Few things can replace the value of a trained court reporter. Wielding unrivaled expertise and skill, these stenography experts are the unsung heroes of the courtroom.
However, times change; even the most stalwart of industries have found themselves being eroded away by constantly evolving technology. Court reporting, as it seems, is no exception to this trend.
Unlike other career fields, the importance of a human touch in court reporting is not easily replaced. No technological upgrade is going to supersede the human ear.
The Difference Made by Live Court Reporters
Many courts are already utilizing video recording or audio recording systems in lieu of court reporters. Unfortunately, these systems have significant drawbacks. For example, a man charged with the attempted murder of several deputies in Carter County, TN, was given a new preliminary hearing in his case because the audio in his court record was unable to be transcribed by the court reporter.
Due to these audio failures, Carter County started implementing upgrades to the system, costing northward of $14,000. This doesn’t even include the costs of redoing the case.
What could a court reporter have done to avoid this?
- Court reporters can hear cross-talk and murmurs far better than a machine.
- Skilled court reporters can caption in real time for the hearing impaired.
- Court reporters are an impartial third party who can certify that the transcript has not been tampered with or altered in any way.
- Many court reporters have special knowledge of legal, medical, and construction terminology to help decipher uncommon terms.
- Court reporters can stop proceedings if witnesses mumble or lawyers shout over one another. Recorders cannot.
Technological failures can and will keep happening. Even the most sophisticated computer is unable to understand cross-talk, murmuring, coughs, crying, mumbling, or just plain gibberish.
As technology continues to develop and improve, so will court reporters. Their adaptability makes them invaluable assets to court proceedings and the demand for skilled reporters is only increasing.
With new opportunities emerging every day, the future of the court reporting industry has never been brighter.