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Page Title: General Duties of the Court Reporter
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Normally  the  commanding  officer  (CO)  of  the naval  legal  service  office  (NLSO)  directs  the employment  of  reporters. R.C.M. 502(e), MCM, 1984, refers to the qualifi- cations of reporters and provides, in part, that “The qualifications of reporters may be prescribed by the Secretary concerned. No person shall act as reporter in any case in which that person is, or has been, in the same case (1) the accuser, (2) a witness, (3) an inves- tigating  officer,  (4)  counsel  for  any  party,  or  (5)  a member  of  the  court-martial  or  of  any  earlier court-martial of which the trial is a rehearing, new, or other  trial.” OATHS R.C.M. 807(b) provides that “The reporters shall take an oath to perform their duties faithfully.” The JAGMAN  lists  the  required  verbiage  of  the  oath: Oath  for  reporters:  The  trial  counsel  (TC)  will administer  the  following  oath  to  every  reporter  of a  court-martial  who  has  not  been  previously sworn: Do you (swear) (affirm) that you will faithfully perform the duties of reporter to this court-martial (so help you God)?” The TC administers the oath to the reporter at the court-martial.  At  the  discretion  of  the  CO  of  the NLSO  to  which  the  reporter  is  assigned  or  employed, reporters may execute a written oath to perform their duties faithfully in all cases to which they are detailed or employed before an officer qualified to administer oaths. When a reporter who has been sworn is used by, reassigned  to,  or  employed  by  a  different  GCM  CA,  a copy of the oath is given to the CO of the NLSO of the new  CA.  The  CO  of  the  NLSO  authorizing  the administration of a written oath maintains a copy of the  oath  so  it  may  readily  be  determined  that  the reporter has been previously sworn. When reporters are not sworn in court because they have previously been sworn, this fact is noted in the transcript or the record of trial. When calling the court-martial to order for the first time in a case, the military judge makes sure the name  and  rank  of  the  detailed  court  reporter  are announced. After all personnel of the court have been accounted for, the TC announces whether the reporter, if one is present, has been previously sworn. If not sworn, the reporter is then sworn. If a reporter is ever replaced during the trial, this fact must be noted in the record. VERBATIM  REPORTING You,  as  the  court  reporter,  are  responsible  for recording  all  proceedings  verbatim.  Actually,  the term verbatim  reporting  may  be  misleading.  There will,  of  course,  be  instances  where  you  will  know beforehand   that   a   verbatim   transcript   of   the proceedings  will  not  be  required,  as  in  an  SPCM where a punitive discharge is not authorized. Good reporting techniques, however, dictate that you should record all proceedings verbatim. There is always the chance  that  the  CA  may  desire  a  verbatim  transcript even though such a transcript would not otherwise be required. Obviously, you cannot prepare a verbatim transcript unless you have previously recorded the proceedings  word  for  word.  Also,  there  are  certain portions  of  a  summarized  record  that  must  be transcribed   verbatim. GENERAL DUTIES OF THE COURT REPORTER The most important thing you should always keep in mind when you are detailed as a reporter for any military court or commission is that it is your job to get it all down. If  a  question  is  raised  whether  any  particular matter is included in the terms  proceedings of  and testimony taken,  the military judge determines the question  according  to  applicable  law  and  regulations. It is the duty of the reporter to include in the record everything that is said or takes place in open sessions and  in  hearings  out  of  the  presence  of  the  court members. The reporter does not omit any portion of these  proceedings  from  the  record. Before Trial Before  trial  you  may  be  directed  to  perform  other administrative duties that could include typing and preparing  the  following  documents: l l l l l Article  32  investigations Oral  depositions Investigating  officer’s  report Advice of the SJA Pretrial   agreements 3-2

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