Technology Replacing Court Reporters?

Court reporting may not seem as necessary a profession with the growth of artificial intelligence like Siri
and Alexa but without court reporting crucial details from court proceedings could be lost. That is definitely not something to take lightly. Without a court reporter, the questions of counsel, witness
testimonies and details of examining evidence may not be recorded.
There has been a push towards automation in different industries and considering replacing court reporters with new technology. This is actually a bad idea. Digital recordings can still be transcribed by transcriptionists but that person may not have been in the courtroom for the proceedings. Recordings cannot replace the human touch and modern court reporters use a combination of digital recordings
and transcription tools to add notes and additional information as needed.
Accuracy is very important in a legal setting and trained court reporters can pause the proceeding if something someone said wasn’t heard clearly enough. Court reporters use their knowledge of the topic of the hearing to transcribe dialogue. They are highly trained and are used to terms used by lawyers and
judges.
An article from the Orlando Sentinel from January 2019 said, “The sad thing is, people think this is an
archaic profession, a dying profession, and it’s not. Everybody says, “Oh, aren’t you going to be replaced by technology? Can’t they just record?” You can’t compare what a court reporter does to a recording.”
So, it can’t be said enough that court reporting is critical to a conducive courtroom situation and without a dedicated court reporter things can be taken out of context and bad decisions can be made. We need court reporters so that this doesn’t happen. Imagine if a family member was being tried for a
crime…would you want them to be judged unfairly if a court reporter wasn’t present to document the evidence against them? I don’t think anyone could say they’d agree with that idea so court reporting needs to exist in the 21 st century.

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