Comparative Civil Procedure

Court Reporting

Imagine a country with no legal records. The lawyers don’t have a foundation to make their arguments. Judges have no precedents to guide their judgments. People’s lives are tossed left and right by a jury’s whim.

Fortunately, that’s not the case in the U.S., thanks in large part to court reporting. Court reporting is the lifeblood of the justice system. It creates records that help lawyers and judges interpret future hearings. It also prevents testimonies and evidence from being used inaccurately. Court reporting keeps the discussion factual rather than rhetorical.

The primary job of a court reporter is to record legal proceedings. Reporters transcribe everything said in hearings, depositions, and other proceedings, using shorthand or voice writing equipment. A Washington, DC court reporter must be able to transcribe 225 words per minute and must do so with impeccable accuracy.

Court reporters are essential to the legal process. When they are transcribing a deposition, they are essentially creating evidence that is used to determine whether or not a case will go to trial. If the case merits a hearing, their transcripts are used in the trial.

Court reporters are typically called upon several times, if not more, over the course of a hearing, to reference their records of what was said. This ensures that neither party skews the facts. The English language is contextual, so court reporters note the tone and emphasis of certain words and interpret what they mean. After the hearing, these records are stored.

As Albert Einstein said, “Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today’s events.” Justice requires a record. Most court reporting companies, like Capital Reporting Company for instance, believe this to be true. They provide court reporters for depositions across the United States.