Court Reporters: It Takes All Kinds


Court reporters in DC are not a uniform breed. In fact, court reporting adopts many different forms. All of this really depends on a person’s level of education, and what kind of court reporting he or she is qualified to conduct. If you are interested in the law, and have questions about how legal documents and transcripts come to fruition, it would behoove you brush up on your understanding of court reporting and the individuals who carry it out. The following outlines some very basic differences between the kinds of legal transcripts produced, and by whom.

The General Duties of all Reporters

All court reporting serves to produce legally-binding and exact documentation of court proceedings. This documentation is indispensable (and invaluable) as legal cases are often revisited. When this occurs, litigators and judges alike require a verbatim account of not just the original ruling but of all the proceedings leading up to that ruling. Court reporters in DC facilitate and create these documents and understand the exactitude and precision involved in their jobs. They will transcribe all of the proceedings in short hand or via a voice operating system that they will then rewrite and format according to the particular standards of the legal profession. Moreover, these professionals work for a wide variety of legal associations including: private law firms, non for profit organizations and courts as well as government agencies.

Individual Differences

As stated, not all court reporters are cut from the same cloth. This means that they are not all focused on performing the same tasks nor are they qualified to do so. For example, there is a real distinction between what we term stenographers and voice writers. While stenographers are leveled with the task of recording—in print—what attorneys, witnesses, and judges say—voice writers are required to speak these words into a machine. Training to become a stenograph is, therefore, quite rigorous. Prospective stenographs are required to write at a quick speed: up to 225 words a minute on what is called a stenographer machine. Most candidates are unable to achieve success with this task, and many drop out of court reporting school in the process. The weightiness of writing but quickly and accurately creates a lot of pressure to say the least. Voice writers are required to repeat—verbatim—court proceedings into a machine. The rate per word is roughly the same as that of a stenographer. However, a voice writer is required to multitask in different ways than their stenograph counterpart. Both types of court reporting are vital to legal process, and have their own advantages and drawbacks.

If you would like to know more about court reporters in DC, please contact Gore Brothers. You can call 800-734-5292 or reach them online,