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The Future of Court Reporting in Philadelphia and the Country

The Future of Court Reporting in Philadelphia and the Country

Curious to see how technology will change court reporting in the future? Look no further than the McGlothlin Courtroom at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. The courtroom, a core part of the Center for Legal and Court Technology, has been called the most technologically advanced trial and appellate courtroom in the country. 

Technology for court reporters

The nation's most technologically advanced courtroom (source)

The nation’s most technologically advanced courtroom (source)

School officials are interested in how these advances in technology will affect the court reporting industry. Last year, the court simulated a hearing where the court reporter recorded the proceedings from her home 25 miles away.

From a report in the Daily Press:

“The demonstration presented a revolutionary work flow for today’s digital court and court reporter,” the center said in a press release at the time. “The stenographer could slow down audio in fast passages of conversation, and speed up when the participants paused.”

More recently, the courtroom hosted a simulated case that included a number of new technologies, including:

  • videoconferencing
  • remote testimony from experts, and
  • real time multi-media court records.

These technological advances would have an immediate impact on court reporting, as current changes in technology have already changed the job.

The courtrooms of science fiction

A courtroom in Canada has proposed using holographic technology to recreate crime scenes (source)

A courtroom in Canada has proposed using holographic technology to recreate crime scenes (source)

But the speculative advances at the University of Montreal’s Cyber Justice Laboratory, Canada’s equivalent to the McGlothlin Courtroom, are straight out of a science fiction story.

In addition to an e-filing system and video conferencing capabilities, the courtroom is also looking to add virtual reality and holographic technology to recreate crime scenes and facial analysis software to study witness credibility.

Finding local technology

Sure, a holographic crime scene is unlikely to show up in your local courthouse anytime soon. These leaps forward in technology are expensive. During the 2009 renovation of the McGlothlin Courtroom, companies donated $1.8 million for new technology.

Yet courtrooms across the country are getting significant technological upgrades all the time. Another project under the Center for Legal and Court Technology banner is the Courtroom Information Project. This initiative aims to create a complete and accurate list of the resources and technologies available at every courtroom in the nation.

Videoconferencing is one technology likely to have a large impact on court reporters (source)

Videoconferencing is one technology likely to have a large impact on court reporters (source)

Regardless of how advances in technology change our nation’s courtrooms, the skills of a good court reporter will always be in demand. A significant part of a court reporter’s job is verifying the accuracy of transcripts and other official documents. These technologies may help speed up the recording and gathering of these official documents, but a trusted, reliable human being will still be needed to go over the final version and ensure its accuracy.

Looking for a reliable court reporter?

If you are looking for a court reporting agency that is the right fit for your needs, I invite you to contact us. Philly Court Reporters.com has been serving attorneys and law firms in Philadelphia for multiple decades. Come see the difference that we make for our clients.

 

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