Entertainment of the legal genre often depicts court reporters as sitting in the background, blindly typing away as drama unfolds in the courtroom; this is not wholly inaccurate. However, there is so much more to court reporting that we are often asked questions when an individual finds out about our occupation. Below are just a few common inquiries we tend to receive.
ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT JUST TYPES EVERYTHING?
We do type, but we also do so much more. Recording proceedings is actually our primary job; typing is only secondary. In addition, we also have to mark exhibits, confirm names/places/et cetera, get attorney orders, pay attention to content in case an attorney requests a question be played back, and numerous other tasks.
WHAT IS ALL THAT EQUIPMENT FOR?
It’s common for a court reporter to hear the question, “Are you moving in?” when people see all of our equipment; one bag for recording equipment, one bag for our laptop and documentation, maybe another for extras that don’t fit in the other two. As our primary purpose is to record, most of our equipment; i.e., microphones, mixers, computer, speakers; are for that purpose. In addition, Network Reporting prides itself on being as helpful as possible to our clients. Therefore, we also carry items such as office supplies, cameras, and snacks for those inevitable long days.
DO YOU KNOW SHORTHAND?
All court reporters know shorthand to some degree. Shorthand programs and skill vary, but we appreciate the technology as it cuts down on repetitive movements and makes transcribing a breeze.
HOW DO YOU GET PAID?
In the simplest terms, we receive compensation per hour for depositions and per page for transcripts. Specifics depend on what type of deposition it is, such as audio only versus video or medical versus no-fault.
DO YOU THINK THEY DID IT?
During a deposition, court reporters are primarily focused on creating a perfect recording so that producing the transcript is easy and efficient. Therefore, we aren’t always aware of the finer details of how a witness may have answered a question, looked when a question was asked, or anything else that may indicate guilt (or lack thereof). Court reporters are actually bound by a code of ethics, which prohibits us from passing judgment one way or another.