You would not think that anyone employed in the field of court reporting would have any legal power at all. To be sure, they exist to record the proceedings of cases and to provide written transcripts of the cases in court. However, you may be surprised to learn that court reporters can change the legal statuses of cases and alter the courses of people's lives. They do this while doing exactly what they are expected to do, which is keep accurate and detailed accounts of what is said and done in court. Here is how this plays out.
Key Phrasing Hints of Confession
Witness testimony coming from the accused might include slip-ups that the accused said while on the stand and being questioned. If this is recorded in the court documents by the court reporter, it might open the doors to have the case more closely inspected if and when the accused is either acquitted or has requested an appeal on his or her case. A judge could read over this key piece of court reporting and decide that the accused is either innocent or is still guilty, depending on how the first case panned out. If the accused did indeed confess to a crime and that is caught and documented by the court reporter, it might be enough to convict or to refuse an appeal.
Details Observed by the Court Reporter
Lawyers are required to ask the right questions in court, whether they are prosecutors or defense attorneys. Judges usually just sit and listen, so that leaves the jury, who don't speak until the end, and the court reporter, who can observe and record. Sometimes the tiniest of details viewed and recorded by the court reporter lead to more questions in the case that no one had bothered to ask before. These details in the report can help open a new case, or a new appeals case, and even overturn a jail sentence. The person who stood accused before would be indebted to the court reporter that saw and recorded something no one else in the courtroom saw. It could be the key bit of information, sealed in an official court document, that turns the tide for the person who stood accused, and that makes all the difference.
Speed, Shorthand, Excellent Memory, and a Keen Eye
The best court reporters are very fast typists, know shorthand for both manual writing and computerized stenography programs, have an excellent memory for things that were said and happened in the courtroom, and have a keen eye. If you need to hire a court reporter, then you might want to test them first. It helps to sort out the so-so reporters from the really good ones before you make a hiring decision.
For more information about court reporting, reach out to court reporting businesses.