Monday, September 27, 2010

Replace court reporters with bots

The last time I was in court, there was no court reporter. The judge blamed it on budget cuts. There was no indication about when we would get the court reporters back.

This is inexcusable. We need to have records of court proceedings.

The court reporters are an anachronism anyway. The court is wired for audio recordings, with microphones for the judge, witness, and each party. The cost of digital storage is about a dollar for a month of recording. There are cheap services like VoiceBase, which will host and transcribe the recordings.

There are many more transcription errors than a real court reporter, but you would have the original audio to fix it yourself. Court reporters make errors also, and you cannot get those fixed. The court reporters are also slow, expensive, and unreliable.

I think the court reporters' union is impeding progress. Or maybe the judges don't want to give up the control, because now they can manipulate what the reporters do. But the court reporters do not make any economic sense anymore.

When we do not even get a court reporter, we should certain get an automated audio recording system. There is no excuse for leaving us with no record of the court proceedings.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree... especially since judges don't write up the orders and rely on the parties to do it. I was also told that it's due to budget cuts, and if you want a court reporter present for your hearing you can pay for one. If you request a minute order from a hearing that had no reporter, it's a summary and doesn't cover everything that was said, which is difficult. I really like the recording idea, and was hoping that that was being done, and disappointed that it wasn't.

Anonymous said...

The real reason there is no reporter may be so you cannot appeal any wacky ruling the judge makes.