Court Reporters and Premarked Exhibits – What to do?



In a previous blog I wrote about basic marking of exhibits by court reporters at depositions, but as we all know, attorneys have different styles.  Every so often an attorney will come to a deposition so very prepared with all of their exhibits premarked.  An attorney will say to the court reporter, “I have already marked Exhibits 1 through 3, and here they are,” before the deposition even begins.

What do you do?  I don’t know if there is a truly right or wrong answer, but this is what I do, and no one has ever questioned my method.  My motto is to keep things simple and clear for all parties.

If an attorney hands me a stack of premarked exhibits, I will start the first page of the transcript with a date line.  (See below for the example)  and use my standard parenthetical to mark all exhibits.  I don’t subscribe to the practice of marking multiple exhibits in one parenthetical because sometimes the parenthetical may go longer than one page on the index and become confusing.  It might seem to some that I am padding the transcript, but I believe I am serving the client delineating every exhibit as a separate line item.

Once the exhibits are delineated, I will start with my formal swear line.  (See example.)


1                                JUNE 12, 2013  WEDNESDAY 10:09 A.M.  SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

2                                                              (Exhibit 1 was marked for identification.)

3                                                             (Exhibit 2 was marked for identification.)

4                                                             (Exhibit 3 was marked for identification.)


6                                                                            JOHN DOE,

7    having been first duly sworn, testified as follows:

8     BY MR. ADAMS:

9                          Q.  Please state your full name for the record, and spell your last name.


I know many might argue (and rightfully so) a court reporter could write a single parenthetical:

(Exhibits 1 through 3 were marked for identification.)

And I don’t believe that would be wrong.  It is a different style and mindset.  My goal is always to keep transcripts clean, simple, and systematic.  I don’t want to change a parenthetical to mark an exhibit, if I can help it, because an attorney has a different style.

If you have a different method to handle premarked exhibits, please write a comment and help our court reporting community.   I believe there are some topics that are not covered in school, but come up in the real world that slows down productivity. All court reporters want to do the right thing.

Being a great court reporter is the ultimate quest.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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