We buy our exhibit labels from RPM, Reporters Paper & Manufacturing Company, here in Louisville, Kentucky. RPM is a court reporter supply company, started back in the 1960’s by Jim Yoder, a court reporting pioneer. RPM is a good company, helpful, and supportive of the court reporting community. We’re happy to buy from them whenever the need arises.
Taylor Court Reporting Kentucky uses the simple white and green exhibit labels with the single word, “EXHIBIT,” on them. They fit any situation and can be labeled more specifically if need be. The labels come maybe fifty labels to a sheet, but we have our sheets cut into five strips of ten labels each, two rows of five labels on each strip. We keep our exhibit labels in a clear Poly Zip envelope that we get from Staples. We also keep a few pens and Post-its in the Poly Zip envelope to carry in our steno case. The Post-its are used when the attorneys “don’t want the exhibit marked right now.” We just label a Post-it, place it on the exhibit, and later, when a copy is made, we’ll remove the Post-it and apply the exhibit label to the clean copy. Always apply your exhibit label so it won’t interfere with the contents of the exhibit, itself. We instruct our court reporters to place the exhibit label, if possible, to the bottom left of the document – bottom left being the bottom corner farthest away from the binding of the transcript.
Here’s what we’ve learned works best for us: Mark a few exhibit labels before the job starts. If you’re going to be there an hour, mark a few labels, maybe 1 to 5; if you’re going to be there all day, mark labels 1 through 10 or 20, more if you think you’ll need them. Using this method, you’ll always know what the next exhibit number will be. If 1 through 4 are gone, the next exhibit is Exhibit 5.
Exhibits that are out of order, misplaced, misidentified, or misnumbered can literally cost you extra hours in transcript production. Keep track of your exhibits on the job, the numbering, and who’s got them. Make sure to count and account for all your exhibits before you leave the job. Try to get all your exhibits together before anyone leaves, that way, if you’re missing any exhibits, chances are someone there has your exhibits and you can get them back before anyone leaves. It’s easier to get your exhibits together while you’re there on the job than it is to track them down by phone or email. Make a note on your job paperwork how many exhibits you have with each job, that way Production will know how many exhibits to expect and can contact you if any are missing.
With some forethought, attention to detail, and follow-through, you can save yourself hours in transcript preparation just by keeping track of your exhibits on the job.