The profession of court reporters is a unique one, with a wide range of responsibilities. In the modern courtroom, reporters are not only engaged to provide daily stenography, but also play an important role as an objective reporter. They need to be able to understand the meaning behind a testimony, as well as how to relay it to the jurors or court members. The process can be as complex as a criminal trial, in which case reporters would need to transcribe witness testimony into a format acceptable to both parties. For other cases, reporters play a more passive role, transcribing recorded testimony into text files that can later be used for reference by legal counsel or other parties involved in the case. They may also be asked to interview witnesses and produce written reports following the testimony, rather than producing spoken responses.
Today, many companies are seeking court reporting services to make their courtroom proceedings more efficient and effective. A deposition is when a witness testifies on a matter of public record, such as a deposition transcript. Transcripts are very important in court reporting, as they allow interested parties to obtain information regarding a case from an official source. For example, a party may call upon a court reporter to create a transcribed report detailing witness testimony regarding a case. Alternatively, a party may request a transcribed report from a reporter that was called upon to analyze a deposition transcript.
There are many different ways in which professional court reporters can be classified, ranging from "penetrant" reporters to "non-penetrant" reporters. Penetrant reporters are adept at transcribing from recorded sources, whereas non-penetrant reporters are not so good at this task. The classification of a reporter can be very misleading, especially if there are several levels of classification. Some of the various classifications used by courts include "penetrant" and "unpenetrant."
The court reporting profession is highly specialized and many times require certification or licensing before one can practice legally. There are many professional court reporters who work solely for themselves, although others do contract work for professional court reporting firms and then work exclusively for them. Often times, it is difficult for the layperson to distinguish between court reporting professionals and other professionals in the legal field, which is why some people prefer to simply work for a reporting firm.
Today, many online resources provide access to highly skilled court reporting services, which has made the job much easier for people considering breaking into this unique field. Many court reporters have websites with resumes and listings of their work. These websites will often include biographical information about the writer and the experience they have gained. These websites are a great way for anyone thinking of breaking into the court reporting profession to learn all they can about this exciting profession. Court reporters often work alone in the professional capacity, but some find working for a legal videographer or other professional court reporting services much more enjoyable. Many talented individuals have found that working for one of these firms provides them with a stable income and a much greater lifestyle than what they could achieve if they decided to pursue freelance writing full time.
As with every other profession, the legal videographer must maintain a high standard of professional conduct at all times. Some professionals in the court reporting profession have been known to submit false information or falsified documents in an effort to land such jobs as reporters. In order to prevent this type of activity from occurring, many court reporting firms have developed stringent quality control procedures for their writers. If you are thinking about breaking into the court reporting profession, make sure you choose one of the top firms that employ only well skilled professional court reporters.