Scheduling a deposition involves several moving parts. This can include coordinating all parties involved as well as selecting the right location, setting up special services, and making sure all the necessary technology is available. When scheduling a deposition, here are several steps to follow:

Make Sure to Schedule Ahead
The further ahead a deposition is scheduled, the easier it is to organize. Locations can change, start times can change and even witnesses can change, but having the date on the books will give greater flexibility for accommodating those variables . This is especially true if a deposition is taking place out of state. This may require scheduling several months in advance to secure the location and resource(s).

Why the Deponent is Important
It’s important to take into consideration the individual being deposed. Is it a doctor, the plaintiff, or an expert in a specialized field? This will enable the reporting service to choose the right reporter for the deposition. The best reporter should always be matched to the individual giving the deposition. Some reporters have a better understanding of certain technical or medical terms. It’s also important to remember that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that deponents must receive an appropriate notice of when and where a deposition will take place.

Are Additional Services Needed?
It’s necessary to know exactly what types of equipment will be needed and what the technical requirements will be. Will there be a need to have access to copiers, scanners, or printers? Is anyone appearing remotely? Do you need realtime or a videographer? Is the venue close to convenient parking or public transportation?

Estimate the Duration
Will more than one day be needed? Letting your provider know if a deposition will go into consecutive days might allow the same reporter to complete all the sessions. While the laws regarding the length of a deposition are different in each state, the Rules of Civil Procedure (rule 30(d)) limits a deposition to seven hours in one day.

Consider What Access will be Needed
After the deposition, you’ll want quick and easy access to the transcript and exhibits. Make sure the deposition service you’re using provides online access/an online repository. It’s also important to note that the transcript turnaround time can vary considerable with different reporting agencies. If you need your final transcript outside of that standard turnaround time, discuss this at the time of scheduling.

Aptus Court Reporting provides global court reporting solutions with state-of-the-art technology and a team of highly trained professionals. Contact Aptus Court Reporting for more information.

Photo by Brittney Butler on Unsplash

Marika Pickles(PR Web) San Francisco, CA -Aptus Court Reporting, the West Coast’s premier deposition and court reporting service announced today the addition of industry veterans Brandon Wai and Marika Pickles serving as Directors of Business Development out of their San Francisco office.

Earlier this year Aptus Court Reporting announced a new office in California’s Central Valley (Fresno) continuing their growth strategy throughout the west coast litigation markets.

“The Bay Area has always been a high market of interest for Aptus. With the additions of Brandon Wai and Marika Pickles to an already successful team, we believe the sky is the limit. The team’s dedication to their clients coupled with our focus on customer service and technology will ultimately enhance the all-important client experience,” says Aptus President Derek Berg.

Wai has served at the Senior Account Executive level and as a Regional Litigation Consultant in the Bay Area since 2001 and brings an impressive resume. Pickles joins Aptus from a national reporting firm where she served as Senior Account Executive from 2013 through 2017.

Brandon Wai - Bay Area Director of Business Development“The addition of Brandon Wai and Marika Pickles will enhance the already-successful Northern California Aptus. Their combined experience and dedication to high-quality client service is an excellent fit for us. We are most excited to bring on this additional talent to the team,” says Ron Harrison, Managing Director, Northern California.

According to Mike Tisa, CLVS and Director of Litigation Technology for Aptus, “Consistent with our focus on trial-ready deliverables, trial presentation and technology services, these additions to the Aptus team will further set us apart as the technology leader.”

About Aptus Court Reporting:

Since launching in San Diego in 2011, Aptus has expanded its territory throughout the West Coast of the US, with local offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Irvine, Riverside, Fresno and Seattle. The firm provides a wide range of services globally with clients on five continents.

Aptus Court Reporting is a full-service court reporting firm and a leading provider of court reporting services and litigation technology. They provide a one-stop solution for deposition and trial needs with services including court reporting, transcription, videography, video streaming, worldwide conference rooms, and more. The company’s mission is to “Connect Testimony with Technology.” For more information about Aptus Court Reporting, please browse our website.

A court reporter possesses an essential set of unique skills and plays an important role in the legal system. The following are four specialized skills a court reporter brings to the case.

1. Mastery of Grammar and Language

Court reporters have an extensive mastery of language, grammar, and vocabulary. They transcribe what was said accurately to eliminate any possible future misunderstandings. A court reporter will also be able to instantly process difficult terms while simultaneously keeping up with the ongoing dialogue. Since court reporters use shorthand almost as a second language, many can take dictation at the amazing speed of 200 or more words per minute.

