A Dirty What?

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What is a court reporter?

Most of us, including myself, don’t know what a court reporter is, what they do, or in what language they type. Are they really typing every single word?  Who hires them?  What is with those little typewriters?  I didn’t know the answers to these questions until I started working at a court reporting company — MileStone | Reporting Company located in Orange County, Orlando, Florida. Yes, you read it correctly, a court reporting company.  Most court reporters work for a private company, not for the government or the court system. No matter how many times I tell my friends and family what I do, they still think I work for the county courthouse.

You have seen professional court reporters in the news during the Zimmerman case or the Casey Anthony trial sitting next to the judge with their little machines and rolls of paper, kind of like that candy back in the day.  Remember the little dots on the register tape that no matter how hard you tried, you still had paper stuck on the candy?  Well, what are they typing on that paper?

I now get it. I understand what they do. A court reporter makes a verbatim record of judicial proceedings, closed-captioning, and real-time translation service. Steno reporters use stenotype machines with a special keyboard that types steno, a/k/a that weird language, at over 225 words per minute.

Did you know there are different methods of capturing the written record? There are steno reporters, real-time reporters, voice writers, and media reporters. Now that I work at MileStone | Reporting Company, I know all about court reporters, steno, legal videography, and media reporters. I can even explain to you what an ASCII file is or a “Dirty ASCII”, you naughty kitty. Regardless the method, it’s our final end product and the service we deliver to the client that matters most.

I learned how to print and bind transcripts, sync video and/or audio with transcripts, hyper-link exhibits, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) exhibits, E-transcripts, PDF transcripts, and do a “Dirty ASCII.”

MileStone | Reporting Company is a court reporting powerhouse. We service Central Florida, Tampa, Florida, Seminole County, Lake County, and Osceola County.  We think outside of the box to provide high-tech court reporting services with a personal touch.

Next time you watch the news to get an update on the Zimmerman case, I hope you will have a better understanding and appreciation of who a court reporter is and what they do.


by:  Omar Arocho
Director of Technology
Milestone | Reporting Company