Career Information

Court reporters create a verbatim (word-for-word) transcript of legal and quasi-legal proceedings using a combination of machine shorthand and computer-aided translation (CAT). They are responsible for ensuring a complete and accurate record of the proceedings and may also be required to swear in witnesses and mark exhibits. Court reporters are also required to learn and perform a number of duties before, during, and after transcript production including:

  • preparing customized computer dictionary files with terminology, names, and words associated with the cases and files they produce
  • creating customized computer formats, styles, and layouts for various proceedings
  • obtaining accurate spellings for the persons, places, and things referred to in the proceedings including, but not limited to, proper identification of speakers
  • providing readback of testimony upon request based on their shorthand notes and/or CAT transcript during proceedings
  • editing the CAT transcript for accuracy, punctuation, spelling, and grammar
  • facilitating the delivery of hard copy and/or electronic transcripts to various parties
  • providing expedited, daily copy, or realtime transcript services as required
  • developing and following secure and organized storage and retrieval of all shorthand notes, transcript files, and other relevant information relating to each individual proceeding

A number of court reporters attend court proceedings, a few as employees of the Attorney General of Alberta, but more commonly on a freelance or contract basis through private court reporting firms.  More commonly, court reporters are self-employed and attend appointments booked through private court reporting firms for pre-trial proceedings such as questioning for discovery or quasi-judicial proceedings such as arbitrations or public hearings.