Charges and specifications
Findings and sentence work sheets
Proposed instruction to the members
Make sure copies of the appropriate court-martial
convening order and any amendments are before each
member of the court, military judge, TC, defense
counsel (DC), and the accused. In addition, if the
case was originally referred to one convening order
and then re-referred to another, you must furnish the
original order to the military judge. You also will
provide a copy of the charges and specifications,
questions forms, and sufficient paper and pencils to
all parties to the trial.
You must make sure your recording equipment is in
proper working condition and the other tools of good
reporting are available; for example, extra pencils, extra
prenumbered tapes, chalk, blackboard, erasers, tags for
real evidence, and a reporters work sheet.
Some of these pretrial administrative duties are
addressed in this chapter and some are addressed later
in chapter 6.
There are many duties of the court reporter during
the actual proceedings. Of course, the most important
duty is the actual verbatim recording of all proceedings.
This also includes all actions of the witnesses, accused,
counsel, and any other parties to the trial.
You may be required to remain in the courtroom
during short recesses when the TC is unable to be
present. You also will be tasked with securing the
courtroom during meal recesses, overnight recesses,
and any other period that necessitates the absence of
the TC or yourself for extended periods. Make sure
any evidence admitted during the trial is secured
during such recesses or adjournments.
You are authorized, through the military judge, to
stop the proceedings for various reasons. Keep these
interruptions to a minimum. Some of the allowable
reasons for stopping proceedings include the
. You did not hear the testimony of the witness.
. You did not hear something said by any other
party to the trial.
Time is required to change tapes.
Time is required to mark exhibits.
Anything else that requires your attention to
make an accurate verbatim transcript.
After the trial is complete, you are responsible for
retrieving all exhibits that were admitted in evidence
(and those offered but not admitted) from the TC and
DC, and any extra copies of these exhibits that are
available. If charts, blackboards, or real evidence
were introduced, you need to make the necessary
arrangements to have these photographed
immediately after the trial or, if time permits, during
recesses or adjournments, as directed by the TC.
While the military judge or members see the
physical evidence, the NMCMR, which has
fact-finding power, must often rely on photographs or
descriptions. The TC has the responsibility of making
sure the substituted photographs or descriptions
adequately depict the exhibit. While the use of a
self-developing photograph is convenient, the
resulting photograph is often virtually useless to the
Do not overlook the use of local
photographic offices to help in preparing adequate
photographic representations of the trial exhibits.
After the proceedings you are responsible for
cleaning up the courtroom for the next trial and
preparing the report of result of trial and a
confinement order, if necessary, for the TC.
Last but certainly not least, you may be
responsible for the preparation of the record of trial in
that court. Each NLSO conducts business differently.
If you are assigned to the court reporting and
transcription shop, you may be required, at times, to
transcribe your own courts. However, cases may also
be turned in to the supervisor who then assigns them
to the next available transcriptionist for preparation.
It is, therefore, very important to remember that you
may not be the one assigned to transcribe the court
you are recording, so do the best job possible.
Loss of Recordings
The military judge may, before authentication of
the record, hold a posttrial session to repeat
proceedings in which a verbatim transcript cannot be
prepared because of loss of recordings.