Have you ever wondered who the person was in the courtroom typing on the little machine? Did what they were doing intrigue you and you wondered how they did it? You were wondering about the Official Court Reporter! Officials work in the courthouses throughout Illinois and take a verbatim record of the words spoken in court by using machine shorthand.
An official court reporter works in the courtroom alongside a judge, whether it be the county courthouse or the federal courthouse. Officials report proceedings in juvenile cases, divorce cases, felony cases, and probate cases, just to name a few. They are front and center at the hearings of not only small cases, but also in highly publicized cases, criminal trials, millionaire divorces, government corruption trials, lawsuits against everyone from rock groups to elected officials to ballplayers.
The official court reporter needs to be knowledgeable about courtroom procedures and legal terminology, be self-motivated, disciplined and goal-oriented, have extensive vocabulary, and remain up-to-date with technology.
When requested, official court reporters prepare transcripts of the court proceedings. Transcript income received is in addition to their monthly salary and is earned on a per-page rate. There are times when an official is requested to provide realtime translation for the Court, the attorneys, or even a deaf or hard-of-hearing juror or litigant. When an official is requested to provide expedited or daily copy, they must put in extra hours to complete the transcripts; but these expedited and daily copies are billed at a higher page rate.
Official court reporters are also referred to as the Guardians of the Record.