A deponent is physically located in India, the noticing attorney is in North Carolina, and opposing counsel is based out of Virginia. Using remote videoconference technology to reduce deposition related travel expenses is a no-brainer for this scenario. With the Wall Street Journal reporting that roughly 18% of the stenographic based workforce has retired since 2015, reporting agencies are increasingly looking to remote methods in local or regional matters. Imagine you have two half-day depositions that are on opposite sides of a busy city, a deponent who lives an hour outside of town, or the younger attorney who wants to go all-digital.

Remote is a powerful tool for expanding your reporter’s reach, but it’s also more practical than ever before. According to the internet speed-test company Ookla, broadband internet speeds are significantly increasing year over year, and by 38% in the year 2018 alone. This year, 2020, also marks the introductory push of nationwide 5G mobile internet for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. More reliable broadband and mobile networks are fueling the acceleration of remote work in the United States.

This breakthrough is more important than ever for mitigating the reduction in available court reporters. We’ll cover a few of the major benefits of remote reporting. 

Remote Stenographer Method: The use of videoconference technology to remotely connect a stenographic court reporter to transcribe one or more participants in a different physical location. 

Expand Your Reach

According to an analysis in the American Community Survey by Global Workplace Analytics, the number of workers in the United States telecommuting, or working remotely, has increased by 159% between the years 2005 and 2017. As we mentioned, a likely catalyst for this is the increased practicality associated with increasing internet speeds, and easier to use videoconference tools at our fingertips.

Adopting the Remote Stenographer Method can expand your agency’s reach by allowing you to service more depositions, as well as tackle human resource constraints facing many cities. In the scenarios we painted above, with a little preparation your reporters can transcribe from a central location, or even the comfort of their own home. Eliminating travel makes it more feasible to attend two, and possibly three short depositions in a single day.

Transcripts Instead of Traffic

Expanding your reach with a purpose-built remote deposition platform can not only save your clients money on travel expenses, it can also increase productivity. In a two-year study conducted by Stanford University, Professor Nicholas Bloom found that working from home increased work performance by 13%, with reported improvement in work satisfaction, and a halving of the employee attrition rate.

Transcription work requires intense focus with as little distraction as possible. By focusing on transcripts instead of traffic, your reporters can work within the comfort of their home, or other preferred quiet work settings, to increase throughput.

Increase Accuracy with Remote Source Redundancy

Any transcriptionist who has worked from a digital recording with tell you that transcribing during crosstalk situations can be difficult, or nearly impossible, to discern who is saying what. The issue comes down to a limit in human perception as described in the principles of Auditory Scene Analysis (ASA). When two overlapping speech-sound waves are grouped together they become inaudible.

With Remote Source Redundancy, a unique innovation designed specifically for the reporting industry, independent remote audio sources can now be isolated during a crosstalk situation. This allows the reporter to fill in the gaps and overcome the challenge of crosstalk during remote depositions.

The Future

The Remote Stenographer Method represents a practical first step for resolving issues related to the court reporter shortage. Not only does this method expand your reach and reduce expenses, it can also increase productivity. As workers become more accustomed to remote technology, fueled by the rapid increase in internet speeds, the solution is more practical to implement than ever.

The next step forward is a purpose-built remote videoconference experience that mimics how same room depositions take place. Industry specific functionality and design, such as vTestify’s Remote Source Redundancy, enable reporters to never miss a moment of testimony and easily connect to the deposition room. An intuitive purpose-built tool allows reporters to focus on being the guardian of the record, and not technical support staff. Remote work is a powerful tool for expanding your reach and addressing the court reporter shortage.


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