Technology has, for years, been positioned by some as a threat to the traditional court reporting industry. Yet, as court reporting technology continues to evolve, the US Department of Labor projects the employment numbers for court reporters will rise.
Remote court reporting and video services became more mainstream during the coronavirus pandemic. Some predict that the legal industry will embrace these solutions moving forward while others think that some attorneys and judges will never fully commit to remote and other technologically advanced options. Ultimately, litigators are best served by the assistance of highly skilled court reporters in both in-person and remote proceedings.
Making the Most of Court Reporting Technology
Two important points are often overlooked in conversations about court reporting technology:
- Every legal case and situation is unique.
- Technology and court reporting can complement, rather than oppose, one another.
In high-stakes litigation, attorneys will often want to employ well-trained and certified court reporters to attend in person and be responsible for the accuracy of the legal record of the case. Technology can add value to those services by enabling interactive realtime reporting that allows attorneys and others to view and annotate the record as it is being produced.
In more procedural or standard matters, remote or video technologies can be perfectly substantial or even preferable, but the methods used must comply with state guidelines and meet professional standards to ensure the accuracy of the record.
So how can attorneys and courts determine the best methods for capturing the legal record in any given situation? The answer is consulting with and employing certified court reporters and legal videography specialists who have deep industry experience, embrace technology, and offer a range of services.
Court Reporting Technology Basics
When discussing court reporting and video options, it is important first to clarify what is being referenced. People think of different things when they hear the term “court reporter.” To some, it evokes an image of a courtroom stenographer, who uses a specialized keyboard to create a legal record of what is said.
In reality, more often, a court reporter is a specially trained individual who creates a record of out-of-court proceedings by a technology-supported means. Stenographers create an official record of depositions and other legal proceedings and create a transcript of the same for later use. Today, court reporter transcripts that were previously bound paper volumes can also be distributed in a digital format—with links to exhibits where appropriate—to facilitate review, search, and exhibit creation.
Legal Videography, Videoconferences, and Remote Depositions
Like interactive realtime reporting, legal videography can supplement and add value to standard court reporting services. And while in-person interactions will always be preferable or even necessary in some situations, there are also many scenarios in which videoconferencing and remote interactions are an efficient, reliable means of capturing testimony, depositions, and other records.
Legal videography and remote options are an excellent example of how some court reporting agencies are embracing technology and leveraging its capabilities for the benefit of clients and the legal system.
The Future of Court Reporting and Access to Records
Another way technology supplements the offerings of traditional and modern court reporting methods is in the conveyance of records. At the most basic level, searchable PDFs provide significant time savings by eliminating manual review of transcripts and other records. Exhibits can be incorporated into documents or hyperlinked for ease of access. Electronic transcript, document, and discovery disclosure repositories can make file and information sharing nearly instantaneous. And some electronic document options even integrate with litigation management software for additional convenience and time savings.
Court Reporting Technology Grounded in Traditional Standards
Security and reliability are critical in the systems, platforms, and methods—whether traditional or cutting-edge—used for capturing legal records. To ensure that you are meeting all applicable legal standards and laws, you need to work with traditional or court reporting and video professionals who are both tech-savvy and experienced and knowledgeable in the legal field.
Coash & Coash Court Reporting and Video offers court reporting technology that is grounded in the traditional standards of the profession, and we can help assess which strategies and practices are best for your specific use cases. Call us at 800-262-DEPO (3376) or complete our online contact form to discuss your needs.