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Has anyone had court reporter training or looked into court reporting?

Posted By: Kat on 2007-07-20
In Reply to:

I am thinking about taking a distance learning course in court reporting and I was just wondering if anyone has tried it, done it, looked into it and what they have found out.  If you have gone to school for it or are going to school for it or know anything about court reporting could you share what you know with me?  I have been in the transcription field for 15 years and I thought that might be something that I could bridge over to pretty easily, but not sure.  Any comments on this idea?  Thanks everyone for your help!

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last time I was in court -- no court reporter
I have taken my ex back to court a few times in the past couple of years and there was no court reporter in the room... In fact it was mentioned that they make a recording of the proceedings and then it is transcribed... I just asked a simple question if anybody knew if this job could be done at home and based on my experience it would make sense that it could be. No need to get nasty.
MT to court reporter?

Does anyone have experience with CR training?  Anyone made the transition from MT to CR, or the other way around?  I am looking into this as an alternative to MT.  My chief regret is that it is rather late in life for me to invest in expensive/lengthy training.  I should have seen the writing on the wall long before this, as far as MT is concerned. 

My post on a court reporter board met with thundering disinterest...not a single reply.  Would appreciate input on this if anyone has first or even secondhand experience.

But they still always have a live court reporter -nm
I've done transcription for a Court Reporter using the setup described.

The pay was pitiful, $1/page, and the quality not all that great. Apparently, the good pay is going to the actual CR and not the schlub doing the "work".

Thinking about career change..court reporter
Have any of you ever thought about court reporting or gone through court reporting school? From what I have read they make more money than transcriptionists and there are jobs to work from home too in captioning for television and movies. 
court reporting
I have a friend who did court reporting for many years. She made excellent money, but had back trouble and neck, arm and carpal tunnel problems. The machine she had to tote around is quite heavy, even in a roller suitcase, was not easy, especially if elevators were out and she had to be on the third floor. Of course, no one ever offered to help her with the suitcase. She did her own editing and printing out of all her depositions and made probably $70,000 to $85,000 per year attending all the courts and taking depositions. She gave it up because of her hands and back and is now a paralegal. after going to college for that. She loved it though and used to call me for medical words she was stuck on....
Court Reporting
I actually graduated from CR school in Iowa and use my machine to transcribe.  I would never discourage anyone from trying, but be aware that is very difficult to learn and achieving speeds takes dedication and a lot of time and practice.  It sure isn't as easy as it looks, but the payoff is great in the end.  I couldn't transcribe w/out my machine!
Has anyone out there ever thought of going from being an MT to court reporting?  I have been transcribing for almost 15 years now.  I know that the pay scale is better for court reporters, and there are schools that offer on-line classes now.  I just wonder what the job prospects were.  I have only known 2 court reports and both of them were working as MTs.  Any info, anybody?  Thanks
court reporting
I often think about court reporting too. I was told just recently by a court reporter if I was going to do it to go into real time reporting, don't know much about it, other than it is doing caption work for live tv.
court reporting
She's right, there are no jobs...they're all held by people who have no intention of giving them up and the rest of the court reporters are doomed to working for services. How do I know? My daughter attended a local college for this, finished the course with excellent grades and looked for a job but could not find an opening within reasonable distance. Tuition is horribly expensive also, so she's now in debt to the tune of approximatey 14,000 dollars, luckily it's Sallie Mae and is at 2.12%. Don't do it! This job is just too hard on your body and mind (if you do get a job, all you'll be hearing is about murders, drug deals, divorces and child abuse), and who needs that? In West Virginia, a court reporter starts out at 13,000 a year -you could make that McDonald's, easy, without having to repay an education loan. The local college's ads say Make $60,000 a year your first year...that is also bs. It's more like $28,000.
Court Reporting vs MT

Hello all !   Years ago I considered getting into court reporting, but back then I remember being told you only get paid PER PAGE/LINE, and not for your time in the court room when you're recording the cases. Recently I was told a court reporter gets anywhere from $3 to $5 per page.

Does anyone have any info on how payment for court reporters works? Is the above true?  I thought MT was a better-paying position, as the whole go-to-work-and-jot-down-the-text part was eliminated - and we (used to) make good money doing MT. 

Any info would be interesting! Thanks  !

