The Future of Court Reporting: Man vs. Machine

The importance of an accurate record of legal proceedings cannot be emphasized enough; in many cases, lives literally depend on it. This is why the role of court reporter is such a vital part of the judicial system and will continue to be so even in this age of electronic technology. Some courts have begun experimenting with various recording technologies designed to replace the court reporter which has raised concerns in the legal community and may actually result in an increased demand for court reporters. [Read more…]

6 Reasons to Become a Court Reporter

Court reporters create verbatim transcripts of legal proceedings using a variety of assistive technology from stenotype machines, where information is typed in using a special type of shorthand, to steno mask machines where they whisper into a covered microphone. The goal is to create a word-for-word record of the proceedings that will be transcribed for the use of judges, lawyers and others involved in the proceedings. [Read more…]

How Do Court Reporters Transcribe?

court-reporters-transcribeA court transcript is the record of every spoken word and who spoke it during court.  In order to capture this transcript, a court reporter must be able to hear the entire proceedings and set them down as they occur.  At one time this was done using shorthand, which is an abbreviated way of writing that is able keep up with speech.  An early version of the stenotype machine was created in 1877 by Miles Bartholomew, who was a court reporter and hoped to replace pen and paper with his invention.  Today, court reporters get special training in order to understand legal terminology and process and use special equipment to create transcripts of court proceedings, as well as creating legal records of hearings, depositions, or other meetings requiring an official transcript. [Read more…]

Why Court Reporters are Needed

court-reporterA court reporter may seem like an afterthought in the workings of a courtroom to someone who is not part of the legal system.  They sit unobtrusively at the front of the courtroom and quietly type into their machines while things go on around them.  To someone familiar with the legal process, though, the court reporter is just as much an essential part of the proceedings as the judge, attorneys, and witnesses.  In fact, in most cases it is illegal to proceed in court without a court reporter present.  The Court Reporter Statute designates which proceedings must be recorded in federal court, while civil proceedings and other courtroom proceedings are designated on a local level.  While in some instances the judge is given the choice of court reporter or recording device, frequently a certified court reporter is mandated because of the importance of having an accurate transcript of the case. [Read more…]

Things to Know Before You Go To Court

Going to court can be intimidating process. The stress and worry about having a court 38200448 - united states supreme court pillars of justice and lawappearance can be alleviated by understanding some basic information about how a court room operates. Knowing some tips on how to dress and behave, how to speak, and what to expect will help to assuage worries and prepare you for time spent in court. The following tips will assist you if you are called upon to speak in a courtroom.

Follow Courtroom Rules

When being questioned when on the stand, do not look to the attorney or at the judge for help in answering the question. If the question is improper, there will be an objection. If a question is asked and there is no objection, answer it. Never substitute your ideas of what you believe the rules of evidence are. [Read more…]

Things You Should Not Say in Court

court-roomIn-court testimony is a critical part of our judicial system, and is integral in insuring just and accurate verdicts. When you are going to court there are some simple things you should avoid saying to help improve your outcomes and guarantee a just verdict. The following advice is meant to help in a variety of situations. For specific advice regarding your situation, contact a law office in your area.

Do Not Memorize What You Will Say

It is very important to speak in your own words and avoid memorizing what you plan to say. Memorizing your answers and parts of your testimony can make your testimony sound rehearsed and unconvincing. There are some things you can do to avoid sounding as though your answers have been coached and rehearsed. [Read more…]

Tips for Preparing for a Deposition


If you’ve never been involved with legal matters before, then everything about the process might frustrate and confuse you, and that’s especially true when it comes to your deposition. One of the best ways to deal with your nerves and confusion is to educate yourself about the upcoming legal proceedings. Depositions are essentially a question-and-answer session, but matters can take a turn for the worst if you don’t know what to expect or if you’re poorly prepared. [Read more…]

Why are Some Depositions Videotaped?

IMAG0642When conducted properly, depositions can be critical to supporting a court case. One definition of a deposition is taking an oral statement of a witness under oath, before trial. These proceedings, also called discovery, are usually used to build and support cases. Videotaping has not always been a very popular method of capturing depositions, however it has proven to be a great tool in many cases. Videotaping a deposition has several benefits worth considering. [Read more…]

Most Popular Court Reporting Schools

You’ve seen the commercials: “Learn how to be a dental assistant” and enjoy what you do. Or, “Become a medical technician” and be the envy of all yourcourt-reporting-accuracy-1024x590 friends. Envy doesn’t pay the bills, though, and maybe you’re not comfortable working in somebody’s mouth. Here’s another career option — go to court. Become a court reporter in 24 months and you could find yourself making nearly $50,000 a year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in this field can expect to see steady growth over the next decade and an average annual salary of around $49,500 (nationwide). Comparable positions as a medical transcriptionist or interpreter and translator pay $34,890 and $44,190 respectively. [Read more…]

How Fast Do I Need to Type to Be a Court Reporter?

court-reporter-qualityEveryone talks at a different speed, with many factors contributing to their speaking pace. Factors such as occupation, subject matter and geographic area where one is born and raised. Most people speak at a speed from 110 to 200 words per minute (wpm), depending on these influences, with the 150-160 range being an optimal rate for conversation. Now throw in another factor, the speaker’s emotional state, and you’re nearing a 200 wpm rate (only auctioneers and other “fast talkers” are in the 250 to 400 wpm range). [Read more…]