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South Carolina Faces Court Reporter Shortage


A court reporter shortage is hitting in numerous places.

South Carolina is the latest state to face a shortage of court reporters. Shortages have been expected for some time, but companies like the Miami court reporters at CourtScribes are harnessing technology to improve the industry overall.

In South Carolina, according to the Anderson Independent, court hearings are being delayed because the state can’t hire enough court reporters.

“It’s the beginning of a disaster for the court system in South Carolina,” Valerie McFarland, president of the South Carolina Court Reporters Association, told the newspaper. “There is a problem. In South Carolina it is broken.”

South Carolina isn’t the only place facing a court reporter shortage.

A study by Ducker Worldwide predicts a shortage of court reporters in the coming year, as professionals retire without enough replacements ready to fill their shoes.

According to Ducker Worldwide: “Increased legal activity and new opportunities will drive demand despite the steady transition of some courts to digital recording. Decreased enrollment and graduation rates for court reporters, combined with significant retirement rates, will create by 2018 a critical shortfall projected to represent nearly 5,500 court reporting positions.”

CourtScribes is among the companies using technology to not only overcome the court reporter shortage, but deliver a better experience for its clients.

Cloud computing and digital audio and video advances enable Courtscribes to offer traditional services such as courtroom stenography, along with advanced services such as courtroom videography and live streaming.

Along the way, Courtscribes is riding a wave of disruption to the centuries-old court reporting profession, writes entrepreneur and professor Barry Unger.

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 … 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.”