Court Reporters Versus Voice Recording: An In-Depth Look

There are several reasons why voice recording is not the best option for quality court reporting and accurate transcripts. Here are four reasons:

1. Accuracy

Anyone who has used a smart-phone personal assistant such as Siri can tell you that computers have not reached 100% accuracy at understanding human language. Add in regional or national accents and the likelihood of understanding declines rapidly. In the same vein, the accuracy of digital voice transcription is often questionable. Voice recognition software does not always pick up the right words or sounds, creating a faulty transcript. Some voice-to-text software companies boast about how its software is between 80-85% accurate. Do attorneys really want a device that only has an 80-85% chance of getting a yes or no answer captured correctly? Court reporters deliver reliable and accurate court transcriptions and can ask counsel to have a deponent or witness repeat testimony if needed. Their training and experience takes precedence over software that does not get the job done.

2. Human Element

Voice recordings pick up other sounds that may impact client/attorney privilege by recording their private conversations. Court reporters can distinguish between what should and should not be recorded in addition to providing immediate clarification on what was recorded during a legal proceeding.

3. Equipment Maintenance & Operation Become a Problem of Ownership

Many courtrooms are experiencing issues with proper maintenance and even operation of voice recording equipment. Equipment and software can be flawed or outdated, negating the accuracy of the transcript. In some cases, recording equipment hasn’t been turned on in trials that were later appealed, with no record simply because the machine was not turned on. Courts have slowly begun re-implementing the use of court reporters for these reasons. While the application of computer technology in the judicial system is welcomed, when it comes to capturing testimony, the use of a court reporter is still necessary.

4. Security Versus Convenience: Smart Devices in the Legal Process

Voice recording has now moved into the mobile application market, offering voice and video recording. There are MAJOR security issues with the types of devices used and the integrity of the recordings if used with an unsecured phone or device. Unsecured devices pose the risk of sensitive and confidential information being disseminated without the permission, which can violate the protections of the deponents, victim, defendants, and/or legal teams.
Highly trained and qualified Court Reporters remain the most reliable avenue to maintain the accuracy and integrity of testimonies.
Aptus Court Reporting provides global court reporting services using the latest technology and reporters. For more information, call us today.