Protect Your Record: Ways to Ensure You’re Hiring a Certified Stenographer

Brett SchatzleBlog

We’ve heard for years how AI is coming to take all of our jobs, especially in the legal profession.  On the stenographers’ side of the fence, we’ve been fighting the uphill battle of the “digital reporter” — essentially a recording device operated by a human —  coming in and claiming to do more for less money, which sometimes has come at a serious cost for the courts, attorneys, and clients.

Just like you wouldn’t advise someone to take a chance in a lawsuit without proper legal representation, we wouldn’t advise you to take a chance in hiring someone who wasn’t a certified stenographer, whose job is to be the guardian of your record.

So how do you ensure that you’ve hired a certified stenographer for your legal proceedings, or, better yet, how do you ensure your opposing counsel didn’t hire a digital recorder?

Here are some easy tips to ensure you’re taking the right steps to protect your record.

  1. Ensure your notice includes the following language: certified stenographic reporter.  Paralegals and legal assistants need to be aware of this too.
  2. Ask the reporting firm you hire if their reporters are certified stenographers.
  3. Look under the table.  For in-person proceedings, look for the telltale sign that the reporter is, in fact, a certified stenographer: their steno machine.  Obviously, it is a bit harder to look under the table for Zoom proceedings, so if you’re unsure if the reporter is a certified stenographer, ask them about their credentials.  A certified stenographer won’t be offended by that question.
  4. Stay informed.  Many stenographers are fighting the good fight to protect your record.  You can check out the websites listed below to stay in the know, as these groups fight to ensure they remain the guardians of your record.–home

And if you think that hiring a digital recorder isn’t that bad,  take it from one attorney in California who learned that lesson the hard way…

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  Also, if you need help networking with reporting firms out of state, let us know because we can help you find a certified stenographer.