Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a court reporter? These legal professionals are tasked with the responsibility of typing out everything that is said by the lawyers, judge, and witnesses during a trial.
They sit up at the front of the courtroom where they can clearly hear everything that is happening. As words are spoken, they type them into a special shorthand machine known as a stenotype. Without this device, it would be impossible for them to type fast enough to keep up with what was being said. After all, people can talk much more quickly than anyone is capable of typing.
A court reporter’s duties don’t end there, however. They also have to be ready to read back portions of the transcript on request during the trial. For instance, one of the lawyers may ask them to go back to a certain time in the testimony to read what a particular witness said. This can help them point out contradictions or highlight specific parts of the testimony that they want the judge or jury to pay particular attention to.
Court reporters also are in charge of editing the transcript to remove any errors. That way, a clean copy that is free from typos can be delivered to the judge or jury. They can then use the transcript if they need to refer to it during deliberations. For instance, if they can’t quite remember exactly what a witness said, they can look it up in the transcript. This can be essential for helping them to render a fair and just verdict in the case.
Another duty that court reporters are tasked with is filing a copy of the transcript with the court. The transcript then becomes a part of the official record for the case and is appropriately cataloged according to whatever system the court has in place.
Hopefully, this introduction to court reporting gives you a better idea of exactly what a court reporter does. Accuracy is essential for court reporters. After all, the outcome of the case often relies on the jury being able to check the record to see what a particular witness said. That is why it is so important for court reporters to ensure that the transcripts they create are completely free from errors and that they accurately represent every single word that was said in the courtroom during the trial.