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Blog Category: Court Reporting

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 You can also make your request on our site.

Best Practices for Creating a Clear Record (Updated)

Best Practices for Creating a Clear Record (Updated)

Whether taking a deposition in person or remotely, having a clear record is essential for use at trial, possible settlement and/or impeachment. We’ve polled hundreds of court reporters with thousands of reporting hours under their belts and compiled their top tips for creating a clear record.


  • Introduce yourself to the court reporter, present your card and indicate which party you represent.
  • Always ask the witness to state and spell his/her full name so the record accurately reflects the correct spelling.
  • Remind the witness to speak loudly and clearly so that the court reporter can hear and understand every word.
  • Ask the witness to allow you to finish your question before answering because the court reporter can capture only one person speaking at a time. This will eliminate a transcript filled with dashes which may cause confusion later.
  • Remind the witness to give a verbal response as the court reporter can capture only verbal responses. Nods or shakes of the head cannot be captured, and, similarly, it is often difficult to understand the meaning of ‘uh-huh’ and ‘unh-unh.’
  • Restate in words when the witness gestures in any way, e.g., “For the record, the witness is indicating about three feet.”
  • Indicate when quoted material begins and ends and provide the court reporter with a copy of any documents that are read into the record.
  • Ask the witness (or the interpreter if one is present) to sit next to the court reporter to ensure he/she can both see and hear the witness/interpreter (for in-person depositions).
  • Allow the court reporter to mark and keep track of the exhibits, which will ensure consistent and sequential numbering.
  • Wait until the reporter completely marks the exhibit before asking your next question.
  • Clearly state when going off or back on the record. In accordance with the reporter’s Code of Professional Ethics, all parties must consent to go off the record. If one party objects to going off the record, the reporter is obligated to stay on the record.
  • For telephone depositions, state your name before speaking so that you are properly identified in the transcript.
  • Consider retaining the services of an interpreter if the witness’ English is poor or if he/she has a heavy accent. This will avoid unpleasant surprises at trial.
  • Take a short break every 1.5 hours and at least 30 minutes for lunch.


  • Avoid asking the court reporter for his/her opinion of the witness or the testimony. Court reporters are Officers of the Court and must remain impartial at all times.
  • Refrain from rustling papers, clicking pens, etc., as microphones are very sensitive. As such, they can also pick up quiet whispers or communication between you and your client.
  • Don’t share your copy of the transcript with other counsel unless you represent the same party because the court reporter earns his/her living by selling deposition transcripts.

Remember, you and the court reporter have the same goal: to create a readable and useful transcript, and you both can make that happen by working together. Schedule your next deposition today, or reach out to our scheduling team for more information.

7 Handy Tips for Scheduling a Deposition, Including Remote Depositions! (Updated)

7 Handy Tips for Scheduling a Deposition, Including Remote Depositions! (Updated)

By Micayla Charles & Carly Wilson

The process of scheduling a deposition can have several moving pieces, from counsel’s and the witness’ schedules to arranging for a court reporter, videographer and/or interpreter. And then there’s finding an appropriate location, organizing exhibits, setting up special services, as well as planning for the necessary technology needed to make the deposition run smoothly. If you are using a court reporting firm to assist in coordinating the logistics of a deposition, below are some tips and key points to remember when scheduling.

Tip 1: Determine the Proper Venue When Scheduling a Deposition

Determining the proper location for your deposition is vitally important. Will the deposition take place at a specific venue, or will it be held remotely? For the past few years, the rise in remote depositions has significantly increased and firms have found they can successfully complete depositions this way. Some physical aspects of a deposition location to consider, even if they are held remotely, include:

  • The size of the space
  • Seating availability
  • Breakout room accessibility
  • Proximity to parking or public transportation.

It is also important to consider the facility’s technology services, such as photocopiers, fax machines, scanners and wireless or hardline internet connections. It would also be prudent to inquire about any additional cost for heating and A/C control for after-hours access. If the venue is remote, will you need a Zoom technician, and if so, do you have a specific tech you want? Here at PD, our Zoom technicians have become like celebrities — our clients love them!

