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At trial in New York, why is there a court stenographer?


A: A court stenographer is the approved method by the New York State court system that allows us to have a permanent record of everything that is said and goes on during a trial in a civil case. Having a stenographer allows everyone in court the ability to read back any testimony that is given. It also allows an appeals court to know exactly what occurred and what testimony and evidence came in during the course of the trial. Although there are different methods of transcribing the spoken word at trial, stenographer's have the ability to reread in real time.

Some court systems use audio recording devices or video recording to capture what actually occurred during trial. In New York, the accepted method is to use a court reporter. Interestingly, the state pays for the service. However, if any one of the attorneys wants a daily transcript of everything that went on that particular day, they must retain that court reporter and pay for an expedited transcript, also known as “daily copy.” An expedited transcript is often expensive.