The first thing to do is practice the different methods of identifying speakers. There are two basic methods: Using banks of keys or using speaker names. If you choose to use banks, here are some ideas:
THE COURT: kort/kort
THE WITNESS: wns/wns
Plaintiff’s Atty 1 snao or snao/snao
Plaintiff’s Atty 2 jao or jao/jao
Defendant’s Atty 1 ifplt or ifplt/ifplt
Defendant’s Atty 2 irbgs or irbgs/irbgs
If you have additional attorneys, you can use the number banks, such as 1234ao or eu6789.
Another option is using the attorneys’ names. Some examples:
MR. SMITH sm*it/sm*it
MS. GOLD goeld/goeld
MR. MAYFLOWER ma*i/ma*i or flour*/flour*
The problem with using names is that as a beginning reporter you may not know the attorneys by name, and it may be very difficult to remember their names.
My advice is to PRACTICE your speaker identification. There are so many court shows on television today. You have Judge Judy, Divorce Court, Law and Order, etc. NCRA and Stenograph both have multi-voice DVDs for purchase as well. However, the best practice is your internship. When you are sitting beside the court reporter in court or in a deposition, treat it like a real job and decide how you would identify the participants if you had to produce a transcript. Then after the proceeding, ask the court reporter questions. Ask what techniques he/she uses and why. Ask for some pointers. The court reporter may have a different way of identifying speakers that makes more sense to you. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Good luck with the speaker i.d.!