A deposition reporter is often misconceived as someone who simply records what is said during depositions or court hearings for the sake of legal records. In addition to recording depositions for archival purposes, a deposition reporter also plays a vital role in allowing judges and attorneys to review a deposition speech during the course of a trial and before a trial begins. Because every word of a deposition could be critical to a court case, deposition reporters have an unusual demand for clarity and accuracy placed upon their shoulders at all times. In addition to recording depositions, deposition reporters may also record the speech of legal proceedings, corporate meetings, political meetings and other events that demand a legal record of what was said during the event’s minutes. Whether employed by the court or an independent litigation services provider, deposition reporters typically use one of three recording methods: stenographic, electronic or voice writing.

Stenographic Reporting

Stenographic reporting is the most common method of court reporting. Using a stenotype machine, reporters record the speech of official proceedings by pressing multiple keys at once to record letter combinations that signify phrases, words or sounds. The stenotype symbols are then translated into text by a process known as computer-aided transcription. In court proceedings where real-time reporting is desired, the stenotype machine is connected to computers that translate and transmit speech during a live proceeding. Independent legal services providers often offer real time reporting of legal proceedings by employing real-time reporting proficient reporters.

Electronic Recording

In electronic recording, audio equipment is used to directly record the speech of court proceedings. As the proceeding is recorded, the reporter monitors the recording process, making notes that identify speakers and listening carefully to ensure that the equipment is recording the proceeding with high sound quality. Electronic reporters may use either analogue or digital recording equipment, and are often required to produce a written transcript of the proceeding at its conclusion.

Voice Writing Recording

Voice writing recording is used to record the actual words of court participants as they speak them. In order to keep up with the flow of speech, a voice writing reporter speaks into a voice silencer; a hand-held mask device that contains a small microphone and prevents the recorder’s voice from being heard by the courtroom. In addition to recording what is said by witnesses, attorneys and judges and other parties to a court proceeding, voice writing reporters also make note of histrionic gestures and noticeable emotional reactions. As with electronic reporters, voice writing reporters are generally required to produce a written transcript of a proceeding based on the voice recording. To request a certain kind of deposition reporter or to review a proceeding through a particular reporting style, judges and attorneys often consult with independent legal services providers.

Source by Sarah Ballentine

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