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You have a tough job. You work long hours under a lot of stress. If you overlook one detail, forget to note one date, you are liable for sanctions and may even compromise your case. The largest firms have their own calendar specialists to oversee such matters, but, whether you work for one of the top 100 firms or are a sole practitioner, there is never enough help when you need it.
Atkinson-Baker has grown into its position as the nation’s largest independent court reporting agency by providing superior service and handling those tough situations which other agencies can’t. When you call us, you don’t just get a great court reporter, you get the support of a skilled team of specialists, freeing up your time and attention for other aspects of the case.
It would be impossible to detail in a single article all that our 160 in-house support staff do to ensure that everything goes flawlessly. So we will just take a look at a few of the ways we go the extra mile to service you.
There has been a sudden change in the schedule, or someone forgot to schedule a reporter. The expert witness is sitting there waiting at a cost of $600 per hour. The secretary’s job is on the line. A court reporter is needed NOW!
Handling such emergencies is where Atkinson-Baker first gained its reputation in the court reporting profession. With a twenty-man calendar department and hundreds of reporters, we can quickly handle jobs which others can’t. Like the emergency room at a hospital, averting potential disasters is just part of our daily routine.
While you are on the phone with one person in our calendar department giving the details of what is needed for the deposition, someone else in the department is already on the phone calling and paging to locate the closest available reporter. Within five minutes you get a call back on whether we found a reporter and with the reporter’s estimated arrival time. Our calendar personnel successfully handle such emergencies an average of four times per day. They also do extremely well with the more usual deposition needs, so you don’t need to wait for a crisis to give them a try.
If you have ever had to arrange your own conference room for a deposition, you know the hours you can spend calling around to find a suitable facility at the right price, ensuring availability, establishing credit, and so on. Downtown Chicago is not too hard, but what if the witness is in Breezewood, Orofino, or Rio Piedras?
At Atkinson-Baker, we have someone whose entire job is to get you the right conference room. As soon as you tell us that you need a conference room, he jumps right on it. The first place he would check is in our own database of 2500 conference room locations we have assembled over the years. If there is nothing suitable there, he starts going through the directories, checking online listings, calling Chambers of Commerce, or doing anything else necessary to find a room available to suit your needs. He will then call you right back with the address and other information on the location so you can put it in your deposition notice. He will even fax you a map and directions to the location.
So how good is he at handling all this? Well, in the last year alone, we arranged conference rooms for 4268 depositions in 50 states, up near 100 per week. So next time you need a conference room for a deposition, give us a call, and he will jump right on it. There is no extra charge for arranging the room, and you can find something else to do with the hours you save.
Even after the deposition takes place, unexpected emergencies can still arise. Perhaps your opposition suddenly files an ex parte motion and you need to respond immediately. Times like this are where our Customer Service personnel get to shine.
Last week, for example, a secretary called late on a Friday afternoon. Her attorney had just completed a series of depositions using four reporters in three states. He now needed rough drafts of the transcripts in his office on Saturday. Our Customer Service supervisor started contacting the reporters and arranging for the transcripts to be e-mailed. She continued working on it from her home that evening, until she verified with the client that all five transcripts were now in his hands.
She has been paged on her way to the beach when an attorney needed a transcript in his office on a Saturday night, has gotten UPS to locate and redirect packages so that the attorney could read them at his hotel rather than waiting until he returned to his office, has chased up exhibits from reluctant witnesses, and done a thousand other little things to ensure our clients get exactly what they want.
Next time you need something special, even if it is something as mundane as an extra copy of a transcript, give Customer Service a call. You’ll be glad you did.