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Duties of a Court Reporter

From circuit courts to superior court, official court reporters are needed for their transcription services in all types of settings. They may be used for depositions, hearings, civil cases and grand jury proceedings. Court reporters are absolutely crucial to court proceedings. Court reporters transcribe all dialogue spoken in court using a stenographer. The verbatim record becomes part of the official court record, which can be used as evidence in future hearings and depositions. Attorneys and other law professionals use the official record to contribute to their arguments or as a primary source in appeals. 

Court reporters have to attend a court reporting school or court reporting program and receive rigorous training in a variety of disciplines to make sure that they are fully prepared to transcribe information. From construction law to environmental law, court reporters are expected to understand terminology from across a wide range of industries and disciplines. There are many different types of certifications that court reporters can obtain to advance in their chosen concentration. 

Continue reading to find out more about what court reporters do.

Types of Court Reporting

To understand the duties of a court reporter it’s important to know the different kinds of court reporting. There are four different types of court reporting:

  1. Official court reporting: this is the most common kind of court reporting. Using a stenographer, official court reporters write all dialogue in shorthand. Later, the dialogue will be transcribed to longhand so that all can read and understand it. 
  2. Electronic reporting: this kind of court reporting is completed using a tape recorder or other recording device. Electronic reporting is typically done in addition to transcription. It is utilized as a backup record and as a way to ensure accuracy.
  3. Closed captioning: broadcast captioners or caption court reporters are hired to provide closed captions for televised legal proceedings. 
  4. Communications Access Real-time Reporting (CART): through advanced technology, court reporters transcribe court proceedings that are being broadcasted through a live feed. This allows observers who are deaf and hard-of-hearing to follow along. 

A court reporter may provide one or all of these services. Court reporters may be employed independently or through the government. A government court reporter is an employee of the jurisdiction and provides many different services. Independent court reporters, or freelance reporters, are typically hired through court reporting agencies. Independent court reporters can be hired on an as-needed or regular basis and can perform many duties. 

Official Court Reporter Transcription Duties

The title of “official court reporter” is given to the court reporter who is assigned to the case in session, regardless of certification level. Specific titles, such as Registered Professional Reporter, have to do with the level of certification that they have received. 

Typically, the duties of the official reporter is the same across the board no matter what level of certification has been awarded. The difference is that a court reporter with a higher-level certification will be paid more because they can record faster. 

Here are some of the duties that an official court reporter may complete in the courtroom and immediately afterward:

  • Be present at judicial proceedings including depositions, hearings and witness testimonies.
  • Record court dialogue using steganography or machine shorthand. 
  • Read back dialogue as requested by the judge or other court officials.
  • Transcribe the shorthand into a written transcript if they are a Certified Shorthand Reporter.
  • Have a scopist (the editor for a court reporter) read the transcript along with the audio recording to determine accuracy and edit as needed. 
  • Create the official written report that will be distributed to involved parties and correctly filed in the court. 

Court Reporter Administrative Tasks

Independent and freelance court reporters usually have to complete administrative duties related to their assignments. For example, filing an official report would be an administrative task that an independent reporter would complete. 

Government court reporters on the other hand, have many administrative tasks that they complete. Because government reporters are usually hired full-time, they may also function as administrative assistants. 

Here are some of the administrative tasks that a government-employed stenographic court reporter may complete:

  • Maintain confidentiality of official record files and court reporter transcripts.
  • Schedule appointments, hearings and other court proceedings.
  • Get approval for requested transcripts and fulfill the request.
  • Make copies of court forms and documents.
  • Receive and record trial exhibits entered as evidence. 
  • Prepares court reporting invoices sent to attorneys and others. 
  • Ensures that all equipment is in working order.  

Digital Court Reporter Duties

Digital court reporters may have the most complex job description. This is because there are many different roles that fall under the title of “digital court reporter.” These reporters are essentially in charge of providing transcription and broadcast captioning for digital information. 

This could take place through a variety of avenues. Although, a digital court reporter can only take on tasks that they are certified to do. For example, a Registered Skilled Reporter could not provide real time captioning unless they were a Certified Realtime Captioner. Here is a list of the many roles of digital court reporters at all kinds of certification levels:

  • Video conference and virtual deposition transcription.
  • Remotely share transcripts with annotating capabilities to attorneys and judges.
  • Caption live broadcasts and/or court proceedings in real time for those who are deaf and hard of hearing. 
  • Record audio and edit to enhance quality. 
  • Create legal videos.
  • Provide closed captioning services for TV shows, movies and cable networks.

Court Reporter Agency

Court reporter agencies are used by all kinds of companies and organizations. From courts to attorneys to television networks, If you are looking for court reporting services, then you need Cite Depos. Cite hires the best court reporters out there so that you will always have the most accurate transcripts ready in lightning speed. Cite Depos also offers many other services, including:

Cite Depos prides itself on providing excellent customer service, affordable pricing and quick and accurate transcripts. If you are ready to book our services go here to schedule now. 

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