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Poor Californians Win Right To Court Reporters

Posted on: July 16th, 2018 by Sfl Media No Comments
court reporter

The California Supreme Court has ruled everyone is entitled to a court reporter in that state.

The California Supreme Court has enshrined the right to a private court reporter in civil cases, whether they can afford one or not.

Judges on the court ruled unanimously that everyone is entitled to a verbatim record of their proceeding. The ruling is a reaction to cost-cutting in San Diego County that deprived some civil litigants of the services of a court reporter.

According to Courthouse News Service:

“By precluding an indigent litigant from obtaining the attendance of an official court reporter (to which the litigant would be entitled without payment of a fee), while at the same time preserving the right of financially able litigants to obtain an officially recognized pro tempore court reporter, the challenged court policy creates the type of restriction of meaningful access to the civil judicial process that the relevant California in forma pauperis precedents and legislative policy render impermissible,” Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote. “Accordingly, we conclude that the court policy in question is invalid as applied to plaintiff and other fee waiver recipients, and that an official court reporter, or other valid means to create an official verbatim record for purposes of appeal, must generally be made available to in forma pauperis litigants upon request.”

The ruling acknowledges the importance of a verbatim record from a qualified court reporter in such issues as appeals.

Michael Shipley, who argued the case before the California Supreme Court on behalf of Barry Jameson, a prison inmate who brought the suit, said, “I practice in state court all the time for nonindigent litigants and we’re all sensitive to the fact that the courts don’t have unlimited amounts of money. But the court was clear that the solution to that problem cannot exist to deny access to justice for poor litigants. Access to justice is a huge civil rights issue and we had 40 different organizations that either filed or joined amicus briefs because this issue was affecting in a negative way all kinds of people’s rights to petition the government for redress of their grievances.”


Technology Will Aid Court Reporters, Not Replace Them

Posted on: May 7th, 2018 by Sfl Media No Comments
Court reporting agency

Court reporting agency CourtScribes combines competence with tech prowess.

Technological disruption can spark justifiable fear for jobs in any industry. But it can also be a huge boon, as is the case for court reporters.

That’s because, despite major technological breakthroughs by companies such as court reporting agency CourtScribes, the demand for traditional courtroom stenography remains strong at the same time tech helps drive service improvements.

As Los Angeles business writer Jesse Caitland writes:

Thanks to the increase of litigation in the fields of business law, medical malpractice, probate law and other areas of practice, the sheer volume of requests for deposition experts has increased in a corresponding number as the American economy grows. This means that court reporting firms large and small, are experiencing a sort of renaissance…

While developments like automatic checkout (without the presence of a cashier) and electronic banking, have heavily negatively impacted the job force, forcing many people to look for new careers, the legal professions as diverse as expert witnesses, videographers, stenographers, marketers and others have all experienced a steady and improved series of workload increases.

No firm better exemplifies the combination of traditional services with cutting edge technology than CourtScribes.

Professor and entrepreneur Barry Unger writes: “As a cofounder 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 work flow, 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.”

Miami Court Reporters CourtScribes Helps Address Looming Shortages

Posted on: March 12th, 2018 by Sfl Media No Comments
Miami court reporters

Talent shortages are being felt nationwide, making creative solutions like those of CourtScribes’ Miami court reporters essential.

Shortages of court reporters are hitting home from Pennsylvania to Texas and Missouri—evidence that the type of creative solutions practiced by CourtScribes’ Miami court reporters are more necessary than ever.

In Texas, the number of qualified court reporters has declined 20 percent since 2005, says David Slayton of the Texas Office of Court Administration.

“We expect to see that trend continue or perhaps get even worse, and so the question becomes, what do we do? How do we back-fill those positions?” he says. “Individuals who need justice, whether that’s a criminal defendant sitting in jail, a victim who needs resolution, a protective order needs to be issued, a civil case where there’s a no contract case. No matter what it is, it becomes a real problem when there isn’t someone there to take that record.”

Other parts of the country face similar dilemmas.

In Johnson County, Kansas, near Kansas City, court reporter shortages can cause real hardships, says Johnson County District Court Judge Thomas Sutherland.

“It can be a real problem for us, particularly with criminal cases where there are speedy trial issues or even civil litigation where the parties are obviously anxious to get their cases resolved,” Sutherland says.

Ducker Worldwide predicts there will still be a strong market for courtroom stenography in the years to come. But the research firm adds that the work is changing. From Ducker’s report:

“New technologies have been developed to assist the court reporter in producing an accurate record with better equipment and better software. At the same time, competing technologies such as digital recording and even voice recognition are making headway. Increased emphasis on improving digital recording procedures and voice recognition software accuracy will occur.”

With CourtScribes and its Miami court reporters, technology is used to increase efficiency and accuracy and drive down costs, helping alleviate any shortages.

Why Miami Court Reporters CourtScribes Embraces Tech Change

Posted on: January 15th, 2018 by Sfl Media No Comments

High tech tools may someday have the prominence of the gavel, thanks to companies like the court reporters at CourtScribes.

The digital revolution is making inroads at the courthouse and companies like Miami court reporters CourtScribes are leading the way.

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

The court reporting profession is seeing its fair share of change brought about by technology. And Miami court reporters CourtScribes is in the thick of things.

At CourScribes, the digital revolution has been at full boil for some time.


Entrepreneur and professor Barry Unger, in a white paper, writes that the West Palm Beach court reporting agency is leading a wave of change to disrupt the centuries-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 … 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.”

