Court reporting is an old and honored profession.
It is an endeavor you may be proud of because it
serves a definite need. Wherever prominent people
speak, a reporter is close by recording their words for
dissemination to the public and for posterity.
Whenever a general court-martial (GCM) or a special
court-martial (SPCM) is sitting, a court reporter is
recording the proceedings of that court-martial. This
is done to preserve an account of what occurred on
that day. You paint a complete picture of the
proceeding by your finished product, the record of
trial. The reviewer, staff judge advocate (SJA),
convening authority (CA), the Navy and Marine
Corps Court of Military Review (NMCMR), and the
Court of Military Appeals (COMA) rely solely upon
your record of trial to arrive at their decisions. Our
motto as reporters is The Record Never Forgets.
Probably the most important duty you perform as
an LN is to serve as a court reporter. As a court
reporter, you must record and transcribe various types
of proceedings and then place the transcription of
these proceedings into the proper format. The most
common types of proceedings you will record and
transcribe include courts-martial, Article 32 pretrial
investigations, courts of inquiry, Manual of the Judge
Advocate General (JAGMAN) investigations as
directed, and depositions. In this chapter you will
become familiar with the general qualifications,
duties, and functions of the court reporter. You also
will become familiar with the different methods used
in court reporting, administrative requirements, and
standardized transcribing techniques. In addition
you will examine these basic functions and duties
along with some helpful hints and suggestions that
will assist you as you perform your duties as a court
FUNCTIONS OF THE COURT
The primary function of a court reporter is to
record all proceedings verbatim (word for word) and
then transcribe what has been recorded into the proper
format for that particular proceeding. The court
reporter is also responsible for performing several
related administrative functions before, during, and
after each proceeding. Many times these additional
functions will include such duties as scheduling and
preparing the courtroom, preparing requests for
witnesses, preparing and distributing posttrial
documents, and preparing confinement orders. Some
of these duties are addressed in this chapter and the
remainder are addressed in chapter 6, Pretrial Matters.
Before looking at the general duties of the court
reporter, lets take a brief look at the issue of
appointment and detailing of court reporters.
APPOINTMENT AND DETAILING OF
Article 28, Uniform Code of Military Justice
(UCMJ), provides, in part, that Under such
regulations as the Secretary concerned may prescribe,
the CA of a court-martial, military commission, or
court of inquiry will detail or employ qualified
reporters, who shall record the proceedings of and
testimony taken before that court or commission.
The Rules for Courts-Martial ( R . C . M .)
405(d)(3)(B), Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM),
1984, provides, in part, that The commander who
directed the pretrial investigation may also, as a
matter of discretion, detail or request an appropriate
authority to detail a reporter.
R.C.M. 501(c) provides, in part, that Reporters
may be detailed or employed as appropriate but need
not be detailed by the CA personally. The CA may
direct that a reporter not be used in an SPCM.
Regulations of the Secretary concerned may also
require or restrict the use of reporters in SPCMs.
A bad-conduct discharge (BCD) may not be
adjudged by an SPCM unless a verbatim record of the
proceedings and testimony was made.
Reporters are not detailed to an SPCM to take a
verbatim record unless the SPCM is convenwd by
(1) an officer exercising general court-martial
jurisdiction (OEGCMJ) or (2) a GCM CA who is
granted the authorization. Reporters are not detailed
to summary courts-martial (SCM).