This past weekend, I discovered the popular PBS series, Downton Abbey. My daughter said, “Mom, we are having a Downton Abbey marathon so you can catch up before Season 3 starts.” After viewing 15 hours of this show, I have to say that I absolutely love it and am addicted! According to a recent article from the New Yorker, the creators of the series “chose 1912 as the start date for the series because it was the beginning of the modern technological era. And indeed, every season has inserted some piece of technology into the plot, and into the house, modernizing Downton despite itself.”
Downton Abbey is set in the early 1900s — a period when inventions and communications technology were making huge leaps. Throughout the first two seasons of the series and into Season 3, Downton has introduced electricity, the typewriter, the telephone, and, most recently, the toaster into the home. The portrayal of these modern conveniences that we take for granted today is interesting. As each of the new inventions have been introduced into the household, the characters are skeptical and are slow to adopt this new and “strange” technology.
As I viewed the reaction of the household of Downton toward new technology, it brought to mind how the field of court reporting has changed from when I was a student 30 years ago. While some may argue that the technological advances in most recent years does not compare to the inventions in the early 1900s, it should be noted that there are some fantastic tools available to assist court reporters to be more productive, efficient, and valuable to attorney clients and legal professionals. Court reporters should keep in mind that in order to be effective and stay relevant, we must keep abreast of technology, embrace it, and never be skeptical of the newest innovations.
Below are just a few of the tools utilized by Omega Reporting, your Memphis court reporters:
- Electronic transcripts with exhibit linking.
- Scanning of exhibits to PDF format while striving to become paperless.
- Digital signatures on electronic transcripts to ensure they are authentic.
- Secure online repository to access your electronic transcripts.
- Video-text synchronization captures witness testimony via videography along with the court reporter’s transcript.
- Videoconferencing and Skype depositions.
- Realtime technology allows court reporters to instantly convert their Stenographic notes into English text and, thus, allowing attorneys instant access to the written record during a judicial proceeding.
As I’ve said many times before,
Technology is great!