After more than 20 years of supporting clients, Sheri Bell Reporting has made a strategic decision to align her services with Aptus Court Reporting.

SAN DIEGO – After more than 20 years of steadfastly supporting clients as Sheri Bell Reporting, Ms. Bell has made a strategic decision to align her esteemed reporting services with Aptus Court Reporting, effective January 2024. This collaboration marks a significant milestone for both Sheri Bell Reporting and Aptus Court Reporting, as they join forces to strengthen their commitment to delivering unparalleled court reporting solutions.

Having fostered and maintained longstanding relationships with many members of the Aptus Court Reporting team, Sheri Bell embraces this partnership with enthusiasm. Both companies share core values, a dedication to the court reporting profession, and a relentless focus on providing exceptional client service.

Sheri Bell will continue to play a pivotal role in the business, leveraging the support of a larger and more robust team. This move is expected to bring about numerous advantages for clients, including complimentary access to conference rooms throughout California, extended coverage across the nation and globally, as well as an overall enhancement of services and products.

Aptus Court Reporting, with offices conveniently located in San Francisco, Oakland, Fresno, Riverside, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Irvine, and headquartered in San Diego, is well-positioned to provide top-notch court reporting services across the state and beyond.

Sandy Waite, Chief Operating Officer at Aptus Court Reporting, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “We are thrilled to welcome Sheri Bell Reporting into the Aptus family. I have known Sheri professionally for over 30 years, and her firm’s reputation for excellence in court reporting aligns seamlessly with our commitment to delivering exceptional services. Together, we are poised to set new standards in the industry.”

Sheri Bell shared her excitement about the merger, stating, “Joining forces with Aptus Court Reporting is an exciting chapter for me. I believe this partnership will not only enhance the support we provide to our clients but also open up new avenues for growth and innovation. I am eager to continue delivering the high-quality reporting services our clients have come to expect, now with the added strength of the Aptus team behind us.”

Sheri Bell Reporting clients and partners alike can look forward to an even more robust and comprehensive suite of court reporting solutions, solidifying the commitment to excellence that both Sheri Bell Reporting and Aptus Court Reporting uphold.

About Aptus Court Reporting

Aptus Court Reporting is a full-service court reporting firm and a leading provider of court reporting services and litigation technology. With headquarters in San Diego, CA, and offices throughout California, Aptus provides a one-stop solution for deposition and trial needs with services including court reporting, transcription, videography, deposition technology, world-wide conference rooms, and more. For more information about Aptus Court Reporting, visit

Benefitting Make-A-Wish Foundation San Diego

For the eighth consecutive year, Aptus Court Reporting was a proud sponsor of the Annual Golf Classic, benefitting Make-A-Wish Foundation San Diego. The work that MAW is doing to enlighten the lives of children with critical illnesses is unmatched, and it is a pleasure to do whatever we can to help fund these wishes and provide awareness for all the great work being done.

“Thank you Aptus! We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support provided by Aptus Court Reporting. Your dedication to making wishes come true helps ensure that every eligible child is able to receive their wish without delay.” ~Make-a-Wish San Diego Staff Member

Make-A-Wish San Diego grants the wishes of children with critical illnesses in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Since its inception in 1983, the San Diego chapter has granted thousands of wishes to children in our community and celebrated granting its 5,000th wish just this year. 

View a video of the 5,000th wish being granted – Eric’s Wish Day Video – YouTube

In the coming year, the organization anticipates granting over 250 wishes for local children. At Make-A-Wish San Diego, the goal is simple: to come into a child’s life during a difficult time to provide hope and a much-needed break from the daily challenges they are forced to face.

To learn more about Make-A-Wish San Diego, visit us online at or call us at (858) 707-WISH.  For information on Make-A-Wish in other markets, visit

Aptus Court Reporting adds two industry veterans to its business development team.

SAN DIEGOAptus Court Reporting today announced the hiring of Paul Hilts and Stephen Silveria as Directors of Business Development in Orange County and San Diego, respectively. In their roles, they will drive new account acquisition and relationship management with law firms and legal departments throughout Southern California.

“We are elated to have both Paul and Stephen joining our business development teams at this key point in the history of our company. Paul has nearly 20 years’ experience with deep relationships in the legal community and will be invaluable in his role with the team,” said Aptus CEO Derek Berg. “In addition, with more than a decade of experience in the industry, Stephen brings an unmatched passion and consultative approach to helping clients meet their litigation needs. We are confident that their tremendous skills and experience will further position us for unprecedented growth.”