2. Detailed Technical Knowledge

Last year, Aptus wrote about whether court reporters are now technology experts. Since that post, all items mentioned like digital exhibits and web-based video conferencing are now common place and reporters actively embrace them.

3. Real-Time Reporting

Real-time reporting is a skill that brings the translation from the reporter’s machine immediately onto a computer screen or tablet. This provides a variety of benefits. Primarily, the attorney can immediately review what’s been said. He or she can make sure any important details are clear and that the final transcript is accurate. An audio recorder can’t instantly provide a transcript and usually has an accuracy rating of less than 90%, whereas a highly skilled court reporter eliminates those issues. Court Reporters using real-time prove invaluable for an attorney during a variety of depositions and cases.

4. Court Reporters Can Reach Several Certification Levels

A court reporter can obtain extensive expertise and receive several certification levels. According to the National Court Reports Association (NCRA), reporters with a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification will be able to dictate jury charge at 200 wpm and testimony at 225 wpm. A Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) certification indicates an advanced level court reporter with increased dictation speed and accuracy. The highest level of certification, a Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR), is for leaders and consultants in the profession. There are also specialized certifications for real-time reporting and real-time captioning that a court reporter can obtain.

If you are looking to hire a court reporter with these skill sets and more, contact Aptus today for details on how we can assist you.

Last week we began sharing some great feedback that we received from a few of our professional court reporters. If you missed the first post, you can read it here at “An Interview with Aptus Court Reporters: Part I.

Now, the conclusion of our interviews:

What makes Aptus’ clients different from other court reporting firms?

“The clients at Aptus are special to me. I actually consider some of them family and find myself eager to see them to hear updates on past cases or about their lives outside of work. It’s nice to walk into a depo with attorneys who know my name and inquire about my life as well – they care. Even though we’re all working hard, these clients always go beyond the standard pleasantries.” – Mary Rouse, CSR

“I would characterize Aptus as a reporter-driven Team, that vets their reporters and staff to provide the best reporting service in the industry, that takes pride in the details from transcripts to customer service.” – Hanna Kim, CLR, CSR

“Aptus’ clients care about Aptus and admire the business. Most of the clients I’ve experienced have a personal connection to Aptus. They’re not just a random firm that they hire.” – Claire Andrews, CSR, CLR

Are there any other notable differences that make Aptus stand out in your mind?

“As amazing as everyone at Aptus is, any reporter would be thrilled and lucky to work with Stephen. As the Director of Reporter Relations, he is your right-hand man! I am a busy working mother of three small kids, and Stephen’s patience and care while scheduling me on jobs is a blessing. Calendar clerks at other firms only care about their coverage, while Stephen takes into consideration the Aptus calendar and everyone’s personal calendars. I’m convinced he has some magic potion because I don’t know how he keeps it all straight and does it so awesomely!” – Mary Rouse, CSR

“Not only are the staff of Aptus my colleagues, but they have become my life-long friends.” – Hanna Kim, CLR, CSR

“Really, it is the way they treat their reporters; the production crew, calendar crew, billing, all have our backs. They are forgiving of us on the rare occasion when we make mistakes and keep smiles on their faces through it all! Thank you, Aptus!” – Claire Andrews, CSR, CLR

Thank YOU to the reporters who took time from their busy schedules to give us feedback on how we’re doing from the Court Reporter’s perspective! We are humbled to hear your kind words and so fortunate that we count you as part of our team.
If your firm is looking to hire a professional court reporter, please contact us so we can connect you with one of our very proficient team members.

At Aptus Court Reporting, we pride ourselves on partnering with court reporters with outstanding work ethic and who exemplify all that we strive to be as a company. We often ask our clients for feedback on how we’re doing, but this month, we took a different approach and asked our court reporters what they thought about Aptus. They had such great feedback that we decided to split it into two blog posts. Here’s what they had to say:

How did you start working with Aptus Court Reporting?

