Why It’s Becoming Hard to Find a Court Reporter

The demand for certified court reporters is outpacing the supply, and the situation is expected to get worse as current court reporters retire.  According to the 2013-2014 Court Reporting Industry Outlook Report written by Ducker Worldwide, “Decreased enrollment and graduation rates for court reporters, combined with significant retirement rates, will create by 2018 a critical shortfall projected to represent nearly 5,500 court reporting positions.”

Demographic, technological, political, and cultural changes have all taken a toll on the industry. The National Court Reporters’ Association (NCRA) estimates there were 50,000 court reporters (stenographic) working in the U.S. in 1998. Today, the Department of Labor estimates that number at 20,800 (Occupational Outlook Handbook).

Finding a Court Reporter

Is Technology the Answer?

Of course, the courts can simply transition the unfilled courtrooms to digital recording and everything will be fine, right? If only things were that simple.Whether a deposition or other courtroom proceeding is recorded, videotaped or hologrammed, someone will still need to review the material for errors and overall accuracy. What’s more, recorders aren’t able to decode mumbling witnesses, fast-talking attorneys or non-English speakers.

Official court reporters provide much more of a service than simply recording court proceedings. Court reporters are well-trained professionals experienced in managing the court record. They know how to produce a transcript and understand all of the court rules around formatting, confidentiality, and filing.

The time and cost required to adopt new, effective processes to replace stenographic reporters should also not be underestimated. That reporter is a valuable resource and this pending shortage represents a significant brain drain for the court and law practices everywhere.

So How Can You Find A Qualified Court Reporter For Your Case?

In short, stop wasting hours searching Google and playing phone tag trying to find a great court reporter for your litigation needs. Litigation Bids makes it easy to find qualified court reporters. Simply post your project needs on our marketplace and let available court reporters come to you. You don’t need to share case details or even contact information. Interested vendors reply to you via the secure messaging built into LitigationBids.com. And since we offer a nationwide service, you can easily find court reporters and other litigation support vendors anywhere in the country. Best of all, the whole service is free to use.