How to Ensure a Quality Deposition Transcription

Deposition transcription is a crucial aspect of the legal process, as this sworn, out-of-court testimony provides an opportunity to gather essential evidence. The resulting deposition transcript serves as a formal record of the oral testimony given under oath, which means the document can shape the trajectory of the court hearing.

However, the impact of the deposition transcript heavily relies on its accuracy. Lawyers can implement best practices to ensure that the deposition transcription meets the highest standards. 

In this article, you’ll learn how:

  • Deposition transcripts are written records of what was said during sworn, out-of-court testimonies.
  • Accurate transcripts are crucial for legal proceedings and case outcomes; errors can have severe consequences on the case outcome.
  • Using a professional legal transcription service like Ditto, guarantees the best result.

What is a Deposition Transcription?

Let’s get down to the definition. 

A deposition transcription is a written version of a witness’s sworn, out-of-court testimony during a legal process. Legal transcriptionists create these documents by transcribing the audio recordings from the depositions.

Deposition transcriptions are helpful in the discovery phase of a legal case, as they can help attorneys analyze witness statements more thoroughly. These transcripts can also serve as reference materials during trial preparation and can be used to impeach witnesses.

Potential Uses of Deposition Transcripts In Court

Now that you understand a deposition transcript, I’ll outline its potential uses in court below. 

UsesDescription
ImpeachmentHighlight inconsistencies between trial testimony and deposition statements.
Refreshing MemoryHelp witnesses recall details they struggled with during the trial.
Admitting TestimonyAllow admission of depositions as evidence for unavailable witnesses.
Summary JudgmentSupport or oppose motions by showing the presence or absence of factual disputes.
Trial PreparationReview testimony, identify areas for questioning, and develop strategies.
Jury PresentationPresent relevant transcript portions to provide context or emphasize points.
Expert Witness TestimonyEstablish qualifications, opinions, and basis for expert conclusions.
Settlement NegotiationsInfluence negotiations by revealing case strengths and weaknesses.
Appellate ReviewServe as part of the official court record for review in case of an appeal.

Importance of Accurate Deposition Transcription

Accurate transcripts allow attorneys to analyze witness statements and develop strong legal strategies effectively. 

Well-documented depositions also serve as reliable references during trial preparation and ensure that involved parties have access to the appropriate information. Moreover, accurate transcripts are necessary for appellate review, as they contain a complete record of the deposition testimony.

However, the importance of accuracy is not limited to convenience. The consequences of legal transcription inaccuracies go beyond embarrassed laughter and the promise of correction as soon as possible. 

Deposition transcripts are frequently used in court hearings and other legal proceedings; errors can have a commensurately heavier impact than normal transcription errors in any other circumstances. Crucial evidence can be thrown out, cases derailed, and the justice system compromised.

Best Practices For Lawyers to Ensure High-Quality Deposition Transcription

Now that we’ve discussed the definition, uses, and importance of deposition transcripts, let’s move on to the meat and potatoes of the topic: the best practices that lawyers can implement to ensure good-quality deposition transcription.

Prepare the Witness

Effective witness preparation includes reviewing pertinent documents, discussing anticipated questions, and rehearsing succinct answers.

Attorneys should advise witnesses on effective communication techniques, like speaking clearly or avoiding technical terms. Encouraging witnesses to speak at a moderate pace can also assist transcriptionists in accurately recording their testimony. 

Well-prepared witnesses are less likely to make mistakes in the resulting transcript since they can deliver easily transcribable responses. 

Minimize Crosstalk

When multiple people speak simultaneously, it is challenging for transcriptionists to capture each speaker’s words accurately. For this reason, lawyers should establish clear guidelines for communication during the deposition and emphasize the importance of allowing one person to speak at a time.

When necessary, lawyers should remind participants to speak one at a time so that the transcriptionists can create a clear record of the proceedings. Minimizing crosstalk improves the quality of the deposition transcription and promotes a more professional atmosphere during the deposition.

