The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

October 29, 2012

Different technologies preserve court records



Common Pleas Judge Ronald Vettel and Alfred Mackey still employ stenographic court reporters.

“I think it makes the best record,” Vettel said of the “highly skilled” people that can transcribe up to 260 words a minute. He said the possibility of unintelligible portions of the proceeding make it too risky.

Vettel said a person may turn while speaking or several people talk at the same time and it would be hard to discern the exact record. “That never happens with a court reporter. She stops (the proceeding),” he said.

Vettel said his court reporter, Terri L. Tisch, also handles all the evidence exhibits. “I know it is going to be done right,” he said.

Tisch, Carrie Iarocci, a floating court reporter, and Amy Nettles, Mackey’s court reporter, all attended two-year court reporting schools that provide a detailed education.

Tisch has been a court reporter for more than 33 years, starting on carbon paper and moving on to the computer era.

 “I love writing in ‘real time.’ It makes the job fun and challenging,” she said of software that shows her notations on the right side of the screen and the transcribed version on the same screen available for the judge and attorneys as the proceeding moves along.

“What we do is a skill. We are highly trained,” she said.  

“We are able to come out of school and go right to work,” she said. Many higher level certifications can be earned after further experience and continuing education, Tisch said.

Mackey said the ability to go back and quickly find a portion of a trial and transcribe it is helpful in long, difficult trials or at sentencing hearings that may occur months after the trial.

While the Ohio Supreme Court allows judges wide guidelines on court room records, it stipulates capital murder cases must have a stenographic court reporter transcribing the proceeding.

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