Addressing the Stenographer Shortage

For over 85 years Stenograph has led the legal testimony industry, from the revolutionary Stenograph Shorthand Machine in 1938 to the development of Computer-Aided Transcription software, CATalyst, launched in 1997. Stenograph has and remains committed to supporting certified and professionally trained reporters. Over the past decade, numerous reports have identified the significance of the stenographer shortage and identified its impact on the justice system. In a recent post, Investing in Court Reporting Training and Technology, we discussed these reports and the Digital Court Reporting solution. We have seen courts become unable to hire stenographers, long lead times on final transcripts, and litigants priced out of depositions as legal fees mount during discovery. Awareness regarding the challenges and solutions that this shortage presents is a critical discussion that must be had.  

Stenography has been the dominant method in depositions and legal proceedings due to state requirements and familiarity, however digital reporting and voice writing have improved in quality and reliability over time. It is important to note that stenographers will not be replaced by these methods or by automated speech recognition tools, but access to justice will benefit from a competitive market. In order to help increase access to justice Stenograph has encouraged: 

Recruitment and retention of court reporters:

One of the most obvious and effective ways to address the court reporter shortage is to recruit and train more court reporters. Stenograph has been involved in increasing the awareness of the court reporter profession, providing incentives and support for court reporter students and graduates across all methods of reporting. Attorneys can play a role in this process, by promoting and recognizing the value and importance of court reporters, and by providing feedback and referrals to court reporting agencies and schools for those interested in this career path. 

Adoption and regulation of newer reporting practices: 

To solve the problem of not having enough court reporters, we can apply and regulate newer reporting technologies, such as voice writing and digital reporting. To ensure that they adhere to the standards and requirements of the legal industry, Stenograph supports certified and professionally trained reporters. Attorneys should be familiar and comfortable with these technologies, and comprehend their strengths, as well as their legal and ethical implications. 

The court reporter shortage is a serious problem that affects the legal system and access to justice. Stenograph is dedicated to investing in the court reporting industry by offering stenographic, voice, and digital reporting solutions, as well as college partnerships, eLearning programs, and training. As the leading provider of digital court reporting products and services we recognize that certified reporters ensure high-quality, fast, and accurate transcripts. Stenograph’s digital reporting tools such as the Phoenix speech engine, and MAXScribe transcript software deliver transcripts that meet the legal standards in any setting, remote or in-person. 

Ask your court reporting agency if they utilize Stenograph’s Enterprise Solutions or contact enterprise@stenograph.com to be connected with one of our partner agencies. 

About Stenograph 

Stenograph, LLC is the market leader in providing technology solutions for the legal transcription industry. For 85 years, we have built our reputation by leading the industry in technical innovation, quality, and exceptional service with the mission of providing advanced technology solutions that allow for the efficient capture, production, preservation, and accessibility of verbatim records.

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