Court Reporter Job Description

A Court Reporter use verbatim methods and equipment to capture, store, retrieve, and transcribe pretrial and trial proceedings or other information. Includes stenocaptioners who operate computerized stenographic captioning equipment to provide captions of live or prerecorded broadcasts for hearing-impaired viewers.

The tasks of a Court Reporter:

  • The Court Reporter takes notes in shorthand or use a stenotype or shorthand machine that prints letters on a paper tape.
  • The Court Reporter provides transcripts of proceedings upon request of judges, lawyers, or the public.
  • The Court Reporters record verbatim proceedings of courts, legislative assemblies, committee meetings, and other proceedings, using computerized recording equipment.
  • The Court Reporters transcribe recorded proceedings in accordance with established formats.
  • The Court Reporters ask speakers to clarify inaudible statements.
  • The Court Reporter files a legible transcription of records of a court case with the court clerk’s office.
  • The Court Reporter files and stores shorthand notes of court session.
  • The Court Reporter responds to requests during court sessions to read portions of the proceedings already recorded.
  • The Court Reporter depositions and other proceedings for attorneys.
  • The Court Reporter verifies accuracy of transcripts by checking copies against original records of proceedings and accuracy of rulings by checking with judges.

Tools and Technology:

  • Notebook computers
  • Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers- Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Photocopiers- Photocopying equipment
  • Stenotype machines
  • Data base user interface and query software- Acclaim Legal Acclaim DepManage; Chase Software Solutions Court Reporting Software; Court pages;
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software- Acculaw Court Reporters Billing Scheduling Job Management System ABSMS; Reporter Works
  • Time accounting software- Equative Time Ledger
  • Voice recognition software- Courtroom Data Solutions Techlennium; Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Word processing software- Corel WordPerfect software; Microsoft Word; Thomson West Live Note; VocEdit

Court Reporters need the following knowledge to perform their job duties:

  • A Court Reporter needs knowledge of the structure and content of the English Language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • A Court Reporter knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • A Court Reporter must have knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • A Court Reporter must have knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • A Court Reporter must have knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs, assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Court Reporters skills:

  • The Court Reporter must give full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, and asking questions as appropriate.
  • The Court Reporter must have an understanding of written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • The Court Reporter must be able to manage their time and the time of others that they are working with during the process of their job.
  • The Court Reporter must be able to select the type of tools and equipment needed to do their job before they make an appearance.
  • The Court Reporter must have good communications skills being able to write effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.>

Work Activities for a Court Reporter:

  • The Court Reporter is responsible for entering, transcribing, recording, storing or maintaining information in written and electronic form.
  • The Court Reporter must be able to effectively observe, receive and otherwise obtain information from all relevant sources.
  • The Court Reporter must develop specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish their work.
  • The Court Reporter must keep up-to-date technically and apply new knowledge to their job.
  • The Court Reporter must identify information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • The Court Reporter is responsible to schedule events, programs, and activities, as well as the work for others. They provide information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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