Why Digital Recorders Can’t Beat a Court Stenographer

If you’re a certified court reporter, you probably know that digital recorders have been getting some press lately. Although these digital recorders do have some appeal, at the end of the day they really can’t beat a court stenographer. We’ve gathered up all the reasons why, so read on to find out more.

There has been quite a buzz around digital recording, but does it live up to the hype? Unfortunately, there are a few reasons why this process without a person to back it up causes some concern. Here are some reasons why a court reporter may be a better idea than going with technology in the courtroom.

Human Court Reporters Are More Accurate

A human being will be able to catch their mistakes quickly. A certified stenographer has the experience needed to record everything the way it was meant to (and have been doing so for years without any problems). In addition, they’re just flat out more accurate. This is because there are many small details or softer spoken words that a machine might not pick up as it just records noise, which includes words.

However, since a court reporter’s job is to take down everything, they can clarify or speak up when they missed something– an action a digital recording machine will not be able to take. You could leave it to chance, but when accuracy is required and a transcript with mistakes could lead to the case being thrown out, it’s easy to see why a person is a better choice.

They Can Testify Off the Record

A machine can’t testify off the record, but a court reporter can. They’ll be able to testify to the accuracy of the record, something a digital recording machine just can’t do. As the reporter can distinguish between the testimony and noise in the background, they’re a reliable off the record candidate to call upon when needed.

Avoid the Mechanical Errors

Since the machines are automated, when they have a mechanical error it’s possible that it won’t be caught. This may mean a messed up transcript– not the most desirable route. When there are multiple people speaking, a machine may get confused and not be able to provide a clear record of what was said. Any breakdown in the machine will be an issue, whereas a court stenographer can be relied upon to record without error.

Better Research for Transcriptions

Court stenographers can have transcriptions accessed using software. This is not possible when a recording is being made, as you have to sort through the audio. Having a certified court reporter present allows research on what was said in other depositions and more. Being able to do quick research is invaluable for lawyers and judges alike.

There are so many reasons why a stenographer is a superior choice over the digital recording experience. Not all that glitters is gold! There are many obstacles that come along with the digital recording process. All in all, it’s better to put all your eggs in the basket of a stenographer rather than a machine. They are time-tested, accurate, and prove day-in and day-out that they are the more reliable choice. Be wary of digital recordings, and if you must go that route, have a stenographer on backup– just in case.

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