The NNRC National Court Reporters
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What Can You do for the Most Accurate Transcript?
Court reporters are talented individuals who can type around 200 words a minute, allowing them to record legal proceedings as they happen. Despite this practically inhuman speed, court reporters are still limited by their human senses and can make mistakes. Help ensure the most accurate transcript the first time by doing these easy things to help your court reporter.
Provide a List of Important Vocabulary
Court reporters are able to notate so quickly all due to their stenograph. Stenographs, unlike regular QWERTY keyboards, are laid out phonetically– so court reporters have to press a number of keys to result in one sound. As a result, correct spelling isn’t always included in the initial draft. When court reporters go back to refine the draft in order to present it to their legal team, court reporters have no idea if an unfamiliar word is spelled correctly. Eliminate that guessing game by providing your court reporter with a list of key words, phrases, and/or names that may pose a spelling error.
If your court reporter cannot understand what was said, they cannot accurately notate what was said for the record. You do not want your court reporter to interrupt the flow of legal discourse by asking for clarification. Make sure your court reporter can hear you and your witness by not mumbling, speaking too quickly, or speaking over another person.
Use Complete Words, Not Inarticulate Sounds
In everyday speech, we use colloquial sounds such as “uh-huh” and “uh-uh” to mean “yes” and “no.” In most cases, these sounds are perfectly acceptable vocal fillers, but this is not the case in the court room. Though stenographs are phonetic, they do not have keys to accurately represent these sounds, which can lead to discrepancies in the transcript. If anyone in the deposition or court room uses one of these implied sounds, please ask for clarification so everything can be accurately recorded for later use.
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