Paper: Move to Electronic Court Reporting

The Sun-Star newspaper in Merced is among those calling for electronic court reporting for California, an idea not exactly popular with human court reporters. In an editorial, the paper notes that “… court reporters are a strange hybrid of government employee and private entrepreneur. Even though they are paid by the court to make the official court record, once that record is produced, they own it. The court or the parties involved in litigation have to purchase it from them at a price (85 cents per 100 words) set in statute.
The report also notes thatCalifornia courts spend $24 million to purchase trial court transcripts from their paid employees (and) “… the union that represents court reporters argues that these trained stenographers are cheaper and more reliable and accurate than electronic recordings. Strong evidence and real court experience dispute that.”

At issue are non-civil cases. Civil actions already require that the parties involved pay for their recorders. Read the entire Sun-Star position here.