Frequently Asked Questions

How does that little machine work?

The stenotype machine uses a shorthand theory based on phonetic sounds. The reporter “plays” or “writes” on the machine using word combinations to type whole words and phrases with strokes, as opposed to typing individual letters. By keeping the keyboard small and using different phonetic word combinations, the reporters are able to write with far greater speed than on a conventional computer keyboard. The reporter’s strokes or code is translated through a computerized transcription program, which translates the code into English words.

How fast do court reporters “write”?

Reporters complete their schooling and are certified with a minimum speed of 225 words per minute. Real-life testimony is often written far faster than 225 words per minute.

What is an interactive realtime connection?

Interactive realtime, or simply ‘realtime,’ provides a live feed for the attorney of the reporter’s raw transcript during the proceedings. If requested, JGRS reporters will bring a netbook or tablet for the attorney to view realtime. There is no additional cost for the reporter to bring the netbook or the tablet. The benefit of a live feed is that you have the transcript immediately in front of you to review. After the proceedings, the reporter will provide a rough-draft transcript that is generated from the realtime file.

What is interactive video realtime live streaming over the Internet?

This is a raw feed that allows people to attend a video deposition on the Internet by seeing the transcript text streaming alongside it. Live video and realtime transcript feeds may be sent directly to clients anywhere in the world via a password-protected website. This is an excellent, low-cost option to accommodate geographical distance or when coordinating the schedules of multiple attorneys. Alternatively, attorneys can have a text-only live feed over the Internet.

What is an uncertified, rough-draft transcript?

Sometimes called a “rough draft,” a “draft,” or a “dirty” transcript, this is the transcript as it comes out of the reporter’s machine, which is sent directly to counsel at the end of the proceedings. It has either not been edited by the reporter or the reporter has done a very quick edit to remove untranslated steno code. It cannot be quoted in any legal briefs or used in court. Its purpose is to augment counsel’s notes and memory of the proceedings.

What is video synchronization?

Video synchronization allows for videotaped proceedings to be visually synchronized to the court reporter’s certified text transcript, creating a valuable visual- and text-based tool for litigators and their staff. A text version of the transcript is synced up, line-by-line, to the deposition video, locking the text and image together. As the video plays, the text scrolls alongside it. Clicking on text in the transcript allows you to jump to key moments of the video testimony and resume playing from that point. Video synchronization is also referred to as “sync-to-transcript”.

What video file formats do you use?

While we are happy to customize our video products according to the client’s needs, JGRS typically uses MPEG-1. This file format will work with all legal software. Though its smaller file size is convenient, MPEG-1 picture quality is similar to VHS tape, which is somewhat grainy by today’s standards. Nevertheless, it is considered the standard format for the industry and is generally used for transcript-with-video synchronization.

We can also provide MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 formats. MPEG-2 (DVD format) is a broadcast quality format which is designed for playback on a DVD player. MPEG-2 file sizes are appreciably larger than MPEG-1 files, which makes using this video format for trial preparation difficult. This file format is generally not accepted by trial presentation software. It is used when image quality is the most important consideration. Because of the size limitations, MPEG-2 is not used for transcript-with-video synchronization.

MPEG-4 is an emerging standard. MPEG-4 video output offers a higher compression, which allows for a high quality playback, making it adaptable for delivering video to everything from cell phones to HD quality output. MPEG-4 is not a format that is used for transcript-to-video synchronization, but it is available on request.

If you have any questions about which file format is right for your legal video, call JGRS at 510. 444.4500 and speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members, or send us a question here.

How do I schedule a JGRS court reporter and/or videographer?

There are several ways to quickly schedule a court reporter or videographer:

  • Call us at 510.444.4500
  • Schedule online here. You will be provided a short form to complete and we will confirm your booking via e-mail.

How will I know my deposition has been scheduled?

If you have scheduled to have a reporter and/or videographer at your deposition or proceedings, you will ALWAYS receive an e-mail or telephone call to confirm that the proceedings are going forward by early afternoon the day before the scheduled proceedings. In the unlikely event that you do not receive a confirmation e-mail or telephone call the day before your scheduled proceedings, this indicates that your deposition is not on our calendar. You should immediately call or e-mail our office so that we can ensure that you have the services that you need. Call 510.444.4500 or contact us.

