Boston Court Reporters

A Glossary of Digital Court Reporting Terms

Accident Scene Video is a video recording of an accident scene. Its purpose is to provide vivid images of your case and your client’s loss.

Activities of Daily Living Documentary portrays the consequential damages your client has sustained because of an injury. The videographer documents and features the plaintiff’s activities of daily living, (i.e., bathing, dressing, eating, and various therapies). These videos are often the best way to present evidence to a mediator, arbitrator, defendant, insurance company and/or a jury about how your client has been impacted by the harm that gave rise to the litigation. Typically reserved for trial, an Activities of Daily Living Documentary fairly, honestly, objectively, and accurately portrays your client’s altered lifestyle to those viewing the video.

Audio-to-Transcript Synchronization is the process of aligning an E-Reporters transcript to the original, digitally-recorded audio content. Audio-to-transcript synchronization increases the value of audio content by making it searchable, thereby making it possible for a user to navigate to specific audio content. Research in educational psychology suggests that synchronization of a written transcript with the attendant audio increases both the comprehension and retention of information.

Bundling is the integration of evidence and testimony into a digital audio-visual display where the arrangement of evidence and testimony creates maximum impact in both pre-trial settlement and trial. Like audio-to-transcript synchronization, bundling increases the comprehension and retention of information. Broadly, bundling is the process of gathering pertinent information into a display for the purpose of making a case or claim. Commonly, it is the saved collection of the audio or video files, the transcript in E-Transcripts format, and the transcripts and scanned exhibits in PDF format.

Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART), also called open captioning or realtime stenography, or simply real-time captioning, is a system that court reporters use to convert speech to text. A trained operator uses keyboard or stenography methods to transcribe spoken speech into written text. As a tool in legal practice, CART enables its user to view testimony on-screen and CART text can be downloaded into software applications allowing the user to insert notes, highlight text, and perform basic word-string searches. For pre-trial and trial presentation, CART is useful for augmenting the comprehension of decision-makers whose primary language is different from the language being used, as well as enabling decision-makers to understand speakers with different voices and accents.

Computer-Aided Transcription or CAT is a computer-enhanced stenography machine that allows keystrokes to be stored in the memory of the computer or recorded on a disk. CAT is a digitized record that is readily translated into an unabbreviated unedited text by the computer. CAT speeds the transcription process, making it faster and less costly than manual stenographic transcription.

Construction Management Video is proof that all work is completed under the terms and conditions of a contract. It is a visual check-list of the required work and materials that must be in place as a condition of payment.

Closed Captioning is the process of displaying text on a video-display to provide interpretive information to individuals who wish to access it. Closed captions typically display a transcription of the audio portion of a program or conversation as it occurs (either verbatim or in edited form), sometimes including non-speech elements. The inclusion of non-speech elements as an enhancement for the viewer is a crucial element of captioning, irrespective of open or closed caption accessibility.

Condensed Transcript is a miniaturized copy of the original transcript printed in such a way as to place four pages of transcript on a single side. MIN-U-SCRIPT™ and E-Transcripts™ software programs both create condensed transcripts. Sometimes, the condensed transcript itself is referred to as the “the Min-U-Script.”

Deposition Video is a video recording of a deposition or sworn statement that when properly admitted into evidence can be used to impeach a witness with remarkable effectiveness.

E-Reporting or Electronic-Reporting is a court-reporting method that harnesses the power of digital electronic recording to produce a highly accurate and 100% reproducible record of a legal proceeding. Verifiable as the bona fide record of an actual proceeding, E-Reporting is substantially less expensive than traditional machine stenography. E-Reporting is the stenographic method employed by the Executive and Judicial Branches of the United States Government and is increasingly being adopted by state judicial branches across the United States. E-Reporting is direct multi-channel audio that preserves the only independently verifiable record of what people in a legal proceeding actually say—unfiltered by anyone’s individual interpretation, mishearing, or distractions. The audio record can be replayed as needed to ensure precise transcription and to confirm accuracy.

E-Transcript is an electronic transcript format that includes a hyperlinked word index enabling you to scan the word index and click to the selected place in the transcript. An E-Transcript is easily delivered by email or FTP download, or overnight delivery. An E-Transcript imports seamlessly into almost all word processors and case management programs.