Provide Explicit Spellings

Witnesses may mention names, technical terms, or other words with ambiguous spellings during depositions. To ensure accuracy, lawyers can instruct the speaker to spell words when necessary so that the transcriptionists can capture the correct spelling. 

Ensuring the accuracy of keywords helps avoid errors in the final transcript, which is especially important when the content is referenced in other legal proceedings. 

Use Clear Exhibits

Exhibits like photographs are often useful in depositions or any other situation that provides visual evidence for the testimony. Ensure all exhibits or examples are legible, well-organized, and clearly labeled to avoid confusion in transcription.

When referring to exhibits, use precise language and direct the witness to specific sections to make it easier for the transcriptionist. Well-prepared exhibits not only enhance the quality of the deposition transcription but also contribute to a more efficient deposition process. 

Transcription services can provide useful features like verbatim transcription, speaker identification, timestamping, and more—all to guarantee the usability of the final transcript.

Outsourcing transcription to a reputable service saves plenty of time that would otherwise be spent on in-house transcription efforts. Legal transcription services also offer expertise in handling legal jargon to ensure that the transcript accurately reflects even the finer details of the deposition—all for a better workflow. 

Reputable legal transcription companies that deliver over 99% accuracy, like Ditto Transcripts, have experienced transcriptionists and utilize the appropriate technology to deliver reliable results. 

Let Ditto Transcripts Handle Your Deposition Transcription Needs

Don’t settle for automatic speech-to-text recognition (ASR), which is only 86% accurate. Moreover, inexperienced human transcribers could make awkward errors in witness testimonies

Ditto Transcripts is your best choice for manual transcription, hands down. 

We offer the following:

Accuracy

We’re serious about maintaining our 99% accuracy rate in transcription. You can rest assured that your depositions are transcribed accurately and the witness statements are conveyed without distortion. 

Experience

We’ve been around the block since 2010 and have worked with multiple law firms, so we are familiar with terminologies and references. We can guarantee that deposition recordings will be handled carefully.

Easy Submission

We’re not fond of complicated processes and apply the same principle in many aspects of our organization. With Ditto, handing over your recordings is easy. You can upload them through our secure online platform without the need for complicated software or extra steps.

Flexible Turnaround

We understand that time is gold, so we value your time like we do. You get to choose the turnaround times, whatever works for you. We also offer rush pricing for 24 to 48-hour turnaround times

Personalized Transcripts

Clients decide which format they’d like their transcripts in. This format helps integrate transcripts into existing systems and processes without tinkering with the format. 

Simply specify your preferred formatting, and we’ll handle the rest. 

Data Security

We’re also very serious about privacy concerns, so we prioritized complying with HIPAA, CJIS, and FINRA regulations. Further, our transcribers sign confidentiality/non-disclosure agreements before starting work for us. Finally, they undergo extensive screening, testing, and criminal background checks before onboarding. 

Competitive Rates for Transcription

Our legal transcription prices run between $1.50 and $5.00 per audio minute. Factors determining the actual price include the number of speakers, audio quality, and the turnaround times required.

Deposition summary rates

5-10 Business days turnaround

11+Business days turnaround

Deposition summary

$3.00/per page

$2.50/per page

Deposition summary

+transcription

$2.25/page + $2.75/minute

$2.25/page + $2.50/minute

SCROLL

However, if we also complete the deposition transcript, we can offer a reduced rate of $2.25/per page. We’ll let you know exactly what you’re paying before we process your deposition summary. No surprise fees.

Trusted Service

Various organizations rely on Ditto Transcripts for high-quality transcriptions. Our customer reviews speak for themselves!

24/7 Customer Service

We know customer service is the cornerstone of the most successful businesses and take it very seriously. Our customer service team consists of humans, not robots. If you have queries about our services, you can contact our customer support team anytime.

If you’ve read this far, you’ve already found the most accurate and reliable legal transcription provider online. Call Ditto now and experience the benefits of a free trial. 

Ditto Transcripts is a CJIS-compliant Denver, Colorado-based transcription services company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcripts for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.

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