Some people are not aware of the crucial role that a court reporter plays in the litigation process. The image of a court reporter sitting quietly while testimonies are given often comes to mind for most people. Although court reporters are known as official keepers of the record, legal professionals and lawyers need to know that court reporting entails much more than this task.
A few key points regarding court reporters include the following:
- Court reporters have varying resources.
- Court reporters have different sets of skills.
- A court reporter’s knowledge of technology and skills can affect the outcome of a case.
Different Court Reporters
There are two main classifications of court reporters.
- Official court reporters typically work for the courts and judges. There was a time when this was the only reporter.
- In modern times there has been a growing demand for officers of the court to offer court reporting services that are not restricted to the courtroom. This need led to the emergence of independent court reporters. Both official and independent court reporters are officers of the court.
- Official reporters were traditionally regarded as government employees that worked for the court system.
- Many jurisdictions currently depend on independent court reporting services that supply court reporters to the courts on a contractual basis. These jurisdictions have discovered that they are able to cut down on expenses in this manner.
Independent Court Reporters
The primary categories of independent reporters include individual reporters that work as sole practitioners. A sole practitioner mainly works for a specified number of clients. This category of court reporters is also commonly found in remote areas. The other independent court reporter category consists of reporters who are linked to court reporting services as employees of firms or independent contractors.
Court Reporting Methods
More than one can method can be utilized in court reporting. When people think about court reporting they usually consider the stenographic method. In the early history of reporting, stenographers were typically pen writers. This method is still practiced in some regions.
- The other method involves the reporter wearing am ask while repeating what they hear to themselves, identifying speakers and using recordings on audiotapes for transcriptions.
- Tape recorders are found in some jurisdictions. In this case, a person tapes the proceedings with the aim of properly interpreting and transcribing the tape later.
- Reporters and court reporting firms do not have or sue the same resources. Variances in resources are influenced by factors such as the number of reporters in the area, experience levels, skill sets and investment in technology.
- Court reporters are required to obtain required education as well as develop pertinent skill in order for them to succeed in the field.
- Court reporters are professionals that are expected to have a varied understanding of terminologies, grammar and language. They should understand the technical conversations of different professionals such as engineers, lawyers and doctors while accommodating language variations.
- The reporter is also required to have knowledge of technology and comprehend its application and impact within litigation in reference to recording, archiving and retrieving the record.