Did you know you can hire a court reporter to cover your next trial in Oregon? Oregon Statutes 8.340, 8.350, and 8.360 specifically provide litigants the opportunity to file an order with the court stipulating that certain proceedings in a case be recorded stenographically by a court reporter rather than by the court’s audio system.
This decision must be agreed to by all parties to the litigation as well as the judge. Oftentimes the costs are split equally among the parties with any transcription fees billed to the ordering party.
Having a live court reporter will ensure that your record is accurate and you will have access to daily transcripts if needed. If the record is compromised by a loud siren or a juror’s coughing fit, the court reporter will interrupt and ask the witness to repeat what the reporter couldn’t hear unlike an audio recording which simply preserves the sounds in the courtroom rather than the actual words that were spoken.
Likewise, the court reporter takes responsibility for making sure the record is captured. If more than one person is talking at a time, the reporter will interrupt and remind them to speak one at a time. Without that type of monitoring, it is all too easy for attorneys and witnesses to fall into the habit of starting to speak before the other has finished which makes for a garbled audio record that may or may not be transcribed accurately.
In addition to preserving the record, the transcripts produced by court reporters who actually attended the proceedings are going to be more accurate than those produced by someone unfamiliar with the case from a recording. Context influences comprehension, and there is no substitute for being there when it comes to understanding what occurred.
Want to preserve your record? We have created a fillable .pdf form that you can use to request stenographic court reporting for your trials and/or hearings in Oregon. If a live reporter has not been used in your circuit court for several years, it is a good idea to approach the judge ahead of time to allow for time to review the applicable statutes.