Posted on behalf of Elsa Jorgensen, CSR-6600
I do not release the audio without an order from a judge. My understanding is that I should not release it, even with a subpoena or letter from an attorney. The audio backup is the reporter’s work product. Some reporters may release it, but that may set a precedent for us to be audio technicians as well as court reporters. What if the recording isn’t a good quality? What if it doesn’t pick up every single word in an answer or question due to its location? What if the reporter forgets to start the audio backup and there is not audio for the entire proceeding?
The court reporter’s notes and subsequent transcript are the record, not the audio. Even the steno notes would not be released to an attorney. If there is a particular issue that needed to be recorded, the proceeding could have been video recorded. In the past, I have offered to recheck an area, but I believe many reporters delete the audio as soon as the transcript is produced.
As you are aware, NCRA has some COPE opinions on this matter. I hope my answer and opinion has been useful.
Michigan Association of Professional Court Reporters P.O. Box 366, Pinckney, MI 48169 Phone: 734.498.2627 Fax: 734.498.8415 firstname.lastname@example.org