Court reporting (see m)
Hi - if you work for a court, you are paid an annual salary plus benefits, starting around 50k per year, just for sitting in court and taking down the proceedings and even if no one orders a transcript. On top of that, you also get transcript fees (if anyone orders a transcript) of $3 to $5 per page and more if you provide RealTime. Most court days come out to about 250 pages of transcript, so if someone orders even the cheapest transcript that's $750 right there.

Court reporting is much more lucrative than MT if you can get a full-time job with a court.

If you freelance and take depositions, then you can charge the parties an appearance fee for showing up, plus the transcript per-page fee, but it's usually a bit less lucrative than a courthouse position.
court reporting
thanks for the info! It's a better position than I was aware !
Court Reporting
The poster is right in that it's a hard field to get into, at least in our area at the Courthouse, but there is always freelancing. You can make really good money if you're good. I do know that when I took ShortHand a long time ago (I was a legal secretary), there were court reporter students in the class and the machine looked really hard. You have to have tremendous speed. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
court reporting
I used to transcribe for a friend who was a court reporter and she did voice recording. This was 15 years ago though. She had a 2-track tape recorder. She would repeat everything being said in the courtroom into a small microphone, that I believe was almost like a mask. One track of the tape would record the court proceedings, and the other track would record her. I would transcribe the court proceedings, and if I could not understand something, I would switch to the other track, and it would be her repeating the testimony, etc. Not sure if they even do this anymore, but she made a lot of money at the time.
court reporting


Recently there had been an ad in our local paper for a full-time court reporter for the superior court in our local area.  It was advertised at $78,000 per year with full federal benefits, and bonus days off like President's day (when was the last time a MT got paid for being off on President's Day?)   Again, I too pick the wrong career and should have went into court reporting but at that time (in 1976) there was not a lot of interest in that field so I just went into transcription training and here I am 30 years later.  Can you still teach an old dog new tricks?



Court reporting
Yes, I've been through CR school. If you want to do it, go for it, but fair warning...you have to be married to that machine and have no life outside of it until your graduate. I agree with the other poster...it is extremely difficult, and unless you can dedicate 100% of your time to it, it's near impossible to make it through the course.
court reporting
I spent almost 3 years in CR school, was about to graduate and began to hate every minute I was chained to that machine. The school also had a MT program, so most of my credits transferred. Of the people that I knew who did go on to that career were disappointed with the money. Be careful researching this career and make sure you really want to do it. You really are a slave to that machine in court.
Court Reporting

I definitely would go to school for court reporting, but unfortunately I am too old (64). I know this would be very interesting. Where I live near Chicago, they have an excellent court reporting program that a person can take.

Also, you can work at home eventually. Like I said if I were younger, I would go for court reporting.

court reporting
Go for it! You can do it. If I lived near a school, I would try it myself. I am 69 and will be 70 in the fall plus I am a disabled person (terrible back after surgery). Do not let your age stop you for doing anything. At the rate it is going now days, you might live to be 90 or 100. Just think all the productive years you have ahead of you!
Have any of you ever thought of court reporting? sm

It seems like there is more job security in court reporting -- and much better money.  I'm really thinking of getting out of medical transcription... just so tired of getting paid less and less to do the same job.  I was just laid off a great in-house job and I am really wondering if transcription is right for me anymore.  

Court Reporting Employment
How do you get into this field of work?
I've been looking into it court reporting...


...and the training is EXPENSIVE...so is the software and equipment used.  Go price a few stenotype machines online, basic models, nothing fancy...you're looking at over $1,000.00.  Just when you thought MT had an expensive start up/out of pocket cost, this career takes the cake and the 'best' part of all...there is NO guarantee you will ever reach the 225 WPM required to earn your degree. 

I had been looking at The College of Court Reporting, as well as a few other schools, currently I'm comparing programs and degrees offered...Plus, I'm still debating if I really have the desire to proceed with a court reporting career. 

I'd think it would be next to impossible to learn the language skills required to master the stenotype machine without receiving proper training.  Can't just buy the machine and the software, hook to your computer and expect to increase your MT production...there's a whole language of court reporting that needs to be learned.

If anyone is seriously looking into court reporting, I'd suggest you visit the NCRA site and read about it.  

Good luck. 

