Legal Videographers – Audio Files for Court Reporters

One of the many great things about legal videographers that we work with here in San Diego is their willingness to provide audio backup to our court reporters.  I believe the majority of videographers around the USA provide an audio file to court reporters at depositions upon request  The question becomes, in what format?

Historically, an audio cassette backup was made by legal videographers for the court reporter.  Court reporters own(ed) tape players that had foot pedals to speed up or slow down the audio for proofing.  But, as everyone knows, in modern times the audio cassette is becoming obsolete.  “Digital media is what everyone is using,” says Chris Jordan.

Many court reporters are still using audio cassettes.

Currently, we work with videographers that provide a feed directly to the court reporter’s laptop to use in conjunction with their Computer-Aided Transcription (CAT) software.  The videographer has an audio jack with a mini connector for the court reporter.  Other videographers we work with will provide an MP3 file or wav file at the end of the deposition and copy it onto the court reporter’s laptop.

Court reporters are buying transcription software with foot pedals that attach to their laptop or PC through a USB port.  If you Google the key words, foot pedal audio transcription, you will find a myriad of products on the market.  I invite anyone reading this blog to suggest products that they have been successful in using.

I suggest using an old transcriber and cassette tapes is cumbersome and not efficient.  Being able to scope or proof on your laptop without pulling out another machine (just attaching the foot pedal) makes sense.  With so many hearings being digitally recorded and court reporters being asked to transcribe the audio files (where there is no cassette option)  using new products in the marketplace is smart.

Court reporters and legal videographers have to be a team in depositions when working together.  The attorneys know when they are working with “the A-Team,” a great videographer and court reporter.  They recognize the synergy.  I love that my videographer has my back, and I have his/hers.

So if you are a court reporter still requesting audio cassettes from the videographer, check out digital.  There is a reason that the audio cassette is becoming obsolete.

@rosaliekramm Twitter

2 replies
  1. Tony Wright says:

    Another feature that videographers can employ to provide an even better audio file to the reporter is to record on multiple channels.

    When I’m video taping a deposition, I’ll record the attorneys on the left channel and the witness on the right channel. Not only does this allow for a better playback experience for a jury, but also makes transcription much easier for the reporter.

    For example, if the witness and attorney are speaking over one another, the reporter can mute the appropriate channel during transcription to hear what was said.

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