What Should a Certified Deposition Transcript Cost?

Remote depositions have become increasingly popular and even essential across the legal industry. At the height of the pandemic, attorneys conducted most depositions remotely. Even as things move back toward a “new normal,” remote depositions still see a much higher level of use due to the increased overall convenience and accessibility. 

In many cases, however, you may not be sure what you should expect to pay for a certified deposition transcript. What factors go into determining the cost? Knowing how much an accredited deposition transcript should cost and what you should expect when arranging for it can help ensure that you prepare well for your remote legal deposition.

The Importance of Deposition Transcripts

A transcript is a written copy of the deposition that contains all the content gone over during the deposition process. It should include all the questions asked and answers given during the testimony. 

During a deposition, the witness will often provide clear testimony that will help determine what happened in a dispute. If the witness’s testimony, which is conducted under oath, later changes, the attorney can then use that change to discredit the witness and the accuracy of their credibility. Depositions can also help preserve the witness’s testimony in case something changes before the trial date. A certified transcript can help serve as essential evidence of what the witness knew or observed, even if the witness cannot appear at the trial for any reason.

Why Should a Deposition Transcript Be Exact?

Having an accurate transcript of what occurred during a deposition can be incredibly helpful for several reasons. An attorney may use the deposition transcript to help build a case or may use it for support during the appeal process. Lawyers can refer to the information provided during the deposition as part of their arguments in court. Often, the lawyer may need to refer back to the deposition transcript to get an accurate account of exactly what the witness said. If the transcript is inaccurate, particularly if it contains clear errors, it could misrepresent the statements made during the deposition, making it more difficult for lawyers to form strong arguments.

The Certified Transcript Difference

A certified transcript is guaranteed explicitly by the court reporter, who will state that the transcript is a true, accurate representation of everything that occurred during the deposition. On the other hand, an uncertified transcript may be a rough account of what the speaker had to say during the testimony. Often, a rough transcript will be produced by AI during the deposition itself, while a certified copy will be delivered directly by the court reporter. 

In some cases, an uncertified transcript might prove adequate for your needs. For example, you could easily refer back to an uncertified transcript to check your memory of what the witness had to say or to check minor details. On the other hand, if you intend to use the deposition transcript as evidence in court or need a completely accurate copy of the transcript, you may need a certified transcript. 

Related: What is Deposition Transcript Software Used for, and Is It Evidence?

What Does a Certified Deposition Transcript Cost?

Several factors can impact the cost of your certified deposition transcript.

1. The Length of the Deposition

Depending on the services you use, the length of the deposition may determine the overall cost of your certified deposition transcript. If you have a long deposition process, the court reporter will need to spend more time working on and finalizing the record, increasing the overall cost.

2. The Court Reporter’s Certifications and Training

In some cases, a court reporter may need additional certifications and training to manage a specific type of case. For example, if you have a case involving a great deal of medical terminology may require additional training or study. Some court reporters will charge more for these additional certifications. 

3. Turnaround Time

Court reporters may need some time to produce a certified deposition transcript after the initial deposition proceedings. Sometimes, that may mean that the court reporter must review the proceedings several times to check for overall accuracy. If you need a faster turnaround time, including a rush order to get your hands on a certified transcript sooner, you may end up paying more. 

Some court reporting platforms will offer a rough transcript created by AI technology immediately after the proceedings. If you do not need the certified transcript immediately, it may prove beneficial to use the rough transcript while you wait for the court reporter to complete those responsibilities. 

4. Other Features and Services

Sometimes, you may bundle your court reporting services with other needed services that accompany your deposition. For example, suppose you conduct remote deposition proceedings. In that case, you may pay a flat hourly rate for the use of the remote deposition platform, the services of a certified court reporter, and any other services that you need.

Bundling your court reporter with your other services may decrease overall costs, primarily because the court reporter may also fill other vital roles in the proceedings. 

Related: What Does a Deposition Court Reporter Do?

Finding the Right Court Reporting Service for Your Needs

When you need an accurate, complete deposition transcript to fit the needs of your case, it’s essential to ensure that you have an exemplary court reporting service. Look for these key factors to determine the right court reporting service for you.

1. Is the service accessible when you need it?

Scheduling a deposition can be a complex, time-consuming process. You need to ensure that everyone, including the witness, lawyers, and court reporter, can meet at the right time. 

Suppose you’re selecting a certified court reporter. In that case, you may want to ensure that the reporter or the service is available when you need them to enhance overall convenience and make that scheduling process more manageable.

In some areas, a court reporter shortage has made it increasingly difficult to find available support to suit your timeline. In some cases, the lack of court reporters delays essential court proceedings. A remote deposition service may make it easier to find someone when you need them most. 

2. What services can the court reporter offer?

Sometimes, you may need a court reporter to fulfill multiple services. For example, you may need a court reporter who can also serve as a videographer, a notary, or a tech expert while you manage the remote deposition process. You may also want to consider the services offered by the court reporting agency. For example, does the court reporter come as part of your legal platform? Does the platform help with case management or offer exhibit management tools? Carefully evaluate the services the court reporter or court reporting agency provides to better understand whether the service will work for your needs. 

3. What is the court reporter’s turnaround time?

When you need a fast turnaround after deposition, it’s crucial to find a court reporter who will help you get the transcript in your hands faster. Consider the benefits of using a court reporting service that will provide you with a rough draft soon after the deposition and how long, in general, it takes for the service to provide the document. 

4. Is the agency known for accuracy and reliability? 

Accuracy and reliability are paramount when looking for a certified deposition transcript. Look for a court reporting agency with a solid reputation in the legal community. Review your documents as you work with your provider to ensure they continue providing the high-quality transcripts you need for your records.

Find a Certified Court Reporter Today

Finding the right court reporter for your needs to get a certified copy of your deposition transcript can be difficult, particularly if you find your area struggling with a court reporter shortage and other challenges. Finding the correct court reporter and even bundling court reporting services with the other services you use regularly can often streamline the process and decrease the cost of a certified deposition transcript. Certified deposition transcript cost can depend on various factors, including the length of the deposition and what other services you may be paying for along with the transcript. At Remote Legal, we bundle our court reporting services with a comprehensive legal conferencing platform that allows you to conduct remote depositions from anywhere. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you set up your remote deposition.

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