Videotaped depos and listening/adding every false start/stutter

Okay.   This has been a question I've wanted to ask for a long time:  Do you listen to every word of the audio and put in all the stutters and false starts in a videotaped depo, or have your scopist do it?  I'm not talking words you missed; I'm talking the stutters and actual false starts.


I tell you, I cringe when my scopist puts in all the false starts and stutters.  I know they're supposed to be in there when it's a videotaped depo, I guess, but I just think it looks so bad. 

She'll put in "the -- the -- the --" and I know maybe that's how it's supposed to be done - I'm not faulting her - but I take that stuff out.  No attorney that hires a court reporting agency wants to see that in their transcript as to what they said; just looks terrible. 

I do put in the false starts if the job is videotaped but not if it's not videotaped.  Example:


Q     When did  -- who brought this issue to your attention?


What do you do?  What's your practice?  I know the answers are going to be all across the board on this one I bet.

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Hi Kelli, it's probably me doing something incorrectly, but I certainly wouldn't want to ignore anyone, and I keep getting emails saying there are responses to the recent post (including the names of those who submitted them), but when clicking the link, I'm not seeing those that are most recent.  I've refreshed the page, gone to the end, etc., but still not seeing them, at least immediately.

Any ideas?  Sorry, but thanks!



Did you hit on the "follow" tab at the top of the page?   That way you get all emails when someone posts here.  You should be able to see the posts.  That's weird.  I personally don't want to get the emails because I already get about 75 CSRnation emails a day - don't need any more.  I read these when I have enough time. 

Sorry, Les, not sure why you're not seeing the posts.  I'm sure if you come to CSRnation the usual way, they are all here, though.

Boy, I knew when I posted this discussion it would be a hot topic.  LOL!

And I have often thought that if I lost a previous edit of a transcript and had to complete a new one from notes, it would never be an absolute match for the previous transcript because of the judgements we are continually making about subvocal "okays," muttered asides, stuttery sections, where to paragraph, etc.  I try to have some consistency in my thought process.  I am surprised how bad some of the videotaped depos read.  I'm sure the attorneys are too.  I think of myself as not cleaning up attorneys, generally speaking, but it's only in videotaped depositions putting back in anything that I didn't write that I realize that while I will leave some okays if an attorney starts every question with "Okay,"  I don't usually write every single one.  And if an attorney says okay twice, I almost never put it in twice.  I have to really focus on that in videotaped depositions so I don't have to add them back in.

Les, I have one more question for you.  A lot of times when a witness is giving a long answer the attorney will say "Okay" throughout the answer and I ignore the "Okay."  By me leaving those out during a video depo, does it make a difference?

I do the same thing, Rosalie.

Hi Rosalie, and thanks much again for your proactive eagerness to try applying all the best practices!

Someone may have a differing viewpoint, which is always perfectly fine, but in my personal opinion, that's another of those regarding which I would definitely defer to your judgment on the fly.  As for its affect on the final transcript sync with the video, again, for those who have comprehensive expertise in syncing, there really wouldn't be any.  Either way is fine on that one, based on whatever you feel is most appropriate in each circumstance.  Your call!

Thanks once more and have a great weekend!



"As for its affect effect on the final transcript sync with the video . . ."


Sorry, I couldn't help myself; I'm one of THOSE court reporters. :)

I try to get every utterance for a video depo.   I heard from a videographer that for a synched transcript, it's mostly important for the witness to have every word, rather than the questioner.   They just adjust the synch when it gets off.   But I suppose some CR firms are super picky.   

Since I've gotten used to writing for videos, I pretty much write that way for regular depos but I sometimes delete the false starts later when editing.

I know of a respected reporter who don't bother with all the throw-away stuff on videos, and he never has a problem.  I'd rather be safe than sorry though.

If I think I did a good job on a video I've been known to not even go over it with the audio.   It's such a pain on those slow depos.

I just took a videotaped depo and this was an actual question:  "Okay.  Uh, the, um -- uh, did you understand that the, uh, leads, uh, that you were calling, uh, were, uh, union members."  This attorney spoke like this all day.  HONESTLY, the uh's were really not that noticeable.  I had to listen to the audio a few times to even pick up on all of them.  I think we kind of tune them out a lot.  There's no way I'm putting every "uh" in there.  The transcript would be a wreck and the attorney would never use me again, even though technically that's what he said. 

I never edit a witness. 

If it's not videotaped, I leave most of the false starts in, except very minor one- or two-word ones, because you never know if the witness misunderstood the question because of the attorney's false start.

"I never edit a witness."

You guys, with all respect, I hope you realize that it could be argued that you are demonstrating bias if you edit an attorney but not a witness. By making the record look better for one side and not the other, or one participant and not the other, you could be argued to be taking sides.

"I heard from a videographer that for a synched transcript, it's mostly important for the witness to have every word, rather than the questioner.   They just adjust the synch when it gets off."  

But, seriously, we can't be letting videographers run the show here, at least in Cali. We are the ones trained and certified in preparing official records, not them. When they make these comments, they are merely telling us what we can do to make their jobs easier; they're not giving educated legal opinion re what is the actual record.

Also, just as the quote above demonstrates, and as I've heard from VAOFRS too, they can "adjust the sync when it gets off." That's why I say let them sync to us.


I think everyone's style is different, Lisa.  If you want them to sync to you, fine.   Me, myself, I tend to want to be part of a team.  Plus my VAOFR that I have 90 percent of the time is a good friend.  I come over to her house and she makes me Margaritias when we play Texas Hold'em!

Brings up another point.  I used to, when reading back, actually put REPORTER:   Blah, Blah, Blah, because it would match what I read back (it was suggested to do that.)  Too much trouble.  Now I simply put (record read.) for most readbacks.  So I have my limits on what I'm willing to do.

Marge - I personally think putting (Record read.) is being lazy.  No one knows what you read back. Maybe you were asked to read back something from a page and a half ago; very vague.  You owe it to the record to put (Record read as follows: and then quote what you read.  I have had multiple, multiple attorneys request/complain that reporters don't do that and they have no idea what was read back if the job is not videotaped.  Hello!!  Put yourself in the reader's chair and think about what they are reading.  Do you think that might just be a little vague?? 

Maybe just try to take a little pride in your work.   Call me crazy.....


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