Legal and business reasons for using a court reporter in an arbitration
The answer is a bit complicated. Many lawyers find great value in having a court reporter transcribing arbitration proceedings. This can be particularly valuable if the arbitration proceedings are spread out over non-consecutive days. During those intervals, the lawyers (and their clients) have time to review the transcripts of the previous hearing. This can help identify tactical course corrections that should be made, confusion that must be cleared up, matters that need additional follow-up, etc. An arbitration transcript is even valuable at the granular level if the transcript contains what you know to be an error. Maybe the court reporter misheard what was said. Maybe the Arbitrator or the Panel misheard it too! Something like that must be clarified on the next hearing day.
Arbitration transcripts can also be helpful in preparing witnesses that have not yet given testimony and can even be useful for experts to review. There may even be some possible impeachment value to having transcripts if a witness gives testimony on multiple days. Transcripts are also immensely helpful in preparing closing and summary statements at the end of testimony/evidence.
If the respective parties have been engaged in multiple cases (or expect to be), then arbitration transcripts will be useful in those other cases. Whether such transcripts are admissible in those other cases does not factor into their usefulness for preparing your case, knowing what to ask for in discovery, gleaning the opposing party’s litigation strategies, etc.
Finally, having arbitration transcripts is extremely useful if you plan any sort of appeal. Appeals from arbitration awards are rare and successful appeals are even rarer. But, having transcripts will certainly enhance any chance of winning an appeal.
Aside from these legal reasons to have arbitration transcripts, having transcripts may provide business and practical future value to the client. First, the parties may dispute what was decided at the arbitration. Transcripts will end that dispute. Second, parties can use the transcripts to show what was said about some issue of importance that is in dispute or under discussion.
Other considerations for using a court reporter in an arbitration
Having said all of the above, there are some other considerations. The first is whether you are allowed to have a court reporter at your arbitration. Some arbitration agreements have provisions banning court reporting as a method of maintaining confidentiality. This is also true for some arbitration services. Likewise, even if permitted, some individual arbitrators either bar court reporters entirely or express their displeasure that a party seeks to have the proceedings transcribed. Finally, court reporting is not without cost, and some clients want to keep costs down. As with many things, the question is: Do the costs outweigh the potential benefits? So, these are some of the other considerations that must be evaluated when deciding whether you need a court reporter at your next Georgia arbitration.
Contact Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting Today
For more information, call the experienced court reporters at Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting. We follow the best practices in order to provide excellent litigation support to our customers. Contact us today to learn about our services and how we can help you.