court transcripts
As a court reporter, it is your responsibility to type the perfect transcript when one is ordered. But sometimes there are a lot of obstacles that could prevent that. Read on for some suggestions to prevent those blockages and help you to type the perfect transcript.

How to prepare an acceptable court transcript:

  1. When you are in the courtroom recording the proceedings, and at any time even a single word is not clear, ask the judge to have the person repeat it.
  2. If the person speaking is too quiet or too loud, ask the judge to have them change their volume and to repeat what they just said.
  3. If you are not familiar with the terminology–and it happens often especially with legal and medical jargon–then ask the lawyer or agent representing that person to have them repeat that word or sentence. If possible, ask them to have the speaker spell it.
  4. If it is not possible to get the spelling during court, ask the counsel or the party afterwards. Or, call the counsel at their office and ask them for the correct spelling of the words(s). Suggest that they call the party who the speaker represented and get them to get the correct word or words for you.
  5. Telephone the person who spoke the words and read to them the sentence as you understand it and ask them what a certain name or word would have been. Do not discuss anything else with them, just your concern.
  6. If you understand the gist of the word(s), use the thesaurus on your computer to find the word.
  7. When you are typing the transcript and you cannot make out what is being said from the recording, get another reporter to listen to it, as well. Sometimes someone else hearing it for the first time can get it better than you who has listened to it repeatedly.
  8. Always edit the entire transcript against the recording before you submit it.
  9. Any words that are seemingly impossible to understand after you have exhausted every avenue to get the correct one, should be followed by a (PH) to show the reader that that word(s) is not necessarily correct and that you were unable to interpret it correctly.
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