Unfortunately, there’s a shortage of court reporter Naples, resulting in delays and a slow down in legal proceedings. Remember, court reporters, play a crucial role in the legal process. They take accurate notes of live proceedings to serve as formal records. Court reporters are just as critical in the courtroom, and they help with the carriage of justice since they take depositions and note testimonies of important witnesses.
However, the only problem is there is a shortage of qualified court reporters. And this problem is not just in Florida, but it spans across the United States. When you don’t have qualified stenographers to do the job, it has serious repercussions on the justice system. How did this shortage occur and what is the response of the legal profession regarding this matter? Find out more in this article below.
Tracing the History of the Issue
This shortage did not happen instantly but built up over time as veteran court reporters aged out. Today the average age of court reporters is 51. And many are also poised for retirement, leaving job vacancies that no one will fill because the demand for court reporter Naples is higher than the supply.
In the past, steno or the shorthand theory utilized to take quick, accurate notes was taught in school. However, this practice stopped decades ago, with many young people not understanding the value of steno. Now, many see it as an outdated, analog skill that will soon be automated.
In reality, the market has a need for stenographic typing. Apart from courts, insurance companies, corporations, media companies, hard of hearing communities, and more organizations need the service. However, there are too few aspiring stenographers studying and training to replace them. Clearly, there is still a demand for court reporters all over the country.
Ways the Industry is Addressing the Problem
Florida and other states feel the pinch from the shortage of court reporters. It has become even more magnified during the pandemic. To address the problem of court reporter Naples shortage, the justice department has hired and trained more people in the past couple of years. Partnering with a community college that offers the program is one way to provide training for students or career-shiftees that want to embark into this profession.
Apart from that, technology has been highly beneficial since skilled court reporters Naples can capture records using more than one method. Thanks to the help of tech, even if there’s a shortage, they can ensure that all scheduled terms of court can proceed. On top of that, they can guarantee that a record of those proceedings is captured.
For those who are looking for a new career path, getting into the court reporting profession can be an option. The state still actively hires court reporters. In fact, you can find many job openings listed for both new and experienced applicants. Though a court reporter Naples works for the state and is based in a circuit, the work can also bring this professional to other circuits if they are needed.
Steno Going Digital and Modern
Because of this shortage, the legal system has increased pressure to find digital alternatives. Instead of typing on shorthand in a steno machine to make a real-time transcript. A trained person monitors the machine. These notes are later on transcribed by a certified court reporter.
However, experienced court reporters who trained rigorously in stenography say it’s an issue of some contention. Take note of the potential risks of this approach:
- Some fear that outsourcing audio files pose a risk.
- Recordings could be maliciously altered.
- A digital expert must be in place to evaluate the recordings to determine authenticity.
Opposing factions counter that courts will not start emailing recorders to a court reporter Naples without protection. In fact, certain groups have partnered together to craft HIPAA and PII-compliant data security. This links up systems to brick-and-mortar transcription sites. With this in place, it can secure digitally recorded information akin to the security of medical records. As a result, this minimizes the likelihood of tampering.
Making Room to Enhance the Profession With AI
Today, courts have implemented remote depositions, making remote transcription a reality. This made it easy for stenographers to work beyond the limits of court hours. They can also cover more cases with the aid of tech. However, this solution still does not address the current shortage as it just allows a court reporter Naples to do more.
At best, this just means that court reporters do not have to transcribe in real-time. As such, the courts can hire individuals not trained in steno for the job. However, this is a band-aid solution, and the courts would still face a court reporter shortage.
Some factions propose that this is where AI or artificial intelligence comes into the mix. The developers on the AI side propose an innovative system wherein court reporters transition to becoming court technologists. They assert that this would close the skills gap because the court just needs a regular staff member who could review the AI-generated transcripts. With this tech, everyone can benefit from a faster turnaround because AI doesn’t require a trained stenographer. It serves as a scalable solution, which works opposite of the current steno model.
Demand for Court Reporting is Here to Stay
On the other hand, experts in the field share that AI facilitated programs cannot fully override the court reporting profession. They can enhance the profession but never override its significance. When the tape recorder came to fruition, there were concerns that the court reporter Naples would be obsolete. However, many still enjoy this career and the demand increased. Why? Because of the following reasons:
- AI cannot understand pronunciations
- Machines find it impossible to decipher words with multiple speakers
- The software cannot take into account gestures or non-verbal communication
- Transcription programs cannot strike out things on a record
The demand for court reporting shall never decline now or in the near future because machines can never truly replace human beings. A job as significant as court reporting cannot be left to the machine with no true wisdom.
However, as existing veteran reporters continue to age out of the profession, tech-driven solutions can help while the industry works hard to establish a viable workforce. In the meantime, digital court reporting using electronic court equipment helps while new court reporters are still under training.