Court Reporter and Certified Legal Video Specialist Working Relationship

When it comes to the court reporter and certified legal video specialist (CLVS) working relationship, it’s all about understanding each other’s roles. While they’re each recording the legal proceeding, they are doing it in different ways. And if we’re being honest, court reporters need and appreciate the value a CLVS brings to the team; the ability to deliver high quality recordings doesn’t go unnoticed.

What is a Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS)?

A Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS) is a certified through the National Court Reporters Association in a process that involves a written test and production exam. This program sets the standard for legal video in terms of how to capture, use, and retain video. Like court reporters, legal videographers are part of legal proceedings and thus the official transcript, and are held to 62 standards that include:

  • Lighting and sound requirements.
  • Inquiry of requirements for visually recorded exhibits.
  • Microphone set-up and use
  • Communication with witnesses, attorneys, and others present at a legal proceeding regarding these standards.

By hiring a CLVS, legal teams are ensuring the highest quality in recording.

What’s the importance of a quality recording?

Quality recording is important to preserve witness testimony especially in case the witness dies or becomes incapacitated, leaves before the trial, or is otherwise unable to testify. A video deposition can save time and money.

Not only that but it can be an important tool for the court reporter.

The CLVS role is to provide video to the legal team and an audio file should also be offered to the court reporter whether a live feed from the audio mixer or digital computer file. The CLVS certification teaches videographers the importance of what they call the audio chain. That means the audio that comes from wired microphones to the mixer to the video recording devices, then into headphones. Unfortunately, some legal videographers forget the importance of capturing good quality audio and are focused solely on video.

Court Reporter and CLVS Working Relationship

The reality is that the audio is as important, or more important, than the video, especially to the court reporter. Handing off a bad audio file to us, the court reporters, is akin to putting the television on but turning the volume so low we can hardly hear it. We appreciate high-quality live feed, especially when there is a soft-spoken witness, and understand the value of having a Certified Legal Video Specialist to adjust the audio signal through the mixer.

Not only that but for legal teams, it is often a compelling strategy to not only hear the deponent but to also see their face as they testify. Changes in pitch, rate of speech, and body language all play a part in how the opposing legal team and jury view the witness.

Videos with distracting or background noise and utilization of a non-certified videographer can negatively impact a court case. Don’t let that happen to you and your Oklahoma legal team when you call Steno Services for your next video deposition.

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