With the sweeping advances in modern technology, I can understand why you’d think that court reporters have been rendered obsolete. But the truth is that court reporting is still a vital part of court proceedings because of the human element that exists in every court case and deposition. Computers aren’t able to take note of emphasis that someone places on a particular word. Court reporters are only brought in whenever a case is becoming serious and there’s no room for error. The sight of a computer doesn’t carry the same weight as the sight of a court reporter. In a deposition, everyone will be careful of how they use their words when they know that everything they’re saying is being taken down by a court reporter.
The Finished Product
It’s court reporters who deliver the official written transcript during motions and depositions. These vital transcripts can include gestures and physical actions given by the speaker and have to be filed away in case they have to be used in the future or used as evidence during a trial. These transcripts have to be both fast and highly accurate. Court reporters also work outside of the courtroom in order to remain competitive. One of the reasons that court reporters are still important and valuable is that they have extended their reach outside of the legal world. Court reporters now provide transcription services and closed-captioning for the hearing impaired. Their special set of skills, such as accuracy and speed, can be applied to a number of media and business uses.
Court reporters can also attend conventions and provide a transcript for individuals who were unable to attend. Such conventions can be for award ceremonies, business meeting and seminars. Court reporters can also work with insurance companies by accompanying investigators while they’re looking into a claim. It’s the court reporter’s job to transcribe the dialogue that takes place between the insurance investigator and the individual who filed the claim. The transcript can be used to decide if the claim will either be denied or approved. A corporation might require the services of a well-qualified court reporter to provide a transcript of their meetings. Examples of such corporations an include banks and condominium associations.
It’s a court reporter’s job to not only make accurate transcripts, but to put their records in logical order so that it can be retrieved easier during important situations, such as appeals. Court reporters have to look over their transcripts to make sure that they contain no typographical errors. They also make arrangements to make it easier for individuals who are either handicapped or hearing impaired to participate in the judicial process. Other services that court reporting companies provide include real-time reporting, video conferencing, consultations, documentation and videography.
Communication Access Real-Time Translation
Another service that court reporters provide to deaf and hard of hearing individuals is a technique known as Communication Access Real-Time Translation. How this works is that they go with their clients to doctor’s appointments and various events to help them understand the information they’re receiving. Communication Access Real-Time Translation is also used in high schools and colleges for students who are hearing impaired or are learning English. Court reporters who provide the services can telecommute since a phone or Internet connection makes it possible for them to type and hear without having to physically be in the room.
No matter how advanced technology becomes, there are still some things that only a flesh and blood court reporter can do.