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Court reporting firms from around the country have confirmed an increase in attorney requests for realtime court reporting services.

By realtime court reporting services, court reporters and court reporting firms send attorneys a feed of a

Court reporting firms

Greg Keyser, Esquire

deposition transcript as the deposition occurs.  A realtime deposition transcript is delivered online through an internet connection between the court reporter and the lawyer ordering realtime service.  The technology may be especially useful where lawyers or clients are hard of hearing, a remote lawyer or party can’t attend the deposition but wants to review testimony as it develops, a scheduled deposition may be interrupted, lawyers wish to refer to a deponent’s testimony during the same or succeeding depositions, or lawyers anticipate a need for court intervention during the deposition.

Realtime court reporting services require equipment not needed for ordinary deposition transcription.  Court reporters need to establish connections with attorneys’ computers to deliver the service, and attorneys must use computers capable of a secure feed that won’t threaten the security of client information.  Transcript translation software may also be necessary.  Court reporters and court reporting firms offering realtime court reporting services often rent necessary equipment to attorneys using the service.

Not every court reporting firm or court reporter can offer realtime court reporting services.  Besides technical equipment, delivery of an accurate and complete transcript of testimony as it occurs requires court reporters with extraordinary levels of court reporting skills, and should be attempted only by court reporters capable of the highest levels of transcription speed and accuracy.  Court reporters offering realtime court reporting services should also be conversant with technical jargon used in the particular deposition, and must be mature enough to negotiate attorney demands as they develop in deposition.

The National Court Reporters Association, the national professional association that certifies professional court reporters, awards the designation of Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) to member court reporters deemed capable of delivering realtime court reporting services.  To earn the CRR designation, court reporters must demonstrate through testing their ability to sustain a transcription speed of at least 200 words per minute with accuracy of no less than 96%.  Only court reporters who meet these lofty qualifications may use the designation of “CRR.”

Of course the use of realtime court reporting services increases the cost of a deposition.  Attorneys may expect to pay a set-up fee for the direct link to the court reporters’ computer.  And court reporting firms generally charge an increased per page rate for the immediate transcription.   But in important cases, the convenience of testimony made immediately available can be worth the investment.


by Gregory Keyser, Esq.