Comparing Taped and Live Court Reporting
Court reporters serving San Jose are vital for individuals who do business or practice law in the area. But some people outside those professions still do not understand why court proceedings cannot simply be taped. Unfortunately, recording what goes on in court produces transcripts that are nowhere near as accurate as those produced by trained court reporters. Continue reading to find out more about why live court reporting creates a better record, why court reporters produce cheaper transcripts, and why attorneys prefer to have a reporter physically present.
Without a court reporter in the room, audio recordings often result in ambiguous, incomplete and even incorrect transcripts of the proceedings. Frequently, attorneys, witnesses, and the judge talk on top of one another, making it impossible to detect what was said and who was speaking. Additionally, individuals in the courtroom may have similar-sounding voices, and a machine can have trouble differentiating. Ambient noise, like fans, may also make it difficult to understand an audio recording.
Some people falsely believe that audio recording courtroom proceedings are more cost-efficient than hiring court reporters. In fact, the reverse is true. With audio recording, a court must pay for the initial equipment, purchase equipment, and software upgrades, and train court staff on how to use the technology. Court reporters personally purchase and maintain all equipment and software, saving the court thousands of dollars. Additionally, court reporters are professionally trained and state-licensed on their own dime. Finally, court reporters produce and prepare transcripts, saving the court even more money.
Finally, most judges and attorneys prefer the presence of a court reporter. In addition to producing the most accurate record possible, which preserves a litigant’s right to appeal, a court reporter enables attorneys to move around the courtroom. With tape recordings, many lawyers are forced to hover near the speakers, making it impossible to speak directly to the jury. In a trial, communicating a message to the jury is vital for a lawyer. Court reporters are simply better to hear words spoken from anywhere in the room—and can ask an attorney to speak up, if necessary.