FREE-Secure-24/7 Access To Your Transcripts and Exhibits

Archive for February, 2019

Digital Court Reporting Technology Can Save Courts Millions Of Dollars

Posted on: February 25th, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments

Technology in the court room, like the state-of-the-art court reporting technology used by Court Scribes, enhances the accuracy of legal transcripts and court cases.

Court reporters document millions of court cases with transcripts each year, and 14 states allow the use of audio or video recorders in place of court reporters, according to a 2015 study by the National Center for State Courts, The Marshall Project reported.

Many have made the move to reduce rising costs in their court systems.

The project reports that according to a 2009 Iowa Judicial Council study, the state could save more than $10 million a year in court reporter salaries by going to a digital recording system. Utah eliminated court reporters almost entirely in 2009, saving $1.3 million a year, according to a 2012 study conducted by the NCSC and the State Justice Institute.

The Iowa Council’s study found that at the time, speech to text dictation was “not sufficiently advanced” to handle court transcription, but since then, court reporting technology has dramatically improved although dialects and accents and conversational speech can still be challenging.

“When you talk to Alexa you are mostly using the same five sentences. Turn the light off, or order me this. Play this song,” said Gerald Friedland, an adjunct associate professor in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. “The moment you go from humans talking to computers to humans talking to humans, things get much harder.”

Audio tapes of trials are very beneficial when a written transcription is contested, or a lawyer has a particular portion that they want to hear again complete with the inflection of the speaker.

But the Project found that transcripts made from audio recordings are rarely changed. For example, in Connecticut, which uses audio recordings, only 30 of 17,000 transcripts were challenged for a perceived discrepancy between the written record and the audio recording. Of those requests, revisions ultimately only made in 13 of the cases.

Drew Findling, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said the question is not whether court reporting technology is better than human court reporters, but about whether the defendant is getting a fair trial. For example, court reporters can read back something that was said in real-time if there’s a question.

N.Y. Court Reporting Students Take Top Prizes At Competition

Posted on: February 18th, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments

Several students from Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island, New York, were recently named winners in the National Court Reporting Association Student Speed Competition held at Plaza College.

Plaza College in Forest Hills, New York the hosted the 2019 National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Student Speed Contest competition Feb. 13 as part of their court reporting and captioning week. More than 100 students who are training to be court stenographers competed in contests  to test their speed and accuracy.

“We are the guardians of the record. Our role is crucial because we record and preserve the accurate accounts of trials, depositions, grand juries and other crucial aspects of the legal system which are essential to ensuring the fair administration of justice,” Karen Santucci, Plaza College court reporting program chair and vice president of the NYS Court Reporters Association, told QNS.

“We are extremely proud of the professionals who graduate this program and go on to not only work in the courts but also perform closed captioning and provide services for the hearing impaired. Our students are well prepared for these crucially important well-paying jobs in which they can build their careers,” Santucci said.

Two hundred students are currently enrolled in the Plaza College program, which is

Several students from Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island, New York, were rnamed winners in the student speed competition.

Students transcribe using a specialized shorthand machine which interfaces with a customized laptop computer, taking dictation at various speeds as they train to join the ranks of court reporters.

Court reporters’ records are key to ensuring fair trials, often serving as the basis for appeals. Court reporting professionals are responsible for preserving the historical record of legal proceedings and serving as documentarians that ensure the exacting reliability.   

Winners of the  2019 National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Student Speed Contest include Bianna Lewis of Brooklyn; Dishawn Williams of New Jersey; Taylor Mascari of Staten Island; Letizia Yemma of Staten Island; Paula Mullen of Queens; Christina Penna of  Staten Island; Alexandra Bourekas of Queens; Emily Nicholson of Staten Island;  Rachel Salatino of Long Island; Tikiya Etchison of Staten Island;  Michelle Paluszek of New Jersey, and Maia Morgan of Bronx.

Technology Drives Changes In The Court Reporting Industry

Posted on: February 11th, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments

Things are changing in the court reporting industry, and CourtScribes offers services that will help clients keep up with the major changes driven by budget cuts, court reporter shortages and new technology.

