What I wish I knew my first year as a reporter

I haven't done one of these in a while.  So let's talk about your first depo, what you should know and what you should ask and what you should do.

I'm going to assume you know the rate for the job you are about to take, payment terms, you have your equipment, and the job has been confirmed.


These are things that I like to ask the agency before the depo starts.  It will make you look more like a professional

Time estimate - I always ask for a time estimate.   The agency may or may not know it.  That way you're not surprised if the attorney decides to go to midnight and you can have somebody on standby to pick up the kids.

Type of job - I always ask what type of job is it.  W/C?  Med mal? Expert? Doctor? Patent? Employment?
That way I know what kind of words I might expect to run into and can build a little job dictionary beforehand.

Copy orders - do you want the order on the record, or do you have a form you want me to fill out?  Do all parties need to sign an order form, including the taking attorney or just the copy orders?  Some agencies want order forms from everybody.

Do any of the attorneys have a standing order?  If they have a standing order, does that mean they do not need to sign the order form?  If they change the standing order, then they still might need to sign the copy order form.  Crazy isn't it/

Prior transcript and/or caption - agency may or may not have this.  Super helpful if you can get this kind of info before the depo starts.

Location - Mapquest it the night before.  You never know, sometimes there are errors and MapQuest will not pull up an address.

Is this a Volume I or a continuation of a previous depo?  If it is a continuous, do you have a continuing page number?  Do you know what exhibit number you will be starting with?  This is the type of thing the attorney will kind of expect you to know when you get there.  You can either ask them, I see this is a continuing depo, do you have a continuing page number and exhibit number?  Or you can tell them, this is a contintuing depo, I show that the last exhibit number marked was 10, we'll be starting with 11.

Is this a network job?  Am I representing you or another agency.  Sometimes agencies will cover for other agencies, and in those cases they sometimes want you to say you're from the other agency.  It can get confusing.

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Comment by Kelli Combs (admin) on January 13, 2015 at 16:04

Great info, Kyung, really for anybody and not just newbies.

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