To read the Wall Street Journal article on court reporters tiff, go to



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So does that mean that there was, in fact, an Alderson reporter there and it wasn't electronically recorded?  From this article, doesn't seem that the NCRA is in the reporter's corner at all.  What a surprise!

Wow, that's embarrassing. 

A stenotype realtime reporter recorded the Supreme Court proceedings where there were missing words of Justice Thomas in the transcript.

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Yikes.  So the reporter missed it and the audio recording had to fill it in?  That is embarrassing.  Ugh.

The Supreme Court is located in Washington, DC. If I remember correctly, DC is an unlicensed region. Any schmoe could call him/herself a court reporter. Draw your own conclusions.

No offense to the reporters in unlicensed states, but exceptional reporters in these states/regions are the exception, not the norm. [redundancy intended]

I live in a state without mandatory licensure.  I just looked through the state association membership list, and the majority of reporters have their CSR and a good number of the members have higher certfications.  Sure, there are people out there who are not members of the state association.  If anything, they're the exception.  Work in my state is competitive.   There's no shortage of reporters.   It's probably the opposite; too many reporters for the amount of work.  I don't think underqualified reporters would be getting much work, honestly.   They may get one job if someone doesn't do their due diligence, but they won't get repeat work. 

Whether my state requires licensure or not has nothing to do with my motivation as a court reporter.   I don't think you can judge who is doing what within a state based on licensure.  I think it has minimal relevance to the quality of someone's work. 

Friendly opposing view, Quyen.  :)

Janet, I have no doubt you are the exception (or the norm, as you say) and certainly did not have you (nor your state) in mind when I wrote that comment. If you say the majority of reporters in your state are licensed/certified, that's great! I had Florida in particular in mind, where I've heard the transcripts are awful -- just ask the scopists.

I appreciate the dissent, Janet. I, for one, believe reasonable minds could agree to disagree.  That's not to say that I'm disagreeing with what you just said above. Kudos to you and the reporters in your state for striving set yourselves apart.

Florida, New York, D.C.......I don't understand how you can say that reporters from these states, and a few others, are not as good as a state that has licensure?  Any schmoe can pass a test, that doesn't make you a great reporter.  By your theory, all the reporters in California are BETTER than the reporters from NY, DC and Florida, etc.?  You make these sweeping generalizations that because these states don't require licenses, that means the reporters are terrible.  I know you say you hear things, but you are only hearing the bad.  I can say I heard things about California reporters, but that doesn't mean I think the whole state is filled with bad reporters, that's insane.

I take great pride in my work here in New York.  I get requested all the time by attorneys.  I dress appropriately and love my job.  I guess any schmoe who can pass a test is automatically better than me because I'm from New York.  It's not fair to make such generalized statements.  There are great reporters from every state, and there are crappy reporters from every state, licensed or not.

No where in my post did it say ALL California reporters are better than reporters in any other state.

Bill, thanks SO MUCH for posting that article.  Here's a quote:  "In other words, both the digital recording and the stenographer’s transcript are indispensable to the process."  Whether or not we, the court reporting profession, want to admit it, truer words were never spoken.  Whether or not we, the reporting profession, want to admit it, we are at a tipping point between (1) the human ear and (2) technology.  I will grant you that there are a lot of sucky transcripts by transcribers of electronically recorded material, and that's mostly due to the quality of the recording, but it's also due to piss-poor transcribers, whether they be exclusively transcription transcribers or full-fledged court reporters transcribing ER material.  (I apologize, Bill, because I know you don't favor profanity in any venue!)  I think it's quite telling that we as a profession suffer under our own hubris.  Again, thanks for posting this, Bill, as I'm sure that most of us have been following this story, but few of us were aware of this angle!


Sounds like the reporter was at a disadvantage. She/he certainly wasn't in a position to interrupt and ask for clarification. When there's crosstalk in a live situation it's impossible often, as we all know, to get all the speakers. The only option would be to review the audio and fill in what was missed. Could any of you have done better?

That's a great point/reminder, Margaret. Sometimes, even when we ask for clarification, it gets ignored, and they just keep going.


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