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A recording, either audio, video or both, adds an extra layer of security and reliability to a court proceeding, providing attorneys and juries with a verbatim record of what is actually said in the courtroom.

And while technology like the state-of-the-art system offered by CourtScribes is a good thing when it comes to court recording, moving an entire court proceeding to a videoconference can have negative consequences for an immigration litigant, New York public radio station WSKG found.

Video teleconferencing isn’t allowed in criminal court hearings because the Constitution guarantees anyone who is accused of a crime the right to confront his or her accuser. But videoconferencing has been widely used in immigration courts since 1996, when Congress approved the use of the technology.

However, immigration advocates were surprised to find that it is being used not only in remote areas but also at detention centers in the city. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which runs the immigration courts, said on its website in 2009 that videoconferencing is a way for judges to save travel time and hear more cases.

But a 2015 study  by Ingrid Eagly, a law professor at UCLA found that immigrants who had all of their hearings by video were more likely to be deported.

Immigrants in detention whose cases were heard by video “were less likely to find a lawyer, they were less likely to apply for relief to remain lawfully in the United States,” she said.

Judges said advising litigants of their rights over a videoconference call can be awkward and less effective as well. Advocates said it’s also harder for an immigrant to appear sympathetic on a plasma screen.

To ensure that litigants during in-person court proceedings get a fair trial, lawyers, judges and juries depend on accuracy of the court transcript when they need to reference what someone said during a trial. Professional court reporters have the training and experience to provide an accurate record of court proceedings, but audio and video recording adds another layer of security and reliability.

CourtScribes uses the most sophisticated digital technology to provide the highest-quality transcripts of court proceedings. Because the CourtScribes system assigns primary participants to separate, discrete sound channels, it’s easy to identify who’s who when a recording is transcribed or played back so there’s no confusion.

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 although court reporters are highly professional and very well-trained, 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.

The internet-age technology used by CourtScribes 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.

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.

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.

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. While the word per-minute-capacity of a stenographer is often impressive, sometimes it is not enough.