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You just finished an all-day deposition and need to prepare for the next day’s deposition. You really would like the transcript from today to prepare for tomorrow but that may seem to you to be an unrealistic expectation.

One service your court reporter can provide you immediately after the proceeding is an uncertified rough draft transcript. This is a transcript that has not been edited or proofread. It also cannot be cited in any official pleading or filing.

Court reporters are highly trained in the skill of capturing verbatim testimony, meeting speed and accuracy requirements to receive their degree or certification. It is a common misconception that after the proceeding, a reporter goes back to the office, presses a button and out comes an accurate, error-free verbatim certified transcript of the proceedings.

In reality, there are still many things that need to be done between the time the testimony is captured and the final accurate error-free verbatim certified transcript is finalized. The court reporter will go through the transcript page by page, line by line and word for word. They will research any proper names and specialized terminology to make sure that they are spelled correctly. There may also be untranslated steno outlines, missing punctuation and incorrect words that need to be corrected. And after all that, one final proofreading of the entire transcript is done before the final transcript is produced. All that takes time.

But with an uncertified rough draft transcript you receive immediate access to the transcript which can be very beneficial in case preparation.

  • You can review the uncertified rough draft transcript and make notes while everything is still fresh in your mind
  • For multi-day proceedings, you can use the uncertified rough draft transcript to prepare and fine tune your examination for the next day’s proceedings
  • The uncertified rough draft transcript can be distributed to co-counsel and support staff for following up on other lines of inquiry
  • When you do receive the final certified transcript, you will have a jump-start on case preparation

Ordering an uncertified rough draft transcript is very easy, just tell your court reporting agency at the time of scheduling service that an uncertified rough draft transcript will be needed. That way your reporter will be prepared and is able to do some “upfront” work, entering proper names or specialized terminology before the proceedings, and the end product will be so much cleaner than without this help beforehand.

There are many other services your court reporter offers that can help make your case preparation more efficient and effective. Ask us how we can be a resource to help you be more productive.

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