What is Real-Time Court Reporting?

Rather than having to wait for a...

court_reporterRather than having to wait for a court reporter’s notes to be translated into English text, real-time court reporting makes it possible for those notes to be instantly translated and displayed on either large projection screens or computer monitors. The way that this is possible is that modern day steno machines have become completely computerized so that court records can be digitized. Now attorneys and judges can have instant access to court notes once court is adjourned.

Advantages of Real-Time Court Reporting

One of the best things about real-time court reporting is that it can make depositions more efficient. Attorneys only have to glance at a computer screen to see if a witness gave a roundabout answer or if their client’s answer came out the way in which it was intended. They can also look to see if the witness fully understood the question or if it needs to be answered again.

Additional advantages include being able to prepare for the next deposition in situations where there might be several depositions in a row. Something else to think about is that deposition summaries can be prepared faster and that the use of computers can serve as a tactical advantage to an attorney. Should any errors be made, they can be caught as quickly as possible with the help of real-time court reporting.

How it Works

With real-time court reporting, attorneys and judges have the ability to look over the testimony and make notes without the need to interrupt the legal proceedings. They also have the ability to search for information such as certain key phrases and words in multiple documents all at the same time. Real-time court reporting also makes it possible to set up tags for words or phrases that are said during the trial or deposition.

With real-time technology, court reporters can also print out rough transcripts of testimony, or deliver them through email or Web sites where authorized users can access them once court has been adjourned.

Real-Time Possibilities

With real-time court reporting, attorneys can carry around and access several volumes’ worth of music all on a flash drive. Attorneys can also upload all of that information off-site or onto a legal research program. This new technology now allows legal professionals to communicate with each other in a new way in addition to communicating with expert witnesses who are off-site.

Real-Time Hookup

Court reporters don’t have to spend time or money in order to make sure that attorneys receive court transcripts– they can simply email the transcript instead. The advantage to attorneys with this is that they don’t have to have a laptop or any kind of special computer software in order to access the transcript.

In some cases the court reporter and the attorney can simply hook their laptops up together and the court reporter can transmit their translated notes in a matter of seconds after the recorded words are spoken. The attorney will need to make sure that they have special computer software if they want to search, view, issue-code or annotate the testimony as the deposition is actually taking place.

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Individuals

Another great thing about real-time court reporting is that it makes legal proceedings easier on individuals who are either deaf or hard-of-hearing. Sometimes reading text is easier and faster for these individuals than interpreting American Sign Language.

Real-time court reporting technology made it possible for a pro se litigant to deliver his own oral argument and respond to questions. Judges who are hard-of-hearing can also listen to proceedings on the telephone and communicate with the court through real-time technology.

There were two court cases that were appealed and retried because deaf litigants weren’t able to completely comprehend the court proceedings. During the retrials real-time court reporting was used to help the deaf litigants comprehend and take part in the trials. In some cases, individuals who are deaf like to use real-time technology instead of a sign language interpreter because they feel it doesn’t make them stand out as much from the rest of the jury members.

Real Example of Real-Time Technology

If you’re still on the fence about real-time technology, you might need an actual example to help convince you. There was one instance of where a witness made a statement that didn’t match up with information that was received from an earlier witness. The attorney on the case made a copy of the transcript and sent it to the other witness who then read the transcript before calling the attorney who had several additional questions to ask the witness.

Technology has made legal proceedings more efficient than ever. If you are looking to streamline depositions and court proceedings, then seek out court reporters who are trained and experienced in real-time reporting.


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