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Uses of Court Reporter Services

Most people have seen a court reporter in action, typing on a weird-looking contraption on one side of the courtroom while a trial is ongoing. The contraption is called a stenotype, and it allows court reporters (also called stenographers) to take down everything that is being said during the proceeding but in shorthand. From the typescript, a transcription in clear language can be made for the court records.

But producing court transcripts is only one of the functions of a court reporter. The main function of a court reporter is to transcribe the spoken word either in real-time or from a recording. In their legal capacity, court reporters provide the back-office support to both prosecutors and defense lawyers to substantiate their theories of the case. Before a case even gets to trial, court reporter services are required to provide documentation of hearings, depositions from witnesses, and other formal proceedings which have to be in official transcript form. These may be used, for example, by a prosecutor in Minnesota to support an indictment for a case under criminal law, or by a Wisconsin criminal lawyer to strengthen the defense. Such services may also be required for civil cases, such as personal injury claims. Court reporting has value regardless of what kind of law an attorney practices.

The skills of a court reporter can be parlayed into uses outside legal proceedings. Transcriptions are useful as they provide a written record of public events, webcasts, and religious or educational services for easy access. As result, court reporters are in great demand with private enterprises, government agencies and trade associations to document their public activities. Television stations and trade associations also find court reporters useful in providing real-time captions for the hearing impaired for their shows.

Court reporters make a good living even in depressed times precisely because the work they do have many legal and business applications. However, not all court reporters are created equal. Just like in any industry, there are degrees of competence, and it is important to choose a firm offering court reporter services using reporters certified by a nationally-recognized professional association for court reporters.