How Legal Support Services Have Evolved in Recent Years

The stereotypical image of a court reporter usually involves someone clicking away on a typewriter as the lawyers involved in a deposition state their case. Yet, modern technological advancements have also led to improved methods in this field. These developments relate to not only how notes are collected, but also to how they are delivered. When evaluating legal support services, it is best to seek out companies that offer a wide variety of cutting-edge options. In order to understand how far these offerings have come, a look at recent history will be helpful.

Court reporting involves the individuals employed to transcribe recorded or spoken words into a written form. Acquiring a written record is necessary in trial situations where a judge needs to determine whether a previous case was handled correctly. In effect, it is a safeguard to make sure that the constitutional right to due process of law is provided. Court reporting actually contains two components: recording and transcription. Recording is the act of capturing the words as they are spoken, while transcription is the act of putting those words into a written form. As mentioned earlier, the technological advances in recent years have led to new methods of recording and transcribing the words that are spoken in legal settings.

There are several methods of recording that professionals use today, including:

Electronic Reporting

Professionals capture spoken words using sophisticated recording devices, and the individual writes down who is speaking, and monitors equipment for quality assurance.

Voice Writing

The court reporter speaks into a voice silencer, which is a microphone contained in a mask, and his or her voice is not heard by others in the room.

Interactive Real-Time Reporting

The individual will type quotes from the conversation as they are said, and they will be uploaded in real-time to a database that can be accessed by attorneys.


This professional will be in charge of operating and managing several cameras, which will record the legal proceedings. Some firms even configure the cameras for live Internet streaming.

Typically, transcription will involve listening to, or reading the notes taken in a deposition, or watching the video of the proceedings, depending on how the notes were collected. They, or an assistant, will then produce a written, notarized record. Yet technological changes have also affected the types of legal support services available for transcription, such as:

Instant Rough Draft

To expedite proceedings, some firms will be able to provide an instant rough draft, so that attorneys will be able to get to work before receiving the certified transcript.

Video/Text Synchronization

Court reporters that capture video footage of the proceedings might add closed captioning to the video, so that attorneys will be able to pick up on people and moments that are difficult to hear without rewinding the footage or consulting their notes.

The offerings detailed in this article are just some of the many ways modern legal support firms are using new technology to provide better services. To get the most out of a contracted court reporter, seek out one that works for a company that offers innovative ways of capturing and transcribing dialogue.

Source by Sarah Ballentine

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