Deborah Gross-Quatrone, a Saddle Brook, N.J., attorney who was the immediate past president of the Bergen County Bar Association, echoed similar concerns.
"We use certain terminology -- 'legalese,' if you want to call it that," she said. "A live person is accustomed to it, and it's common for the court reporter to say, 'I am sorry, I didn't get that. Can you repeat?'
"Somehow that is not going to happen with video or audio. I am not saying it happens every day, but it is certainly a consideration that you have to factor in."
Considering that lives and liberties may be at stake in many such proceedings, "Isn't it important that we provide them with the optimal service that we can give them?" she asked.
Doyne said working with court reporters has its advantages, but stressed that the courts are well served by recording equipment.
That does not mean court reporters are redundant, he said. Transcripts from stenographers can be accessed the same day, as opposed to audio and video recordings which may take a few days to be available, he said.
Stenographers also are vital in proceedings in which a person with a hearing disability is involved, he said. A court reporter can type a proceeding in real time and display it on a computer screen for the disabled person.
"They perform a very important function in particular cases," he said.
Information from: The Record, http://www.northjersey.com
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