1. What software(s) do they work on?
2. How long have they been scoping?
3. Ask for a resume.
a) Excellent English skills are a must.
A written resume may reveal English skills (or lack thereof).
b) Ask that the resume include educational background and work experience.
4. Ask for references.
Be sure to check out the references. To not check the references may cause many hours of frustration and may discourage you from utilizing another scopist.
5. Ask if they will send you a sample transcript they have worked on. Better yet, ask if they are willing to scope a sample job for you.
6. Their mode of pickup and delivery.
7. How computer savvy are they?
Are they on the internet?
Can they transmit files via the internet?
Do they have a zip drive, or do they even know what a zip drive is?
8. How do they handle global entries?
9. Are they willing to listen to an audiosync file or an audiotape?
0. Are they RTF compatible?
11.Are their working hours flexible?
Can they work under extreme deadlines seven days a week?
Are they willing to work away from their home when necessary?
12.What are their rates?
Do their rates vary, depending on the complexity of the job?
Do they have expedite rates? If so, what are they?
Do they want you to fax to them certain exhibits for accuracy?
How To Avoid the Comment “But the Scopist Doesn’t Understand How I Want My Transcripts”
1. Two-way communication between the reporter and the scopist is an absolute must.
2. HOW DO YOU TRAIN A SCOPIST TO READ YOUR WRITING WITHOUT PULLING YOU HAIR OUT?
Providing an audiosync file or an audiotape is an invaluable tool which allows the scopist to provide you with an almost completely error-free final transcript and also saves you precious time in proofreading your final transcript.
YOU MUST REMEMBER THE SCOPIST WAS
NOT AT THE JOB AND MAY NOT BELIEVE
SOME OF THE STRANGE THINGS WE HEAR.
3. Provide a clear worksheet.
a) Carefully proofread your worksheet before giving it to the
scopist. Don’t expect the scopist to second-guess your instructions.
b) Note if the witness or other parties in the case do not have
great English skills.
c) Note if the witness’s name is different than the caption.
4. Provide complete wordlist.
a) Ask if their preference is to have the wordlist in alphabetical order or the order in which they appear in the job.
5. E-mail your various margin setups, your certificates, and your “include” files for blurbs. If can’t e-mail, provide it on a disk.
6. Clarify your normal delivery expectation in returning the job to you.
7.Notify the scopist as soon as you realize you have an expedite and when you need it returned to you.
8. Spell out how you want problem areas pointed out to you in the transcript to bring them to your attention.
(For example: Add a few asterisks in problems areas so you won’t miss them when proofreading.)
9. Provide a list of commonly-used briefs.
10. A manual of your format and commonly-used blurbs is a MUST.
11. Explain your preferences:
How you spell “uh-huh” for the affirmative and “unh-unh” for the negative.
How you want readbacks set up.
How you handle nonverbal responses.
(For example: (No audible response) or (Witness nods) when the witness shakes head Or
(No response) when the witness does nothing at all.)
12. How you handle using quotation marks.
Do you tend to not use quotation marks when the witness will say he said, she said, etc.?
Do you want quoted material paragraphed when a different speaker is quoted?
13. Clarify how you handle numerals. Do you use the over ten/under ten rule?
14. Clarify how you want globals entered.
15. Clarify possessives when ending in “s.”
(For example: The witness’s response, the witnesses’ statements, Mr. Meyers’s report.)
16. Clarify your indentation format when documents are read into the record and whether you want it surrounded wit quotation marks.
REMEMBER THAT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR SCOPIST MUST BE A TEAM EFFORT – AND ALWAYS REMEMBER THEY TOO ARE HUMAN, AND FEEDBACK FROM YOU IS ALWAYS A MUST, BOTH CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK AND ESPECIALLY POSITIVE FEEDBACK.
Websites To Remember
For word searches to find spellings:
For reference – spellings, definitions for context, etc.:
ask.com (ask Jeeves site)
For homework help:
For legal research:
For free directory assistance:
For maps/hotels/restaurants/driving directions:
For Ludwig Klein Reporters & Video