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As technological change comes to courtrooms, New York court reporting company leads way.

The digital revolution is catching on in courthouses, and court reporting is no exception, as CourtScribes shows. In fact, the New York court reporting agency is on the cutting edge of change.

Those changes encompass almost every aspect of how legal work gets done, according to Reuters. According to the news agency, changes include:

  • Virtualized and paperless courts—Virtualized legal proceedings will reduce the distance and logistics difficulties that plague present-day courtrooms. Further, the news agency argues, more records will move into cyberspace.
  • Video use will increase—Telepresence, videoconferencing and video evidence are all becoming less rare, and soon will be commonplace.
  • Democratization—Technology will increase access to the legal system.

The court reporting profession is seeing its fair share of change brought about by technology.

For New York court reporting agency CourtScribes, the digital revolution has been in full swing, for some time now. The New York court reporting agency uses the latest in innovative recording tools in the service of the oldest goal in the industry, creating exact, verbatim recordings of legal proceedings. While CourtScribes still does offer traditional courtroom stenography, it adds high tech audio, courtroom video and cloud-based services and to the mix, in a way that increases accuracy while decreasing cost.

Professor and Entrepreneur Barry Unger, in a white paper, writes that the New York court reporting agency is leading a wave of change to disrupt the centuries-old profession.

Unger writes: “CourtScribes is without a doubt 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 … 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.”

Here’s a rundown of some of CourtScribes’ services:

  • 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.”

According to Unger, court reporting agencies in New York charge as much as $10 a page for verbatim daily transcripts, while CourtScribes charges just half that. “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 a marginal cost. Attorneys not only benefit from a cheaper transcript but the video and/or audio recordings provide them with a more accurate and complete record. And that is the real bonus. 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 aspects of the digital economy, the cost-savings and higher quality the New York court reporting agency offers work to democratize the court system by making a key service more readily available.

According to Unger: “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.”