio file into a computer program that quickly generates a transcript, but the final product may not be what you expected. The human ear can pick up on words and nuances that software cannot; for example, the difference between an affirmative “uh-huh” and a negative “uh-uh.” A human can more accurately ascribe names of speakers to their voices, as well as more accurately transcribe heavy accents, low-volume speakers and inarticulate speakers. The error rate for computer-generated transcripts is also going to be higher, due to many different factors, including random noise on the audio, loud background noise or software malfunctions.

If the transcription is being done by a person, is it a court reporter or experienced legal transcriptionist?

There are many benefits to having a court reporter or experienced legal transcriptionist transcribe your audio. They are a neutral party; they are versed in legal jargon and court proceedings, and they are familiar with transcript formatting and rules by jurisdiction. These qualities mean they produce a professional, easy-to-read, certified transcript.

In addition, having a court reporting agency do your transcription ensures you are provided with the transcript files you expect, whether it’s ASCII, PDF, E-tran (.PTX), LiveNote (.LEF), TextMap (.XMEF), CaseNotebook (.PTZ), Summation (.SBF) or trial software such as Sanction (.MDB) and Trial Director (.CMS).

Can the transcription provider work with the kind of audio file I have?

A quality transcription provider should be able to! Make sure they can handle audio types ranging from standard .MP3 and .WAV files to commonly used courtroom software such as CourtSmart and other proprietary surveillance or video software. Additionally, they should be able to access audio from various forms of media submitted, including thumb drives, discs and cassette tapes.

How quick a turnaround do I need?

Those in the industry generally estimate that the transcription will take three times the length of the audio. Thus, a four-hour audio file will take 12 hours to transcribe – approximately a day and a half. This estimate accounts for time spent proofreading, relistening and researching terms and spellings. Make sure the vendor you choose has the resources to finish your transcripts on time.

Will my transcript be accurate?

The court reporter or experienced legal transcriptionist will always do their best to make the transcript as accurate and complete as possible. Any words they cannot 100% confirm, they will mark in the transcript as “inaudible” or “indiscernible.” Any speakers they cannot identify will be referred to as “Male Speaker 1,” “Female Speaker 2,” etc. To aid the transcriptionist in providing an accurate transcript, consider sending a list of speaker names, as well as a list of special terms or acronyms likely to appear.

Planet Depos has been providing best-in-class court reporting services for more than a decade, including transcription services. Their professional transcription team stands ready to assist with your audio transcription needs. If you have questions or want to request transcription, email audio@planetdepos.com. You can also make your request on our site.

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