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Federal Court Reporters and Electronic Recording - Hearing Before the House Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Administration of Justice on H R 4450, March 8, 1984

NCJ Number
Date Published
270 pages
A transcript is provided of a hearing considering research undertaken for the Judicial Conference of the United States, pursuant to Section 401 of the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982, which analyzed audio reporting as a court reporting method in a 12 U.S. district courts in 1983.
The study examined over 800 audio cassettes as well as 15 audiotape reels, over 10,000 pages of documents, audio operators' log notes, summary sheets, and tally sheets used to analyze accuracy. Researchers at the Federal Judicial Center concluded that audio recording can provide an accurate record of court proceedings and at a lower cost than official court reporters. It can provide the basis for accurate and timely transcript delivery. The Resource Planning Corporation (RPC) has criticized the choices of the court, court reporters, transcription services, and transcript samples and has found fault with the study's comparative cost analyses. However, the Federal Judicial Center has charged that RPC has failed to recognize that the study was only a feasibility study. The Coopers and Lybrand analysis of the study, which criticizes its cost estimates, is also criticized. Testimony of Richard Dagdigian, a court reporter in Illinois, identifies limitations of tape recorders, including tape equipment failure. In defense of the study, testimony of Gordon Bermant, director of the Innovations and Systems Development Division, Federal Judicial Center, in defense of the study is included. The text of H.R. 4450, designed to delay the effective day of section 401(b) of the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982, is included.