When hiring a court reporter, a lawyer or legal secretary may be tempted to select a reporting firm based only on the price. While the cheapest options may seem enticing if you want to save money, it may not actually be the best option in the long run.
Instead of solely looking at the cost, lawyers and other legal members should look at the qualifications of the court reporter and the experience of the associated firm. The court reporter’s experience, training, and certifications have a vital effect on the overall case.
At a minimum, most court reporters have a state or national license or certification. However, there are many other advanced and additional certifications court reporters can earn from the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). Depending on the complexity of the case, the lawyer or legal team may need a court reporter that holds one of the following certifications from the NCRA:
Registered Professional Reporter (RPR)
This certification is NCRA’s entry-level certification. Candidates must pass examinations involving speed and accuracy skills as well as written knowledge test.
Registered Merit Reporter (RMR)
Once a court reporter has established themselves as a RPR, they can become an advanced-level court reporter with the RMR certification. According to the NCRA, only about 16% of RPRs have earned the RMR.
Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR)
Court reporters who hold the RDR have the highest level of certification available to the court reporters. These individuals are considered to be the court reporting industry’s professional elite.
Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR)
The court reporters who have earned a CRR have demonstrated their realtime proficiency and competency. Not every court reporter has the capability to provide realtime services. If you will need these services, look for a court reporter with this ceritification.
Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC)
Many TV programs use realtime captioning. Training for the CRC provides court reporters with increased realtime proficiency and the skills to perform captioning.
Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS)
According to the NCRA, “the CLVS program sets and enforces standards for competency in the capture, utilization, and retention of legal video and promotes awareness of these standards within the legal marketplace.” If you are looking to use legal videography, highly consider an individual who is a CLVS.
If you are looking to hire a court reporter in the San Francisco area, contact us today! We have over 50 years of experience. Outside of California? We’re not just a local company. We provide services throughout the United States.
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