“I started working with Aptus in 2011 when I heard about a new company opening up. I am a senior-level reporter and I went over to meet and interview with Ashley and Derek in their first very small space. It was an immediate connection and I wanted to come on board. I saw their work ethic and vision and wanted to be part of this new and exciting opportunity. I am proud to say I am one of the two first reporters to start with Aptus.” – Susan Swan, RPR, CRR, CCRR

“I began working with Aptus when a fellow reporter mentioned how much she enjoyed reporting for them. As a small business owner with a few of my own loyal clients, I was ready to pass along the administrative responsibilities to an established firm so I could focus solely on reporting. I didn’t want to bring my clients just ANYWHERE, or report for just ANYONE for that matter. My ears perked when my colleague raved about how fair and trustworthy Aptus is, so I took the leap of faith and haven’t looked back….ever.” – Mary Rouse, CSR

“I was first introduced to the team when the owners of Aptus excitedly approached me in the Bay Area, to bring focus on developing relationships and work in Northern California. Derek flew up to San Francisco and personally met with me and his team to introduce Aptus to me.” – Hanna Kim, CLR, CSR

“I started working with Aptus when they were just starting in a tiny little office! I worked with them a bit and then I moved to San Francisco and connected with another firm up there. When I moved back to San Diego, I was so impressed with the growth of the company and their honesty and energy. I was excited that the timing worked well. We had a mutual appreciation that has led to a supportive relationship.” – Claire Andrews, CSR, CLR

Why do you enjoy working with Aptus?

“I started working with Aptus because I loved the energy and excitement as a new firm.

These are the things I love about Aptus:
A. Integrity. You will NEVER be told your job cancelled because calendar decided they want or need to give it to someone else. Nor will you ever get bumped off a job because the firm owner wants to take it.
B. Stephen, who runs calendar, actually cares about his reporters and will do everything he can to help and support you.  Every reporter at San Diego Aptus that I know loves Stephen. His calm demeanor helps, too.
C. Production…A+ all the way. Firms may not realize how much production affects us as reporters. Sometimes we have to ask for favors because a client asked us for a favor or we need something done or copied super fast. I have always been met with a can-do attitude and that they are working with us. I’ve also seen the quality of their transcripts. They are very detail oriented and it reflects on the firm, the transcript, and the reporter. They are the most positive production team in the business!” – Susan Swan, RPR, CRR, CCRR

“Working for Aptus as a reporter is amazing! Their staff is talented in a way that sets them apart from other reporting firms I’ve worked for, in that they make me feel I’m working WITH them and not FOR them. I walk into the office and it’s always relaxed, friendly, personable, and everyone is smiling, yet everyone is working hard and professionally. You’d never know stressful deadlines are constantly being met!” – Mary Rouse, CSR

“I started when we were afforded the great opportunity to cover all the reporting needs for what became the second-longest bench trial in Marin County Superior Court history. After expert depositions, the team was able to shine by having all three sides of the case stipulate to using Aptus. It was an exciting time for all of us. Real-time, daily roughs — daily clean roughs — and expedites were just part of the formula. The Aptus team was able to provide outstanding customer service to each and every attorney, paralegal, and court staff involved. Aptus represents what I strive to be as a court reporter: professional, state-of-the-art, dedicated, and hard-working. And Aptus understands that and provides me the kind of technical work that I do best.” – Hanna Kim, CLR, CSR

“They have integrity. They are hardworking and treat their reporters well. The employees and reporters are a team. Aptus attracts some great people, which, in itself, speaks volumes.” – Claire Andrews, CSR, CLR

What tools, technology make working with Aptus easier than other court reporting firms?

“The Aptus Web portal has definitely made turning in jobs easy-peasy – click, click, click. The bonus is the pre-filled info for job turn-ins. I can even scan and upload exhibits from home.” – Mary Rouse, CSR

“In a small niche world, where technology challenges me to stay current with the most advanced real-time capabilities and interfaces, Aptus possesses a tool that is far beyond technology, and that is communication. If I am at a job, and the clients have a question or a need, I e-mail/text the team and let them know. In a moment’s notice, I will get a response, and we are able to provide the best answers and responses needed. The teamwork and communication is what makes me so proud of being part of the Aptus team.” – Hanna Kim, CLR, CSR

“Mike Tisa is so great helping with technology! Help is a phone call away. Through their attitudes and words, they give the comfort that it’s never a bother and they’re happy to help.” – Claire Andrews, CSR, CLR

Stay tuned next week when we conclude our “Interview with an Aptus Court Reporter” Series.
If your firm is looking to hire a professional court reporter, please contact us so we can connect you with one of our very proficient team members.

Northern California Managing Director, Ron HarrisonSan Francisco, CA – (PR Web) California’s premier deposition services company, Aptus Court Reporting, is pleased to announce that Ronald Harrison has joined the team as Managing Director for the Northern California division, based out of the company’s San Francisco office.

Harrison has unparalleled experience in the court reporting industry, having served in a variety of capacities starting in 1978 with Combs & Greenley, a family owned and operated court reporting business in San Francisco. More recently, Harrison served as the Vice President of Operations for Merrill Corporation (now DTI) in San Francisco between 1998 and 2007, and in
2007 joined Esquire Deposition Services as General Manager for the San Francisco market where he spent nearly nine years cultivating new business, providing existing clients with exceptional support, and growing the company’s market share in the Bay Area.

