Court Reporting

Resource Guide

The role of the court reporter is an imperative one – it is their responsibility to ensure that the court proceedings are done accurately and completely.  While the use of technology is allowing this role to evolve, all court reporting methods ultimately have one key requirement: properly trained professionals and reliable recording equipment.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.


Featured Links

Suskin, Lee and James McMilan. Making the Record: Utilizing Digital Electronic Recording. (2013). National Center for State Courts. This report addresses the governance and management structures needed to provide oversight of a digital recording program, recommended courtroom procedures and best practices, recommendations on managing the production of transcripts, and recommendations and minimum standards for digital recording systems, software, and equipment.

Task Force and Committee Reports

Digital Recording: Changing Times for Making the Record. (December 2009). Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) This COSCA white paper describes the challenges of current methods, the opportunities of digital recording methods, and the national implementation strategies and transitions tools to achieve digital recording.
Digital Audio/Visual Recording Technology (DART) Committee: Final Report and Findings. (December 2009). Iowa Supreme Court The Iowa Judicial Council appointed the Digital Audio-Video Recording Technology (DART) Committee in May 2009, and this final Committee report provides its findings and conclusions regarding (1) the reliability of the technology, (2) the accuracy of the recordings and transcripts, and (3) the costs.  See also the Appendices to this Report here.
Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Keeping the Record, Final Report. (December 2005). This Final Report presents findings and makes recommendations after its evaluation of court reporting practices in Arizona, electronic alternatives, and emerging issues relating to keeping the record.
Chief Judges Making the Record Committee Final Report. (May 2004). Wisconsin Circuit Courts A study designed to bring chief judges and court reporters into greater confidence with each other.
Reporting of the Court Record Task Force. (2004). California Judicial Council Specifically, the task force's work will promote the council's goals of broadening access to the courts; ensuring that justice is administered in a timely and efficient manner; reducing the expense of litigation through simplification and standardization of court practices; and utilizing technology to enable the courts to collect, process, analyze and share information.
Task Force on the Certification of Court Reporters. (March 2006). Supreme Court of Ohio In March 2006 Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer formed the Supreme Court Task Force on the Certification of Court Reporters. The task force is charged with developing a process by which persons serving as court reporters in Ohio's courts will meet standards to be developed by the task force. The task force members include judges, court reporters, attorneys and court administrators.
Reporting of the Record Task Force Report Final Report. (February 2005). Judicial Council of California A state-created task force designed to illuminate the current rigors of court reporting, as well as report on the future of the position, as well as technological improvements.
Committee on Court Reporting Final Report Recommendations. (May 1991). New Jersey Judiciary The committee recommended that each county should be provided with a videotaped courtroom to create the record and that all superior-court courtrooms should be equipped with sound-recording equipment as an alternative to court reporters.

General

Carver, John and Barry Mahoney. How to Conduct an Assessment of Your Court's Record-Making Operations. (June 2002). The Justice Management Institute for the National Court Reporters Association

This tool was developed by the Justice Management Institute with funding and guidance from the National Court Reporters Foundation.  Volume 1, The Self-Assessment Guide, provides an overview of record-making technology and its implications for the future, advice on preparing and conducting the self-assessment, and how to develop an action plan. Volume 2, The Resource Manual, provides materials for the self-assessment process. Also available is the Executive Summary, which helps to explain the benefits of moving forward with a systemic review of a court's record-making approach.

Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013: Court Reporters. (December 1).

The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), revised every two years by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides valuable information about the court reporter career field.  Included in the OOH are salary statistics and projected employment statistics.

Steelman, David, William Slate, and William Hewitt. Proposed Criteria and Methodology for Evaluation of Court Reporting Alternatives in the Province of Ontario. (November 1993). NCSC and Justice Research Institute. Due to budget constraints, Ontario courts were looking at alternatives to court reporters. This report offers suggested methodology to assess the operation of sound recordings (the alternative used in several pilot sites).
Rottman, David et al. Table 37-Making the Trial Record. (2006). State Court Organization 2004. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics This chart presents a 50-state overview of the different types of court-reporting methods used.
The Status of Reporter Education: Trends and Analysis. (June 2002). National Court Reporters Association Report presents an overview of the current state of court reporter education in the nation's courts.  Attention is paid to the decline in the number of reporting students, the legal community's perception of court reporting, and NCRA's student recruitment and education initiatives in an effort to establish a benchmark for further programs and to eliminate the shortage of professional reporters.

Digital Recording

Crawford, Chris. A Study of Court Reporting and Digital Recording (DR) in the California and Florida Courts. (2009).

This report studies the "question of cost savings in California courts by examining similar efforts in the Florida courts, and a side-by-side comparison of court reporting and DR in the Los Angeles Superior Court."

Lewis, Jannet. Digital Court Recording. (January 2005). Court Information Technology Officers Consortium, Technology Experience Bulletin An informative white paper on the implementation of digital recording in the courtroom. 
Squires, Chase. Courts Shift Reporting to Digital System. (April 2004). St. Petersburg Times Article explains the recent transition in the Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Court, located in Clearwater, Florida, to a digital reporting system in its local justice center, replacing the traditional system using court reporters.
Chief Justice Harrison Impressed with Digital Court Recording System. (November 2000). Supreme Court of Illinois Press Release Article explains the newly implemented digital court-recording system in the DuPage County court facilities.
Stienstra, Donna. Digital Audio Recording Technology: A Report on a Pilot Project in Twelve Federal Courts. (May 1999). Prepared for the Court Administration and Case Management Committee of the Judicial Conference Federal Judicial Center's study on the pilot project for the use of digital recording systems in federal district and bankruptcy courts.  (NCSC Library Call Number KF8725 .D55 1999)
Digital Court Reporting. Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, Florida A description of the major facets involved in a novel digital court reporting project in Florida.  This includes descriptions of the software, technology, and processes involved in the project.
Electronic/Digital and Video Recording. National Court Reporters Association The NCRA's position on dealing with electronic/digital and video recording in court systems across the country.
Steelman, David and Samuel Conti. An Evaluation of Kentucky`s Innovative Approach to Making a Videotape Record of Trial Court Proceedings. (April 1985). Northeastern Regional Office. This report addresses the efficacy of using videotape recording devices in Kentucky's courts.

Organizations

American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers.

The American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers provides education and certification for professionals engaged in digital reporting, transcribing, and associated roles. AAERT offers networking opportunities for its members and promotes public awareness about the value of digital reporting.

National Court Reporters Association. Organization that promotes and aids those who convert the spoken word of courts to text.
The United States Court Reporters Association. The United States Court Reporters Association is the national representative for the federal court reporting profession.  The Association is committed to promoting and maintaining the highest standards of verbatim reporting, quality services, professional ethics, fidelity to the ideals of the judicial system, and advocating continuing education as well as the utilization of state-of-the-art technologies.

CART

CART Providers Manual. (May 2001). National Court Reporters Association The NCRA's manual for CART providers includes information on successfully maneuvering in the courtroom with the CART program through the necessary qualities and elements of professionalism, skills, location setup, legal setting, broadcast captioning, remote cart, equipment, and compensation information.
Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) in the Courtroom: Model Guidelines. (September 2002). American Judges Foundation and the National Court Reporters Foundation Document provides information on properly implementing the CART system, including protocols concerning attorneys, jurors, witnesses, and civil parties.
NCRF/AJF Introduce Model Guidelines for CART in the Courtroom. National Court Reporters Association The Model Guidelines for CART in the Courtroom provides the definition of the CART program, explanations on how citizens can request CART services, and descriptions of the appropriate procedure for approving CART service throughout the judicial system.