Federal Judiciary Careers: Court Reporter
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Federal Judiciary Careers: Court Reporter

November 17, 2019


The following program was produced by the United States Courts. “Our job is very important because we are the keepers of the record.
My name is Deborah Pause, and I’m a Court Reporter in San Francisco.” “Kathy Jones,
Court Reporter.” “Melinda Setterman, Official Court Reporter.” “Stephen Greenblum.
I am a Court Reporter.” “Tia Wakefield, Court Reporter.” “My name is Scott Wallace,
and I’m a Court Reporter.” “Joleen Owen, and I’m a Court Reporter here for the U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tennessee.” A court reporter is a guardian of the record.
Using a steno machine, the court reporter will go into the courtroom and steno graphically record the proceedings.” “In the courtroom, my job is to report verbatim every
word that’s spoken, either by the attorneys, the judge or the witness.” “I’m typing phonetically. Say if your name is Stanfield. They are called strokes. I would write Stan and then
second stroke would be the word field.” “What I also do is connect in with the judge. So I have my writer. It connects to my computer, which then
is connected wireless to the judge, so he can read instantaneous transcripts of the proceedings.” “That’s really why they like the real time in the courtrooms. Also, you can scroll back during a trial. You can see the
testimony on the screen. And it’s there, so there’s never any dispute about
what was said.” “It really helps the attorneys as far as defending their clients. It helps the judge
as far as ruling on objections. It has really become an integral part of the courtroom system.” “Being a guardian of the record has a big impact. What
I’m taking down and the record I’m producing has a tremendous effect on the lives of others,
especially in the criminal cases.” “I feel very proud when I come into work every morning
to know that I work for such a distinguished part of the legal system.”
“Someone orders something on appeal, it goes to the Court of Appeals, and ours is the only
official record.” “It’s kind of cool, I think, that something someone could argue in front of the
Supreme Court, could be coding from my transcript.” “It’s very exciting because I feel like I was a part
of history. The cases made changes in this world that are going to resound for years to come.” “You don’t need a legal background. People here are hardworking, intelligent, and maybe a little bit of laughter.” “Focus is pretty much a big part of my job. There have been some pretty surprising things
that have happened. You can watch, but you have to be writing at the same time.” “We’re licensed at 250 words
per minute. “I clocked some lawyers the other day, going at
270 words per minute. So it’s challenging to be able to keep up with them, especially
when some of the testimony coming in is highly technical, medical.” “What I really like about court reporting is being
right in the middle of things, and hearing things that other people don’t get to hear. Sidebar conferences, Knowing the intricate details of what makes
our Judicial system work.” “This is a great work environment. It has a very high degree of professionalism,
but at the same time, there’s a feeling of friendship and camaraderie.” “There’s a lot of self-satisfaction
at the end of the day when we’re doing a daily trial, and we bind 250 pages of transcript, and you’ve got every word
that was said. And, you know, you get an e-mail back from the attorneys
that says, “Wow, great job!” “It’s very interesting. One hour you might be doing
a case with a border bust, transporting drugs, then the next hour you’ll have a civil case.”
“I just like my job. I like court reporting, so I would encourage people. It’s been a great job for me.” “I never take it for granted. It’s really a great
place to work.” “I would definitely recommend my job to others. As long
as they don’t apply for mine.”

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