Court Reporter, Court Stenographer: Our Roles by Any Other Name Would Sound as Sweet
When you think of court reporting, you would probably picture it attracting professionals that are the strong, silent type (Get it? “Type”? Humor isn’t always in our job description, but we try). Our fingers may fly with the dexterity of a concert pianist and our hearing may rival that of a bird of prey, but there is a lot more to our job than meets the eye.
It takes a certain type of person to sit through meetings, depositions, and hearings with calm objectivity. Even judges, the referees of justice, are expected to pass judgment at some point throughout the proceedings, while the court reporter presses forward with no noticeable bias. While this is easy enough to “fake” for a trial or two, a long career requires that a court reporter embody calm neutrality to produce the most accurate reports.
Who Are Your Court Reporters?
Most jobs have a “standard” personality type that many applicants seem to share. Lawyers often tend to be outspoken, tough Type-A people, while elementary school teachers are often nurturing, more patient individuals. Many people may not be familiar enough with court reporters to have assigned us a specific “type,” but we do share some very common traits:
- We’re maddeningly meticulous. Whether we are transcribing a deposition or feverishly taking official minutes, maintaining our accuracy percentages is key. We strive for perfection, down to the word, and we usually come pretty darned close.
- We hear you, but we’re not listening (not in that way). The machines we use don’t have the same letter keyboard as your laptop—we use sounds. Our hearing must adjust to pick up sounds instead of just words; that way, we can record quickly and efficiently.
- What we do hear, we keep locked up tightly. We are bound by the same confidentiality rules as all legal professionals. We may be writing down everything you say, but we’ll never breathe a word of it outside the official record.
- We’re stoic. We are present for depositions and hearings that often reveal sad, terrifying, or heinous acts. As you can imagine, this can take an emotional toll, but we are good at maintaining a tough exterior in order to provide an excellent final product.
As court reporters, we must be accurate, impartial, trustworthy, and excellent at our job—and with over 25 years in the business, Casamo & Associates has earned the trust of attorneys and businesses throughout the northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland area. Learn more about our incredible team, and schedule with us for your reporting and transcribing needs!