(The original article below was published in the Milwaukee Law Journal in 2002. Following are groundbreaking changes in technology and process since the original publication.)

The introduction of computers to the court reporting industry in the mid-1970s opened the door to many new reporting products and services and is ultimately creating greater capacity for litigants. Computer-assisted transcription (CAT), the process of having a computer convert the reporter’s stenographic notes into English, was the advent of a technology that has shaped today’s world of cable information. Like all other industries, court reporters are now part of the fast-paced, technologically advanced world of iPads, the Internet, and more. [1]

Below is a brief case scenario that incorporates the many services currently available from the tech-savvy reporting firm in discovery or evidence depositions and at the hearing or trial:

A week-long series of factual witness statements begins after all parties present the exhibits. Statement transcripts are produced on full-size paper and condensed (up to 16 pages per physical page) along with digital PDF versions. [2] that have exhibits indexed and linked to each instance within the testimony for instant retrieval, and inASCII files, in the many formats available, to search through the text on the computer through case management or trial presentation software.[3] A week later, the lawyers travel to a remote location to deposit a witness. In order for the remote reporter to be able to accurately transcribe in real time (immediate live transcription of the spoken word, viewable on a computer screen), a word list containing the various unique terms of all statements was previously emailed above in the case. Several opposition lawyers chose not to attend in person, but instead chose to receive the ASCII broadcast in real time, plus video and audio via remote video conference., live on their desktops in their office via a standard internet connection, make personal annotations and chat online with the co-advisor, making objections as necessary via video conferencing.[4] A lawyer was stranded in a remote location, but still attended the deposition via her iPhone. At the conclusion of the deposition, the real-time information, essentially a draft ASCII file, is stored on the attorneys’ computers for use in preparing the next deposition (before the certified transcript occurs). The annotated version was emailed to staff or a colleague to draft a motion.[5] The video and audio were also stored online for immediate review.[6] An attorney was on a flight at the time of the statement and was watching the live text stream on an iPad via the plane’s internet connection, which he was then able to jot down on the plane in preparation for the next statement.

The entire time, reporters’ scheduling was handled by securely logging into the reporting company’s online scheduling manager, resulting in electronic and paper confirmations.[7] The attorney used a secure Internet connection to view activity reports, download and view ASCII files and exhibits., and verify the deposition schedule in the informant’s network system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There were some last minute needs for information, location of the deposition, transcripts and evidence of the previous deposition, which the attorney was able to view on his iPad / iPhone using his mobile app. An exhibit that was thought to be contained in that great banker’s box disappeared, but the smartphone app gave access to that exhibit and all the others in the case.

Now a series of three expert witness statements is scheduled, two in New York on Monday and Tuesday, and one Wednesday in Los Angeles. The first two days will occur with daily delivery and in real time, with the Los Angeles expert (witness Wednesday) receiving both days of live testimony via video / audio / text stream, plus an email of the ASCII draft at the conclusion of each day to prepare for your deposition.[8] Tuesday’s transcript requires additional delivery attention when Wednesday’s witness email was down. The reporting firm arranged with a local business to receive, print, and deliver the transcript within one hour. The trip to Los Angeles could not be made by two of the attorneys, so they received a real-time feed in their respective offices where they also watched and participated in the deposition via remote videoconference. Remote video conferencing was also used for the Los Angeles expert who needed to be deposited in his office, using a standard computer with a video camera and an Internet connection.

Videotape services were requested for the three experts with image-in-image production so that the witness and the referenced documents could be viewed simultaneously. The video was later synced to the ASCII text file, the displays were linked to the text as well., and stored on DVD, portions of which will be used in a large-screen evidence presentation for impeachment purposes.

All attorneys plan to receive a real-time transcript and daily certified copy of the transcript at trial so they have the necessary tools for witness preparation and impeachment when appropriate. Previous testimony from all witnesses and previously scanned evidential documents now reside with them in court on attorneys’ computers. If a transcript or evidence file is found to be missing, it can be retrieved immediately by connecting to the reporting company’s online access. One of the attorneys requested a portable video file that would be compatible with his trial presentation application for his iPad.

Today, at the forefront of all these technologies is real-time translation. As described above, this service has provided attorneys with great assistance in immediately tracking testimony in large case statements or trials, or any complex litigation, where the litigation team needs to keep up with events as they go along. occur (and make them available to the hearing impaired). ).[9] When compared to the costs of daily copies or daily copies, real-time is actually less expensive. You still have the costs associated with a certified final reporter transcript, but you would also do that if you had requested a rush transcript; In addition, in real time the preliminary version is already available when the day’s process concludes. More capacity, time savings and less cost – it’s worth it!

How does real time work? The real-time stenographer connects his wired or wireless computerized shorthand machine to his laptop containing software that translates the keystrokes of the shorthand machine into a global dictionary of words written by the journalist in his theory of shorthand.[10] As the journalist presses the shorthand keys, the computer quickly cross-references those strokes to the journalist’s dictionary and displays matches and “does not translate” (this is plain for which there is no match) on the screen of the computer. The same results are exported from the reporter’s computer to software (LiveNote, Summation, CaseViewNet) on the attorney’s computer to monitor, annotate, code issues, and digest.

A real-time feed is not edited and probably contains some errors. It is not suitable or permitted for citing in legal proceedings because it is not a certified transcript.

Complex technical cases require the reporter to prepare for real-time by inserting single-case terminology into their dictionaries so that they can produce a more accurate real-time feed. The more experienced and skilled the journalist, the more developed the dictionary, the more controlled the speakers will be in the forum and the better the results in real time.

Be sure to request a reporter whose real-time skills you already know, or when traveling, request a certified real-time reporter who has been tested and certified by the National Court Reporters Association. For more information on real-time reporting services and others, contact your local judicial reporting agency.

[1] It took several years for court reporters and the reporting technology industry to realize the benefits of using these new technologies. Today’s court reporter can hardly exist without them.

[2] Linked Documents (or Hyperlinks) – Creates a connection to an external document that can be instantly viewed when clicked. Now the attorney can view the transcript and view each piece of evidence as mentioned in the text.

[3] PDF documents are now the dominant and most universal file format used by computer users around the world to view text and graphics, and have become the standard for the past 10 years.

[4] Remote video conferencing is all the rage in 2012 – the ability to use video conferencing technology between portable computing devices (iPads, laptops, etc.) and standard video conferencing equipment (Polycom, Tandberg) over the Internet. Unlike Skype or Google Hangouts, reporting companies use products that are encrypted for added security and stability.

[5] The legal video and audio of the statements can be stored in the cloud for immediate review via the Internet.

[6] Products such as TextMap, Summation, and LiveNote export a document containing a lawyer work product (marks, annotations, etc.) that can be shared with team members.

[7] Tech-savvy reporting companies offer online portals to set up and track tax return schedules, download and view transcripts and exhibits, and access calendar and activity reports.

[8] Video and text streaming makes it possible to attend the deposition and view the text in real time live from anywhere with an Internet connection.

[9] The federal government’s ADA requirement that all television networks have closed captions by 2006 has resulted in a loss of our talent pool of real-time court reporters, creating a shortage. Now there is competition between reporting companies and caption companies for real-time writers. This shortage provided an incentive for the federal government to pass legislation that recently approved financial grants for reporting / caption training programs across the country. These schools now offer scholarships to encourage more students to enter these programs so that the closed captioning mandates of the ADA are met.

[10] It is now standard practice to receive a real-time signal via Bluetooth wireless, as an alternative to a wired connection.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *