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Last Post 09 Jun 2020 10:14 AM by  Yolanda Fox
R-20-0013 Petition to Amend Various Rules of Procedure Related to Creating the Verbatim Record of Judicial Proceedings
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Author Messages
Michaela H. Davis, RPR, CRR, CRC, CLR
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 10:24 AM
I am in opposition of the suggested rule changes. Certified Court Reporters have ethical responsibilities in taking down testimony and in the production of the transcripts. These areas are instances where people's lives and liberty are at stake. To rely on electronic recording leaves too many opportunities for error. Please vote against any changes to the current rules.

Michaela H. Davis, RPR, CRR, CRC, CLR
Freelance Court Reporter
AZ CR #50574
Phoenix, AZ
drew02@cox.net
Theresa Salsberry
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 10:30 AM
I am in opposition of the suggested rule changes. Certified Court Reporters have ethical duties to take down accurate testimony and production of transcripts. These areas are instances where people's lives and liberty are at stake. To rely on electronic recording leaves too many opportunities for error. Please vote against any changes to the current rules.

Theresa Salsberry
Certified Court Reporter
lakesuperior107@gmail.com
401 East Spring Street
Kingman, AZ 86401
Lorena
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 10:53 AM
I am frequently asked to transcribe court proceedings from electronic files. Some of the difficulties I have encountered are as follows: people speaking at the same time, I can’t discern “can” from “can’t” and have to put (indiscernible) or (inaudible), sometimes speakers speak too closely and loudly into the microphone and the content is distorted and indiscernible even though the judge comments on the record that the light is on and is picking them up, somebody speaks unintelligibly in rapid spurts, difficult dialects, multiple male speakers where I can’t discern who is speaking when there is no accompanying video, and somebody speaking who is walking around as they hand exhibits to the witness and the microphone doesn’t pick them up adequately.

Live court reporters are the guardians of the record to ensure problems are remedied for an accurate record, therefore, I am in opposition of the suggested rule changes. The currently mandated proceedings are just too important to risk to the inherent inefficiencies of ER because property, freedom, and life all depend on a clear and accurate record. Please vote against any changes to the current rules.

Lorena Marin-Garcia, RPR, RMR, CRR
Arizona Registered Reporter 50541
Lorena@mgreporting.com
2415 E. Camelback Road, Suite 700
Phoenix, AZ 85016
602.512.1300

Sonia Vaca
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 11:19 AM
I am in OPPOSITION to Rule R-20-0013 and STRONGLY urge you to vote against it.

The legislature heard HB2235 this legislative session. The bill died because of many issues and recognition that this would be a huge disservice to the litigants and to our legal system as a whole. Despite the fact that HB2235 failed in the House, it appears that now the Administrative Office of the Courts is attempting to sidestep both the will of the legislature and the opinions of the public by submitting Rule R-20-0013 that contains the same language as HB2235 in its original form. It suggests that this rule change is being rushed through, in the middle of a pandemic no less, in furtherance of the economic self-interests of ER companies, as well as those associated with the awarding of such contracts.

I do not believe a satisfactory effort has been put forth to come up with creative solutions. For example, the Request a Reporter program through ACRA has been quite successful in assisting with the perceived court reporter shortage in outlying counties. I can attest to that because I recently was personally able to fulfill the need for a court reporter to cover one day of a murder trial for neighboring Gila County.

I am one of 10 official court reporters at the Pinal County Superior Court located in Florence, Arizona. Before working as an official court reporter, I was a freelance court reporter for over 20 years covering administrative hearings, city court proceedings, depositions, public meetings, as well as court proceedings all over Arizona.

My colleagues and I are certified court reporters. It is our ethical responsibility and our duty to create and maintain a verbatim record. We take every word that is spoken down verbatim. We understand that someone’s life and liberty may depend on that transcript. We too have been tasked with transcribing proceedings from digital recordings that were oftentimes incomplete, unintelligible, inaudible, and contained overlapping speech. We know firsthand the challenges of doing our best to produce a verbatim transcript from a digital medium that suffers from equipment failures and operator error.

I love my job and the contribution I make every day in the pursuit of justice for all, not just for those who can afford to pay for a “live” court reporter to ensure an accurate record. It’s essential that we work together to improve efficiency while continuing to maintain our obligation to best serve the public interest.

Please vote against any changes to the current rules.

Sonia Felix Vaca
AZ Certified Reporter 50536
Coalition of Arizona Court Reporters
520-866-5480
svaca@courts.az.gov
Jackie
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 11:38 AM
Jackie Allen
Coalition of Arizona Court Reporters
P. O. Box 1749
Florence, Arizona 85132
520-866-5443
Jackie_allen@cox.net

I am in opposition to the suggested rule changes. The currently mandated proceedings are just too important to risk to the inherent inefficiencies of ER because property, freedom, and life all depend on a clear and accurate record. To rely on electronic recording leaves too many opportunities for error. Please vote against any changes to the current rules.
H. Yeager
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 11:54 AM
Hope Yeager, CR, RPR
1205 E. Muirwood Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85048
602.372.4552
hopejyeager@msn.com

I strongly oppose any change to the current rules. The Keeping the Record Committee in 2005 did a thorough study with all stakeholders present regarding what court hearings needed a certified court reporter to preserve testimony and what the best practices were. Nothing has changed since 2005 that would warrant changing the policy determinations previously made by the Arizona Supreme Court. People’s lives and liberty are at stake, and relying on electronic recording to create the record would be a major injustice.

The SKREM Task Force last year was a rushed process and the resulting Final Report, where these suggested rule changes came from, are not in the public interest. The legislative language from the Final Report that was sent to the Legislature this year was dropped. The bill died because of many issues and recognition that this would be a huge disservice to the litigants and to our legal system as a whole. Please vote against any change to the current rules.
Thank you.
DC
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 12:12 PM
I've been a certified court reporter for 36 years in New Mexico (6 years), Utah (11 years), and now in Arizona (19 years) and strongly oppose this legislation. I am in opposition of the suggested rule changes. Certified Court Reporters have ethical responsibilities in taking down testimony and in the production of the transcripts. These areas are instances where people's lives and liberty are at stake. To rely on electronic recording leaves too many opportunities for error. Please vote against any changes to the current rules.
Deborah Cleary, RPR, CR (Arizona)
seedbeak@yahoo.com
Goodyear, Arizona
Leo Mankiewicz
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 12:16 PM
Dear your Honors,

Please consider carefully this - once again- attempt to wrest the integrity record from the court reporters who have been faithfully and professionally keeping it for over a hundred years. There are multiple examples of digital recordings being lost, or important parts of them being rendered "inaudible" or "incomprehensible" because of a technical glitch, or even a cough at an inopportune time. NO ONE guards the integrity of the record like a certified, experienced court reporter. Court clerks have their own set of priorities and tasks, as of course do the jurists. Everyone else follows the flow of proceedings, getting the gist and picking up on salient bits of evidence, but NO ONE is hanging on every word, like the court reporters do. No digital recording will EVER interrupt proceedings to ask, "I'm sorry, could you repeat that answer?" We are listening, guarding the record. We love our job, and we love to do it diligently.

We understand that court administrators and the judiciary must keep an eye on their budgets, but transcripts and reporters have rarely been the "budget breakers" in the flow of litigation. Aside from considerations of economy, there are the rights of litigants, whether wealthy civil litigants or indigent criminal defendants, to a reliable record.

Therefore, we ask you to reconsider the wording of this petition, designed as an end-run to the failed legislation, as a bad idea.

Leo Mankiewicz
leomank@gmail.com
Surprise, AZ
Traci Reed
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 01:00 PM
Traci J. Reed, RPR
P.O. Box 1748
Florence, Arizona, 85132
520 866-5424


I am opposed to this bill because court proceedings are too important to be left to the means of an ER system to record and then have a random transcriptionist transcribe it. I've worked in Maricopa County, as well as Pinal County, and I've seen many, many instances where the ER system failed. They break down which causes the proceedings to cease until they can be fixed. The clerks sometimes forget to turn them on or eve on and they can even be hacked and modified. A Certified Reporter has ethical duties to transcribe the proceedings verbatim, the ER does not and neither does the transcriptionist. The transcriptionist will simply transcribe what they think they heard and if anyone speaks over another, they will just include in the transcript "inaudible." They are not present to stop any speaker or clarify the spoken word. The Certified Reporter is a highly trained and skilled individual and takes their jobs Very seriously......a recording system does NOT.

I have been a Certified Reporter for over 23 years and I have seen many, many situations like the ones mentioned above. Please Oppose the proposed bill and keep it a requirement for a Certified Reporter to be present when dealing with such extremely important matters such as Life and Liberty, the participants in any court proceeding deserve it.


Thank you for your time and consideration in this very important decision that is to be made.

