Court Reporting Basics: Why Court Reporters are Essential to the Appellate Process

court reporter hands on a stenograph

Court Reporting Basics: Why Court Reporters are Essential to the Appellate Process


It does not overstate the matter to state that court reporters are the foundation of the appellate process. Indeed, without court reporters, the various courts of appeals could not function. This is true whether the court reporter works in an official capacity for the court or whether the court reporter works for a private court reporting service, like Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting, LLC. If you need court reporting services, call us here at (866) 689-1837. We accept orders via email, phone, and via telefax at (866) 870-6032.

Why are court reporters crucial to the appellate process?

The crucial function of court reporters in the appellate process is due to the fact that appeals are almost entirely based on the written record that is developed and created at the trial level. In any litigation, if a litigant is displeased with decisions made by the trial court, that litigation can file a Notice of Appeal after the trial court issues a Final Order. The case is then moved to the relevant Court of Appeals.

However, unlike a trial court, a reviewing court will not be presented with evidence like testimony. Rather, the appeals proceeding is almost entirely based on “paper” consisting of the official Record compiled by the trial court and written briefs submitted by the opposing attorneys. For an appellate court to function, everything that was heard or done orally at the trial level must be converted into a written document/transcript. That is, of course, the function of a court reporter — to accurately capture each spoken word and transcribe those words into a transcript that can be used by attorneys, the trial court, and the appellate court.

How is the record created?

As noted, court reporters can either be hired by the court or be hired by private court reporting companies. For official court reporters, their transcripts automatically become part of the record that is kept of the proceedings. When an appeal is taken, the trial court is requested to gather together all of the documents and official court records and transmit — send — them to the appellate court. Included in the official record are all pleadings and filing made by the litigants, the court’s various orders, official transcripts, and other documents. This means that transcripts created by official court reporters are included in the official record.

Further, parts of any transcripts created by private court reporters will be included in the record because they may have been included as partial exhibits to motions and briefs filed by the attorneys for the litigants. Moreover, a full transcript can become part of the official record if the transcript is filed with the trial court. Indeed, this is why many attorneys will file all deposition transcripts after a trial is finished. In this manner, everything that was heard and said and that has been transcribed by a court reporter becomes part of the official record for the appellate court. This gives the appellate court full access to all of the evidence gathered at the trial level.

From this, it can be seen why court reporters are essential to the appellate process.

Contact Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting Today

For more information, call the experienced court reporters at Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting. We follow the best practices in order to provide excellent litigation support to our customers. Contact us today to learn about our services and how we can help you.


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