I am a new reporter and I would like to know if anyone can shed some light on how to mark exhibits in a deposition. Do we take our hands off our machine and mark them? Reach across the table? Put a sticky note or stamp? Also what if an attorney marks an exhibit out of order and never corrects it? On the record he/she wants to mark Exhibit 8 but it is really 9?

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It depends on the situation. Some attys like to premark the exhibits themselves. If so, I put a parenthetical before the testimony saying (Documents marked Exhibit Nos. 1 through 13.)

If you are to mark the exhibits, you can either use a stamp or get some exhibit stickers from RPM or Pengad. I write the exhibit no. on the sticker, write the description in my book, and then and ONLY then do I hand it to the witness or the atty. If the atty identifies the exhibit on the record, I won't mark it in my book, but just put the exhibit number in my book so I know what the next exhibit number is to be. I usually ask if they are going to identify it on the record. That way, I'm not stuck trying to figure out what exhibit such and such is after the depo.

There was a discussion on here about a month ago about a Brother label machine that you can print out your own exhibit stickers on. You might want to search for "Brother label" and find it. I know someone got it on Ebay for short money. That is another possibility.

Another great thing about viewing the exhibits, even if only for a minute, is you can get tons of spellings. For instance, if it's an e-mail thread and they are talking about "an e-mail from _____ to ________" you can get the names. If not, I jot it down in my book and ask for the spelling on a break, which is eating into break time.

Hope this helps!

Hi Tricia,
Interesting. I found a picture of the labeler. It looks cool. I love the idea of a little machine that will keep track of where we are . I will check into this a little bit more.
Thanks for your suggestions!
Denise, good question. I think my most valuable time as a student was going out with reporters on depos while I was still in school. Learned how to interrupt the proceedings, how to mark the exhibits, how to ask for spellings, all the important stuff the school doesn't teach you.

I usually only mark the number on the exhibit at the time of the depo because I don't like to waste everyone's time writing the deponent's name. I do that on a break or after the depo is over. As the exhibits are marked, I write down what number was just used on my notepad so I can keep track of what the next number is. If I can see there are a lot of exhibits, I will premark some labels to make things run smoother. I've trained a few of my good clients by premarking a page of exhibit labels, laying it on the table, and they will mark them as they introduce them. Makes my life so much easier.

If an attorney says he's going to mark Exh 8, but it should be 9, I'll just pipe up and say, "The next one is No. 9." No one gets offended and it keeps the record cleaner. I don't put my statement on the record (unless it's a video). I just change the number to reflect the actual number marked.

Have never figured this out, but if they're using the same exhibits for all witnesses and they have the exhibits sitting in the middle of the table, I've had some attorneys turn to me and say, "Will you hand the witness Exhibit 1." What? Your hands are broken? FWIW, I don't put their statement to me on the record either.
I have a little pad of prenumbered stickies (1-10, A-F, etc.). When they atty wants to mark the next exhibit, the next number is right there on the sticky. If it's a new-to-me attorney, usually I'll start by putting the sticky on the exhibit. Before long, the sticky pad is in their hands and they're doing the "marking," a-n-d keeping track of the correct next number. I find this the easiest way to keep track of the next number in a fast-moving depo.


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