How Important is it for your Court Reporting Company to Back Up Data?
The short answer is very. The stenographer’s main concern when attending any judicial hearing is to record a word-for-word account of the case for subsequent review. If for any reason this information becomes unavailable, the entire court case may be considered for mistrial or pertinent information may become inadmissible.
A court reporting company’s target responsibility is to ensure that their court reporters understand these keystone principles; that their transcripts are the lynchpin holding together the events of the day. If the records of the case – or, for that matter, the spoken word — for whatever reason don’t exist, due process may be brought into question. A lawyer’s case is often built on an accumulation of information; if any of this information is inaccurate or missing, full and complete representation by counsel is made that much more difficult.
The implications of data loss during litigation can be significant
For example, in a case out of Juneau, Alaska, reliance on an automated electronic recording device failed, as the recording device was not turned on during an application for a search warrant. Though there was criminal evidence linking the crime to the suspect, the entire case was in danger of being set aside.
Detective Craig Campbell had appeared before the court to petition for a search warrant of Michael Rae’s trailer. Eyewitnesses connected Rae with a stolen beer truck and brewery heist. Witnesses even saw Rae driving the truck and rolling kegs into his trailer. The warrant was granted and Rae was arrested.
Initial court proceedings could not produce records of the warrant. An inquiry confirmed that the electronic recording device had not been turned on during the proceeding; therefore, no request for a warrant actually existed.
A request for an evidentiary hearing to reconstruct the record was granted. The police officer and (now retired) judge were required to take the stand to recreate the account of the warrant request, as well as clear their names of any judicial impropriety. Because of this technicality, the court proceedings had gone from what should have been an open-and-shut case to a long, drawn-out trial.
The court stenographer’s primary concern is to make an accurate record of the proceedings. They record the daily activities of the spoken word in the courtroom so that the trial process can run more effectively. Stenography companies keep detailed accounts of all assignments handled; if these same transcripts are needed post initial production, retrieval and dissemination is quickly accomplished.
The presence of a qualified stenographer at a deposition or court proceeding, coupled with the appropriate backup of the record, should ensure a fair and impartial hearing – now and in the future.
If you need a court reporter in Philadelphia
I invite you to contact us. Brusilow+Associates has been providing litigation support services in the Philadelphia area for over 30 years. We take pride in blending customer service with the latest technology in order to help streamline our clients’ document and transcript review process.