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General Duties of the Court Reporter
CHAPTER 3 COURT REPORTING 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 reporter. FUNCTIONS OF THE COURT REPORTER 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,   let’s   take   a   brief   look   at   the   issue   of appointment and detailing of court reporters. APPOINTMENT AND DETAILING OF REPORTERS 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). 3-1

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