Court Reporting: Ever Changing; Ever The Same


Lynn HandbergBy:  Lynn Handberg, RPR

It’s been a wonderful 33, going on 34, years of a court reporting career.  My, how the job has changed over the years, yet amazingly has stayed much the same.   Yes, everything is now computerized, but back in the ‘80s CAT was new and high tech.  I started my career typing my transcripts for a short while, then moved to dictating them for a typist, who had to use three sheets of erasable paper with two sheets of carbon paper in between for an O & 2.  I moved to Iowa and the firm I worked at was on the Baron system.  We printed off rough hard copies, edited the transcript and then another person made the corrections and printed the original and copies.    Moving back to Minneapolis, the era of personal computers was starting up.  Although VERY expensive — I seem to remember a five-figure outlay for a printer, computer and new Steno machine, with slow-going translation times – it was great being able to edit our jobs at home whenever we wanted to.

The job has stayed the same in regards to how we as court reporters take our job very seriously; we are the keepers of the record, we are trusted by our clients to be accurate, neutral and honest.  Attorneys expect us to arrive to a deposition promptly — interpret that as early — and stay till the job is done!  The venues have remained the same – attorneys’ offices, doctors’ offices, airport conference room, etc., etc.

I have enjoyed meeting so many people from all walks of life and hearing their stories, on the record and off.

I recently heard a story about an official court reporter who hasn’t retired yet at the age of 91 – the reporter next in line waiting for his job is 67.    Sounds like I have a long way to go yet – I wonder what the court reporting world will be like in 2034??