Sunday, July 8, 2012
CALL A SPADE A SPADE
First I would like to address the title of a digital court reporter. Seriously? Who thought of this term? This goes to show you how anyone can coin a phrase and others will follow for the simple fact of not ruffling feathers or even allowing themselves to question someone else who is confident about what they speak, even if it is untrue. A court reporter, in its simplest description, is a verbatim notetaker and can produce the transcript without an audio recording. The gold standard in court reporting is the stenographic court reporter. I say this because I am one and I know that I can keep up with a speaker in excess of 225 words per minute. We use combinations which create phrases that no digital monitor can possibly use to keep up with in the verbatim sense. The digital person can take notes, but they are far from verbatim and have only one method of producing a transcript....a recording. A recording which is sent to another person to transcribe and produce. So who really is the "court reporter" in this team of typists? It's a farce to believe this term is anything but a play on words. What is even a larger tragedy is the fact that the savings in dollars is not great enough to warrant the risk that comes with the (inaudibles) that inevitably happen in these transcripts. The majority of these recordings are outsourced to other countries for transcript production. The outsourced transcribers are being paid less than stellar amounts to produce these highly important transcripts. Words are words are words. They are said every day, but when they are spoken in a legal setting, every word is of utmost importance. If you are a lawyer or a litigant, be aware of what you are paying for and make it count. I can't imagine that any attorney would want his client's answer or a judge's ruling to be (inaudible).