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Why Machines Can’t Replace Human Court Reporters

Court reporting services have long been an essential part of legal proceedings. No matter the sharp questioning of counsel, the compelling testimony of witnesses or the detail of evidence examination, it is all for naught without someone there to record what happened. Court reporters are present at depositions, in courtroom trials and other forums to document vital information during a legal case.

Court reporting has long been the exclusive territory of highly trained individuals who listen closely to every word and intonation expressed in a legal setting. Over the past two decades, however, there has been a greater movement towards automated court reporting. Although these services are extremely valuable, they can’t do the job of a human being who understands the nuances of speech and language.

Some may argue that digital technology is more advanced than the human ear, and therefore, should replace human court reporters. In fact, in an ideal scenario, a human court reporter works with the assistance of modern technology in order to create a complete and accurate record of a legal event. The human touch is an integral requirement for an efficient transcription, and Magna is here to explain why.

Court Reporting Technology and Automation

With automation increasingly evident across industries, there have been attempts to replace court reporters with new technology. Digital recordings are often the primary record of a legal proceeding. In some cases, these recordings are later transcribed by a human being who was not present during the deposition or trial. In other scenarios, speech recognition software attempts to make a real-time transcription of the words said by witnesses and lawyers during trial.

While both of these options are useful, they often fail when it comes to reliability. Recordings may falter — that’s why the modern court reporter spends time maintaining software as well as listening to proceedings. With today’s technology, court reporters employ digital recordings and add annotations and supplementary information as required. Transcribers may not understand audio that is too low or garbled or employ English as a second language. As anyone who has spoken into their smartphone knows, speech recognition isn’t always accurate, as it relies heavily on a database of commonly used words.

In a legal setting, accuracy is essential. Trained court reporters present at the event can interrupt if an individual’s speech is inaudible. They use their knowledge of the subject matter of the hearing to accurately transcribe dialogue. Court reporters have significant schooling in legal forums and the terminology used by attorneys and judges. Because of this, they can report what’s being said during proceedings based on a human understanding, while a machine relies only on a combination of sounds.

The Human Touch to Court Reporting

Magna’s court reporting services are among the most advanced in the U.S. legal system. They combine the essential human touch with the latest technology to provide a comprehensive, accurate and insightful record of any legal proceeding. Magna’s services are available nationwide with 24-hour scheduling.

Magna offers real time reporting services, where you can depend on our trained court reporters to supplement recording technology with accurate, expedient transcription. This gives legal counsel the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses in a courtroom or deposition setting with a reliable record of previous testimony.

When translation is necessary in a legal proceeding, Magna offers highly trained language experts who understand the nuance of language. In any court scenario, the details can fundamentally change the outcome of a case. Magna’s translators not only accurately transcribe what’s being said, but translate the full meaning of the words uttered as part of witness testimony. Each of these services makes use of the latest in web technology without sacrificing the necessity of the human touch.

How Magna Combines Both

Magna is committed to the accuracy of its client services. We start with hiring and training the right people, who, in their efforts to transcribe proceedings and translate speech, produce high-quality documents for our clients. At the same time, we understand the fundamental value of technology and how it supports the work of our court reporters.

The technology that some say can replace court reporters can, in fact, only help them to create a superior product than they might otherwise accomplish on their own. In addition, technology allows us to offer clients products that did not exist some decades ago, when stenography was the only way to get a record of courtroom proceedings. Specifically, we offer e-transcripts, ASCII disks, video conferencing, condensed transcripts and interactive Internet depositions.

Conclusion

Court reporting is an ever-growing important service. Due to budgetary constraints, more and more courthouses across America are not providing in-house stenography services and counsel must arrange for this service on their own. The process of creating an accurate record of legal proceedings is complex and requires a human touch to complete correctly.

Magna’s court reporters are among the highest trained in the country today. Depending on the state, court reporters may require a state license or national certification in order to perform in the role. The National Court Reporters Association administers the Registered Professional Reporter certification, which ensures a commitment to meeting high standards of practice.

In addition to strict educational and licensing requirements according to the state where they practice, all of Magna’s court reporters uphold a standard of professionalism and dedication to quality work. Up to date on the latest technology, our court reporters work with a variety of tools to get you the information you need quickly and accurately.

To learn more, contact MagnaLS today!

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