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The right to a fair trial and fair representation is a cornerstone of every courtroom. Providing clear communication through audio, video and written transcripts is an important part of that process, and one that CourtScribes provides.

In a move aimed at ensuring trials in the State of New York are conducted fairly, Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August signed into law legislation to create a commission to investigate alleged wrongdoing by prosecutors.

New York’s district attorneys say they plan to challenge the law, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Cuomo’s bill establishes the state Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, which will review and investigate complaints lodged against district attorneys and prosecutors across the state of New York. The new law makes New York the first state to have a statewide panel to handle prosecutorial conduct complaints.

Cuomo told the Democrat and Chronicle he signed the bill after leaders in the state Legislature agreed that when they returned to the Capitol, they would address constitutional issues with the bill identified by state Attorney General Barbara Underwood’s office. Underwood’s office, however, had raised six constitutional concerns with the bill.

The state’s district attorneys assert that the bill violates the separation of powers among the three branches of government and violates the state Constitution.

Advocates for the wrongfully accused argue that the commission will increase accountability.

“This first-in-the-nation commission will serve to give New Yorkers comfort that there is a system of checks and balances in the criminal justice system, and to root out any potential abuses of power to ensure that our justice system is just for all New Yorkers,” Cuomo said.

Another way to ensure that the justice system is just for all is to keep an accurate record of what exactly is said during a trial, an important resource for legal teams and litigants. CourtScribes uses the most sophisticated digital technology to provide the highest-quality transcripts of court proceedings.

The internet-age technology captures what is being said in court, then remote transcriptionists create the official record of court proceedings at a cost to attorneys that is up to 50 percent less than what they are used to paying for live court reporting.

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.

Attorneys benefit not only from a less-expensive transcript but also from having a video and/or audio recording that provides them with a more accurate and verifiable record.

CourtScribes may also provide a live feed to an attorney’s office team, allowing them to monitor the proceedings and more effectively assist the attorneys in the courtroom in real time.

Video recording ensures a comprehensive record that allows attorneys to evaluate people’s behaviors, mannerisms, and speech patterns as well as review what was said.  Court Scribes uses computer-based digital systems with enhanced features that perform recording functions with convenience, flexibility, and economy.

In fact, when the CourtScribes technology went head-to-head against a court reporter trained as a stenographer and both transcripts were compared and verified against the actual recording of the proceeding, CourtScribes had significantly fewer errors on each page.

The human ear can only hear so much in a chaotic environment when many speakers in a courtroom talk over each other at the same time. When microphones are placed in front of each speaker, every word spoken can be isolated and heard with complete clarity.

Because the CourtScribes system assigns primary participants to separate, discrete sound channels, it’s easy to identify who’s who. 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.

And the recording process captures all words exactly as they are spoken without worrying about a person being unable to understand accents or complex medical or technical terms. During the transcription process, the audio can be replayed as needed to verify any questions.

Also, during the trial, 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.

CourtScribes is working every day to ensure that court transcripts are provided in the most efficient, timely manner to help the local, state and federal justice system operate as smoothly as possible and ensure litigants their rights. It’s another tool, along with the state’s Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, for ensuring trials in the State of New York are conducted fairly.