Once the location is selected, you will need to include the specific information in the Notice, along with the requirement of court reporters, videographers and interpreters.

Tip 2: Transcript and Video Delivery

The transcript turnaround time varies amongst court reporting agencies. If you know that you’ll need the transcript on an expedited basis, inform the court reporter or the agency as soon as possible. Doing so allows the reporter and the production team to adjust schedules accordingly to ensure that the transcript is delivered to you on time.

Of course, if you think you might need a rough draft of the transcript, make every attempt to let the court reporting agency know in advance so that a qualified court reporter may be assigned. If a videographer will be present at the depositions, it is important to be specific about any rush request for the video.

Tip 3: Request Realtime Translation

If you would like to receive a realtime feed during the deposition, it is best to provide the request to the court reporting agency at the time of scheduling so that a qualified reporter may be assigned. The reporter will be prepared to transmit local realtime (within the deposition suite), as well as to stream the realtime to a remote location.

Tip 4: Attend Depositions Remotely

Traveling to depositions is not always convenient or cost-effective, but fortunately, technology easily permits for remote attendance through either traditional videoconferencing or mobile videoconferencing.

Traditional videoconferencing uses dedicated VC units that connect through a static IP address. Another option for remote attendance is via mobile videoconference. Mobile videoconferencing allows remote participants to connect via most any device, including laptops, iPads or smartphones via Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. Your court reporting firm can set you up with a mobile videoconference meeting that is both secure and stable.


It is important to consider security needs for the remote deposition. At Planet Depos, we have the enterprise version of Zoom with fantastic security, but also have versions that are both HIPAA-compliant and Zoom for Government that will provide you a secure remote deposition while following all necessary guidelines. Our blog post on Zoom security provides additional details on why Zoom meets our security needs.

If seeing the witness is not a priority, often the cheapest method to attend a deposition remotely is to utilize a conference call number, which will allow you to simply connect via phone.

Tip 5: Proper Deposition Equipment

Your court reporting firm should also be able to provide you with loaner pieces such as iPads, projection units and document cameras, if requested in advance.

And if you are scheduling a remote deposition, there is some important “equipment” that you will want to take care of ahead of time:

  • Test your internet for a strong Wi-Fi connection or utilize a hardwired connection.
  • If you will be on video be sure there is good lighting, eliminate distracting backgrounds and dress professionally.
  • Test your equipment to be sure your microphones, headphones and audio quality are all working properly. You can schedule a test with one of our technicians.
  • Make sure your Zoom software is up to date.

Tip 6: Sending Exhibits in Advance

It’s always helpful to send exhibits in advance of the deposition. Sending exhibits digitally can be the most convenient and efficient way to ensure the exhibits make it to the deposition. If you want to pre-mark exhibits, you can always include that information for the court reporter. But if you need to send original exhibits through a mail service, be sure to always retain a tracking number and confirm the proper receiving address for the exhibits.

Remote Exhibits Tips & Tricks

Having a Zoom Tech on your remote depo makes the exhibit process seamless. You will upload the exhibits beforehand and our Zoom Tech will take it from there during the deposition to share the exhibits.

Tip 7: Changes in Time, Venue or Services

Deposition details change all the time. Court reporting firms are generally very flexible, but it is vital to communicate any changes in the deposition time, venue or services as soon as you know them. This ensures that every deposition starts on time, and it also helps to avoid any unnecessary charges.

There are many service options available when taking a deposition. Knowing your options and communicating your deposition needs are important to ensure that your deposition runs smoothly and that all participants are on time and prepared.

Our experienced scheduling coordinators are available 24/7 to assist you with scheduling a deposition. Reach out to us at or call 888.433.3767.

