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Why Everything Is Recorded In Court

Why Everything Is Recorded In Court


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About This Lesson

Legal cases take time, preparation, and skill to be able to navigate. A lot of taxpayer money goes to pay for these trials, so anything that can be done to help reduce costs and make the proceedings go more efficiently is important from a tax payer perspective. One of the things that can help make court rooms more efficient is that of court reporting and recording. Let's get into the main reasons why this is the case.

Court Reporting

Everything in court is recorded so that there is a unified record that all parties related to the case can review. Recording can happen in multiple ways using a shorthand writing method, actual video and audio recordings and more. For example, court reporters Sacramento services are well known for offering several different recording methods such as video conferencing, copying and scanning court documents, as well as transcription so that the prosecution and defense can quickly look up testimony or statements. 

In order to make court reporting effective, the reporters must be highly-skilled individuals to be able to listen to court proceedings and accurately record what is happening. While court stenographers use a shorthand language to help make this simpler, having a video recording can also ensure complete accuracy as video testimony can be reviewed or replayed in court at a later day.


Not just anyone can become a court reporter. Court reporting takes skill and requires certain credentials in order to be eligible to report in court proceedings. There are two main court reporting associations in the USA. The AAERT is designed for court reporting who operates machinery, while the NCRA and NVRA requires a minimum typing speed of 225 words per minute in order to certify. AAERT requires 80 percent accuracy on transcripts, and both reporters and transcribers must pass a written and practical test. Most of the highly-skilled stenographers in the US either join the NCRA or NVRA, while anyone can join the free based AAERT.


It doesn't do anyone much good if it takes a lot of time to be able to reference court documents that reporters make. Court reporting should be diligent and meticulous to provide timely transcripts of the court proceedings so that lawyers on boths sides can review court proceedings in order to make the best decisions for their clients as the court progresses. Audio recordings can be especially powerful in court as there can be much more weight given to a statement by being able to listen to it playback, than simply reading it from a transcript. Having audio snippets, video snippets, as well as transcripts can all be used to help the prosecution or defense drive their points home and make the largest impact possible.


All recording and transcripts need to be accurate, which is why court reporters must have certain credentials to even be able to perform this duty. Having accurate information is important not only for the case at hand, but it's also important for cases that get reopened due to new evidence. Having accurate transcripts of testimony, or better yet video of testimony, can help investigators to better connect the dots in the event of a case review. Since all information stays with the case file, having court reporters who provide accurate information is a pivotal part of our country's justice system.

As you can see, having accurate court recordings in the form of audio, transcripts, or video can help the justice system work more efficiently and can help save taxpayers money. It helps to save money as it can reduce the number of court proceedings as both sides of the case will have access to the recordings to review  statements and testimony without having to make people testify several types which would be the case if things were not recorded. Having a high quality court reporter is pivotal to a defense and prosecution working a case effectively.


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