Every now and then I come across “The Court Reporter’s Creed.” I always find it so inspiring. It is a reminder of how great this profession is; how indebted we are to those who came before us; and how we are carrying forth this honorable tradition in numerous settings around the country every day: in depositions, hearings, courtrooms, classrooms, even in the United States Congress.
Few can do what we do. Even fewer reach the level of greatness of our own profession’s heroes. There are only approximately 30,000 court reporters in the workforce nationwide. I’m sure the majority of the population has no idea what a court reporter does or has even seen a Stenograph machine. In contrast, there are 1.15 million lawyers in the United States!
The importance of our role in society cannot be underestimated. Pretrial discovery relies on sworn deposition testimony. Criminal defendants rely on trial transcripts when their cases are appealed. Recording our nation’s legislative business ensures transparency and honest debate. Court reporters in all these roles are helping to uphold the rights we cherish under our Constitution. The record never forgets; the written word holds all accountable.
Kudos to all of us who are in the trenches day after day chasing down words before they are lost forever, spoken and soon forgotten. If you are a student, I hope reading “The Court Reporter’s Creed,” cited below, will energize you to reach your next speed goal and to one day join our proud ranks as a certified verbatim court reporter.
THE COURT REPORTER’S CREED
My profession stems from humanity’s desire and its necessity to preserve the happenings of yesterday and tomorrow.
My profession was born with the rise of civilization in Ancient Greece.
I was known as a scribe in Judea, Persia, and the Roman Empire.
I preserved the Ten Commandments for posterity and was with King Solomon while building the temple.
I was with the founding fathers of the United States when they drafted the Declaration of Independence. My hand labored upon the scroll that set forth the Bill of Rights.
The immortal Abraham Lincoln entrusted me to record the Emancipation Proclamation.
I was commissioned to be with Roosevelt at Yalta. I was with Eisenhower on D-Day and with MacArthur at Tokyo.
I have kept confidence reposed with me by those in high places, as well as those in lowly places.
My profession protects the truthful witness, and I am a nemesis of the perjurer. I am a party to the administration of justice under the law and the court I serve.
I discharge my duties with devotion and honor.
Perhaps I haven’t made history, but I have preserved it through the ages.
In the past I was called a scribe. Today I am the court reporter who sits in the courts of my country and in the United States Congress.
I am the verbatim court reporter.