Traci J. Reed, RPR
P.O. Box 1748
Florence, Arizona, 85132
520 866-5424
Aaron Schlesinger
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 01:03 PM
I oppose the suggested rule changes. Superior Courts are a court of record, and that record is best made by a court reporter with a human brain and a human ear. Any ER system, no matter how sophisticated, doesn't know that it can't hear, and it doesn't know the conversation it can hear between an attorney and client is not meant to be part of the record. I have been a court reporter for 27 years working mainly in Superior Court, and the "art" of making a good record is more challenging now than ever. People talk faster. People talk over each other, and telephonic appearances are more widely accepted. A court reporter can address these challenges in real time and make a more accurate and complete record.

Then there is the cost to litigants. Court reporters charge $.280 to $3.50 per page for transcripts, whereas most ER transcription companies start at $5.00 per page and can't provide real time or next day transcripts.

The shortage of court reporters is a real problem, but that can be addressed under the current rules governing the use of ER and the Request a Reporter program. Greater cooperation between counties and a willingness to share their reporters could also be considered. These proposed rule changes go far beyond modernizing the language in existing rules. They change the inherent and fundamental nature of a court of record.

Aaron Schlesinger
Arizona Certified Reporter #50095
(520) 266-9923
fishinaaron@yahoo.com
Pete Kline
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 01:22 PM


I have been practicing law in Arizona for 39 years. The electronic recording systems have not been reliable so I have routinely requested a certified court reporter to ensure an accurate record. Most of my colleagues have the same practice. Peoples lives and liberties depend on a complete and accurate record. The stakes are too high and the electronic systems used often do not capture crucial statements made in court. The effort to expand their use should be rejected.

Pete Kline
Crawford & Kline PLC
1920 E. Southern Avenue
Suite 101
Tempe, Arizona 85282-7537
Phone: 480-491-5100
Carrie Cariati
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 01:29 PM
• I am against any change to the current rules. The Keeping the Record Committee in 2005 did a thorough study with all stakeholders present regarding what court hearings needed a certified court reporter to preserve testimony and what the best practices were. Nothing has changed since 2005 that would warrant changing the policy determinations previously made by the Arizona Supreme Court. People’s lives and liberty are at stake, and relying on electronic recording to create the record would be a major injustice. There are numerous flaws in the ER system from the perspective of stenographers who actually perform the tedious task of transcribing these audio recordings from the court such as missing audio, microphones picking up louder than the participants papers shuffling, coughing, low speakers, etc., cameras facing the wall rather than the actual person(s) speaking so you are unable to identify the speakers, judges leafing through binders next to their microphones during proceedings, just to highlight a few of the issues. Please vote against any changes to the current rules.

Carrie Cariati, RPR, CRR
2415 E. Camelback Road, Suite 700
Phoenix, AZ 85014
480-429-7573
carrie@carriereporting.com
Ryan Masciola
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 01:36 PM
I STRONGLY OPPOSE this rule change. How is it appropriate to ignore the statutes by making a rule change? I am an Arizona native, a taxpayer and a voter. Judges should uphold the laws that the legislature decide are in the peoples best interest. This change would not benefit Arizonans. Litigants will suffer with an inaccurate record.

Vote NO.

Ryan Masciola
Phoenix. AZ
602-339-1750
ryan20masciola@gmail.com
C. Rolf Eckel
New Member
Posts:2 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 02:13 PM
This Rule change petition is STRONGLY SUPPORTED by the Arizona Association of Superior Court Administrators (AASCA).

As the association that is comprised of the professional managers responsible for the effective and efficient delivery of justice in the primary courts of record in Arizona, we fully support this petition. We recognize the concerns raised by court reporters about the petition, but believe they do not consider the realities faced by judges and administrators in all states, including Arizona, to ensure that the timely administration of justice can occur. The reality of the court reporting industry is that as the average age of court reporters nationally rise, the supply of new court reporters continues to fall. A significant percentage of court reporting education programs have closed all over the country, and those that remain open face a dropout rate between 80 and 85%, according to the Wall Street Journal. All Superior Court locations throughout the state have faced this reality for years with chronic shortages of qualified and available reporters and the increasing dependence on electronic recording systems. Fortunately, technology improvements have been substantial since the last time Arizona’s Judicial Branch explored this issue in 2005. The implementation of digital recording systems in many courthouses around the state have helped preserve the integrity of the verbatim record while coping with the reporter shortage. Labor statistics show a continuing drop in the actual number of court reporter jobs as more courts adapt to these realities. For the last five years, almost a third of the states have switched exclusively to electronic recording, but we are thankful that we are not in that situation. We strongly believe that to ensure courts can provide timely transcripts and accurately record all proceedings required under Arizona statutes and rules, court leadership must be given the administrative flexibility to utilize all options available to capture the verbatim record. Our association has watched the national and local trends for years and have expressed concerns in other forums about the declining availability of court reporters and the increased promise of the technological advancements in the electronic recording industry. So when Chief Justice Bales convened the Arizona Supreme Court Task Force to Supplement Keeping of the Record by Electronic Means in May of 2019, the association was in complete support of the undertaking. Nothing has changed in this past year that would cause our group to believe that giving judges and administrators flexibility to determine how to capture the verbatim record is anything but in the best interest of justice and those who seek it.

Respectfully submitted by:
C. Rolf Eckel, AASCA President
Court Administrator
Arizona Superior Court in Yavapai County
120 S. Cortez St, Prescott AZ 86305
928-771-3168
roeckel@courts.az.gov

Bob James, AASCA Member
Deputy Court Administrator
Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County
125 W. Washington St, Phoenix AZ 85003
602-506-6314
Bob.James@JBAZMC.maricopa.gov

Attachments
Laura Miller
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 02:13 PM
To Whom it May Concern:

I strongly oppose the rule changes that have been proposed. I have been a court reporter for 43 years and have seen huge technological advances in both the court reporting profession and the operation of the courts. In 2005 I was in attendance for all the meetings held by the Keeping the Record Committee. At that time it was determined that due to what was at stake grand jury, first degree murder cases, felony jury trials, and initial determination of sexually violent persons' proceedings would all require a court reporter and they would be the official record. Since 2005, there have been more advances in technology but the electronic recording system is not one of them.

I have transcribed hundreds of electronic recordings and the vast majority of the recordings are not high quality. It saddens me that our highest judicial branch in Arizona does not view the written transcript important. That inaudibles and indiscernibles have become acceptable and a litigant's right to a full and complete record is taking a backseat. It is the court reporter that takes charge when there is chaos in the courtroom. It is our duty to hear EVERY word that is spoken, not every other word or just the gist of what is being said.

It is absolutely true that court reporters produce the most accurate transcripts and they are filed in a timely manner as required by statutes, by rules, by guidelines, by demand of parties. The State through our license has control over our transcripts as there are sanctions if not accurate or are not filed timely. This is very important. Who do you hold responsible if transcripts are inaccurate or not filed timely when it is an electronic recording?

One last comment. It seems this issue of electronic recording has taken "wings" due to a couple small courts in outlying areas not being able to hire court reporters. This is no longer an issue as ACRA has implemented a program to match up freelance reporters with courts in need. There are many court reporters who are happy to travel to these courts, we just needed to know that there was a need.

I ask you to please vote no against any changes to the current rules. This is not the time.

Laura Miller
Court Reporter
P.O. Box 11976
Casa Grande, AZ 85130
lauriem468@gmail.com


C. Rolf Eckel
New Member
Posts:2 New Member

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29 Apr 2020 02:39 PM
C. Rolf Eckel, AASCA President
Court Administrator
Arizona Superior Court in Yavapai County
120 S. Cortez St, Prescott AZ 86305
928-771-3168
roeckel@courts.az.gov
Attachments
Chelsea
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 07:52 AM
Chelsea Voigt, RPR
401 E Spring Street
Kingman, Arizona 86402
cvoigt@courts.az.gov
928-753-0790 ext 4394


I am opposed to this. A certified court reporter ensures an accurate, clear, and complete record. Electronic recordings do not ensure an accurate, clear, or complete record. We try to do transcripts from electronic recordings and there are many areas where we cannot make out what was said or who was saying it. A certified reporter who is there present at a proceeding makes sure that there is none of that. A certified reporter makes sure that the record is as it should and must be. To change that is putting everyone at a huge disadvantage.



Michele Kaley
New Member
Posts:2 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 10:53 AM
Michele Kaley
3018 N 28th St
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(480) 558-6620

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a letter in opposition of this modification. In an attempt to be concise and not repeat the very well-written comments of everyone thus far, I will say that I echo the statements of every person who has commented opposing this rule change.

I have been a court reporter for 25 years. One of the biggest concerns I have with this modification will be the lack of available real-time proceedings afforded to our judicial officers. With every passing year and judicial rotation, our real-time popularity is growing with judges who depend on us to help rule on objections and assist in refreshing their recollection. Moreover, we have been providing real-time for judges who have difficulty hearing and seeing for years.

