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As the demand for court reporters grows, technology is taking a bigger role in key legal record-keeping functions. Virginia court reporting agency CourtScribes is on the cutting edge of that technological change.

The changes in court reporting technology pioneered by CourtScribes can drive down price and increase accuracy for this key function. They also come as some anticipate a shortage of trained courtroom stenography experts.


According to Thomson Reuters:

Court Technology Conference: Seeing the New Tech Tools that Could Disrupt Courts

In many industries, disruptive technologies have created expectations for digital services everywhere and nowhere, which is the case in many tribunals. Courts face users who employ consumer and enterprise technologies and need to adopt disruptive technologies to stay relevant and provide digital services found in other government agencies and the private sector.

What are disruptive technologies? For courts, it can be any technology not used today. With almost 90 exhibits at the Court Technology Conference 2017 (CTC 2017), attendees had the opportunity to explore a wide variety of technology to disrupt any court, and possibly re-examine their long-standing technology and service providers.

CourtScribes is putting these technologies into full service. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, much of what was on display at the CTC 2017 Conference; CourtScribes is at the forefront of Virginia court reporting.

Thomson Reuters demonstrated its Drafting Assistant tools to review and draft legal documents using preformatted templates and the web-based C-Track Court Case Management system. Thomson Reuters emphasized C-Track’s ability to integrate with qualified justice partners and other systems, such as cFive Solutions, Courthouse Technologies, File & ServeXpress, Justice AV Solutions (JAVS), and nCourt, to expand court capabilities and share case information using C-Track APIs. C-Track’s core case management system (CMS) capabilities include case and calendar management, docketing, entity management, security and access-level restrictions, and a rules engine to align court functions. C-Track add-on solutions include e-filing, public access, and a document management module.


Here are 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.”

Those practices lead to higher quality at lower prices. 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 recordings provide 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.”


The courthouse, Unger writes, isn’t the first function to be disrupted by technology. But, as with some other industries such as smartphones and e-commerce, consumers will benefit.

According to Unger: “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.”