The Digital Courtroom

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Photo by Luis Perez via Flickr

More than 85 percent of U.S. courtrooms have now adopted electronic recording. Far from solving the inefficiencies of the court reporter system, digital record-making is causing serious trial holdups and glitches. Some observers say it leads to miscarriages of justice.
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4 thoughts on “The Digital Courtroom

  1. Pingback: Massachusetts highlights changes in courtroom recordkeeping

  2. I found this article this morning thanks to the NCRA’s website, buried deep in the under the tab of News and Government.

    It is rich in content, a real eye opener for Court Administrators, Judges, Lawyers, especially appellate lawyers, and for everyone who is affected by delays in the production of transcripts typed up by – yes – court reporters – and PC keyboard typists, occasionally by mismanagement of those who supervise operations of digital equipment – and more dumb excuses – there are plenty of contact names in his Crime Report to whom I will be contacting – individually, addressing the issue that ASR Transcriptor will play a significant part in eliminating delays of courtroom trial transcripts and possibly reducing the cost for an original final certified transcript by at least 50%.

    For instance, instead of prisoners languishing in jail for six months more than they have to awaiting production to even start, and another 120 days to get a copy of their transcript, or an indigent mother of three kids waiting over 90 days to get her transcript on a ruling of a short hearing, what if ASR worked with outstanding DAR recorded voices of the courtroom, including side bars when lawyers and the judges finally play it smart and usher the jury into the jury room so they can speak freely in the courtroom, or they all wear HQ wireless digital mics at side bar so their whispers are at least recorded 100%, and if ASR cannot get it, for those very precious few minutes, at least a common typist can type up every word of that side bar and justice will be serve on a very timely basis and then integrate those side bars in the main transcript provided by ASR Transcriptor.

    So I am over the next few days will be drafting emails for the consumption by all the names referred to in this article and explain to them just how efficient and reliable is ASR Transcriptor today (they will see examples) providing same day working rough drafts, sync’d to TrialDirector, a service provided at a fraction of the cost that the administration of justice pays today and all those court reporters who were fired or permanently laid off, for those who always also edited their own trial notes using their CAT systems will be able to stay in the loop still editing.

    Let’s take a look at our first demo. A recent Speech by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of the California Supreme Court

    But if no court reporter wants to or no out-of-work CAT scopists want to stay employed, there are plenty of offshore companies willing to work for less.

    In that regard, let me tell you that we have found them and they are good.

    Next demo of ASR in action. Federal Court – San Francisco – Jewel vs. the NSA

    They take our RTF, rich text format output, load into Word or WordPerfect, load the HQ MP3 into ExpressScribe, and add Q. and A. and SPEAKER IDs, punctuation, swap out bloopers for the correct word or phrase, then proofread, all within 12 hours, ready for AMVSR, LLC to furnish a daily copy transcript early next morning directly into the email boxes of all those participating in that trial – and beyond – do it for 50% less, imagine some day a prisoner is also getting his copy at the same time within 12 hours of adjourning each day, or AMVSR, LLC superfast can transcript five days of a trial within 12 hours providing a working rough draft, sync’d to TrialDirector, for just $1.00 per recorded minute, enabling the parties to stipulated to only sections of the transcript that they really need for the appeal, because now they have the ability, never ever presented to them before, to see the transcript first, work out issues, and only order those parts to be finalized and certified saving their clients and each state’s yearly budget on transcription which no doubt is in the millions every year!

    Third Convincing ASR demo. United States Congress

    So read this article and know when 5G technology has finally arrived, streaming courtroom trials directly to ASR Transcriptor will be done very easily and cheaply, so realtime streaming ASR transcripts will be delivered to everyone who wants a copy of the living transcript, and the prisoners who are waiting for their transcript, or the indigent plaintiff in a civil case, will not have to wait a day longer than absolutely necessary.

    The United States Surface Transportation Board

    Fiually, for now learn from those who know.
    Federal Communications Commission Meeting July 14, 2016
    Subject 5G – Coming Soon

    Steve Hubbard
    President & CEO
    21st Century Automated Transcription
    For Courts and Depositions

  3. Unfortunately, court administrators and owners of digital recording equipment companies don’t want to tell you that certified court reporters ARE the most accurate, on time, and economic means of providing the record. And certified court reporters are too busy capturing the record and keeping up with transcript demand to rebut glossy but factually incorrect and criminally deficient marketing material. The best digital recording equipment captures sound that it hears, period — IF it is working correctly and IF someone remembers to turn it on. It doesn’t differentiate between an answer and a sneeze. It doesn’t differentiate between Attorneys A, B, C or a witness. Whether you’ve spent thousands of dollars preparing your case or walked in unprepared pro se, that recording equipment is only as good as the background noise. And no “monitor” is listening as a court reporter does to make sure every word is captured and every mumbled answer is clarified. Because, unlike that audio CD they hand you at the end of the day, a certified court reporter produces an accurate and fully-contained transcript of the proceedings in a TIMELY fashion that can and is used for appeal purposes. And that dependable certified court reporter works very hard, both during the proceedings and after everyone else goes home, to produce that accurate transcript and deserves to be paid the reasonable fees that they have been working under for decades. Not to spend it on flashy brochures to make investors happy. Just to make a decent and hardworking living at a profession they respect, support, and uphold.

    Your private conversations aren’t going to be played back in digital recording company’s offices for amusement. With a certified court reporter, you don’t have to worry about your private conversations being recorded in the first place.

    Judges and attorneys, before your court administrator begins installing expensive wiring to support hardware and software that constantly needs serviced and constantly needs upgraded and that has no means of producing a transcript, get involved. Court reporters aren’t running million-dollar companies that wine and dine court administrators so they will install their product. Don’t sell your county short by allowing hundreds of thousands of dollars to be spent on equipment that can’t give you what you need, only what you will be forced to live with. Pay attention when your local court administrator stops hiring as well as cuts the page rates of your certified court reporters. Not only are they intentionally driving court reporters away from their chosen profession, they are causing local court reporting schools to close because of the deliberate loss of jobs.

    In this day and age court administration has all the power and authority in our courts, and they don’t care whether a side bar is of record. They’re too busy planning their next conference in another vacation destination to discuss how to make their self-proclamation of “Not enough court reporters” come true. And when the trial is over, they have their own private karaoke courtroom.

  4. Amen to that, Laurie. Attorneys, litigants, defendants have a right to true, accurate, and complete transcripts certified by the reporter who took the proceeding, not someone in a backroom getting paid 50 cents a page.

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