June 8, 2020

Digital Recordings vs. Court Reporting: Which is Better for You

By: Colleen Jilio-Ryan | Posted in: court reporting

Digital Recordings vs. Court Reporting

With today’s advanced technology, many attorneys and legal establishments are opting to record the majority of their cases and hearings digitally. Even some professional court reporters are beginning to use digital recordings. While this option is cheaper in terms of man-hours, it can be incredibly costly when it comes to accuracy.

Digital Recordings

Digital recordings provide an accurate account of everything said during the course of an interview, interrogation, or testimony. Video recordings can capture facial expressions, gestures, and other visual elements that a voice recorder does not.

When digital recordings are used, equipment must be properly maintained so that it continues to function properly at all times. It is also important that the equipment is monitored throughout its operation to prevent any glitches or malfunctions that could cost you valuable information.

What Is Court Reporting?

Court reporting involves capturing everyone’s words during a court or deposition proceeding. The court reporters prepare verbatim transcripts of the proceeding, which is an official record that safeguards the legal process. Court reporting is a real-time and proven method that provides voice-to-text translation, allows attorneys and judges to have quick access to the transcript, and helps deaf and hard-of-hearing people to participate in the judicial process.

Risks Associated with Digital Reporting

Although digital reporting is a reasonable method of producing an official record, the process has many flaws that can leave legal professionals susceptible to a variety of risks. Some of the risks associated with digital reporting include:

  • May produce an inaccurate transcript
  • Malfunctioning equipment
  • Poor audio quality due to background noises
  • Human errors, such as forgetting to press the record button, accidental deletes, or a device runs out of batteries.

Apart from this, lack of legal knowledge and a variety of other factors can affect the integrity of the digital record.

Advantages of Having a Court Reporter

Here are some advantages of having a professional court reporter to transcribe a hearing or other legal meetings.

  1. A court reporter ensures accuracy throughout the meetings or interviews and allows for mistakes or malfunctions in equipment to be corrected as they happen.
  2. No information will be lost and lapses in recording time will occur.
  3. A court reporter transcribing the work will ensure that everything will be captured.
  4. The spoken word, inflection, or tone, and any visual cues will be recorded as they occur and will be placed in the notes, creating an accurate and complete record of the legal session.

Digital Recordings vs. Court Reporting

Digital recording is an excellent option if there is no way for a court reporter to be present. When a court reporter is available, they make all the difference between an accurate recording and one that is not only accurate but also complete and concise.

Why You Should Hire a Court Reporter

When you hire a professional court reporter, you are ensuring that you will receive a court reporting of the highest standard. Court reporters have training and years of experience as well as an understanding of the legal system, which is important for properly reporting courtroom proceedings. This kind of advantage does not come with a digital recording. While it is cheaper to hire a digital reporter, when it comes to a multi-million-dollar settlement or a serious verdict in a criminal trial, cost-cutting may not be a wise choice. Digital records also cannot produce an instant or complete transcription, whereas court reporters can produce real-time transcripts.

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We now are offering the remote deposition service complimentary!

Remote depositions will allow everyone attending the deposition to appear via phone, smartphone, video conferencing unit, desktop or laptop computer.

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If you would like to take advantage of this service, please e-mail depos@jilioryan.com.

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