Author: Gabrielle Dean

Using a Transcript to Impeach a Witness

A transcript prepared by a court reporting service can be very important for many reasons, including the ability to use the transcript to impeach a witness at a later hearing or deposition. To be useful for purposes of impeachment, the transcript must be accurate and complete. This is one reason that it is essential to have an excellent court reporting service — like Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting, LLC. — working for you and your Law Firm. If you need court reporting services, call us here at (866) 689-1837. We accept orders via email, phone, and via telefax at (866) 870 – 6032.

Why Impeach an Opposing Witness?

The purpose of impeaching an opposing witness is to undermine the witness’ credibility with the fact-finder — the judge or jury. Logically, the flip side of undermining an opposing witness’ credibility is to bolster and improve the credibility of your own witness. When facts are in heated dispute, witness credibility becomes the difference between winning and losing.

How to Impeach an Witness.

Impeaching a witness is done with transcripts of previous testimony that has been taken before a court reporter and reduced to a transcript. The testimony needs to have been sworn testimony before a court or during a deposition. The transcript can be from a different case than the one being litigated.

Impeachment occurs when the witness said one thing at an earlier hearing/deposition but is now saying the opposite. In a dark light, the possibility of impeachment prevents witnesses from purposely changing their story from hearing to hearing and from deposition to deposition. In a brighter light, impeachment prevents fading memory from causing unnecessary and confusing variations in the factual evidence.

Impeaching a witness flows from the court reporter’s transcript. When the witness is currently testifying, the opposing counsel has the earlier transcript available. When there is a direct contradiction between the current sworn testimony and testimony recorded in the transcript, then on cross-examination, the inconsistency can be brought forward. The questions lay a foundation, and then the relevant portion of the testimony is read aloud. Something like this:

Q. Previously, did you give testimony at … [DATE, TIME, PLACE ]
A. Yes.
Q. You were put under oath before you gave that testimony?
A. Yes.
Q. During that testimony, were you asked this question, and did you give this answer? … reading from the transcript…

Where the fact at issue is important, and the testimony is in direct conflict, the fact-finders begin to doubt which story is the correct one and whether the witness is being truthful. The credibility of a witness can suffer more damage still as opposing counsel expends significant effort to attempt rehabilitation.

The rules and procedures for impeachment are different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Often, efforts to impeach will be tightly controlled by the Judge. But, wherever the litigation is being prosecuted, the key is the transcript prepared by a trusted and competent court reporter.

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.

What is Live Internet Deposition Transcript Streaming?

With our skilled and highly trained staff and with modern electronic and internet technologies, Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting, LLC., can provide live deposition transcript streaming. This can allow remote internet viewing of real-time transcription text for those not attending the deposition being taken. This service can also be coupled with remote attendance and participation at the deposition via the internet visual/audio feeds. Most law offices are already equipped with the necessary machines, software, and internet connection services. Live internet deposition transcript streaming will function with PCs, MACs, and many mobile devices as long as audio/visual software or apps are installed (like Adobe Flash Player). Our service also includes, after the deposition is completed, a standard transcript that is certified and provided in various desired formats.

What is Live Deposition Transcript Streaming?

Live deposition transcript streaming is the near-instant translation of a stenographer’s shorthand into text language that is instantly available via the streaming feed. Under current technology, the court reporter’s stenograph machine is linked to the court reporter’s computer. Through specific software, the stenographic shorthand keystrokes are computer translated. This will include page and line numbering. This, then, can be ready within seconds to be seen, in draft form, on computers and/or devices logged into the live stream.

How Live Deposition Transcript Streaming Can Be Important.

There are a number of obvious advantages to live deposition transcript streaming. Probably the most important is the ability to confirm — nearly instantly — the accuracy of the textual transcript and the ability — before the deposition is finished — to correct any mistaken transcription of words or to correct any other errors or confusions. How many times does the focus of questioning get lost or confused during an extensive set of objections and on-the-record arguments between the lawyers?

During a deposition, as a matter of course, short breaks are taken to allow lead counsel to review notes and to confirm with support members in attendance. That is, of course, very helpful. But, with live deposition transcript streaming, that ability equally extends to those not in attendance but who may be following the deposition through live streaming. In effect, live deposition transcript streaming can multiply a lead counsel’s support staff. That can make all the difference in ensuring a complete capture of the deponent’s information and an accurate deposition transcript setting out that information.

In this manner, live deposition transcript streaming can be cost-effective since it may help avoid having to schedule a second deposition session.

Live deposition transcript streaming can also make it possible for a litigation team to meet court-imposed deadlines. Indeed, live deposition transcript streaming can make it possible to do the impossible. For example, sometimes, briefs and pleadings MUST be filed by, say, 4:30 TODAY. It is possible, through live deposition transcript streaming, to start a deposition at, say, 11:30 (or even later) and still be able to get the quotes, page/line citations, and page copies into the brief by the filing deadline.

Speed may also be needed where multiple depositions are scheduled in a brief window of time where it is important to quickly know what the successive deponents have said.

Even when such speed is not necessary, it can often be very helpful to have very quick access to a deposition transcript for co-counsel, clients, legal assistants, and others.

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.

Court Reporting Basics: Why Court Reporters are Essential to the Appellate Process


It does not overstate the matter to state that court reporters are the foundation of the appellate process. Indeed, without court reporters, the various courts of appeals could not function. This is true whether the court reporter works in an official capacity for the court or whether the court reporter works for a private court reporting service, like Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting, LLC. If you need court reporting services, call us here at (866) 689-1837. We accept orders via email, phone, and via telefax at (866) 870-6032.

