Court Reporting Service

When you think of a court reporting service, you think of a stenographer in the courtroom, or a deposition, quietly keying in testimony, right? While court reporters certainly work in the courtroom, it’s not unusual for a court reporter to spend more time outside of court than in. In fact, many court reporting services provide services unrelated to legal proceedings.

Generally speaking, court reporting services cater to the legal industry providing accurate, word-for-word transcripts of testimony, depositions, arbitrations, and other legal proceedings. These written accounts become part of the legal record. Court reporting services are also used by businesses, government, unions, and other groups who need accurate, verbatim records of meetings, speeches, and other government or business proceedings.

Ever watch television with closed captioning or “secondary audio programming” (SAP) enabled? Court reporters are often used to transcribe the spoken word into the onscreen text that you see when viewing television with these options enabled. Closed captioning allows deaf and hard of hearing viewers to see what’s being said – in real time. Equipped with real time court reporting equipment, a court reporter can transcribe the spoken word into real time text that appears on television screens – as the words are being said. This same technology can be used at live events, both in person as well as online.

Reporting services can also transcribe videotaped and audio records into text records. For example, if a lawyer records the initial consultation with a client, the lawyer may later want that recording transcribed. Likewise, a videotaped interview, speech, or deposition can also be transcribed after the fact. Legal, medical, and business professionals often turn to court reporting services to transcribe dictation, taped conversations, and pre-recorded events.

While transcribing court testimony, legal proceedings, legislative proceedings, and depositions makes sense in terms of documenting what was said and creating an official legal record, transcription services also make sense in terms of access to information. Modern court reporting services create electronic transcripts. Instead of searching through mountains of papers or viewing hours of videotapes to find a specific passage, a simple search using keyword phrases brings up related passages.

When combined with real time court reporting technology, the possibilities are intriguing. Imagine having onscreen captioning during a live lecture series or at a public meeting. Imagine having live text of a conference call or other event broadcast over the Internet so that everyone in your company who needs access to the proceedings has immediate access. Then, after the event, imagine being able to instantly call up relevant passages by keying in a few keywords.

Why use court reporting services for transcribing audio or video, especially if outside of the courtroom? Even if your transcription job does not require knowledge of legal terminology, using court reporting services is fast and efficient. For example, a fast typist can type 80 to 100 words per minute while a court reporter is capable of transcribing at a rate of 200 words per minute or faster!

Court reporters still have their place in courtrooms but increasingly serve the transcription needs of the legal, medical, and business industries in innovative new ways. From providing live closed captioning to transcribing live or prerecorded audio, court reporting services are evolving with technology and serving a wider clientele.