Stenographic Court Reporters: What is the Difference?

Stenographic annotations digital court reporter

Stenographic Court Reporters: What is the Difference?

A court reporter knows that capturing and preserving dialogue in an accurate and precise way is critical, whether the recording occurs in a courtroom, in an environment needing captioning, or during a deposition. The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is the nation’s leading organization that represents captioners, legal videographers, and court reporters. The NCRA has the important duty to raise awareness in the public eye that court reporters and captioners are the “gold standard” when it comes to producing an accurate record of verbal dialogue.

Why Accuracy Matters

Whether a courtroom hearing or an out-of-court proceeding, an accurate record of what is spoken regarding a legal matter ensures that the judge (or jury) has access to this information. Many times in legal matters, having a solid basis and understanding of what occurred prior to arriving at that particular phase in a case is critical to making a sound decision. This need for an accurate record is critical at the trial, district, and appellate levels of both criminal and civil cases.

When attorneys are preparing their case and evaluating whether to settle or go to trial, depositions and other verbal testimony memorialized in writing are crucial for this analysis. All the parties must have an accurate record of what was said. In an environment that calls for closed captioning, an accurate record of what is said is important so that all of those participating in the event have full access to the presentation and its dialogue. Captioning is particularly critical when used during emergency situations. These events and proceedings are recorded by a live stenographic reporter to accurately capture the dialogue and convert it to written text for later use or public display.

Cheaper is Not Better

There are cheaper alternatives to a live stenographer when it comes to getting a record of the spoken word. Oftentimes, however, these other methods fall short when it comes to accurately capturing and precisely preserving the record. There are significant differences between a qualified stenographic court reporter and other methods of recording events and proceedings. Specifically, a qualified stenographic court reporter must:

  • Undergo years of specialized training, which includes classes on topics such as procedures covering court proceedings, depositions, and live captioning; English language; as well as legal and medical terminology;
  • Produce concurrent records of proceedings and events, from start to finish, with multiple backup copies;
  • Abide by court rules, professional code of ethics, and laws, including maintaining control of the chain of custody of the record produced;
  • Be able to differentiate between “on the record” and “off the record” discussions and accurately transcribe the information;
  • Successfully create a speech-to-text real-time transcription of dialogue, sometimes with multiple speakers, and provide readable transcription immediately;
  • Be able to provide instant readbacks of the record, rough drafts of the transcription, as well as expedited or same-day certified transcripts of the record;
  • Obtain advanced certifications, complete continuing education credits, and remain current on the industry’s best practices, latest technology, and standards.

Contact Us Today

Alternative methods to a live stenographic reporter can come with complications. To ensure accurate and quick record transcription, contact Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting today. Our team will make sure you have the highest quality record so that you can move your case forward with confidence.


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