As a Court of Record, proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court criminal division hearings must be transcribed. The Court's 120 Official Court Reporters are assigned to courtrooms to record testimony, arguments or other spoken presentations heard by all judges throughout the First Judicial District.
Investing in their personal computerized stenotype machines, the Official Court Reporters utilize Computer-Aided Transcription (CAT), the standard of accuracy for a record on appeal, to create transcripts. The verbatim testimony of the court proceeding is recorded by the official reporter in court.
A number of Official Court Reporters have been additionally certified in producing "real time" transcription, which is the immediate transcription of the verbatim testimony being taken in the courtroom. The simultaneous transcription can be viewed during a trial on courtroom computer monitors or the judge's or court reporter's laptop computer. RealTime is used to assist deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals in the courtroom by immediately providing testimony on a computer screen.
All transcripts produced by the court reporters are electronically archived on the Court Reporter E-Archiving System. The CRS database stores all transcripts electronically has provides access through a password provided to judges, judicial staff, District Attorneys and Defenders. This has eliminated time-consuming copying, and "lost" transcripts, and the attendant paper costs. Notes of Testimony can also be printed or emailed for Appellate Court transmission. Transcripts are sent via email to court-appointed attorneys as well.
The FJD Project Team developing the First Judicial District's E-Archiving Court Reporter System worked hard to succeed in creating a reliable archive that is easily accessed, safe, and responsive, in terms of transcript delivery AND management reporting and analysis. The major advantages to an electronically-stored archiving system for transcripts is reliability, easy access, less paper, less need for printing equipment, better accountability and monitoring.