Prior to joining Aptus Court Reporting, Paul worked as an account executive for Veritext Legal Solutions. His career also includes work at other organizations including Integrity Legal Corp., Merrill Corporation, and IKON Document Services. An Orange County native, Paul was born and raised in Southern California and continues to reside in the region.

Stephen joins the Aptus Court Reporting team after having spent the past several years in key positions with Veritext Legal Solutions and Litigation Services LLC. Originally hailing from Boston, Stephen has embraced SoCal as his home and looks forward to a continued long and successful career here.

These two new hires are the latest in a string of other hires the company has made over the past year, not only in sales, but across other key business areas including operations, marketing, and resourcing. “It’s not lost on us how devastating the pandemic was to many individuals, companies, and industries,” said Berg. “We are grateful to have experienced exponential growth and will continue to think strategically and remain client focused as we look to continue and sustain our company success.”

About Aptus Court Reporting

Aptus Court Reporting is a full-service court reporting firm and a leading provider of court reporting services and litigation technology. With headquarters in San Diego, CA, and offices throughout California, Aptus provides a one-stop solution for deposition and trial needs with services including court reporting, transcription, videography, deposition technology, world-wide conference rooms, and more. For more information about Aptus Court Reporting, visit

Over the last several decades, electronic communication technologies have revolutionized every aspect of our daily lives, from how we do business to how we meet new friends. The increased use of these technologies has led to questions about how electronic evidence can be used in court. While attorneys can use digital evidence as primary evidence in court, understanding how to use this evidence effectively requires understanding the California Rules of Evidence. Read on to learn more about electronic evidence and how to present electronic exhibits in court.  

What Is Electronic Evidence?

Electronic evidence is any electronically stored information used as evidence in a trial or lawsuit. Types of electronic exhibits used in court include the following: 

  • Documents, 
  • Emails, 
  • Text messages, and 
  • Other files that are stored electronically, such as spreadsheets.  

Electronic exhibits must adhere to the same rules and meet the same requirements as other types of evidence, including satisfying authentication, relevance, and hearsay rules. 

How to Present Electronic Exhibits in Court

At the state level, California creates several obstacles that a piece of electronic evidence must overcome to be admitted. 


The first major issue in the presentation of any electronic exhibits is authentication. California Evidence Code Section 1400 provides that any evidence, including electronic evidence, must be authenticated. Authentication establishes that the piece of evidence presented is what it claims to be. If a piece of evidence cannot be authenticated, it will be inadmissible. There is no requirement to prove the genuineness of the evidence, but it must be authenticated. 


California Evidence Code section 210 provides that all evidence must be relevant to the facts or issues of the case. Relevant evidence means, “evidence relevant to the credibility of a witness or hearsay declarant, having any tendency in reason to prove or disprove any disputed fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action.” Section 350 of California’s Evidence Code permits the admission of only relevant evidence. A court deems digital evidence relevant if it makes a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence, and the fact the evidence addresses is of consequence to the determination of the action. If the evidence presented is not relevant to a fact or issue in the case, it is inadmissible. 


California Evidence Code Section 1200 defines hearsay evidence as “evidence of a statement that was made other than by a witness while testifying at the hearing and that is offered to prove the truth of the matter stated.” While there are several exceptions to a raised hearsay objection, hearsay can be a challenging obstacle to overcome. If a piece of evidence does not qualify for a hearsay exclusion or exception, it will be inadmissible if it is being offered to prove the truth of the matter. 

Secondary Evidence Rule 

In the event an original document cannot be located to submit as evidence, California Evidence Code section 1521 permits that the content of a writing may be proved by “otherwise admissible secondary evidence.” When it comes to electronic evidence, an attorney may overcome this issue pursuant to California Evidence Code Section 750 if someone with personal knowledge of the writing verifies the content of the digital evidence presented. 

Contact Us 

With decades of combined experience in the litigation support business, Aptus Court Reporting provides a one-stop solution for your deposition and trial needs. We provide you with a nationwide network of accomplished staff, reporters, and videographers who can handle all of your needs from start to finish, in person, online, or over the phone. Contact Aptus Court Reporting today to find out how we can assist you.

Conducting an international deposition can be tricky. But when you avoid key pitfalls, you can be confident you will get the testimony you need for your case. 

  1. Assuming a U.S. Deposition is Legal in Other Countries

The most essential step in organizing any international deposition is to find out whether you can legally hold a U.S. deposition in that country. Many countries have prohibitions or restrictions on depositions. For example, a deposition in China can be particularly difficult to perform because China does not allow foreigners to take depositions. A deposition in Japan must take place at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Additionally, Japan requires attorneys traveling for a deposition to obtain a special deposition visa. 