8 Tips to Save Time & Money on Depositions (Updated)

8 Tips to Save Time & Money on Depositions (Updated)

Who isn’t trying to be more economical these days? It’s 2023, and you have to tighten your belt with everything going on. Law firms are no different, trying to cut costs for frugal clients looking for any expenses they can cut. Large cases are necessarily more expensive, and their court reporting budgets are not small – realtime, rough drafts, streaming and video alone tally up big invoices. To help save time and money on your depositions, keep these 8 points in mind:

1. Build a Relationship

This is true in so many arenas. If you take your car to the same shop every time, you see the difference in treatment, the willingness to give you a slightly better discount, etc. Establishing a relationship with one court reporting agency has the same benefits. You are seen as a valued client, which comes in handy when you need a court reporter at the last minute, or need an invoice reduced or even waived altogether.

2. Have a Secure Repository

You should be able to access all of your transcripts 24/7. A secure repository provides this benefit, so you can log in and download a transcript, exhibit, invoice, etc. This can save time when preparing for a case and finding yourself in need of a certain file – it is accessible to you in the time it takes you to log in and download. And again, it’s 2020, and everything is virtual!

3. Consider a Videoconference

This is a no-brainer for cost-savings. Eliminating expensive travel arrangements, and the time spent traveling, videoconferencing is an excellent option for a one-day deposition of a witness residing far away, even overseas. Remote depositions through videoconference also make a great option when in-person depositions just aren’t an option. Videoconferencing not only saves on cost, but can keep litigation moving forward when in-person proceedings can’t move forward.

4. Obtain Court Reporting Agency Emergency Contact Information

If you’re not already working with an agency that is reachable 24/7/365 (like Planet Depos), be sure to get a phone number and email address for emergencies. This is invaluable if you need to reach someone after hours to inform of a last-minute change, or schedule, or handle some other urgent matter. Last-minute changes are part of the discovery process, and it is imperative to have a means of communicating them to your agency. The relationship mentioned in point 1 guarantees an immediate, helpful response to those emergency communications.

5. Encourage Opposing Counsel to Use Your Court Reporting Agency

When all parties use the same court reporting agency, cost savings are passed to everyone involved. Additionally, the case calendar, transcripts, exhibits, errata sheets and invoices are all housed in that same repository with 24/7 access. This also ensures consistency and continuity of reporters, transcripts and invoices, for both taking and defending attorneys.

6. Compare Rates Between Court Reporting Agencies

Obtain quotes from multiple agencies to confirm the rates you are being quoted are competitive. Ask if the agency can cover in other states, or internationally, and verify those prices are competitive as well.

7. Get Quality Transcripts and Legal Videography

Working with a reputable court reporting agency ensures there are no nasty surprises at trial. There’s no need to worry about reading a transcript for the jury and stumbling over spelling and grammatical errors, or worse. You won’t need to worry that your video clip has poor audio. Develop a relationship with the reporter who really wowed you and the legal videographer who demonstrated savvy technological skills, and request to work with them on all your depositions whenever possible. You cannot overstate the value of experienced, professional court reporters and legal videographers.

8. Utilize Electronic Delivery

Receiving final transcripts in electronic format only saves money, trees, storage costs and space (don’t forget the secure repository with round-the-clock access!). Ask about a Standing Order Form as well, to ensure the firm has your email distribution list for rough drafts and final transcripts, as well as your preferred file types.

Bonus: Ask About Free Conference Rooms

Finding an affordable and convenient location to take a deposition, whether locally or around the world, can be a challenge. It takes time and valuable resources for the litigation team to locate an appropriate conference room. Your court reporting agency should have the ability to provide you with a location at no charge.

This can save you and your clients thousands of dollars every year. Whether you need a large conference room for a deposition in your hometown or a conference room for your deposition anywhere on the planet, your court reporting agency should be able to accommodate your request.

Planet Depos has been covering depositions all over the world for over a decade.  For more information, cost-savers, or to schedule, contact Planet Depos at 888.433.3767 or schedule your deposition online.

Beyond the Border: Planet Depos Resumes Conducting In-Person Depositions in the Philippines

Beyond the Border: Planet Depos Resumes Conducting In-Person Depositions in the Philippines

As more and more countries in Asia open their borders post-pandemic, Planet Depos was recently able to resume covering in-person depositions in the Philippines. Throughout the pandemic, we conducted remote work in the Philippines, but as restrictions ease, we’re now able to offer more comprehensive solutions to clients involved with international cases, while still providing the same, signature, top-tier service.