I agree with the court reporting...
comparison.  I, however, disagree with the nursing comparison.  MT and nursing, in my opinion, do not require the same skill level.  Court reporters do make great money; however, they do have to pass certain tests in order to become certified (if that is the correct term -- could be licensed).  Generally speaking, it takes approximately 2 years of studying and practice to gain enough speed to pass that test, so many have spent more time on education and practice than a lot of MTs before they receive an actual job.  Anyway, I think all in all that is a fair comparison.
Speech recognition in court reporting
... You are right on. As I was doing my research into possibly getting into court reporting, low and behold, I find "voice writing" and VR coming into this field. This is impacting their profession also but at this time not to the degree VR has in MTing.
Court Reporting Machine Used for Transcription
Does anyone happen to use a stenograph machine (the kind used for court reporting) to do transcription?  If so, has it been much faster than typing?  What are the pro's and con's?  Have you developed your own set of (probably hundred's, no doubt) brief forms/abbreviations (since you I assume you don't have an Expander like InstantText or autocorrect/autotext as Word does)???  How has the wear and tear on your hands/wrists been?  Thanks......
Software used with Court Reporting Machine
What software do you use to transcribe with? What type of court reporting machine do you have? I have a Stentura 8000 and would love to use it, but I do not have software and really did not want to spend thousands of dollars on software. Any ideas?
Actual court reporting or transcribing?
There is a difference in the actually reporting where you sit and court and record. You always see the little ladies typing away on the minitypewriter and the actual court transcription. My friend who do this use the tape or digital recorders, for either court or depositions. They also speech into a little cone type deal (name not important) to make notes of thier own as well as writtent notes as the tapes record up to 4 microphone at a time. They did go to school for this.

I transcribed for a small company locally and would pick up thier overflow. The recent rate seemed to be 1.25 a page but I received 1.35 for medical which they could not understand. You do have to have a special tape transcriber for this. You can buy then new or used but you can also get some that have been company modified. They have to be able to play multiple channels. This could run you anywhere from $300-$800 for player alone.

The difference is VERBATIM. Where we correct for proper English you do not on legal. There are a few tricks with the dates and numbers and such but it's not hard to catch onto. You might check into a local court reporting business and see if they have extra work. It can be time consuming but it is interesting. Some are short, some are long. Court cases longer but I have typed depositions that are up to 100 pages long, but that is double spaced. They had to listen to it while recording, then I listend to transcribe and then they listened a third time to proof it. Here is a sample of how the wording can be...

Q All right. Did you ever see the Cadillac at any point, go into the turn lane?
A No. When -- No. Because, when he came off the car he was right in the road. It was in the through lane.
Q Okay. You went over and talked to Mrs. Hobbs, the lady driving the car. Now tell us exactly what she -- David said tell her -- tell you -- tell her that Iím okay, and what did she say to you about just glancing back or what exactly did she tell you?
A If Iím remembering -- getting it right -- I donít want to -- but what Iím saying is -- like, I said well David, David told me to come and find out how you were doing and donít worry about him heíll be okay and then she said, after a few minutes, like I said, she said like -- to the effect that she glanced off the road and she took her eyes off the road and when she looked back it just happened.

Some of them are hilarious.

Point is if you want to transcribe them you don't have to have any special schooling. My friend has never transcribed in her life and she picked it right up within a week.
closed captioning and court reporting
You should still consider it. If you are young enough to invest 4 to 5 years of school and entry experience, it may well be worth it. It certainly pays well,double to triple what medical transcription pays. Look into it.

Thought I had a great, lengthy report the other day, for it to be over 7 minutes of one physician talking with another about getting sued by a patient due to overmedicating - the patient overmedicated, but the doctor prescribed the meds.  Anyway - have any of you ever had to go to court and testify?  This, along with Dr.Infection (almost every report I get is someone who has had surgery and now is infected - and this is not an infectious disease physician but the surgeon), I am wondering if I will ever get called in.  I can't believe that none of these patient's are suing.  Just wanted to vent and get someone's take on this.



DMV/Traffic Court

Out here in CA, if you have unpaid tickets, a warrant is issued.  So when you show up at DMV or the court house, you most probably will have to pay right away or explain to a justice why you need an extension to pay.  They probably wont want to hear the argument that it was your sister cause you dont have proof.  You will be responsible and then you can kick your sisters butt or sue her. I have a friend who had outstanding speeding ticket and the cops came to her house, arrested her and she had to spend the weekend in jail till Monday when her boyfriend was able to bring the money to the court house. 