Because restrictions on depositions vary so much by country, you will have to conduct country-specific research to determine the applicable procedures in the country where your witness is located. The U.S. Department of State website is a great resource for finding out this information and can give you a quick overview of the official rules before you schedule a deposition.

  1. Failing to Consider Whether the Country Is Part of The Hague Evidence Convention 

The Hague Evidence Convention allows you to enlist the help of a foreign court to compel the deposition of an overseas witness in countries that are parties to the agreement. Fifty-seven countries are parties to the Hague Evidence Convention. Thus, another essential step when planning a foreign deposition is determining whether the country where your witness is located has signed on to the Convention. 

To use the Convention, you must start by asking a U.S. court to issue a letter of request seeking the deposition of your overseas witness. The letter of request must follow a specific format, found in Article 3 of the Convention, but it is very straightforward. The benefit of the Hague Convention is that foreign courts are generally obligated by the Hague Convention to carry out a letter of request. 

  1. Failing to Book a Local Court Reporter, Interpreter, and Videographer Early

At the very least, working with a local, certified and professional court reporter, videographer, and interpreter can help reduce travel costs. More importantly, you’ll be working with people who understand the culture of the country where you will be conducting your deposition. Professionals who are familiar with local communication norms and styles can help you more successfully navigate an international deposition. Working with local professionals will help ensure your team has the requisite cultural sensitivity and cultural competence to avoid offending the officials, attorneys, and witnesses you are interacting with. It is extremely important to plan as early as possible so that you can hire the right personnel. Remember that you might also need the services of a deposition translator. Give yourself ample time to research and schedule the professionals you need to help make conducting your foreign deposition easier.   

Avoid Pitfalls with Aptus Court Reporting

With decades of combined experience, Aptus Court Reporting has been helping attorneys conduct successful depositions across the country. No matter where your cases take you, Aptus is a valuable resource to leverage along the way.  Contact us online or by phone at 866-999-8310.

With the emergence of new technologies and circumstances that prevent groups from gathering physically, options for legal proceedings have changed dramatically. If you are a litigator, you have likely already participated in remote trials, remote mediations, or even remote depositions. 

Remote legal proceedings can provide much-needed convenience to a busy attorney’s schedule, but they are not without their drawbacks. Please read on to learn what to avoid during a remote deposition and how our sophisticated suite of trial support services at Aptus Court Reporting can help you.

Being Disorganized with Your Exhibits

Do you want remote technology to help and not hinder your legal work? If you do, sometimes you need to be more organized than usual. This can be especially true when it comes to your exhibit packages for a deposition. 

Many attorneys opt to deliver digital exhibit packages to opposing counsel and deponents for remote depositions. This can streamline the process and cut costs. However, you must make sure that your digital packages are functional, easy to follow, and properly labeled before submitting them. 

You can keep your electronic exhibit packages organized by placing well-labeled bookmarks in the document. To make sure the bookmarks are easy to follow, practice accessing them while reviewing your deposition outline. If the deponent is your client or witness, have them practice navigating your package while you ask questions. 

Neglecting to Explore Your Technological Options Beforehand

Many remote deposition platforms and services have several technological features you can use to your advantage. For instance, if you are conducting a zoom deposition and a deponent cannot locate an exhibit from your electronic package, you can share your computer screen with the deponent to show them where you are. It is crucial to identify technological features like this and make sure you know how they work before you begin a deposition. This way, you can cut down on tense moments in an already adversarial proceeding. 

Also keep in mind that, in general, court reporters are to preserve only the spoken record. In their written record, a reporter does not typically include descriptions of a deponent’s behavior or demeanor. But if you need this information, you can hire a videographer to capture nonverbal conduct during a deposition. 

Being Unprepared for Technological Glitches

You might already have a tried-and-true method for conducting test runs of your deposition. But have you taken the time to conduct a test run with your remote deposition technology?

Testing your technology before remotely deposing a witness can help you avoid a number of serious issues, such as the appearance of unlawful witness coaching. How can technological glitches increase the likelihood of this issue? 

Consider the following example: Imagine an attorney’s witness has an unexpectedly poor internet signal during a deposition, and the witness’s responses are constantly interrupted by buffering. This can quickly fluster an attorney and a witness who did not prepare for the issue. 