According to Unger, court reporting agencies in Florida charge as much as $10 per page for verbatim daily transcripts, while CourtScribes charges 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 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.

Legal technology revolution expands beyond Miami court reporters to family law

Posted on: December 18th, 2017 by Sfl Media No Comments

An app could change family courts in the way Miami court reporters agency Courtscribes is changing record keeping.

While Miami court reporters agency Courtscribes uses technology to revolutionize record keeping, others are upending other aspects of legal proceedings.

One such offering is a new app that could help thousands of low income Floridians who can’t afford lawyers as they defend themselves in family court. The Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice released the app last week. The app gives access to information and documents needed for divorce, seeking a protection order and other aspects of family law.

Commissioner Gregory W. Coleman said the app is designed to help those who can’t afford a lawyers. According to the Tallahassee Democrat:

A so-called justice gap, hampering millions in civil court cases is a growing problem, according to experts. One litigant does not have a lawyer in more than three-fourths of all civil trials in the United States. Last year, nearly two million people were turned away from legal aid providers due to a lack of funds, according to the Bureau of Justice.

In announcing the app’s release, Coleman said it’s needed even after the legal profession donates more than a half-billion dollars in free aid annually.

“(And) that’s just making a small dent in the 85 percent of our citizens in family law that are self-represented,” said Coleman. “There is not enough free legal work lawyers can do and there is not enough money to help them.”

As the commissioners are using technology to democratize access to family law information, Miami court reporters Courtscribes uses cloud computing and audio and video recording to democratize record keeping.

Courtscribes’ technology allows the Miami court reporters to provide more accurate records more cost efficiently than by traditional means.

Professor and entrepreneur Barry Unger writes that 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 argued below 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 attorneys not only benefit from a less expensive transcript but the video and/or audio recording provides them with a more accurate and verifiable record.”

Trump reshapes federal judiciary

Posted on: November 20th, 2017 by Sfl Media No Comments
Donald Trump

Donald Trump is remaking the federal judiciary through conservative appellate court appointments.

President Donald Trump is making good on at least one campaign promise. He is shifting the federal judiciary sharply to the right.

The New York Times reports that, in addition to his high-profile appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Trump is stacking appellate courts with conservatives as part of a strategy at work since the beginning of his presidency.

The Times reports that Donald F. McGahn, who will soon take office as White House Counsel, met with a group of lawyers last year and filled a whiteboard with the names of young, conservative judges. Since then, Trump has been moving to appoint those judges to appellate court vacancies.

Here’s the Times:

Mr. McGahn, instructed by Mr. Trump to maximize the opportunity to reshape the judiciary, mapped out potential nominees and a strategy, according to two people familiar with the effort: Start by filling vacancies on appeals courts with multiple openings and where Democratic senators up for re-election next year in states won by Mr. Trump — like Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania — could be pressured not to block his nominees. And to speed them through confirmation, avoid clogging the Senate with too many nominees for the district courts, where legal philosophy is less crucial.

Nearly a year later, that plan is coming to fruition. Mr. Trump has already appointed eight appellate judges, the most this early in a presidency since Richard M. Nixon, and on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send a ninth appellate nominee — Mr. Trump’s deputy White House counsel, Gregory Katsas — to the floor.

Republicans are systematically filling appellate seats they held open during President Barack Obama’s final two years in office with a particularly conservative group of judges with life tenure. Democrats — who in late 2013 abolished the ability of 41 lawmakers to block such nominees with a filibuster, then quickly lost control of the Senate — have scant power to stop them.

For unmatched quality in court reporting, check out CourtScribes.

U.S. court sides with Google in Canadian censorship case

Posted on: November 6th, 2017 by Sfl Media No Comments
Google censorship

A U.S. court has sided with Google in a Canadian censorship case.

A Federal issued a temporary injunction last week against a Canadian Supreme Court ruling that would have required Google to remove links from its worldwide search results.

Judge Edward Davila’s wrote that the Canadian high court’s ruling that Google had to remove links not just in Canada but worldwide, “undermines the policy goals of Section 230 [of the US Communications Decency Act] and threatens free speech on the global internet.”

The Canadian courts had ruled that Google should remove the links after a British Columbia-based company sued the tech giant. ZDNet reports:

The ruling pertains to the case Google v. Equustek, which started with a 2011 complaint from the company Equustek Solutions. The British Columbia firm charged that a group of Equustek distributors (known as the Datalink defendants) were selling counterfeit Equustek products online.

Datalink continued to sell these goods globally, even after the court ordered it to stop, prompting Equustek to ask Google to intervene. Google initially de-indexed 345 specific webpages associated with Datalink on

Equustek then sought an injunction to stop Google from displaying any part of the Datalink websites on any of its search results worldwide. A lower court granted the injunction, and the Canadian Supreme Court upheld it. The ruling’s global implications elicited concern from freedom of speech advocates.

Google asked the U.S. District Court for Northern California to intervene, calling the Canadian court’s ruling repugnant to rights established by the First Amendment. According to ZDNet:

Now that the US District Court has intervened, Google can seek a permanent injunction and ask the Canadian court to modify its original order, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

University of Ottawa Law Professor Michael Geist, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, wrote on Friday that the US ruling “is precisely what critics of the Supreme Court ruling feared with the prospect of conflicting rulings, protracted litigation, and legal uncertainty becoming a reality.”

CourtScribes is devoted to creating the verbatim record needed in court cases.