Realtime Court Reporting

Realtime technology allows court reporters to instantly convert their stenographic notes into English text.  The text is then displayed on computer monitors or large projection screens placed around the courtroom.  The steno machines used today by court reporters are fully computerized. The realtime software translates the stenographic symbols and allows reporters to keep courtroom records in a digital format.  This technology is the nucleus of computerized courtrooms and lets court reporters deliver transcripts within hours, or even minutes, after court adjourns.

Realtime Technology Skills
To perform realtime writing, court reporters must learn a “conflict-free” theory. Court reporters continuously build their software translation dictionaries so possible words, names, places or events that may be mentioned will translate correctly.  They also need to build and customize their software dictionaries to translate homophones (for example, three separate and distinct entries for their, there, and they’re).  In addition, another important element of realtime writing is speed skills.  Court reporters generally take down testimony at an average speed of 180 or more words per minute.  To be certified nationally as a realtime writer, court reporters must be able to take down testimony at speeds up to 225 words per minute.


How Realtime Works In A Computerized Courtroom Like Courtroom 23

Realtime Also Provides Access In Any Setting 
Realtime technology has proven helpful for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals both in and out of court.  Most of the more than 20 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the United States developed hearing loss after acquiring language skills.  Many of them find it easier to read realtime text than to use American Sign Language interpretation.  Court reporters use the same technology that produces realtime in court settings to produce live captions of television programs.  In addition, realtime is used in many other applications to provide access for hard-of-hearing people in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act or for other purposes:

Realtime's Expanded Possibilities
Realtime technology can also be expanded to include systems that provide judges and court clerks access to administrative data from information captured by the court reporter, known as Reporter Electronic Data Interchange,  as well as systems that help the courts meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Additional Contact Information

Maureen McGuire
LegalVoice/Court Reporters News Bureau
255 Old New Brunswick Road, #N280
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone: (732) 562-0800 or 981-8014
Fax: (732) 562-9722

Marshall Jorpeland
Communications Director
National Court Reporters Association (NCRA)
8224 Old Courthouse Road
Vienna, VA 22182-3808
Phone: (703) 556-6272
Fax: (703) 556-6291