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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When I worked in production at a CR firm, I did, in fact, have an attorney call up and do exactly that.  This wasn't a video depo, but he had recorded the depo for himself (I don't think anyone knew he was doing that).  When he got the transcript back, he compared it to the recording and sent us every single correction that was to be made.  Sure enough, he was right, and the reporter had to go back and treat it like a video dep.

Now, granted, this is NOT normal.  LOL  I'm just a reporter/scopist, I'd rather be safe than sorry at all times.  Thus, I've always treated every depo the same - verbatim and accurate.  This is simply my point of view, and I'm NOT trying to convince anyone to be as OCD as I can be, but rather just to hopefully get it out there that this issue does arise and that we could possibly only hurt ourselves by not being as thorough as possible.  That's all.  :):)

Kelli, I like my friend's rule.  Two words or less false start, leave it out.  Stutters, if the witness is a really bad stutter, period, then do all the stutters.  If witness or attorney just stutter once in a while in a video dep or say one wrong word, then change it, leave it out.  But everybody has a different opinion on this. 

Oh, I was talking about the attorneys.  Now, when it comes to the witness, I leave ALL stammers/stutters/false starts in because it goes to their credibility; maybe they're nervous or not telling the truth or they have some other serious type of issue.  Witness gets the full treatment.

I'm with you, Kelli.  And I agree with what was said to Marge on the other forum, lol.

I agree, too, Keith, but not if the agency is going to be anal about it.  I'll go along with it, of course.  Better than them never calling me again, which I would never ever say about, for example, lower rates or some other BS that they might propose such as more content to a page or giving free rush delivery, free anything.   Those are deal-breakers for me.  This is not.  Like Christi said earlier:  "Just put it ALL in, be grateful for the extra lines/pages, and move on.  If people wanted pretty, they should speak pretty."

Hey, Keith, haven't seen you lately.  Nice to see you again.  :)

THE WITNESS: "I -- I -- I -- I think I -- well, I -- I guess -- I think -- I -- I -- I don't know." I NEVER edit the witnesses.

I will take out false starts of two words or less for attorneys if it's not videotaped.  But sometimes, if an attorney does that all day long, I just get tired of editing them out (and sometimes forget to), and by the time I get nearer to the end of the transcript, more will be left as is. Videotaped depos, everything stays in, and I always silently hope to myself that, when the attorneys see how messy the video transcript is, they will work on either slowing down and/or thinking about their questions a bit before asking them with a bunch of false starts/stutters.


I've been doing mainly video depositions for years, and I've never been contacted by an agency for any issues with transcript synching.  If I had been and knew it was making it difficult for them, I would add the I -- I -- I -- I back in. 


I put it all in.  It is the attorney's job to speak eloquently.  It is our job to make the record.

I put the I -- I -- I in.  If it's video, it goes in.

They won't, Quyen.  You can lead the horse to water...

And, Kelli, nice to see you too!

Years ago I had one agency owner/reporter tell me I had to put every single word spoken in the depo, including stutters, because it was being videotaped.  False starts on video depo stay in.  False starts on normal depo under five words get taken out.  I haven't done one in a while, but I know I don't put in every single stutter now on video depos.  I think it depends on my mood when I'm



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