Out here, we have cameras at stop lights and on different roads..So when someone is exceeding the speed limit or goes through a red light, the camera takes a picture.  You never see an officer, you receive the ticket in the mail and they have the picture for proof.  Good luck to you. 


Court Hearings
I have been offered a job to supplement my medical transcription job. The job is transcribing court hearings.
why would YOU get called into court?
All you know is what is in the medical record. You have nothing else to do with it...
Court action

I am not sure what your limit is for small claims court, it used to be $3500 here but know it has changed.   If it is more than one doctor in practice, you need to find out how they are listed through their business license, etc. through the state.  They helped me at the courthouse how to do this as it had to be listed exactly.  If you want to make a last ditch effort and make sure it isn't just the office manager that is not paying you, send a certified letter to each doctor that has to be signed by them and them only outlining what you will be doing and why.  You can act as your own collection agency instead of paying someone a commission to collect the money from you.   That is why I always keep on file a copy of their checking account number that they pay me on as I did sue once and we used it to collect the funds.  Also if the 7K is over the amount of small claims, then perhaps breaking out each individual doctor is under the amount.  But that is a pretty big amount and cannot believe that you let it go that high unless it is a large account and that is only one to two month's worth.  But again, try to get the correspondence directly to the docs as sometimes they do not know that the bill is going unpaid.   Good luck, let us know what happens.   Hopefully you are no longer providing service to this clinic.  Do some digging and get home address phone numbers if you are that gutsy and for that amount I would probably do it. 

Again, good luck.



Court transcription
Most of court recordinds are now done on CD's during the hearings.  If someone wants a transcript you can buy the CD.  I have done some when they were on tapes and they are not wasy to transcribe with voices coming over voices, not being able to hear clearly, etc.  A friend of mine works for an atty and she sometimes has to transcribe the CD's and she has torecord them over to tapes to transcribe -- now not sure if they would work with a .WAV pedal or not.  But again, it is worse than insurance depositions or interviews as someone is always talking over someone else and it is hard to place the microphone where everyone that says something says it.  And you never know when someone will want one transcribed.   I acatually got a CD from my divorce hearing. 
Court recordings

Well over half and probably 75% of court recordings are now on CD's as well as dispositions and are being transcribed only if necessary or requested and many times at home by some of us. 

Sorry for the shouting, I also did legal and one of my reports from a service with my initials on it was evidence and they questioned the doc on the stand. They say the report belongs to the doc but who knows when this will change. Thank goodness I had nothing to do with it, but they did ask him where it was typed, by whom, the time and date. Some docs do doctor the date to cover their kiesta and that's a hard decision to make. If the case were serious enough, I would question it or send it back with a note and document that note and make a copy. Sorry to be so serious but I've been in this a long time and I've hear it all. Lots of CYA stuff goes on (cover your -ss)
Took MTSO to court. sm
She only owed me a little, but refused to pay. Left post if I should sue or not, and I did!!!

Lawyer is waiting for check from MTSO, so I should get it shortly thereafter. Who knew???
And then went to court with the editor and said her famous sm

*people who do bad things get breast cancer*, talking about the editor.  Rose is not a nice person.   In fact, she said *the (expletive omitted) ain't so nice anymore* or something to that effect.  Yep, what a role model.

