Not all court reporters are the same, nor do they offer the same types of services. In fact, there are multiple methods that can be utilized to record information. There are also some court reporters who are more experienced in certain areas of the law. When it comes to choosing a court reporter for a criminal case, it is crucial that testimonies, details, and verbal accounts are documented with minimal to zero error. Additionally, the court reporter must understand the seriousness of discretion.
Court reporters operate in realtime scenarios and often use a stenotype machine that is connected to a computer, which then translates the phonetic codes into the transcript. Or, the court reporter may talk into a voice mask machine, which the computer then converts the spoken words into the transcript.
What Court Reporters Do
Court reporters are responsible for officially documenting a meeting, legal proceeding or other gatherings for the purposes that others can review back to this information written with strict accuracy. Court reporters that record criminal cases must be knowledgeable in how these court proceedings flow. Discretion inside and outside the courtroom is essential. A professional court reporter must never share criminal case details with the community. Other characteristics to look for when hiring a court reporter include:
- – Maintaining proper licensing and certifications on the state and federal level
- – Keeping up with current trends of court reporting and criminal legalities
- – Receiving education in terminology, specifically for legal and criminal cases
- – Being able to document rapidly and accurately, with minimal interruptions of the court to ask for something to be repeated
- – Ability to keep his or her own emotions controlled during the court trial
The Emotional Aspect of the Job
As stated above, it is imperative that a court reporter is able to keep themselves composed when having emotions. Due to the nature of criminal cases, people tend to have strong thoughts on behavior and subsequent punishments. It is unethical for a court reporter to express his or her opinion in such a way that the testimonies and other written recordings become biased. A professional court reporter can maintain a sense of neutrality throughout the entire process.
Benefits of Hiring a Court Reporter
Criminal law focuses on keeping communities safe and peaceful. If the court doesn’t provide a court reporter, it is in the best interest of an attorney or another party to hire one for the deposition phase and on. In many cases, an attorney must go back to review statements that have been said and analyze evidence. It can have a negative impact on the criminal case if such official documentation isn’t available. An attorney can use the information in the court report to develop a strategy and build a case based on what has been revealed during the trial phases. Lastly, if the attorney’s client wants to submit an appeal down the line, he or she may be denied without written recording from a court reporter of the trial.