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st_charles_community_collegeWe have reported on this over and over on this site. And it still seems like there is no end in sight of court reporter shortages in America.

So to highlight another area where this is occurring, there is a growing shortage in the St. Louis, Missouri, area courtrooms that could have judges and attorney’s delaying or even redoing court proceedings.

They need more court reporters!

The Civil Courthouse in downtown St. Louis has dozens of court cases on the docket daily.

Jennifer Dunn is an official court reporter for the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court. She has written several transcripts for big cases including former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens trial, the Johnson and Johnson case and hundreds of murder cases. She has an opinion on the situation.

“It is the responsibly of taking every word spoken in a legal proceeding down verbatim,” said Dunn.

Dunn uses a stenography machine, creating word-for-word transcripts-at least 225 words a minute. She’s been a court reporter for 25 years.

Without Dunn or other court reporters, there would be no official record of what went on in court.

“We definitely have a shortage not only locally, but nationwide,” said Dunn. “It’s the uniqueness of the profession, I think a lot of people don’t know a lot about what we do as a court reporter.”

Recently, many schools have stopped offering court-reporting programs altogether.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in the year 2016, more than 17,000 people were working as court reporters in the United States. That number dropped to 18 percent as of May 2018, to about 14,500. This is a pretty significant drop-off.

“So the record is really, really important,” said Cindy Taylor, a St. Charles County court reporter. “Especially for the people appealing. They need their transcripts. If it’s not there, it’s not there. So a reporter to be there is essential.”

The need is so dire, St. Charles Community College will offer a court reporter program in August. The program is an intense 22-month high-demand class where instructors prepare students to take the Missouri state court reporter certification test.

Nationally, many courts have tried to deal with the court reporter shortage using other methods including digital recordings, but quickly learned they didn’t give an accurate record. We have discussed the pros and cons of both in previous posts.

Taylor says the challenge comes as many current court reporters are set to retire soon and there aren’t any applicants to fill spots.

Currently, at the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court, there are three openings, with very few people applying. is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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