Although some proceedings in Florida still call for the presence of a traditional stenographer, the profession is being driven by technological change. Courts can no longer afford to have a stenographer in every courtroom and at every hearing, and the shortage of qualified stenographers makes the situation even more difficult.

CourtScribes remains at the forefront of technological changes by combining video, audio, and cloud technology with traditional stenography to offer unparalleled speed and accuracy in its verbatim record keeping.

The company uses professional-level recording systems to bring the most sophisticated digital technology into the private marketplace and provide the highest-quality transcripts, using computer-based digital systems with enhanced features that perform recording functions with convenience, flexibility, and economy.

Electronic recording equipment is overseen by an experienced reporter at all times. The reporter simultaneously takes notes that are time-linked to the corresponding recording, so people involved with the case can instantly find the point in the record where they want to re-listen.

Because primary participants are assigned to separate, discrete sound channels, it’s easy to identify who’s who.

“This voice isolation feature permits a full and accurate transcription of exactly what was said — and who said it — because each channel can be listened to individually,” entrepreneur and professor Barry Unger wrote in a company white paper.

A typical four-channel system individually records the judge, witness, plaintiff’s attorney and defendant’s attorney. When two or more parties talk at the same time, digital reporting captures each voice clearly on its own separate sound channel.

The recording process captures all words exactly as they are spoken without worrying about a person being unable to understand accents or dialects — which can lead to misunderstanding the meaning of testimony — as well as complex medical or technical terms.

Any portion of a recorded proceeding can be played back over audio speakers whenever the judge or counsel requires it.  Audio also can be replayed for jurors if they wish to review actual spoken testimony during deliberations.

Counsel can also obtain copies of the actual recording with digital annotations “hot-linked” to the audio so points of interest can be located quickly and efficiently.

Another benefit is that both log notes and audio files are transmitted over the internet, reducing or eliminating shipping costs and delivery delays. Storage and archiving are efficient because audio and log notes are saved as computer files.

Storage and archiving are efficient and compact because there are cassettes to store or reporters’ paper notes to file.

Students Realize The Value Of A Two-Year Degree

Posted on: February 4th, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments

Many people are beginning to question whether a four-year college degree is worth the high cost of tuition, especially since many students now have to take out  student loans that they will be paying off for years in order to afford their schooling.

Many are returning to institutions that teach specific skills like court reporting, usually in two years. They used to be known as “business colleges.”

Forbes reported that students attending Chicago-based MacCormac pay about $25,000 a year for a two-year court reporting program, but most students get some form of financial aid, bringing their cost to $13,520 a year.

A court reporting student who gets a degree at MacCormac is likely to come out with about $30,000 in debt but will likely get a job paying at least $40,000 annually, Forbes said.

As they progress in their field, students will probably make between $50,000 and $100,000 court reporting, depending on where they work.

Other jobs such as medical records clerk, paramedic, welder or long-distance truck driver also pay good wages without a college degree.

According to the National Center for Education 19.9 million, which is higher than the enrollment of 15.3 million students in fall 2000. Total enrollment is expected to increase between fall 2018 and fall 2027 to 20.5 million.

Women are expected to account for the majority of college and university students in fall 2018, with about 11.2 million women enrolled compared with 8.7 million men. Also, more students are expected to attend full time (an estimated 12.1 million students) than part time (7.8 million students).

About 6.7 million students will attend 2-year institutions and 13.3 million will attend 4-year colleges. About 17 million students are expected to enroll in undergraduate programs.

During the 2018–19 school year, colleges and universities are expected to award 1.0 million associate‘s degrees; 1.9 million bachelor’s degrees; 780,000 master’s degrees; and 182,000 doctor’s degrees. In 2015–16, postsecondary institutions awarded 939,000 certificates below the associate‘s degree level, 1 million associate‘s degrees, 1.9 million bachelor‘s degrees, 786,000 master‘s degrees, and 178,000 doctor‘s degrees.