What Is A Court Reporter?


Simply put, a court reporter is a person who takes down court proceedings or during depositions in shorthand via a writing device.

Court Reporters Working In Court

A court stenographer working in court -- aka a court reporter -- is actually an officer of the court able to swear in witnesses. The court reporter is typically a state or county official. Gettting appointed as a court reporter is governed by state statute. A court reporter or stenographer is typically appointed by the court as an official court act. This court act then becomes a matter of public record. The court reporter is also a courtroom official under the control of the court and is, thus, subject to its discretion and direction. The court reporter is not under the employment, dominion and control or jurisdiction of the lawyers in a lawsuit. The length of position or the term of office of a court reporter is also regulated by the state's statutes.

What Does An Official Court Reporter Do?

The official court reporter is required to attend court and to be present, or on call, throughout the entirety of any given trial. This availability ensures that the court and the litigant parties are able to get a complete transcription of the legal proceedings. The court reporter records what happens in court and transcribes and files the stenographic notes within the allotted time frame. The court reporter's notes must adhere with statutes and provisions that require the court reporter to take down, transcribe, prepare and sign a certificate stating that the persons present, proceedings, evidence, and charges made against the defendant(s) were completely and precisely taken down at the trial or proceeding and that the transcript is an accurate rendering therein.

Who Hires The Court Reporter

A court reporter's job is at the pleasure of the judge. Some state statutes allow for a judge who appoints a court reporter also has the providence to remove the court reporter. In some states, statutes determine the term a court reporter can hold the position; in which case a court reporter cannot be removed even at a judge's request -- even though the judge may have the jurisdiction to appoint the court reporter.

Court Reporters' Salary

The remuneration of a court reporter is in the form of an annual salary, a per diem allowance, or an allowance for work actually performed. In states where there is no statute afixing fees, a court reporter is entitled to be reasonably paid. Most state statutes mandate that a court reporter's fees -- especially for copies of transcript booklets -- are to be paid by the litigant parties.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

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