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8 Best Practices for Returning to In Person...When You Must

eScribers Q3 2021 Newsletter

Obviously, some proceedings will return to the physical courtroom, hearing room, or conference room. Remember to be on time and to check and recheck addresses and parking. Check COVID requirements and be sure to bring your vaccination card or negative test result when required. And remember to iron your professional clothes! šŸ˜‰

Regarding creating an accurate record, what lessons were learned during COVID that you can take into the courtroom when you return? Many of these are of the ā€œmind your mannersā€ and ā€œevery word is importantā€ variety that really got drummed home as we adjusted to new technology. Here are a few of those lessons you learned and can bring back into the courtroom:

  1. Remember that someone may need to transcribe your proceeding. That person can’t see who’s speaking or what gestures you make. You can help ensure the record reflects what took place and that there are no ā€œindiscerniblesā€ in your transcript by how you speak in the courtroom.
  1. Speak directly into your microphone. If you need to turn to get some paperwork, pause speaking until you’re back in front of your mic.
  1. When wearing a mask, remember that they muffle sound which compromises the audio quality, so compensate by increasing your volume and articulating clearly as best you can.
  1. If social distancing is required, be sure there are working microphones in front of each speaker to make it easy to capture what everyone says without compromising anyone’s well-being.
  1. Remember that in most hearings, your microphone is always on. Avoid whispering to clients, rustling papers, or making other disruptive noises close to your microphone. This goes far to ensuring you have a clear record.
  1. Don’t speak over one another. And when you accidentally do, repeat what you said.
  1. Reintroduce yourself periodically throughout a hearing. Refer to others by name, such as “As Attorney Smith said,” instead of “As my esteemed colleague said”. This really helps ensure the record is clear when listened to later.
  1. If you play audio or video during the proceeding, be sure a microphone is placed close to the player device or provide the reporter/transcription company with the original recording.

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We are pleased to be your partner in creating a positive experience from the time you step into the courtroom to the time you are reading the transcript!

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