News & Insights

February 10, 2017

Statement relating to the Massachusetts Trial Courts

Recent news reporting relating to the Massachusetts Digital Courtrooms project was incorrectly and unreasonably critical of For The Record (FTR) and our hard-working personnel.  We take this opportunity to set the record straight on a number of misleading claims made in this report.

There are misperceptions that digital recording technologies replace the need for a human to transcribe the record. For The Record’s solutions are designed to help, not hinder, court reporters in the process of creating an accurate transcript. Digital court recording is simply a different way of working to allow court reporters to work more efficiently and also remotely from a courtroom. With our recording solution, human hands still transcribe the official court transcript – not a machine.

For The Record solutions capture crystal-clear, high-definition audio and have a number of in-built features to enable court reporters to start, stop, slow down and isolate an individual speaker’s channel.  Background noise can be reduced and a precise transcript created. The digital audio recording is also securely archived so it can be checked in the event of a dispute.  None of these safeguards are possible without a court-sanctioned digital audio recording.

High quality, verbatim audio is an absolute record of what was said in court. This is why stenotype machines contain stereo digital recording capability allowing stenographers to check their work.

For The Record is the global leader in capturing high-definition digital courtroom audio. Our solutions are proven to provide fast, efficient and reliable access to justice with more than 27,000 installations across 62 countries. We have witnessed improved accuracy of the record and increased end user satisfaction throughout the world.

The recent television news broadcast also discussed a side-by-side comparison between traditional stenography and transcriptions of a digital recording.  However, For The Record has not produced any transcripts for Massachusetts Trial Courts.

For The Record continues to work closely with the Massachusetts Trial Courts to deliver the rollout under the agreed timetable.  The Company is deeply grateful to our hard-working personnel who are helping to deliver the most modern courtrooms in the world.

Change can sometimes be difficult for those affected.  However, it remains true that digital recording will not force people out of the transcription process. Court proceedings affect people’s lives so the need for an accurate court transcript will continue to require people to be still involved in transcription for many years to come. The stenography community will continue to play a crucial role in producing the court record, albeit digital, supported by For The Record.

 

Peter Wyatt
CEO and Managing Director
For The Record Group