Why are court reporters crucial to the appellate process?

The crucial function of court reporters in the appellate process is due to the fact that appeals are almost entirely based on the written record that is developed and created at the trial level. In any litigation, if a litigant is displeased with decisions made by the trial court, that litigation can file a Notice of Appeal after the trial court issues a Final Order. The case is then moved to the relevant Court of Appeals.

However, unlike a trial court, a reviewing court will not be presented with evidence like testimony. Rather, the appeals proceeding is almost entirely based on “paper” consisting of the official Record compiled by the trial court and written briefs submitted by the opposing attorneys. For an appellate court to function, everything that was heard or done orally at the trial level must be converted into a written document/transcript. That is, of course, the function of a court reporter — to accurately capture each spoken word and transcribe those words into a transcript that can be used by attorneys, the trial court, and the appellate court.

How is the record created?

As noted, court reporters can either be hired by the court or be hired by private court reporting companies. For official court reporters, their transcripts automatically become part of the record that is kept of the proceedings. When an appeal is taken, the trial court is requested to gather together all of the documents and official court records and transmit — send — them to the appellate court. Included in the official record are all pleadings and filing made by the litigants, the court’s various orders, official transcripts, and other documents. This means that transcripts created by official court reporters are included in the official record.

Further, parts of any transcripts created by private court reporters will be included in the record because they may have been included as partial exhibits to motions and briefs filed by the attorneys for the litigants. Moreover, a full transcript can become part of the official record if the transcript is filed with the trial court. Indeed, this is why many attorneys will file all deposition transcripts after a trial is finished. In this manner, everything that was heard and said and that has been transcribed by a court reporter becomes part of the official record for the appellate court. This gives the appellate court full access to all of the evidence gathered at the trial level.

From this, it can be seen why court reporters are essential to the appellate process.

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.

Court Reporting Basics: What Are the Parts of a Deposition Transcript

Parts of Deposition Transcript and Court Reporting Process on LaptopWhen attorneys hire a court reporting service, like Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting, LLC, to handle a discovery or evidence deposition, the court reporter has many duties aside from capturing the oral testimony and providing a transcript. All of these tasks are important and are generally helpful for the counsel involved. In this sense, your court reporter is an ally, although a scrupulously neutral ally. Your court reporter is also the ally of your opposing counsel and the court since accuracy is crucial for everyone’s litigation efforts.

What are the duties of court reporters?

Among the duties of your court reporter are:

1.  Ensuring the transcript is accurately captioned for the case — this is generally obtained from counsel who has Noticed the deposition

2.  Identifying and noting all who are present for the deposition — including the correct spelling of names and titles

3.  Giving the oath to the witness

4.  Identifying the speakers as the testimony proceeds

5.  Keeping track of exhibits — often providing exhibit numbering and labels and

6.  Providing a certification for the transcript

As these tasks and duties are undertaken in various ways, the results appear as part of the eventual deposition transcript. Many of these tasks and duties occur early in the proceedings and, thus, will appear toward the beginning of the transcript.

What are the parts of the deposition transcript?

Thus, generally, the first page of the transcript will contain the case caption, including the case number. Then, generally, below the caption will be the title of the transcript. Something like: “Discovery Deposition of WITNESS.” Importantly, the transcript will note the date of the deposition and will also keep track of time as the deposition progresses. If a break is taken, the court reporter will note that a break was taken at a certain time. The court reporter will then note that “testimony continued” at the noted time. This can be important since, in many State jurisdictions, deposition time is limited by Rule. If there is a dispute, the judge will want to see the transcript and will examine the time notations.

The next couple of pages in the transcript will identify who is present in the room, indicating counsel for each party, the witness, and any others who may be present. With counsel, generally, addresses and phone numbers are also provided in the transcript.

Then, just before the questions and answers begin, the court reporter will swear in the witness. This will also be stated in the transcript.

The main portion of a deposition transcript will contain the testimony – the questions and answers as provided orally by counsel and the witness. The transcript will be numbered by page and by line. Thus, if the transcript is cited to the court in a brief, the page and line numbers are provided for the ease of the judge.

The transcript will also identify who is speaking. This is important, of course, and generally, it is phrased as “by NAME” (identifying the lawyer asking questions) and “by the Witness.” But the court reporter also notes when opposing counsel makes a comment or an objection. Again, an accurate denotation is made, such as “by NAME” (identifying opposing counsel). As noted, the transcript also identifies any breaks in the proceeding and any other unusual occurrence.

In addition, where exhibits are marked for use in the testimony, a notation will appear in the transcript saying something like “Whereupon Exhibit 10 was marked…”

Towards the end of the transcript, there will be the court reporter’s Certification and also a place for the witness to sign the deposition (or a statement that “signature is waived”).

Also, at the end of the transcript will be “errata” pages (if allowed by local Rule). These are pages where the witness can state that words on certain pages/lines were erroneously transcribed and should have been something different. Errata pages are rare.

Further, where agreed, a deposition transcript will contain bound copies of the exhibits.

Finally, an index is usually provided that gives the page numbers for any exhibits that were marked. Sometimes this is provided at the beginning of the transcript. Full word indexes are often provided too.

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.