For those of us outside the scope of the legal profession, the ins and outs of the courtroom are murky terrain. Some of us have visions of judges in powdered wigs, while others still envision artists drawing portraits of all the litigants involved. Some of this is accurate, while some is nothing more than pure fiction. But what many do not know is that court reporting in DC is still an integral part of the legal process. Court Reporters are very much still alive and well. The following is some elaboration on the state of this indispensable profession.
Education Backing this Profession
Debate around the efficacy of court reporting stems mostly from the fact that machines—or computers—are now able to act much like human beings. The question naturally arises: what makes a human being more qualified than a computer to record the proceedings of a legal hearing? Well, there are several answers to this query. Firstly, court reporting in DC is a profession that requires formal training. Depending on the type of reporting that an individual wants to perform, he or she will go through anywhere from 6 months to 4 years of schooling. The reason that this profession requires such an extensive and rigorous education, owes to the fact that court reporters provide an official and legally binding account of what goes on during a hearing. In other words, they are responsible for the concrete evidence of both the proceedings and the verdict of any given case.
Court reporting in DC brings with it hefty legal and moral responsibilities. Indeed, a court reporter is responsible for issuing oaths to witnesses and—primarily—for creating a verbatim account of a court proceeding. It is essential that in so doing, a reporter neither alter nor elaborate any of the facts pertaining to the case. If he or she begins to do so, the very legitimacy of legal discourse gets undermined. What is at stake is not something that a computer—or other recording device—could understand. For this reason, court reporting is a domain that still very much requires and depends on human beings. Court reporters develop and lend their expertise in other domains and areas as well. For example, we also see court reporters developing real time reports and transcripts of different events worthy of public attention: from religious ceremonies to political rallies. Reporting is a profession that requires a keen attention to detail and an investment in matters that have a significant bearing on the human condition.
All in all, court reporting is a profession that is still very much indispensable in the legal world.
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