Producing accurate verbatim transcripts of testimony is essential to our justice system. Gaps in coverage due to schedule changes, in-person requirements, and available court reporting resources should not delay legal proceedings, especially when lives and livelihoods hang in the balance. Hiring an Esquire digital reporter ensures attorneys have the coverage they need to eliminate litigation calendar delays.
Keep Litigation Moving Forward Smoothly
Attorneys depend on court reporters to produce accurate transcripts of depositions, hearings, and other legal proceedings. However, the legal industry is facing a serious stenographer shortage, which is taxing existing court reporters, who are working hard to meet client needs but often finding themselves spread too thin. As a result, attorneys and their clients are being impacted by scheduling problems that delay proceedings and delay progression toward the resolution of their case.
With significantly more stenographers leaving the field than entering, the shortage will worsen in the coming years. Compounding the problem is the fact that the demand for court reporters remains constant. While certified stenographic reporters are exceptionally skilled at capturing a complete and detailed record of legal proceedings, the reality is that stenographic professionals alone cannot meet the demands of the legal industry.
Enter the Esquire Digital Reporter
- Esquire’s digital reporters are trained and credentialed professionals who use purpose-built hardware and specialized software to digitally record legal proceedings. These recordings are transcribed by skilled legal transcriptionists to produce an accurate verbatim transcript.
- Similar to stenographic reporters, digital reporters act as impartial participants in the deposition process by administering oaths to deponents, marking exhibits, and maintaining control of the deposition.
Digital reporters use cutting-edge equipment to provide testimony playback on demand.
Certification for Digital Reporters
The American Association of Electronic Records and Transcribers (AAERT) is the primary certifying body for digital reporters. AAERT offers certification as a CER (Certified Electronic Reporter), CDR (Certified Deposition Reporter), or a CET (Certified Electronic Transcriber), as demonstrated by both written and skills-based tests.
To ensure the highest quality of verbatim testimony capture, all Esquire digital reporters subscribe to The Esquire Way. The Esquire Way is composed of three interwoven principles—professionalism, excellent performance, and accurate transcripts—which are drawn from the standards and best practices of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) and the AAERT. By completing Esquire’s rigorous training and following these principles, Esquire’s digital reporters consistently achieve our mission to preserve and protect the sanctity of the record to ensure access to justice for all.
Currently, not all states allow the use of digital reporters in various types of legal proceedings, but since rules are always changing, it is important for legal professionals to check the rules in their state.
Hiring a Digital Reporter
Digital reporters allow legal proceedings to stay on track and attorneys to avoid scheduling delays caused by the stenographic reporter shortage.
Here are some considerations you should make before contracting a digital reporter.
- Determine whether your proceeding requires in-person coverage. In areas where there are challenges sourcing in-person coverage with a stenographer, digital reporters provide additional in-person coverage resources for our clients.
- Make sure the job is suited for a digital reporter. If you desire a realtime feed and immediate rough transcript, then your proceeding must be handled by a qualified realtime stenographer or voice writer.
- Check the laws in your state. Jurisdictions have different rules regarding transcript admissibility and before whom legal proceedings can take place.
- Draft notice language to solicit agreement among all parties to the proceeding to the use of digital reporting for the purposes of capturing a record.
- Do your due diligence. Capturing an official record is an important task to ensure equal access to justice. You want to work with a company such as Esquire that sets high standards. Our digital reporters undergo rigorous training and use industry-leading hardware and software. We also require our digital reporters to obtain AAERT certification, both CER AND CDR, and we continually monitor quality and job performance.
Disclaimer: Esquire only offers digital reporting where permitted by law. Esquire digital reporting is not related to the practice of shorthand reporting. Our digital reporters are trained to use best practices to manage the capturing of the verbatim record of a legal proceeding using audio equipment and a computer with specialized recording software, and to certify to the authenticity of the official digital recording.