When it comes to legal proceedings, some people may be tempted to cut costs. This may lead to asking questions such as: “Should I hire a court reporter? Do I really need one?” Or, perhaps people may look to using digital recording technology and voice recognition software instead. In fact, over the last few decades, technology in the courtroom has advanced, and many court reporters have found themselves competing with this technology. However, despite these advances, there are huge limitations with this technology. Court reporters still play a vital role in the legal sector. Therefore, it is still important to hire a trained and certified court reporter.
Here are four key reasons why it is important to hire a court reporter for depositions and trials:
- Certified court reporters go through an extensive, 2- to 3-year training program. This training teaches them to type at blazing-fast speeds (over 225 words per minute), and it also involves learning legal protocol and terminology.
- Court reporters are experts at producing accurate transcripts. Digital recording technology and voice recognition software, on the other hand, have a higher margin of error when trying to translate conversations into written transcripts for many reasons. Sometimes the technology has difficulty translating speech that is spoken unclearly or too fast or the record equipment is substandard. Court reporters can mitigate this issue by asking courtroom members to repeat or clarify. Current technology cannot do this.
- Certified court reporters can provide realtime reporting services. Realtime reporting allows court reporters to instantly translate their shorthand notes into accurate, realtime transcripts. The text of these transcripts can be displayed in the courtroom on monitors or projection screens and can be transmitted to remote locations. Also, realtime reporting allows for expedited transcripts or next-day rough drafts.
- Court reporters can read back testimony during proceedings. Court reporters have been trained to quickly scan their notes and find specific sections of dialogue. This is not as simple with digital recordings.
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