I took an all-day depo where the attorney had a laptop and played audio from his computer of threats that were made by the deponent (who is the defendant) to the plaintiff. The attorney promised to send me a copy of the audio it to cross-reference it, but he DID NOT. I told him that I could not hear it, and he played it back for me, but only once. There were gaps in the audio and I picked up a sentence here and there and some words, but I am FREAKING out because I do not know what is expected of me in this situation. I did not learn this in school and was not warned by my agency that this was going to take place, or else I would not have taken the depo. What do I do?

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(Audio being played.)

Stop pulling your hair out. School can't teach every potential scenario and the agency wouldn't necessarily know in advance that this would take place. Just calm down and be happy that (1) you had an all-day job and (2) that you have places to go for advice.

This is nothing freak out about. Save that for important things.

Do not attempt to transcribe the audio that was played back. That is not our job. This is why we have parentheticals!!!

Marge Teilhaber CSR, RDR
Fort Lee, NJ
Another vote for [Audio file played] or [Tape recording played]
I, too, agree with Marge.

My own client did that to me once. He'd start it, I'd say I couldn't understand, over and over and over again. I finally said it can't be done and I'm not attempting to do it. They got a parenthetical.
I also would put the parenthetical. If the attorney complains that you didn't put it in word for word in the transcript, just relay back how he never provided it to you.
I agree with Virginia, it should have been put on a CD and marked as an exhibit. Just go with the parenthetical {Audio played]
I'm coming in really late on this too, but I reported a panel investigation where audio was played from an investigator's laptop. They WANTED me to transcribe them, but I just said no. They were a bit disappointed, but live and learn. At least they identified the wav files as they played them for future reference.

Hi Anabele:
I had this come up recently and what I ended up doing is putting myself on the record a few times saying:
THE REPORTER: I'm sorry, I cannot hear it clearly. (this is the principle of "covering your own a**)
And then what I did is replace those sentence fragments with a parenthetical:
(Audiotape playing.)
In my case, they had a transcript of their audiotape and it was replete with mistakes and inaudible notations, so I finally decided that I wasn't going to compete with their transcriptionist (who was not a CR) on what I heard versus what's in their transcript. It just was a recipe for disaster.
Here's what I would do in your situation. Call up that attorney and tell him you need the audio file because you want to make sure it's accurate or you can offer to transcribe the audiotape in a separate transcript and just put parentheticals in your transcript. (Charge for the separate transcript) or you can just put the parentheticals. But if he won't give you the audio to double-check, just be honest and say that you couldn't hear it accurately and you can't certify that's what's on the audio is what you heard unless you double check it.

Whatever you think is the best thing to do, please talk it over with whoever you are working for so they know what you are doing and why. Sometimes these sticky situations are harder than school ever was, but the more you learn and experience different scenarios, the better prepared you'll be for the next one. That kind of knowledge is invaluable in this profession and after a few years, there will be no more situations where you won't know what to do. Hopefully you'll get some more advice on here and you can gain wisdom from a multitude of counsel (not attorney counsel, but the advice type).
Good luck!
I read all your posts and this is one more reason I'm glad I work in court.

no audio can be played in court - or admitted in as evidence - without an
accompanying hard copy transcript of the audio to be played.

By Code, these audio recordings being played are not transcribed or taken
down by the reporter. I just sit and listen along with everyone else after I
insert the blurb (Audio recording played in open court.) -or something like that.

Everyone reads along from their transcripts while the audio is being played.

I would expect no less from a deposition, however, without a judge sitting there
in a black robe to tell them, "No," attorneys start making up their own rules in
depos. I applaud the reporter who simply told them, "No," and didn't write
the audio.

and for everyone else, expect a hard copy at the time the audio is played.
don't try to type in the audio transcript into your transcript, just insert your
blurb, and attach the audio transcript as an appendix - or I'd ask the attys
if they want to mark it as an exhibit, then I'd have it listed on the index page
and it would be an official exhibit. C.Y.A. !!!
I had a deposition where something similar occurred; the noticing attorney played a video. I was right next to the TV, and the audio was perfectly clear, but I didn't feel it necessary nor was it my job to take down the video. I just put a parenthetical: (Whereupon a videotape was played).


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