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Will The Upcoming Shortage of Court Reporters Slow Your Case Down?

Will The Upcoming Shortage of Court Reporters Slow Your Case Down?

The old saying about too many cooks in the kitchen can be applied to almost any activity that involves staffing; what happens when there are not enough professionals on hand to tend to the metaphorical broth? reports that 75% of the country’s court reporters will be retiring in the next few years.

The United States judicial system relies on the stenographer’s ability to record, word for word, a court’s proceedings.  A shortage of court reporters will, without a doubt, slow your case down. Cities across the country are reporting shortages of court reporters, and the number continues to grow as veterans in the field are lowering their caseload.


A stenographer’s main concern is creating an accurate record of the goings on of a court case for the lawyers involved to review.  Without the proper number of stenographers on staff, the legal backlog will continue to grow.

A written transcript of the case hearing is supplied by the stenographer to the legal staff to review for details involving the testimonial consistencies, opening and closing statements, etc. Every case heard has to have a court reporter staffed for the hearing itself.  The court reporter then has to create the transcript.   Without a stenographer, the case transcript could not be supplied.

Sentences have to be delayed because transcripts of court cases aren’t being created as quickly.  Cases that would normally be tried in a timely manner are taking months; not because of snags in the case’s due process, but because there are issues with staffing the case itself, as well as an overload of transcription work.

Court reporting is a career field that is steadily growing in its need for new professionals to fill the court’s vital role.   Stenography is viewed as antiquated in our highly digitalized world, but it is unlikely that the role of court reporter will ever be replaced by an all computerized system.  The stenography machines have become more sophisticated, with extremely modern hardware, but the human element of control over the English language will always make a human stenographer necessary to employ in court cases.  Because of the high demand for court reporters, starting salaries are being raised to entice potential people to join this field, which is essential to the flow of the circuit court.

Court Reporters are overloaded with case work. (source)

Court Reporters are overloaded with case work. (source)

Having a stenographer in your Philadelphia courtroom is a vital aspect of the American court system.  The stenographer is the official recorder of every legal proceeding; it is their responsibility to ensure the testimonies of everyone heard during the case are accurately documented and distributed to the legal staff.  Without the proper number of official court reporters on staff to handle the caseload, the court’s cases will continue to backlog.

A shortage of court reporters will slow your case down.  Lawyers will have less turn over on cases.  The accused criminals will have to spend more time, possibly incarcerated, awaiting trial.  In short, the already lengthy due process will take even longer without a speedy stenographer available to document the case.

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