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Criminal Defense Lawyer

A court reporter is responsible for recording legal proceedings, including depositions, hearings, meetings, trials, conferences and more. These professionals are able to document events word-for-word, in addition to providing services to those who are hearing-impaired. While most of us have seen a court reporter in a scene either on a television show, movie or real world legal setting, we may not understand the true extent to what these people can do. Here we have answered a series of questions so others can better understand the important role court reporters have in various situations, whether as legal support or assisting those with hearing challenges:

Q: What are the job duties of a court reporter?

A: Court reporters may also be referred to as “stenographers”, who are responsible for documenting exactly what is said through syllabic shorthand using voice recording and a stenographer machine. These machines permit the court reporter to type what they hear using a unique keyboard for transcription. Voice writing translates verbal shorthands into language text through a computer software. Many skilled court reporters are able to work at a speed of around 225 words per minute.

Q: What is the role of a court reporter in the courtroom?

A: A court reporter not only must have rapid documenting and transcribing skills to be successful, but also an ability to communicate and hear the spoken words of others effectively. Judges and lawyers for legal proceedings rely heavily on court reporters as a way to verify testimonies. A court reporter may record proceedings such as pre-trial depositions, arbitration sessions, and witness statements.

Q: What do court reporters do for broadcast closed captioning?

A: Court reporters do not only work in legal settings, as they may also offer services to audiences that are deaf or hard of hearing. When court reporters work for closed captioning, they are providing real-time messages for live entertainment, political speeches, sports games, conferences, emergency warnings, and conventions.

Q: What is CART reporting?

A: CART stands for Communication Access Real-Time Translation, and is when spoken word is immediately translated to written text. Court reporters may work in smaller groups or individual settings for those who have trouble hearing. A court reporter may do captioning for a presentation, transcribe lectures for deaf students, or record church sessions for hearing-impaired members.

Q: What qualities should a lawyer look for when hiring a court reporter?

A: A lawyer or other legal professional may need to hire a court reporter for corporate court reporting services or a legal meeting or proceeding. The qualities a lawyer may want to look for when meeting potential candidates, is a strong work ethic, positive attitude, ability to communicate eloquently, and technologically savvy. A court reporter that is not cooperative or doesn’t seem to have great people skills, may end up being more frustrating than helpful. Perhaps the most important quality is the court reporters ability to keep up with how quickly the meeting or event may flow. Being skilled in rapid recording and translation is crucial to the accuracy of the official document.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at Veritext Legal Solutions for their insight into court reporting and what a court reporter does.