Court reporters attend trials, administrative hearings, and depositions, record the legal proceedings, and produce verbatim documentation of the proceedings. The transcripts of court proceedings must be error-free as they form the basis of appeals in criminal cases. This explains why proofreading is a critical skill for court proceedings transcription.
Court Proceedings That Need To Be Recorded and Transcribed
According to the U.S. Courts Federal Court Reporting Program, the following legal proceedings need to be recorded and transcribed:
- All proceedings in criminal cases held in open court
- All proceedings in other cases held in open court unless the parties with the approval of the judge shall agree specifically to the contrary
- Other proceedings as a judge of the court may direct or as may be required by rule or order of court as may be requested by any party to the proceeding
It is the duty of the court reporter to produce a written transcript of court proceedings based on the order of the court or request of a party. The written transcripts must be prepared according to the court’s prescribed guidelines and delivered within the specified time schedules. The task of documenting federal court proceedings is assigned to private legal transcription services.
Proofreading Ensures Error-Free Legal Transcripts
Court reporters can rely on a legal transcription company to provide them with error-free verbatim documentation of criminal, civil and other court proceedings. One of greatest advantages of partnering with a professional service provider is that court reporters can rest assured that the transcripts will undergo a stringent quality check by editors, proofreaders and legal professional experts before they are delivered. This is crucial as most of the recordings of court proceedings will have background noise, including attorneys talking over each other. Moreover, these documents are bound to have errors if they were typed at high speed by the court reporter.
In a legal transcription company, the transcripts of court proceedings will be checked for errors and inconsistencies including:
- Grammatical and spelling errors
- Typographical mistakes which usually occur due to mispronounced/misheard words
- Missed words and phrases
- Formatting issues
ABA Journal reported on an incident in which a California employment defense lawyer was unsuccessful in using the deposition to impeach the plaintiff’s testimony at trial as the word ‘not’ had been inadvertently dropped in the transcript. The result: the testimony was the opposite of what was intended! A reliable court proceedings transcription service provider can produce transcripts that faithfully reproduce the spoken word to ensure that such mistrials do not occur.