Last Will and Testament Video is a sure way to demonstrate the mental capacity of your client. Proof of the due execution of a Last Will and Testament is more certain when substantiated by a recording. The video shows the testator declaring the instrument to be his last will and testament, the testator affixing his signature upon the document, the legally required number of witnesses observing the will execution and their signing in the conscious presence of the testator.

Pre-Construction Survey Video documents the condition of the property to be constructed, as well as the surrounding area before work begins. This video protects against erroneous, fraudulent or excessive claims. If damage does occur, a pre-construction survey video helps your client restore an area to its original condition.

Post-Construction Survey Video documents that construction has been completed under the terms and conditions of the contract and that all work has been completed to code.

Pre-Nuptial Signing Video is a video recording of the prenuptial agreement reading and its subsequent signing by both the bride-to-be and the groom, so there are no questions as to the agreement’s terms. Video recording of a pre-nuptial agreement signing demonstrates the fact that the signing is not under duress and no fraud is involved.

Realtime Stenography is a computer-aided transcription system capable of contemporaneously translating a digitized shorthand record and producing an unedited written document even as the record is being made. This unedited text can be viewed immediately and later corrected by the stenographer. The speed and quality of this type of system, known as real-time stenography, is familiar to anyone who has followed the closed caption text of a live television program.

Repository refers to the secure, web-based, password protected online accessibility of stored depositions and exhibits in electronic form which can be easily copied and shared. A repository is a virtual warehouse where digitized case records are maintained.

Settlement Documentaries impress the opposing party for a prompt settlement and to avoid a trial. Designed to help settle the case out of court, Settlement Documentaries convince the opposition to take the matter of settlement seriously and to fully realize the pain and suffering resultant from negligence, malpractice or liability. The Settlement Documentary summarizes all aspects of your case in a television documentary format. Life prior to how an incident occurred, its nature, who was at fault and why, the impact, expert witnesses, tests, demonstrations, as well as your client’s injuries, are all communicated to opposing counsel in a Settlement Documentary.

Synchronization means to cause to coincide in time or to cause to occur simultaneously. As a technical term it refers to the processes employed to match a transcribed verbatim text with an original audio or audio-visual recording. Synchronization aids in comprehension and retention of the recorded word, allowing increased retention and comprehension. See audio-to-text synchronization and video-to-text synchronization.

Teleconferencing is the live exchange and communication of information among persons and machines remote from one another, but linked by a telecommunications system. A teleconference uses technology more sophisticated than a simple two-way phone connection. Because of the high bandwidth of video and the opportunity for larger and multiple display screens, a videoconference requires special telecommunication arrangements and a special room at each end. Currently, researchers are exploring the possibility of having high definition 3-D teleconferences in which all participants actually appear to be in the same room together.

Time-Stamped Transcript is the inclusion of a sequence of numerical characters by hour, minute, and second, denoting the time at which a certain event occurred in the course of the creation of a digital audio/video record. A time-stamped transcript refers to the subsequently produced written transcript of the audio-recorded spoken word. A time-stamped transcript synchronizes text transcripts with the accompanying audio/video content. Time-stamping helps those reading the transcript to follow along with the audio/video, or, if a clarification is needed in the typed transcript, the time-stamp serves as a marker for where to go in the audio to listen to it again.

Videoconferencing is the process of using telecommunications technologies to enable two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions, simultaneously.

Video-to-Transcript Synchronization is the process of aligning a verbatim transcript to the original, corresponding digitally-recorded video content. Video-to-transcript synchronization increases the value of video content by making it searchable and navigable, thereby making it possible for a user to navigate to specific video content. Research in educational psychology suggests that synchronization of a written transcript with the attendant video increases comprehension and retention of information.

Voice Writing is a recording method originally designed almost 70 years ago with the intention of completely eliminating pen and machine stenography. Quite simply, a voice writer repeats each and every spoken word in a legal proceeding into a face mask. Voice writing, like pen and machine stenography, offers no independently verifiable way to confirm that the proceedings as recorded by the voice writer are 100% accurate.



American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT) is a nonprofit organization that provides education and certification for professionals engaged in electronic reporting and transcription. The AAERT also works to promote public awareness and acceptance of the electronic reporting industry.

National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting machine stenography court reporting.

National Legal Video Association (NLVA) is a professional association committed to increasing the understanding of the role of the legal videographer among its members, customers, attorneys, judges, legislators and regulators to ensure that NLVA members are the preferred professionals for capturing the video record.