Court Reporters: Helping Maintain the Integrity of Courts

Posted by on Aug 13, 2016 in Legal Cases | 0 comments

In a court hearing, one important character is a court reporter, also called a court stenographer, whose duties include:

  •  transcription or recording, in perfect accuracy, of everything that transpires during a court hearing (this means  every words said and every gesture made) during the trial;
  • making an official written transcript, upon the request of the concerned individuals, of all that transpired;
    attending all legal procedures where the production of written transcripts is required;
  •  reading or playing back the whole or a segment of the proceedings, when requested by the judge; and,
  • editing transcripts for typographical errors.

After a lawsuit has been filed, but still before the court hears the case, there is legal process, called “discovery,” wherein the parties involved in the lawsuit get the opportunity to obtain information from one another. This information can prove vital to the parties’ respective cases. A court reporter’s presence is necessary during this “discovery,” process.

The deposition is one type of the discovery process. It refers to an out-of-court, yet sworn testimony, given by a person, such as a defendant in a civil lawsuit. Testimony made during a deposition may be used as evidence during the trial, specifically for the purpose of impeaching or lowering the credibility of the defendant in the eyes of the judge or jury.

Besides just preparing a written transcript of court proceedings, today’s court reporters have access to an array of the most modern media devices and equipment for faster and still improved accuracy of records that can also be made available anytime and in any part of the globe. For lawyers and/or their apprentices, this means no more searching through transcripts and exhibits that can be hundreds or thousands of pages thick.

Thousands of trials have been won not only because of great and convincing arguments from lawyers, but also because of a great team up between lawyers and court reporters. Just as clients need lawyers; courts will definitely need court reporters, partly to help maintain the integrity of court.

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