As a global court reporting firm, all the legal support services we offer in the U.S. are also available for depositions in the Philippines. Whether you need a stenographer, videographer or technician, or require services such as Realtime streaming, same-day rough drafts or expedited final transcripts, our international team is well-equipped to tackle even the toughest cases.

For this in-person deposition, we sent a court reporter and a videographer, both of whom are part of our PD Asia team. While these team members are not local to the Philippines, they do reside full-time in other nearby Asian countries, so they have extensive experience recording international depositions throughout Southeast Asia.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this particular deposition, due to its locale, was the unique blend of languages. Due to Spanish colonization, many Spanish words have been integrated into the Filipino language, Tagalog. In addition, the Filipino people have developed a blend of English and Tagalog, referred to as “Taglish,” which is widely used in everyday life in the Philippines. These linguistic details added an extra dimension to the deposition, requiring particular attention to ensure accurate documentation of the record. However, any challenges were met with enthusiasm and professionalism by our experienced team.

If you have an upcoming deposition in the Philippines, or anywhere else abroad, we are here to help. In addition to coordinating the logistics of an international case, we can also provide valuable insight regarding country-specific deposition regulations, travel and hotel recommendations, and even traditional dishes to enjoy!

For more information on conducting depositions around the world, check out the latest edition of our International Deposition Guide, or submit an international inquiry online at any time.

International Deposition: Cape Town Edition

International Deposition: Cape Town Edition

As the leader in the global court reporting industry, Planet Depos is always looking to expand its geographical reach. Earlier this year, we conducted an international deposition in Cape Town, South Africa.

“This is the first deposition we’ve done in Cape Town specifically, although we did some depositions in Johannesburg a number of years ago,” says Meredith Weisel, senior scheduling manager. “While depositions in South Africa are few and far between, there is always the potential for more!”

International Realtime Court Reporter Ana Gallegos and Videographer Joseph Viner traveled from Europe to South Africa to attend the deposition in person, while Technician Linda Fleet attended remotely via Zoom. Gallegos has been reporting for over 30 years, spending the last half decade focused exclusively on international work.

“My last five years of international work have been the most challenging and exciting in my career,” says Gallegos. “It is always an adventure, but it’s imperative to work with an agency like Planet Depos who understands the challenges of working around the world. I have complete trust that my jobs with PD will run smoothly, my videographer will be very professional and I will never have to worry about anything other than my transcripts.”

While we don’t currently have any local liaisons in South Africa like we do in other countries, like Japan and South Korea, our international team is committed to doing any research necessary to help prepare court reporters and other staff as much as possible. This ensures we’re able to offer our impeccable, best-in-class service no matter where a deposition takes place!

“The international team arranged for all required resources and services, while gathering necessary information and details from the client to make sure the deposition ran smoothly,” says Weisel. “Our tech support team arranged and distributed the Zoom meeting link for the remote participants and our videographer set-up the Zoom connection on-site in South Africa while another technician facilitated things remotely.”

So how does this differ from standard, domestic depositions? In short, it really doesn’t.

“We can make anything happen with depositions taking place internationally, just like we can with depositions in the U.S.,” says Weisel. “Whether you need a reporter, videographer, interpreter or technician, we can make it happen! It will just require a bit more travel, that’s all.”

Do you have an upcoming international deposition? Schedule online with us and let us Make It Happen for you!

Automation and the Court Reporting Industry

Automation and the Court Reporting Industry

As technology continues to advance, fears of robots replacing humans has increased across many industries as corporations look to automate certain job functions to reduce costs and stay on top of trends. This McKinsey report detailed which professions have the most potential for automation, and it may surprise you that court reporting and the legal industry only had a 16% chance. While the report was published in 2016, and the legal space continues to evolve and incorporate litigation technology, it’s evident that the court reporting industry has still maintained a strong need for human operation.

