As a new reporter I'm still having a lot of trouble with quotes. I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not to quote this stuff and how to format some of it. The attorney was referring to documents. I've got lots of different examples that keep making me go back and forth and I'm going nuts. I'd appreciate any help!


And it says -- obviously at the top it says Office of the District Attorney, County of Sacramento. Then it says directed to Sacramento Police Department, and then it's got a name. Do you see that it says a Kirsten Ross?

This one is screwing me up because it actually says Office of the District Attorney and on the next line it's Sacramento County. I also don't know if I quote Kirsten Ross.


And to the right of that it's got a lab number. Do you see that? It's got a 08-003760?

Do I quote both lab number and the number? Or just the number? Or neither in this case?


And then the next line below that is date analyzed 4/16/08.

Similar to the last one, but more of a direct quote..


And then below that it's got -- there's a title that says blood alcohol report. Do you see that?

Do I quote this and cap it like it's written? Blood Alcohol Report?


And then the next line below that is date analyzed 4/16/08.

written on document as
Date Analyzed: 4/16/08

Sorry for the kinda stupid newbie questions.

Heather

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Heather, not stupid questions at all. You may get differing responses on how to handle this. I can't give chapter and verse of Morson's or Gregg's, but here's how I would do it.

And it says -- obviously, at the top it says, "Office of the District Attorney, County of Sacramento."
[new paragraph] Then it says, "directed to Sacramento Police Department." And then it's got a name. Do you see that it says a "Kirsten Ross"?

This one is screwing me up because it actually says Office of the District Attorney and on the next line it's Sacramento County. I also don't know if I quote Kirsten Ross. Forget what the document actually says, you go by what the speaker says not the document. The document might actually say Office of the President of the United States, you don't know that (even if you have the document).


And to the right of that it's got a lab number. Do you see that? It's got a "08-003760"?

Do I quote both lab number and the number? Or just the number? Or neither in this case?


And then the next line below that is date analyzed "4/16/08".

And then below that it's got -- there's a title that says, "blood alcohol report". Do you see that? I wouldn't nish-cap it.


And then the next line below that is "date analyzed 4/16/08".
Thank you Phil, that's very helpful!! Now I can actually sit down and finish this job!

Jennie, I do have the documents still. What would you do in that case?
When I am in doubt and/or if the speaker does not follow the document I have in hand, then I definitely will use a colon. At the court reporting school I went to in the '70s, that is how they tought us to handle speakers who do not quote EXACTLY from the document.

Example: I want to read you a passage: Four score and seven years ago, our fathers carried forth, upon this country, a new nation.

As you might notice, the above-referenced quote is not an EXACT quote from the Gettysburg Address. So I used a colon before it began. That's the way I was taught, and I still use that method a lot today in my work.

Your examples, I would punctuate like this:

And it says -- obviously, at the top, it says Office of the District Attorney, County of Sacramento. Then it says directed to Sacramento Police Department, and then it's got a name. Do you see that it says a "Kirsten Ross"?

And to the right of that, it's got a lab number. Do you see that? It's got a "08-003760"?

And then, the next line below, that is Date Analyzed, 4/16/08.

And then, below that, it's got -- there's a title that says Blood Alcohol Report. Do you see that?

And then, the next line below that is Date Analyzed, 4/16/08.


I believe that comma placement would be helpful to the reader of the document. Again, I do use a colon sometimes in cases if I do not have the document or if the speaker is not quoting word for word from the document. I also initial-cap titles sometimes, depending on how it is used.

Anyhow, that's how I would handle it. I'm sure you could receive a dozen or more different ways to punctuate that. ;-)
This is more like I would do it. And I've been doing this for 20 years and I still struggle with it too, so don't feel bad, Heather!
I don't think I would use quotation marks, and I would do it similar to Phil's examples. I very rarely use quotation marks, unless I have the document in hand.

I do think that more comma usage would be helpful to clarify what the speaker is intending to say. :-)
I would use the quotation marks since that's what the speaker said was written, even if the quotes are wrong.
Then it says --- well, um, is that an actual quote or is it a statement? A quote is not exactly the same thing as a statement. A lot of people mistake a quote as paraphrasing too.

My first thought was to use quotes - but my ghost person who taught me grammar (and I do mean my ghost person) says not to. Phil sounds right - yet Jennie sounds equally right.

My comprehension of a quote is a quote, not a statement. For me, a quote has to be exactly that, a repeat of a statement someone said or wrote, not just words read from the document.

I think the smallest I would take from a quote would be three or four words intended to have meaning from someone who allegedly said it. Example: It says, "Yes, the State did deliver." This is a clear, simple sentence taken from a document.

If I had a quote given, the whole clear simple sentence, then a break, then it goes on again, then I use the ... to indicate a break in the quote.

Again, just words, two or three taken from a document, I don't consider that a quote. I consider a quote a restatement of what someone said or wrote. What you have is kind of paraphrasing of statements.
Mary Jo, I like the way you're thinking, but I believe that the rules for quotations indicate that if the speaker believes the words to be true, or states that the words are true, then it should be in quotes.
Here's the "quote" from Encarta Dictionary.

repeat somebody's exact words: to repeat or copy the exact words spoken or written by somebody
- refer to something for proof: to refer to something as an example in support of an argument

(I quoted it too, word for word).
Morson's Rule 97 says, "When a witness testifies to his own words or those of someone else in the form of a direct quote and believes those words to be accurate, use quotation marks, even if the speaker does not render the quote perfectly."

I extend that rule to documents.
Hi Heather,

I'm kinda new myself, and I've been finding myself having the same trouble. I think, to me, the most important thing is to be consistent....and in a way, that's my problem because I change my mind a lot about what I think is right.

Another thing that bothers me (I'm sure Case users have noticed this..) When I go to put the quotation, for example quote blah, blah, blah period end quote..Case makes a space and then puts the end quote on the following sentence...and this always throws me off and makes me feel like I'm doing something wrote! The second thing is that all the quotes on Case look like they're pointing right...so it always looks strange to me to be outside the period..this has thrown me off many times..it just seems like Case is so advanced, so why are these little things still not fixed? I don't know, maybe it's just me.

Allison
Phil, I'm not going to argue with you because it really serves no purpose - only for one person to be right and for one to be wrong.

I graduated from CR back in 1981. There was book published specifically for court reporters back then. That book was AWFUL.

In some of that stuff up above, yes, it does look like it should have quotes. I agree with that - and I said so.

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