A certified court reporter is someone who uses shorthand, voice writing equipment, or machine shorthand to transcribe the spoken word into written structure. A court reporter using a stenotype machine can record conversations in shorthand up to 225 words per minute. This is the minimum speed needed in order to certify as a court reporter. Students training to be certified court reporters will be immersed in transcription practice as many as 15 hours per week while advancing these abilities.
In finding a court reporter, there are several important attributes to insist upon.
- A court reporter who is on time is imperative. A deposition cannot begin until the person doing the court reporting is there and ready to work. Every word needs to be taken down. Even those words that are seemingly least important could make all the difference in a sentence. If the court reporter ambles in five or ten minutes late, it is suggested that they turn right around and go back home! That could be the handwriting on the wall, so to speak.
- The court reporter service chosen should send someone who dresses professionally and reads back his or her notes accurately and confidently. The person should be polite and respectful.
- In finding a court reporter, choose a service that provides live, friendly,, helpful people to answer their phones. A good court reporting company will employ people who are service oriented and anxious to assist their clients. Good customer service is key.
- The transcripts provided by the representative from the court reporting service should be timely and professional, at the very least meeting every requirement set down by the state licensing board.
- Finding a court reporter should include choosing a service that offers a guarantee of satisfaction. In addition, their reputation should be good. The professionalism of official court reporters will speak volumes. If the individual or the corporation enlisting the services of a court reporting agency wants to get the best value for the money they are paying, some homework should go into researching the prospects.
There were an estimated 21,200 employed or employable court reporters in the United States in 2012. It is calculated that before 2022 the hiring of professional court reporters will have increased by 10%. Court reporters are sometimes referred to as guardians of the record because of their impartiality to the case, and because they are required to provide verbatim transcripts of what transpired in the courtroom. These transcripts are often referred to later on when legal representatives need to go over exactly the way something was said or expressed during a trial or deposition. The transcripts are also invaluable to those planning an appeal when they need a reminder of exactly how the proceedings went, right down to every last word. Accuracy is paramount. Needless to say, finding a court reporter who is accurate and professional in every way is a very important part of the progression of a case.