“Legal proceedings can get heated with people talking over one another, or you may have a witness that mumbles or has a strong accent,” says Sandi Wilson, CSR (CA), FPR, CER, CDR, senior director of litigation technology. “You must have a person there to keep decorum, administer an oath, mark exhibits, identify speakers and ask for questions to be repeated if needed, among other responsibilities. Technology is always going to need that human touch for a 100% verbatim record.”

The need for this human element demonstrates that it would be impossible to fully automate the court reporting industry. However, across the nation, there is a critical shortage of stenographic reporters which only continues to worsen year after year, due to low enrollments at stenography schools and retiring reporters leaving the field. These two factors make it harder and harder to meet the growing demand for stenographic reporters.

This is where litigation technology and digital court reporters can assist and serve as a way to supplement the shortage. When digital court reporting was first introduced, many were unsure about it, but they have slowly started to embrace the new technology and new type of (human) court reporter.

“There is a misconception of what digital court reporting actually is and what it has to offer; I think early on, some of the methods were not as advanced as they are today, and the reporters were not always using quality equipment and technology, so opinions were formed based on the earlier methods of digital reporting,” says Wilson. “Today, litigation technology is state-of-the-art. The digital reporting method is no longer the lesser method of court reporting; it’s simply a different method of court reporting with the end product being a verbatim transcript.”

As litigation technology continues to expand, court reporters have access to new programs and functions that they may not have had before.

“Technology is only going to make a court reporter’s job easier; with artificial intelligence and automatic speech recognition programs, it helps reporters work smarter, not harder,” says Wilson. “For example, a reporter or transcriber manually typing up a proceeding will take longer than a reporter or transcriber using ASR or AI to make the first pass on creating the transcript. With ASR and AI translation in the 80-to-90% range, the reporter or transcriber can scope and proofread the proceeding, bringing it to 100% accuracy in almost half the time.”

Ultimately, Wilson believes that the best-case scenario for the court reporting industry is a combination of amazing technology and a well-trained professional.

“Rather than focusing on the method of court reporting, we need to focus on the professional behind the method,” explains Wilson. “If a reporter has a great work ethic, is trained well, keeps up with current technology and is knowledgeable of legal proceedings and decorum, they will have job security for the rest of their career regardless of the reporting method they use to capture the record.”

To learn more about digital court reporting, check out our informational video.

Upcoming Deposition in Japan? Experience Planet Depos’ Atarimae for Yourself

Upcoming Deposition in Japan? Experience Planet Depos’ Atarimae for Yourself

Even though the 2022 World Cup has come to an end, some memorable moments left a lasting impression. Japanese soccer players and fans made headlines during their time in Qatar due to their unique tidying actions. Interviews with Japanese fans showed that their decision to clean up after themselves and other fans boils down to a simple term, “atarimae.”

Atarimae is a Japanese term that encompasses the idea that something should be natural, obvious or commonplace. For the Japanese, it was just natural for them to leave the World Cup stadium and dressing room in a cleaner state than how they found it.

At Planet Depos, our promise to deliver best-in-class customer service is our “atarimae.” It’s naturally ingrained in us to provide the best experience possible when scheduling a deposition or providing other court reporting services.

Our atarimae doesn’t stop at the borders though. As a global court reporting company, Planet Depos prides itself on providing impeccable, white-glove service to all whether a deposition is in-person or remote, domestic or international.

This is especially true when scheduling an international deposition in Japan, as it can be difficult to navigate the local protocols and strict requirements and regulations. That’s where we come in.

“Japan has strict regulations regarding where you can take depositions; in other countries, you can take a deposition at a law firm, or a conference room at a hotel,” explains Meredith Weisel, senior scheduling manager. “But in Japan, depositions can only be taken at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or the U.S. Consulate in Osaka, and there is one conference room for use at each location.”

Approval for conference room use at either location can take up to six to eight weeks, as availability is scarce. To help with this, the Embassy and Consulate are now allowing remote and hybrid depositions with their permission. Whenever you are inside the Embassy or Consulate though, there are additional rules to follow, like strict entry and exit times, and a designated lunch hour that must be adhered to.

