Whenever I am in a deposition and look at all the participants seated around the table, many of whom have advanced degrees and expertise, I feel a deep sense of pride. No one else in this room can do what I do! This deposition does not go forward without me! I can record every word spoken and quickly produce a transcript which the attorneys will carefully review and use to build their case. They are relying on my skills to do what they cannot do, and, yes, that makes me proud.
There are other methods out there that aim to do the same thing we do, but no method is superior to the court reporter, verbatim voice-to-text specialists. During the course of a deposition, split-second decisions are constantly being made on the fly — making briefs, distinguishing between homonyms, adding punctuation — and our amazing brains and nimble fingers work in conjunction to listen, process, and execute. We can provide expedited delivery. We can showcase our skills in realtime and provide usable rough drafts at the end of the day. We can provide a secure realtime feed over the cloud directly to their laptops and iPads. As the technology has become more advanced, attorneys have come to expect more from us, and it is our responsibility to deliver.
If we are to remain indispensable to the legal community, we must continue to embrace change, improve our skills, and stay abreast of the latest trends and developments in our profession by taking advantage of the seminars sponsored by our state and national associations. We must also conduct ourselves in a professional manner at all times, treating all parties with equal regard and impartiality, basically adhering to NCRA’s Code of Professional Ethics. In these ways we earn the respect of the attorneys we work with, the respect of our colleagues, and the respect of the general public. We can hold our heads high because we know the value we offer to the judicial system and, by extension, the community at large. THAT’S court reporter pride.