If you’re an attorney who requires the services of a court reporter, it’s essential that you make sure you’re hiring a well qualified and well educated court reporter who has successfully earned certification. Just as your clients most likely prefer to work with an attorney who has passed the bar exam, so might you prefer to work with a court reporter who’s currently certified. Learn why it’s in your best interest to only work with certified court reporters.
Meet Legal Expectations
As an attorney, it makes you look like more of a professional when you work with professionals. All of the work done by a certified court reporter is more likely to meet the most current legal expectations of the judicial and public system. You’ve already got enough to handle without worrying about having to decipher or alter court transcriptions you receive from a court reporter who hasn’t completed a continuing education course in years or simply doesn’t know the proper way to document court proceedings.
Advanced Technology Is Obsolete
Even though technology has advanced to where a court reporter’s job can be done by a digital recorder or voice recognition program, you have to remember that someone has to program these devices. Something else to think about with digital recorders and voice recognition programs is they’re just as fallible as humans. What if a recorder stops, pauses or malfunctions during a crucial part of the court proceedings? You won’t exactly be able to ask a witness to return and repeat his testimony verbatim. By employing the services of a certified court reporter, there’s less margin for error.
By choosing to become certified, court reporters have already proven how dedicated they are to adhering to and upholding a code of ethics. There are some attorneys who are concerned about the cost of a certified court reporter compared to a digital recorder. When it comes to this argument, you have to think of the other services a court reporter provides. Once the digital recorder or voice recognition software has recorded the testimony, who’s going to type it up and print out the transcript? Some attorneys may think they can handle the transcription on their own, but they may not be aware of the Uniform Format Manual for Court Reporters or know how to create a saleable transcript.
Know the Court Reporter You’re Working With
Now that you understand the importance of working with a certified court reporter, it’s time for you to learn how to know you’re working with a qualified court reporter. The first thing you should know is that not every state requires court reporters to earn certification. Check on the most current requirements for your state and what court reporters have to do to earn certification. This information is most likely available through your state’s court reporters association and the National Court Reporters Association.
As you’re considering court reporters, you may notice designation letters next to their names. Just what do those letters mean? Some of the most common include:
- RPR – Registered Professional Reporter
- RMR – Registered Merit Reporter
- CRR – Certified Realtime Reporter
- CCP – Certified CART Provider
The reason it’s a good idea to work with a court reporter who is a member of the National Court Reporters Association is the organization is committed to instructing court reporters on upholding a high standard of excellence, providing professional standards of competence and creating a set of ethics for court reporters.
A State Matter
Certified court reporters who are members of their state’s court reporters association demonstrate a willingness to remain up-to-date on the latest court reporting technology, professional developments across the state and the most ideal business practices. Being a member of the court reporters association also gives reporters access to continuing education courses in order that their certification remains current.
The Advantage to Court Reporters
If you’re a court reporter and have yet to attain certification, you can benefit from it just as much as attorneys can. You’re more likely to have an easier time of finding work, and you may be able to earn more for the specialized services you provide. Besides the money and the availability of work, certification provides you with variety in the types of court reporting you can perform, such as voice reporting and digital reporting.
Hiring or being a certified court reporter is beneficial to attorneys, court reporters, and the judicial system. If you’re a court reporter who has yet to earn certification, ask yourself how far your career can go with certification. If you’re an attorney who hasn’t worked with certified court reporters, try one out and see how much better and easier it is to work with them.