Luckily, Planet Depos has court reporters and legal videographers that live full-time in Japan that are well-versed in these protocols and are happy to share their knowledge. We also have close relationships with interpreters based in Japan.

“Our on-the-ground court reporters and videographers in Japan can do it all, including Realtime, same-day rough ASCIIs and expedited transcripts,” says Weisel. “They have perfected the art of providing crystal-clear audio to remote attendees during hybrid depositions in Japan, which is invaluable to everyone involved. They are also great at providing advice to clients on the whole process, double checking that they have the equipment and resources they need and even offering lunch recommendations to those involved in a deposition!”

If you have an upcoming deposition in Japan, we invite you to experience Planet Depos’ atarimae for yourself. For more information or to schedule, contact us at or schedule your international deposition online.

Making the Case to Settle

Making the Case to Settle

According to the American Bar Association, most civil cases are settled before trial by mutual agreement between the parties. It is estimated as many as 80-90% of cases settle before trial, usually after the discovery process. Why is that? Counsel can make intelligent predictions of the outcome of a trial once discovery is completed. Trial is expensive, and the outcome less certain than a mutually agreed-upon settlement. Many will choose to avoid the further expense, and possible emotional toll, if counsel is telling them to consider settling instead.

Depositions play a huge role in the discovery process and are instrumental in making the case for or against settling. The court reporting services selected for depositions can help make a compelling argument either way. Skilled attorneys reviewing transcripts and videos are well-situated to assess the chances for a win in court and advise their clients accordingly. Here are key services to consider scheduling for your depositions that can influence that important decision.

Realtime translation. Realtime is the near-instant translation of the court reporter’s shorthand into English. Realtime translation is performed by court reporters who can deliver an instant verbatim record of the proceeding at an extraordinarily high degree of accuracy. This technology phenomenon allows attorneys and their teams to view the testimony in real time, as it is being spoken. The huge benefit here is being able to instantly highlight text for the purposes of follow-up questioning, impeachment, and the like.

Realtime is immensely valuable, and many attorneys when they experience realtime for the first time, are spellbound, even asking reporters for demonstrations of “how do you do that?!” after the deposition. It is important to note that this incredible service is not provided by all reporters, and if you want to schedule realtime for your deposition, you should let the agency know immediately, as these skilled reporters book up fast. Realtime streaming is also available to remote members of your team.

The rough draft. Having the unofficial transcript within hours of the proceeding contributes to more thorough preparation for further depositions. More prep leads to a more efficient deposition, and the cycle keeps going and giving. You can also aid the reporter in delivering an accurate rough draft by keeping these key tips in mind.

  • Provide key terminology and spellings to the reporter
  • Provide any prep materials that may be useful to the reporter
  • Admonish the witness to wait for the full question before answering

Video. An accurate transcript is essential to your case. Even the most accurate transcript doesn’t quite tell the full story. Stark black and white questions and answers are compelling, but the witness’ whole demeanor can make or break their testimony. While the reporter takes down the spoken record, the videographer captures all the non-verbal communication, the nuances that the transcript cannot communicate. These non-verbal cues, revealed on video, like realtime and the rough, can lead to follow-up questioning, open a new line of questioning, and ultimately can contribute greatly to either impeaching or supporting a witness’ testimony.

Court reporting professionals are neutral parties, whose job it is to record what happens during a legal proceeding. Attorneys frame their questions and select exhibits and documents to build their case. When an unbiased team takes care of capturing the record, attorneys can evaluate the strength of their case. They can determine the merits and deficits in the opposing side’s case. They can make a fair estimate of further expenses involved in litigation. They can weigh all the factors and discuss options with their client. They can give their best, informed recommendation to their client.

Planet Depos has been scheduling depositions and legal proceedings for over a decade. To read more about how court reporting helps your case, see the PD blog page. To schedule your next proceeding, contact Planet Depos at 888.433.3767 or schedule online.


Planet Depos

Planet Depos

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