Article by Paul Barbaglia
How to Ensure the Quality of Court Reporter Transcripts – Law – National, State, Local
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When an organization needs transcripts for video depositions or other proceedings, they need a record that contains no errors or misrepresentations. To achieve this, most organizations hire licensed court reporters to produce court reporter transcripts. But it’s important to realize that not all court reporters are the same, and that some reporters will produce the desired results while others may not. Below, we list four areas of consideration for evaluating court reporters to ensure that you receive court reporter transcripts that meet your needs.
Despite the perception that all court reporters are the same, they specialize in different forms of court reporting, including stenographic reporting, in which a stenography machine is used; voice writing, in which the reporter speaks verbatim the words and actions of the parties to a proceeding into a special voice mask; and digital reporting, in which the reporter produces a digital sound recording of a proceeding while monitoring the recording’s sound quality and annotating it via computer. All reporters can produce written transcripts, but they can also produce unique recordings of proceedings that could prove valuable.
After training in court reporting at a business college or university and receiving state licensure, a person can practice court reporting. But some reporters pursue additional training, such as in real-time reporting, to make their services more desirable. In real-time reporting, a reporter steams a live transcript to remote locations via computer as a proceeding occurs in real time. Ideal for law firms and large companies alike, real-time reporting makes it possible to include parties in a proceeding when they can’t attend in person.
Despite the straightforward nature of court reporting, it nonetheless requires certain attributes of those who practice it, particularly a tolerance for boredom, as reporters regularly encounter dry subject matter for extended periods of time; a lack of bias, as reporters regularly encounter people whose beliefs and actions diverge from the norm; and patience, as reporters regularly record language and non-verbal responses that seem to lead nowhere. Hiring reporters with these qualities is best pursued through a court reporting service.
Freelance Vs. Reporting Services
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide whether to hire a freelance reporter or one that contracts through a court reporting service. Choosing the former can sometimes result in lower cost, while choosing the latter can give you more control over the kind of “person” you hire due to personality screening. Hiring through court reporter services also gives you the advantages of securing legal services in addition to court reporting, such as litigation support.
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