While you may not be involved in a high profile case like Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, there will be times when a deposition is cancelled just like Amber’s was. As a court reporter, you don’t have control of when this happens, why, or if/when it has been rescheduled but you can work with the attorney who hired you to understand and adjust your schedule as needed.
The Deposition Has Been Cancelled, Now What?
You have two choices when something happens to you. You can be angry and frustrated or you can move forward. Here’s what we recommend:
- Find out the reason. Avoid keeping a space on your calendar or to do list when you understand the reason a deposition is cancelled. There are times when it’s cancelled because the parties have come to settlement or because a lawyer is stepping away from a case. Whatever the reason, a reporter should know if they need to keep time on their calendar open.
- Reschedule. Whether the witness failed to show up, had a last minute cancellation, or the opposition’s lawyer refused to take it (like Amber and Johnny), the testimony needs to be recorded. The attorney should notify the court reporter as soon as they know the date of new deposition.
- Avoid social media. It’s easy to pick up your phone to voice frustrations on social media but we advise against it. Instead, take a deep breath and figure out what you’re going to do with the time you had slotted for this deposition. Use social media to connect with other professionals and showcase yourself as a leader in the court reporting world instead of as a tool for spreading negativity. There will be other clients and more work, there’s no doubt about that!
- Be productive. Use the time you were dedicating to this client and work on a different case, read or publish an article about court reporting on LinkedIn, or reach out to other clients to see if they need you. If you’re working with an agency, be sure they know about the change and ask what other work they may have for you.
- Engage with clients. There’s not any harm in using your time to reach out to former clients. Send a handwritten thank you note. Call and ask them to lunch. Comment on their social media. You never know where a simple check-in might lead to more work.
It’s up to you to choose how you will spend your time when a deposition is cancelled. There’s always something you could be doing to move your career ahead!