After an interruption, an attorney might need to resubmit their question multiple times to get a clear record of the witness’s answer. And in re-asking their question, an attorney might be tempted to summarize what they were able to hear clearly from the witness. Opposing counsel could perceive this as unlawful coaching. If opposing counsel perceives unlawful coaching, they could request that a tribunal impose sanctions that prejudice a client and harm an attorney’s credibility. If you practice your deposition while using your remote technology, you can determine what technological issues you are likely to encounter. You can also develop a strategy for addressing glitches without risking your case’s integrity.

We Provide Full-Service Litigation Support for Your Remote Needs

Do you need a certified court reporter, remote court reporting, or legal transcription to aid you in your next deposition? We have the tools to help you at Aptus Court Reporting. We deliver state-of-the-art services for conducting effective remote depositions, including digital screen captures, videography, streaming text, and document sharing. We can also offer you case management services that include top-of-the-line customer service. Please call us at 866-999-8310 for more information.

Aptus CR Downtown San Diego

We are eager to announce that on August, 1, 2022 our Aptus San Diego office will relocate to a new location at 401 W. A Street, Suite 1680, San Diego, CA 92101

Our new office affords us the ability to better serve our loyal customers and streamline the work we do with our valuable business partners. We look forward to continuing to serve your needs from our new location.

With over 35 years of combined experience in the litigation support business, Aptus provides a one-stop solution for your deposition and trial needs.

Questions?  Contact us at 866.999.8310 or via Email.

San Diego (via PR Web) – Aptus Court Reporting continues its rapid expansion trajectory with the acquisition of Barristers’ Reporting Service. A well-known pillar of the community, the addition of Barristers solidifies the commitment to providing quality court reporting and innovative solutions on a global scale.

Founded in 1987 by Beth C. Drain, CSR and Forrest L. Drain, Barristers’ Reporting Service has provided quality court reporting services to clients across Southern California and beyond for over 30 years.

Aptus Court Reporting is recognized as a major resource utilizing advanced technology to deliver superior customer service and new concepts to the industry. This merger adds another respected organization to their portfolio, reinforcing a brand synonymous with court reporting excellence.

“Barristers’ Reporting Service has always embraced change in technology and alternative means for preserving the record to meet the need of our clients,” says Forrest Drain.

“Our motto at Barristers’ has been to never take our clients for granted. If they say can you or will you, we always respond with an enthusiastic ‘yes,’” says Shelly Mathews, Barristers’ General Manager for over 27 years.

Derek Berg, President of Aptus Court Reporting expresses the team’s excitement about the merger. “The Barristers’ group saw an opportunity to offer expanded technologies while continuing to provide superb client focused service through Aptus, and we are thrilled to be working with Shelly and their outstanding group of clients and reporters.”


Aptus Court Reporting is a full-service court reporting firm headquartered in San Diego, CA. The company provides decades of 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 globally. Aptus has recently acquired other notable industry veterans such as Brunson Court Reporting and Fivecoat & With.


Barristers’ Reporting was founded in 1987 and has enjoyed a consistent and prominent status in the Southern California legal community providing quality court reporting services.

Johanna TorresSan Diego, CA (via PR Web)– Aptus Court Reporting, California’s premier deposition and court reporting service, announced today that they have hired a key representative for their expanding San Diego office. Aptus’ San Diego office is conveniently located in Downtown San Diego at 600 W. Broadway, Suite 300 San Diego, CA 92101.

Johanna Torres is joining the San Diego Aptus team as a Business Development Manager. With nearly two decades of experience in the legal industry, Torres is a seasoned professional who is ideally suited for the role. Johanna will drive new business as well as assist the sales team in delivering exceptional service to clients and reporters. Before joining Aptus, Johanna served as a Branch Manager for Michael Sullivan Court Reporting’s new San Diego office. Prior to that, she served as Calendar Coordinator for Veritext.

“I am thrilled to be joining a company that values their people and reporters as well as puts an emphasis on giving clients the best possible customer service,” says Torres.

Working out of the San Diego office, Johanna’s main objective will be to strengthen Aptus’ already positive reputation throughout California and to cultivate new opportunities for Aptus to partner with top reporters and clients.

“We are so excited to have Johanna join the Aptus family. Her experience, relationships and skill set are a perfect fit for our team. She is going to excel in her new role and will be an incredible asset to Aptus.” says Partner Ashley Walton.

Since launching in San Diego in 2011, Aptus has expanded its market reach throughout California and beyond, with additional offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Irvine and Riverside. Combined with a new website launch debuted in August 2015 and a number of key hires, the company has demonstrated a trajectory of continued growth and achievement.


Aptus Court Reporting is a full-service court reporting firm headquartered in San Diego, CA. The company provides decades of 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 in depositions and trial.

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.