Noting Quotes

When you’re taking notes in a hearing you don’t need to attempt a verbatim record. Unless you know shorthand or you’re a fast typist you won’t be able to anyway.

So, you can write ‘Did not speak to S.’ when the witness said ‘No. I don’t think I spoke to Susan about what had happened. No. Thinking about it, I’m sure I didn’t, because next week when we met at the away-day she mentioned that she hadn’t seen me in ages.’

Sometimes, however, you will want to capture exactly what a witness has said. In particular, sometimes a witness will say something so valuable to your case, or damaging to his credibility, that you want to be able to quote it back to him later or to the tribunal in submissions.

When this happens, in addition to recording the witness accurately and fully, you need to make sure you can identify the note as a direct quote later.

Personally, I do this by putting the direct quote in quote marks. But anything that suits you will work.

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