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How Fort Myers court reporting firm CourtScribes rolls with industry changes.

Courts are no exception to the technological changes sweeping through society.

Virtual reality could change the way lawyers present their cases. Courts increasingly weigh in on questions surrounding the Internet, cybersecurity and the use of data. Technology has also altered core courthouse operations such as court reporting and courtroom video.

That’s where Fort Myers court reporting agency CourtScribes, with its digital court reporting and courtroom video service, comes in. The company offers standard court reporting services, such as courtroom stenography, but also live-streaming and on-demand courtroom video.

CourtScribes offers both complete standard court reporting services and advanced services other court reporting companies don’t have, including live, on-demand courtroom video.

“CourtScribes is embracing technology and leading the way in a new age of court reporting. They provided me with dramatically superior service and price,” says Justin Rundle of Rundle Law in Miami.

According to a white paper by entrepreneur and professor Barry Unger, the Fort Myers court reporting agency is leading a wave of change disrupting the century-old profession.

Unger writes: “CourtScribes is changing the court reporting industry by using Internet age technology to create the official record of court proceedings, using remote transcriptionists and charging attorneys up to 50% less than what they now pay, and as … as a disruptive technology will not only improve the quality of services but also ultimately extend and even democratize the use of services that are today often restricted only to high profile or high dollar value cases.”

The Fort Myers court reporting company, Unger points out, offers its services for as much as 50 percent less than typical court stenography companies. To do that, the company has embraced innovation.

Unger writes, “CourtScribes uses professional-level recording systems and digitally based technology to create the record of legal proceedings. For decades, this has been a successful reporting method in federal, state, and local jurisdictions. Indeed, both the United States Supreme Court and the United Kingdom Supreme Court use digital reporting exclusively to capture and preserve their historic public records. CourtScribes is bringing the most sophisticated digital technology into the private marketplace to provide the highest quality transcripts. Their court reporting includes two elements: first and foremost, the electronic court reporter who oversees the process, and secondly, the sound recording process itself. CourtScribes uses computer-based digital systems that perform recording functions that have enhanced features, added convenience, flexibility, and economy. They offer high quality (courtroom videos) as well.”

Here’s how the Fort Myers court reporting company’s process works:

• An experienced court reporter oversees recording equipment and takes simultaneous notes. Digital annotations are time-linked to the recording so it’s a simple process to find and listen to actual testimony.

• Each primary participant in the proceeding is given a discreet sound channel so that each voice is distinct, eliminating confusion caused by crosstalk. “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,” Unger writes.

• Because of the quality of the recordings, court reporters are less obtrusive than in more traditional court stenography. Unger writes, “The recording process captures all words exactly as spoken — then in transcription, the audio can be replayed as needed to verify verbatim accuracy.”

• Lawyers or other interested parties can obtain copies of the digital recording as well as the transcript, and, “With digital annotations directly “hot-linked” to the audio, points of interest are located quickly and efficiently,” Unger writes.

• Notes and audio files can be delivered over the Internet. Unger writes, “Both log notes and audio files are transmitted over the Internet, reducing or eliminating shipping costs and delivery delays. Storage and archiving are efficient and compact. When the audio and log notes are saved as computer files, there are no cassettes to store, nor files of reporters’ paper notes to maintain.”

The Fort Myers court reporting agency’s methods allow it to out-compete others when it comes to price. Unger writes: “Court reporting agencies in Florida charge both parties ordering a Daily transcript as much as $10/page or about $2,500 a day or about $25,000 for a two-week trial to create official transcripts delivered the next morning. CourtScribes provides up to 50% off the Daily transcripts. The company charges $5/page or $1,250 a day or ~$12,500 for a two-week trial to create the Daily transcript for both sides (saving each side as much $12,500 on a two-week trial). Twenty of these trials a year would save as much as $250,000 for each side. CourtScribes is able to leverage its process and technology to provide live and on-demand video or audio recording to attorneys in the office at marginal cost. Attorneys not only benefit from a less expensive transcript but the video and/or audio recording provides them with a more accurate and complete record. The digital recording reveals the demeanor of a witness and whether, for instance, they were being sarcastic. In addition, the live video and/or audio feed can be watched by attorneys in the office, allowing the office team to monitor the proceedings and more effectively assist the attorneys in the courtroom.”

As with other industries, court reporting is changing thanks to technology, and as Unger points out in his white paper, CourtScribes is at the forefront of that movement.

Unger writes, “The idea of legal audio and video recording has been around for decades, but only within the last few years has the technology and pricing caught up. Likewise as a co-founder of Kurzweil Computer Products, Inc., an early artificial intelligence and digital imaging company which then became Xerox Imaging Systems, I saw first-hand the enormous positive impact of what is now called digital photography, and how this new capability has both improved the quality of photography and equally importantly opened up active photography to a much bigger audience and to new uses. Think for example how many of the countless unforeseen ways we now on a regular basis use the electronic cameras built into our phones to communicate with each other and facilitate our workflow, and even recording images like damage to our cars or receipts for expense reports or to identify items for purchase, or to make video calls around the world, and how integral video recording is becoming to law enforcement activities. This, of course, is the impact disruptive technologies can have. Looking at the already successful implementations of CourtScribes’ technology and internet-based service, I can see an analogous type of phenomenon beginning to happen in the legal industry, where court reporting and videography will become a new standard, a “no-brainer” as it were, for the legal professional, and thus extend both the amount and uses of legal reporting, and its practicality and availability to a larger part of the public the legal industry serves.”