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…]

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…]