No, it is EDITING court transcripts

After the court reporter translates his/her steno there are usually mistranslates and untranslates.  Reporters are so swamped, they don't have the time to do it themselves, so they use scopists.  There are good reporters and there are really bad reporters.  I know there are schools out there, but reporters and their scopists are usually pretty 'tight' and a reporter will want an experienced scopist, because the reporter has to certify the finished transcript.  So you HAVE to know what you're doing. Most scopists are ex-reporters and scopists work as ICs.  This work is not as easy as it sounds.  There are times I've had to stay up all night scoping a 200 page transcript that was needed by 8am next day - and I didn't get it until nearly 9pm.  A transcript is a verbatim re-creation of human speech.  Think about the way people talk and try putting that on paper.  Most transcripts have audio attached or sometimes video.  You have to get every stutter, stammer, bad grammer and bad word. There is usually a lot "butting-in" and people talking over each other - you have to get that correct.  The editing software is expensive and can be tough for some people to learn. The reporter you work with may have a different software than you have so you have to know how to convert the files.  You have to know how to help the reporter build her dictionary, plus different reporters may have different formating preferences.  But the normal TAT is days instead of hours, double to triple pay if it's an expedite (next day), the lines are double spaced and no more 65-character lines - a line is a line even if the only word is 'Yes' (you get paid by the page).  And this work will NEVER be offshored. You can work your rear off for two or three weeks and have very little to nothing for the next week or two. Due to a shortage of reporters, some shorter hearings are digitally taped then put to CD and given to a reporter who gives it to the scopist to transcribe (if the reporter had time to do it she'd be in the court room in the first place, right?).  So it HAS to be correct (did he say I-I-I three times or four?) but you get paid triple.  And you think medical reports can be graphic?  You ain't heard nothing, yet.  Try listening to a murder or rape case - especially when a child is involved. 


Fortunately, I had a mentor scopist (35 years experience) that taught me well.  I worked with her for a long time before she felt I was good enough to go out on my own.  Word of mouth has given me more business and I only do MT 1 or 2 days a week now, but that will be ending completely soon. Less stress, more money and more time to myself. The online schools make it sound easy, but it isn't.  Scoping is not for everyone and it can be tough to get your foot in the door.   If you are comfortable with MT, stay with it.  

I actually like a lot of the court show judges.
Judge Judy is hysterical. Judge Milian on People's court is great! I also like Judge Joe Brown and Judge Hatchett. I'm not crazy about that new guy that looks like Herman Munster though, Alex something? lol
Small claims court
Write a final demand letter, registered, signed receipt requested and tell them that you are seeking legal action against them and will be seeing them in small claims court.  Whatever state their business name is registred, go online and see who are the registered owners and their addresses, etc. and send copies of letters to all.    Give then 14 days (10 working days) to respond and if they don't file in small claims court.  Hopefully you have a copy or can get a copy from your back of the checks you deposited so that you can put a lein on their checking accounts when you win in court.   Check on line with your state for small claims court as if they are located in another state -- I don't know if that makes a difference.  But check it all out.  If you can't afford an attorney -- seek legal aide in your city.  Good luck.
Try Small Claims Court.

Court battle over Internet Calls


For those MTs like myself who access their work over the Internet, would this consist of violating the HIPAA laws?

In our county, 10 days lands you in court sm

excused or unexcused. They found the schools were failing NCLB criteria mostly on attendance. Now you have to show a judge the reason your child was absent (hospital records, etc...). Above a certain age, it is a truancy issue that the student is held responsible for. Below a certain age, the parent gets in trouble. 

They put out a very wide net in order to catch the people who simply don't feel like taking their kids to school on certain days and the families with joint custody who simply yank the kids back and forth between different schools.  Unfortunately, many people who have valid reasons for the absences are having to go prove themselves in court.

A lot of places have court records available on-line.
Maybe people who have successfully sued doctors, clinics, or MTSOs for payment can post a link to the on-line court record, if available.  This should do away with the liability issue since it is considered a matter of public record.
I would definitely file in small claims court
against her.  Not sure about the subpoena part - I do not know how that works.  Believe once you file it is up to the court to notify her.  You may not get your money even if you win the judgement but you can then let the credit bureaus know, etc., and eventually it will catch up with her.  Best of luck and so sorry you are experiencing this! 
Agree with Small Claims Court.
Bottom line, if it ends up in court, it is on the
Small Claims Court - it's easy sm
a few years back, i worked part-time for a one-woman company who had a psych hospital account.  All was great until she went through a mid-life crises, kicked her husband out, got a tattoo, changed everything about her, and then had me doing all the work... the last month i worked for her, she owed me $3,300 and refused to pay... wouldn't answer my calls or her door... so i took she and her company to small claims court... she didn't show up for that either and i was awarded the judgment via default.  I filed a wage garnishment with the psych hospital and they promptly terminated her contract... so then i filed a lien against her house and 3 years later when she sold it, i got paid... I did all of this without any help from an attorney - piece o' cake...I had the sheriff's department serve her, which was like $25 or so, and then whatever filing fees, which were minimal... good luck to you!
Met too! Love them all. I also watch Forensic Files on Court TV.nm