The responsibility of a court reporter is to preserve what is said or occurs in a court proceeding when an official record must be made. This task must be performed without disruption or delay of the proceedings. The equipment used by reporters in Indiana is not uniform nor is their training but their work product must be the same: a printed transcription of the record which is accurate, organized and delivered in as short a period of time as possible.
A court reporter’s responsibilities are often overlooked, misunderstood and taken for granted. Many reporters spend considerable time after normal work hours and away from family in order to complete requested transcripts.
Almost twenty-five years has passed since the publication of the first Court Reporter Handbook by the Indiana Judicial Center. Indiana’s court system still does not have an agency responsible for the creation of standards for court reporting services, equipment or the education of its court reporting personnel. Indiana’s courts continue to be served by a variety of reporters, varying in experience and training but dedicated to creation of a true and accurate record of court proceedings.
The Task Force has revised the previous edition in light of changes made to the Trial Rules and Rules of Appellate Procedure and changes in technology available for reporting services. The members were all volunteers with years of experience as reporters who came from all geographic areas of the state and from counties, both rural and metropolitan.
Although this manual is not official, it is offered as an approach and guide to the reporters who work, often in isolation, to handle the technical, ethical and management issues related to reporting. To paraphrase the Hon. James E. Letsinger [Lake County Superior Court (Criminal Division) retired], this is a book of recipes compiled by cooks who have spent a lot of time in the kitchen.