Here are the legal terms every digital reporter, transcriptionist, and legal professional should know.
Notes typed by the digital reporter while on the record in their digital recording software.
- Used in a sentence: The reporter included speaker designations, key words, proper nouns, and specific events in her annotations.
The attorneys that are parties to the case and appear at a proceeding.
- Used in a sentence: The appearances for this deposition were John Smith, Esquire, with Smith, P.A., and Joe Brown, Esquire, with Brown, P.A.
The process of bringing a dispute before a neutral third party for resolution. The third party is called an arbitrator, and they have the authority to make a binding decision like a judge normally would. The arbitrator hears the evidence brought by both sides and makes a decision.
- Used in a Sentence: The arbitrator was able to settle the dispute during arbitration.
An audio file can contain multiple channels of audio. The user can listen to all channels at the same time or isolate only the channels they want to hear. For example, if two people spoke at the same time, the transcriptionist can isolate each speaker’s channel of audio to hear one speaker at a time.
- Used in a Sentence: I gave the interpreter a separate channel so that the transcriptionist can isolate the interpreter’s channel if the witness and interpreter speak at the same time.
An attorney who shares the responsibility of representing a client with another attorney at a different law firm.
- Used in a Sentence: John Smith, Esquire, is co-counsel with Joe Brown, Esquire, on the Miller’s Plumbing case, which is why they are working as a team representing the plaintiff.
The adjournment or postponement of a legal proceeding to a subsequent day.
- Used in a Sentence: The deposition I am covering today is a continuance of the same witness from yesterday’s deposition.
DATE OF LOSS (DOL)
A term used in insurance cases which refers to the date of an accident, injury, or other insured event for which someone has filed a claim.
- Used in a Sentence: When there is a date of loss listed on the notice, the transcriptionist needs to include it on the title page of the transcript.
The phase of the lawsuit wherein the acquisition of notice or knowledge of given acts or facts are ascertained by the Parties to the lawsuit.
EUO (Examination Under Oath)
A type of proceeding used for insurance claims, similar to a sworn statement.
- Used in a Sentence: I was in the car when my friend got in an accident, and now I am being subpoenaed to appear for an EUO to tell the insurance company’s attorney what I remember happening.
A document, object, etc., shown as evidence. Exhibits are marked with an identifying number or letter. They are indexed and described in the transcript of the proceedings.
- Used in a Sentence: The questioning attorney asked the reporter to mark 20 exhibits during the deposition and wanted them scanned and attached to the transcript upon completion.
A witness who gives opinion testimony in relation to some scientific, technical, or professional matter.
- Used in a Sentence: The defense attorney that represents the window company hired an expert witness to explain why the plumbing was to blame for the water intrusion to the plaintiff’s home.
During the discovery phase of a case, parties will send each other a list of written questions that need to be answered. The responses are sworn under penalties of perjury.
- Used in a Sentence: Opposing counsel asked me to elaborate on some of my answers to the interrogatories he sent my attorney.
Before released for deliberation, the judge gives instructions to the jury concerning the law that applies to the facts of the case on trial.
A contest in a court of justice for the purpose of enforcing a contract or right.
- Used in a Sentence: Sara entered into litigation when she filed the lawsuit against her doctor.
A type of proceeding in which the parties discuss their disputes with the assistance of a mediator who assists them in reaching a settlement.
- Used in a Sentence: The parties scheduled the mediation to take place at the court reporting agency’s office but didn’t require a court reporter to take down the proceeding.
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGEMENT
A request by one party to the judge to close the case because the other party does not have any admissible evidence to support their allegations or denials; there are no facts at issue.
- Used in a sentence: The judge granted the motion for summary judgment because it was obvious the plaintiff couldn’t support their claims; there was no evidence!
MOTION TO DISMISS
Without ever addressing the merits of the factual disputes between the parties, the defendant may be able to move to dismiss the case on a number of grounds.
- Used in the Sentence: The plaintiff didn’t serve the summons and compliant within the required timeline so the judge granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss.”
During jury selection, the attorney doesn’t have to provide a reason why the juror is being excused. A party may challenge a limited number of prospective jurors without cause.
PLAYBACK / READBACK
Upon request, the digital court reporter is required to locate a requested portion of the recording and then play it back for everyone present to hear.
Used in a Sentence:
- Noun: The judge asked me to perform a playback of the last question/answer.
- Verb: Will you play back the question I asked in regards to the timing of the accident?
A party to the case who proceeds without hiring an attorney. They have decided to represent themselves, as is their right.
- Used in a Sentence: The pro se defendant asked the questions during yesterday’s deposition.
Removing text or images from an original document, used sometimes because of privileged information.
- Used in a Sentence: MS. JONES: I need the reporter to redact the witness’s Social Security number from the record.
Timestamped notes during proceedings will include speaker designations/identifications. While the digital reporter is typing, getting the speaker identifications is the first priority. The transcriptionist can hear what is being said but may not know who said it.
- Used in a Sentence: The digital reporter did a great job with her speaker designations, which was so important on this deposition since all of the people present were male and had similar voices.
STIPULATION (sometimes referred to as a “stip”)
“The name given to any agreement made between attorneys. It is not binding unless agreed to by all counsel present, and most stipulations are required to be in writing. In a deposition a stipulation is often spoken into the record by the taking attorney and agreed to verbally and on the record by the other counsel present.
- Used in a Sentence: The attorneys stipulated on the record that the exhibits will be retained by the witness.
A record of the time; i.e. 1:32:04 p.m. A time stamp is created with any new line of annotations (notes) within the digital recording software.
- Used in a Sentence: The digital reporter made a new timestamp when the plaintiff’s attorney started their opening statement.
- In regards to jury selection, it is the process by which attorneys select, or perhaps more appropriately reject, certain jurors to hear a case.
- In regards to an expert witness, it refers to the process by which expert witnesses are questioned about their backgrounds and qualifications before being allowed to present their opinion testimony in court as an expert on the subject matter.