“The Aptus team recognizes the importance of superior client service. Their enthusiasm and professionalism are infectious, and I am thrilled at the opportunity to join this great team,” says Harrison.

Sandy Waite, Aptus’ COO, states, “Harrison’s responsibilities will include expanding the Aptus presence in both the Bay area and Sacramento. He will be key to securing our continued growth while also enhancing client and reporter relationships in these critically important markets.”

“I am absolutely thrilled to be reunited with Ron to head up our Northern California business operations. His outlook on business and relationships along with his business acumen are unsurpassed in our industry. In addition, Ron completely embodies the Aptus spirit and will fit our culture and philosophies perfectly,” says Aptus’ President Derek Berg.

About Aptus Court Reporting:

Aptus Court Reporting is a full service court reporting firm headquartered in San Diego, CA. The company provides decades of combined experience in the court reporting industry and offers videography, transcription, and trial support among its list of services. Its company focus is “connecting testimony and technology” for clients internationally. With over 50 years of
combined experience in the litigation support business, Aptus provides a one-stop solution for deposition and trial needs.

May 6th, 2016, San Francisco, CA — Aptus Court Reporting, a leading provider of court reporting, videography and legal technology services, has added two new members to its San Francisco Bay Area team: Brook Braunschweig and Danielle Belonio.

Brook Braunschweig, who touts a decade of legal industry sales experience, will join Aptus’ San Francisco Bay Area team as a Director of Business Development. Prior to joining Aptus, Braunschweig worked at DTI as Director of Sales and Business Development for its Bay Area market. Before that, she focused on developing and maintaining long-standing client relationships as an Account Executive with Merrill Corporation.

“I’m looking forward to joining the Aptus family and working in an environment that I know will provide my clients with the best possible experience,” says Braunschweig. “My prior experience in the industry combined with a strong company like Aptus will provide clients with an unparalleled customer service experience. I view the opportunity to work with an innovative and forward-thinking company like Aptus as an excellent way to advance my expertise and growth within the legal industry.”

Also joining the company as Director of Business Development for the Bay Area market is Danielle Belonio. With 11 years of experience in sales and three of those years focused on legal services, Belonio brings a substantial skillset to the Aptus team. In her prior position, Belonio served as an Account Executive with legal processing outsourcing company DTI LLC. Prior to that, she served as an Account Executive with business solutions provider Merrill Corporation focusing on applying the company’s services to applications in the legal industry.

“The Aptus culture is transparent. What you see is what you get and what you will find is a team of enthusiastic, knowledgeable, detail-oriented, responsive, and service-minded individuals. I couldn’t ask for more. I am thrilled to be a part of the Aptus team and to expand our culture in the Bay Area,” says Belonio.

Braunschweig and Belonio will join Aptus’ current San Francisco Bay Area representatives Danette Rugg and Kaitlyn Shelly, who have over two decades of combined sales experience in the court reporting industry.

In addition to building out its sales team, Aptus Court Reporting has relocated its Bay Area office to One Embarcadero Center, Suite 1060 in San Francisco, CA. In March 2016, the company announced the launch of a new office serving the Greater Los Angeles market along with the addition of Lori Cheyne as the Director of Business Development for the region. Aptus CR serves numerous markets throughout California including San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento.

“We are thrilled to add the talent of Danielle and Brook to our growing Bay Area market. The addition of these two industry savvy individuals and the transition into our new office in San Francisco positions us extremely well to continue our business growth and expansion of the Aptus brand throughout California and beyond,” says Sandy Waite, Aptus’ Chief Operating Officer.

About Aptus Court Reporting:

Aptus Court Reporting is a full-service court reporting firm headquartered in San Diego, CA. The company provides decades of combined experience in the court reporting industry and offers videography, transcription, and trial support among its list of services. Its company focus is “connecting testimony and technology” for clients internationally. With over 35 years of combined experience in the litigation support business, Aptus provides a one-stop solution for your deposition and trial needs. For more information about Aptus Court reporting, please visit https://aptuscr.com.

The Traditional Definition of Court Reporting

court-reporterCourt Reporter – noun

a stenographer employed to record and transcribe an official verbatim record of the legal proceedings of a court.

This is the definition of a court reporter (dictionary.com). Their job, as defined above, and understood by the courts is to capture everything that is being said in the room and then prepare a transcript. There is no official record without court reporters. While simply defined, the duties of a reporter in the modern day are expanding well beyond the “standard definition.”