What is your cancellation policy?

If clients must cancel a scheduled appointment with a reporter or videographer, we require that cancellations be made by 4:00 p.m. the day before morning proceedings or three business hours before afternoon proceedings. If clients have to cancel outside of our cancellation times, a cancellation fee will be charged.

In order to access my transcript in the “Client Portal” I need a username and password. How do I request this information?

Usernames and passwords are sent separately via email. If you need assistance with login information, please call us at 510.444.4500.

Will I be charged for accessing my transcripts and exhibits from your repository?

No. Use of the repository is a complimentary service when you purchase an electronic version of the transcript and exhibits.

What if I need to reach staff at Grossman Reporting after hours?

At JGRS, you will never be left without support after hours. If you need to reach us after business hours, call our telephone number at 510.444.4500 and follow the prompts. You will be asked to press “4” at the end of the outgoing voicemail message, which will take you to our answering service. This service will be able to locate Jane Grossman or one of our staff members to assist you.

How much does a court reporter and/or videographer cost?

We think you will find our rates very competitive. Please contact our office for specific rates for the services that you need.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, we accept MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Visit online bill pay for easy online payment of your JGRS bill.

Do you require a deposit?

Yes, if you have no credit history with us. You can give us your regular court reporting agency as a credit reference, or you can secure your reservation by providing us with your credit card information on our secure online bill pay or over the phone.

What is included in my transcript order?

Most of our clients like to receive full-sized transcripts, hard-copy exhibits, a condensed transcript with word index, and electronic files via a CD, e-mail or logging in to our repository. Electronic file formats can include ASCII, e-Transcript and searchable PDF with linked scanned exhibits.

JGRS is happy to customize your transcript order. Simply let the reporter or the office know if you want all or some of the above products and the best mode of delivery.

Learn more about our court transcript services here.

How soon after the deposition or court proceeding will my transcript be ready?

Under regular circumstances, we deliver transcripts within ten business days.

If you need your transcript sooner than ten business days, please notify the reporter when you require the transcript, and it will be produced with expedited delivery. Expedited rates will be charged for the quick turnaround.

How do I order a transcript?

You can order transcripts in several ways:

  • Tell the reporter at the deposition that you would like a transcript and specify the formats that you would like included in your order.
  • Click on “order transcript” and follow instructions.
  • Call 510.444.4500. Note: If you are not listed as an attorney of record, we are required to get verification that you are an attorney of record in the case.

How do I find a reliable court reporter and/or videographer for an out-of-town deposition?

JGRS has access to qualified court reporters and videographers through a network of independently-owned court reporting agencies throughout the nation. Through years of attending industry events, networking, and building cooperative relationships, Grossman Reporting has established personal and professional relationships with quality-oriented reporting agencies. Simply call us at 510.444.4500. We will work with you to arrange to have your proceedings covered, wherever they are being held.

Can JGRS help with trial presentation?

Yes. Please call us at 510.444.4500 or contact us to make an appointment to speak with our trial presentation staff.

Do you offer any “rewards programs”?

We do not engage in “rewards programs,” nor do we give gift cards or other financial incentives to schedule a deposition with us. As keepers of the record, we believe doing so would compromise our obligations under our professional licenses, one of which is to remain neutral.

At JGRS, we treat all sides in litigation impartially. We charge the same rates for all parties, never giving special deals to one set of clients. Our rate sheet is our rate sheet for all clients. While we are happy to bid specific multi-day trials or cases, all parties will be charged the same rate. Call us old-fashioned perhaps, but as neutrals, we have an obligation to treat all our clients the same.

We believe in providing an exceptional product at a fair cost and are committed to ethical business practices. This is the way that we have been doing business for 20 years, and we believe that this is how to best serve our clients and our profession.

What communities does your court reporting firm serve?

Jane Grossman Reporting Services is based in Oakland, California, and serves clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California. We work in areas including Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Mateo, Palo Alto, San Jose, East Bay, Contra Costa County, South Bay, and Marin County.