what is a Stenographer

What Is a Stenographer?

Everything to Know About a Stenographer

Perhaps you have heard this term or maybe you have seen that individual in the corner of the room with a small machine typing away during court proceedings. But what exactly is a stenographer? How did they get their start and what role do they play in court cases today? We are going to go over all of these questions and more in today’s article.

So what is a stenographer?

A stenographer is a professional who uses a stenotype machine to record court proceedings, meeting minutes, and other types of business meetings. They are also used even in a criminal case to take down the defendant’s statement. They use a shorthand system of symbols and keys to record speech.

Becoming a stenographer requires skill and extensive training but it can be quite rewarding. In this blog post, we will discuss what a stenographer does, how to become one, and when they are used in legal proceedings.

The Origins of Stenographers

The first stenotype machine was invented in 1877 by Court Reporting Hall of Fame Inductee Miles Bartholomew. This machine helped to revolutionize the court reporting industry and made it possible for reporters to keep up with fast speakers. Prior to this invention, court reporters used a method called phonography which required them to transcribe everything verbatim. This was a very time-consuming process and often resulted in errors. The stenotype machine allowed reporters to take down speech using a system of symbols and keys which represented different sounds. This made the transcription process much faster and more accurate.

How to Become a Stenographer

Becoming a stenographer requires skill and training. Many community colleges and technical schools offer programs in court reporting. These programs typically last two to four years and cover topics such as English, speed typing, law, and ethics. After completing a training program, reporters must pass a certification exam administered by the National Court Reporters Association. Once they have passed this exam, they are officially certified court reporters.

Once they have their certifications, they can start working in a variety of settings such as law firms, courtrooms, legislatures, and more.

what is a Stenographer

When Are Stenographers Used In Legal Proceedings

Stenographers are often used in legal proceedings to provide a transcript of what was said, they are often used even in a criminal case. This transcript can be used as evidence in the case. In some cases, the stenographer may also be required to testify in court about what was said during the proceeding. This is known as a direct examination.

The types of legal proceedings that often use stenographers include:

  • Arbitrations
  • Depositions
  • Trials
  • Hearings

A stenographer’s job is important as they provide an accurate record of what was said during legal proceedings. This transcript can be used as evidence in the case and can be used to help make decisions about the outcome of the case. As you can see, stenographers play an important role in legal proceedings.

a Stenographer

How a Stenographer Is Chosen

When a stenographer is needed for a criminal case, the court will appoint one. The court will choose a certified reporter who they feel is qualified to take down the defendant’s statement. The stenographer must be impartial and must not have any prior relationship with the defendant. Once the stenographer has been chosen, they will be sworn in and will take down the defendant’s statement. It is typically up to the judge to decide if the same stenographer will be used for the entire case or if a new one will be appointed for each stage of the proceedings.

The stenographer can also be chosen by the parties involved in civil cases, such as arbitrations or depositions. In these cases, the parties can choose any certified reporter they wish. They may choose someone they have worked with in the past or someone who comes highly recommended. The stenographer may choose to turn down a case if they feel they cannot be impartial or if they have a conflict of interest even in a criminal case.

What Tools Do Stenographers Use for Their Job?

Stenographers use a variety of tools to help them do their job. The most essential tool is the stenotype machine. This machine allows the reporter to take down speech using a system of symbols and keys which represent different sounds. This makes the transcription process much faster and more accurate. Stenographers also use software programs to help them transcribe the speech they have recorded. These programs allow the reporter to play back the recording and type out what was said. This is a very important part of the stenographer’s job as it allows them to produce an accurate transcript of what was said.

In the past, stenographers used shorthand to take down speech. This method was very slow and often resulted in errors. Even before that, court reporters used quill pens and ink to write down what was said. This was very slow and often resulted in the reporter missing what was said. The stenotype machine has made the job of a stenographer much easier and has resulted in more accurate transcripts.

what is a Stenographer

The Serious Responsibilities of a Stenographer

The role of a stenographer is not one that is taken lightly. Stenographers play an important role in legal proceedings and must be impartial. They must also be accurate in their transcriptions as they can be used as evidence in a case. Also, they must keep complete confidentiality about the proceedings they have transcribed. This is essential as it ensures that the stenographer does not influence the outcome of a case. They are not allowed to discuss the case with anyone other than the parties involved. If they do, they could be held in contempt of court. They also do not keep or take home copies of the transcripts they have made. This is to prevent any tampering with the evidence. As you can see, being a stenographer is a very serious job. They play an important role in legal proceedings and must be accurate and impartial.

We hope this article has helped you to understand what a stenographer is and the important role they play in legal proceedings. If you are interested in becoming a stenographer, you now know the basics of what they are and what it takes! Again, the job of a stenographer isn’t always easy but it can be very rewarding even in a criminal case. Thanks for reading!

Related Questions

Is a stenographer a full-time job?

Yes, a stenographer is a full-time job. Stenographers typically work in courtrooms, but they may also work in other settings, such as arbitrations or depositions. They use a stenotype machine to take down speech which is then transcribed into an accurate transcript.

How much does a stenographer make?

Stenographers typically make between $40,000 and $60,000 per year. The exact amount depends on their experience and the setting in which they work. Court reporters who work in high-stakes cases may make more than those who work in lower-stakes cases.

What is the minimum age to be a stenographer?

There is no minimum age to be a stenographer. However, most stenographers have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. And with the 1-2 years it takes to train- most stenographers are at least 21 years old. Some states require court reporters to be licensed, but this is not always the case.

Matt McWilliams
matt@mcwilliamsmedia.com

Deposition Academy is an online website created to guide those in the legal videographer industry or those interested in starting a legal videography business. The site has expanded to cover a variety of legal topics that are related to depositions and the deposition process. Our team of writers have written for a variety of legal blogs and website.



Deposition Academy | Deposition Video Tips