Then vs. Now – A Court Reporter’s Arsenal of Technology

Let’s look at a few scenarios where technology is becoming more prevalent in depositions both in the actual room and remotely:

Real-time: This feature allows attorneys to instantly view the transcript in real-time, hence the name. This requires the reporter to set up the connection by setting up cloud-based streaming sessions and sometimes troubleshooting the connection to another attorney’s computer. Oh yeah, now you can stream to iPads and tablets as well, so make note of that.

eDepoze: Here’s a quick description of this product. It allows the attorneys to conduct a deposition with no paper exhibits. Using an iPad or laptop, eDepoze’s cloud-based server helps mark and store exhibits with the attorney marking everything. No need for the reporter to keep exhibit stickers. However, her role is still vital to the proceedings. The reporter must first go through a training session with an eDepoze rep. After that, they are a Certified eDepoze Reporter. Great, awesome, terrific. Now, the reporter will be responsible for helping all parties log in, including the witness. Should anything go wrong, since they are the Certified Reporter, are they responsible for troubleshooting as well?

Web-based Video Conferencing: This is a popular medium to conduct depositions. Often times, the reporter will be with the witness while counsel is remote. They may be asked to setup a laptop with a webcam. Sounds easy, right? Is it really, though? What happens if the connection fails? What happens if the webcam fails? What happens if the computer crashes?

When adding in all these technologies in addition to the normal duties of taking down what EVERYONE IN THE ROOM IS SAYING, court reporters end up going well beyond their “defined” role.

What do you think? Should the definition of a court reporter be expanded to include other duties?

[Press Release] San Diego, CA – Aptus Court Reporting announces its acquisition of Brunson Court Reporters, a prominent staple in the court reporting industry with over 50 years of experience. This merger continues to solidify Aptus’ commitment to expansion on a global scale, building on the Aptus brand of quality court reporting and innovative solutions.

Founded in the 1960s by Harrell W. Brunson and his wife Patricia, Brunson Court Reporters have provided quality court reporting services to clients across the San Diego area. An adaptor to change, the company has withstood challenges and celebrated growth. After retiring in the early 2000’s, the company has been owned and managed by Mary Rouse since 2008.

The blending of both companies continues to help position Aptus Court Reporting as a major force in the court reporting industry. Their rapid expansion efforts have resulted in the acquisition of powerhouse organizations that enhance their advancements in technology, dedication to superior customer service and focus on longevity.

“Brunson Court Reporters has survived off loyalty and superb reporting,” says former owner Mary Rouse. “Our motto at Brunson Court Reporters has been ‘Everything you need at OUR fingertips,’ as the business has been run by reporters since its inception. This merge is exciting for everyone involved because we’re combining the allegiance and trustworthiness of an established firm with the advancing technology and ambition of Aptus. Even more, the Aptus team is diligent in balancing personal relationships with superb work product, emphasizing a perfect match for our reporters.”

Ashley Walton, a co-founder of Aptus Court Reporting, expresses the team’s excitement about the merger. “The Brunson team saw an opportunity to offer further client focus and technology through Aptus and we are thrilled to be working with Mary, Doreen and their clients.”

ABOUT APTUS COURT REPORTING

Aptus Court Reporting is a full-service court reporting firm headquartered in San Diego, CA. The company provides decades of combined experience in the court reporting industry and offers videography, transcription, and trial support among its list of services. The company focus is “connecting testimony and technology” for clients nationwide. For more information about Aptus Court Reporting, please explore our website at https://aptuscr.com.

ABOUT BRUNSON COURT REPORTERS

Brunson Court Reporting was founded in the 1960s and has been a consistent staple in the San Diego legal community providing quality service and thorough court reporting.

We are definitely in the electronic age of technology. Paper files can be hard to keep track of and keep secure. Aptus provides a solution: electronic copies for clients with a private link to a secure repository where clients can view and download a full PDF, a mini PDF, or a .PTX (e-trans file).

Exhibits can be viewed and downloaded digitally, and files are available at your fingertips whenever you need them.

Benefits of electronic copies:

  • hyper-linked exhibits in PDF transcripts

  • electronically-signed transcripts

  • all exhibits included in one secure link

  • can be easily emailed to multiple counsel

Out with the old and in with the new! Technology is an ever-changing force in the legal industry and we are here to make sure your firm is kept up-to-date with the latest advancements.

Contact your sales rep to make sure you’re accessing all the features your electronic deliverables have to offer.