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CLCT helps demonstrate a first in remote technology

In May, the Center for Legal and Court Technology (CLCT) Court Affiliates were witness to a special event during CLCT's annual Court Affiliates Conference in Fairfax, Va. Court Record Solutions (CRS) successfully demonstrated live, remote stenographic transcription using digital courtroom audio, a "world first" according to Fred Lederer, a leading expert in the legal technology industry and CLCT director.

Using the company's proprietary live file distribution software 'LiveCopy(tm)', Tony Douglass, CRS president, demonstrated the technology to a gathering of judges, court technology directors, state court administrators, and leading software developers at the annual Court Affiliates Conference.

The demonstration presented a revolutionary workflow for today's digital court and court reporter: using LiveCopy, encrypted For The Record (FTR) audio was delivered within five seconds of the spoken word to a stenographer working from home over 25 miles away. The stenographer could slow down audio in fast passages of conversation, and speed up when the participants paused. This control of the FTR player meant no interruptions to proceedings were necessary. The software took only minutes to set up in the courthouse and provided the court with complete control over allocation and delivery of the LiveCopy audio.

The court reporter conducting the experiment, Steve Hubbard of T.S. Hubbard Jr. & Associates, found the process refreshingly simple. “I just loaded up the LiveCopy software - it was easier than DropBox (a popular file sharing tool) - and I was receiving audio straight to my FTR player. I have never seen anything like it,” Hubbard said. “Even though I wasn't in the courtroom, I could slow down fast conversations - instead of asking the court to slow down.  Once they paused, I could speed up the audio again.  For once, I could control the courtroom without disrupting the flow - I could focus on the dialogue and not the circumstances.  For me, it was a breath of fresh air."

David Bartee, director, courtroom technology for Fairfax County said that "when Mr. Hubbard emailed us the final transcript only 30 minutes after our Chief Judge, Dennis J. Smith, stepped away from the podium, I couldn't believe it. I just had to go and print copies to hand out as 'evidence' to conference attendees."

Lederer, Chancellor Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School, explained that the demonstration was a first for a number of reasons:  "The demonstration changes the nature of the use of electronic recording.  In addition, it probably opens the market to depositions practice and many other things.  It is just possible that what has just been demonstrated to you will change the world as we know it."

About the Center for Legal and Court Technology:

CLCT is an entrepreneurial public service organization at the College of William & Mary Law School and a joint initiative of William & Mary and the National Center for State Courts. Its mission is to improve the administration of justice through the use of technology.

For more information, contact Celeste Vaughn at CLCT at (757)221-7730, clct@wm.edu.