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The Importance of Court Reporting

From lawyers to witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants, being in a court hearing or trial is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Cases involving divorce, custody, domestic violence and criminal behavior will inevitably lead into the courtroom, and because of the nature of these cases, it is imperative that accurate court documents are produced in order to ensure the safety and protection of all parties involved. Court reporters are an important part of these legal proceedings, documenting the testimony within a courtroom and recording the details of evidence, rulings and all other legal considerations.

With the continual advances made in technology, many court reporters have found themselves competing with computers and recording devices that are used to record legal accounts in a courtroom or during depositions or other court and evidence-related meetings. This poses a problem for both the court reporter and the accuracy of the transcripts. Court reporting is more than the verbatim documentation of communication within the court, but also serves as a way to reduce the confusion of the courtroom testimony. Since witnesses may be unable to speak clearly due to emotional or language concerns, a Court Reporter can easily ask for the clarification of statements made by a witness on the stand. In addition, Court Reporters can ask lawyers to repeat questions or statements made, clarifying the language used and increasing the level of understanding within the courtroom, and after the legal hearing is over.

Devices that record the courtroom dialogue are subject to technological failure and many times, this may not be discovered until well after the trial, hearing or deposition has ended. Relying on computers and other devices to record and translate spoken word into text leaves a larger margin of error than the skills of a trained court reporter, especially since these instruments are unable to translate speech that is garbled, too fast or spoken by an emotional or hostile witness.

A court reporter’s job is to provide a legal document that details the testimony within a trial, hearing or deposition that details the testimony and case presented before the court. From the actual recording of testimony to the transcription of dialogue within the court, a court reporter cannot be replaced within the legal system by any number of computers or recording devices. These professionals remain a vital instrument in the legal system today, helping to provide the necessary documentation that forever defines the courtroom experience for witnesses, lawyers and all other concerned parties.

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