Personally, I had a witness on the stand with a very thick accent. During a recess, the judge informed me that he relied solely on my real-time because he could not comprehend what the witness was saying. Leaving a difficult witness like that to someone who has to rely on not having the benefit of being able to see the person while speaking or asking them to repeat something vital puts the record in great jeopardy. Consider an expert medical opinion that is lost in translation for the appellate courts to see only a parenthetical (inaudible). That one word could create so many expensive issues. And if a trial is overturned and sent back to the lower courts, to try and recreate a record creates additional complications; one being that the expert may no longer be available.

Thank you for your time. Please deny this modification.

Gary
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 12:22 PM
I am OPPOSED to R-20-0013. Please, please, please take a few minutes to read the ACRA Minority Position Statement in response to the final report of the SKREM Task Force. This five and a half page document expresses succinctly why you should vote AGAINST the proposed rule changes.

Gary W. Hill, RMR, CRR
Peoria, Arizona 85383
garyhillrmr@gmail.com
(480) 341-1198

Coalition of Arizona Court Reporters
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 12:24 PM
To Whom it May Concern:

The Coalition of Arizona Certified reporters respectfully wishes to share an opinion about the proposed Rule entitled R-20-0013, Petition to Amend Various Rules of Procedure Related to Creating the Verbatim Record of Judicial Proceedings.
We are in OPPOSITION to this rule change for many reasons.

It is our opinion that R-20-0013 is a mirror image of the proposed statutory changes that were proposed earlier this year in HB2355, and that Bill was not passed. The proposed language in R-20-0013 is in direct conflict with what the legislature found was in the best interest of the public; namely, to keep the current practices in place where certified reporters are mandated, which is to cover grand jury proceedings, felony jury trials, death penalty trials, initial determinations of sexually violent person status, and proceedings on a request for authorization of abortion without parental consent. It was found that these court matters were too important to risk not having a verbatim record for appeal.

We join in ACRA’s Minority Position Statement and dissenting opinion following the Task Force meetings and feel it would be duplicitous to reiterate the same information contained in that submittal.
Claims have been made about the shortage of certified reporters. There is still a very affordable brick and mortar school teaching court reporting in the Phoenix area as well as many online institutions. There are programs called “A to Z” and “Project Steno” which allow students to see what it is all about before signing up in a formal program, which has lowered the drop-out rate. Since this claim has been made last May, the “Request a Reporter” program through Arizona Certified Reporters Association has been in effect and has covered every assignment with the exception of when a certified reporter was requested on a Friday for a Monday hearing in an outlying area, so these false claims are not the reality of certified reporter availability in Arizona.

If this rule change is successful, it could have the effect of preventing future certified reporters from entering this career field from the perceived erroneous notion that there is no demand for certified reporters, which would further exacerbate the situation.

Some states have chosen to employ digital recording instead of a live certified reporter, and the results included increased costs, equipment failures that resulted in expensive retrials, constant maintenance and upgrades, and higher transcription costs for inferior transcripts or no transcripts at all if the equipment failed.

Texas went to digital recording, then brought back certified reporters citing that it was more cost effective and efficient, and no digital recording can provide realtime, something only a human can do.

New Mexico also tried using a recording system, and then brought back certified reporters citing unexpected costs, backlog of cases at the appellate level, and additional personnel costs.

Florida’s Supreme Court is currently reviewing an appellate decision to determine what the official record is, whether it is the recording or the transcript. Having the recording be the official transcript is dangerous, as it also records confidential conversations between clients and attorneys on a daily basis. A certified reporter knows what is on the record and what is not on the record.

Federal courts took part in a two-year study and determined that with recorded testimony, it took too long to find a specific portion when looking for it.

New York has prohibited the use of recording devices and requires a certified reporter based on complaints about the quality of transcripts generated by electronic recordings.

Kentucky reported that the use of recording equipment resulted in retrials at much cost, and too much time spent by attorneys reviewing the recordings.

Illinois spent the money to install recording devices, but they sit idle. The judges refuse to use it, stating they do not want to watch television.

Oregon has called for the return of certified reporters due to missing or inaudible recordings, including from a murder case and complex civil cases. Attorneys were hiring their own certified reporters for fear of an inaccurate record.

Hawaii had a disastrous loss of nearly 100 grand jury indictments due to an equipment malfunction and now relies exclusively on certified reporters.

Nevada tried recording equipment, and after three years made the decision that the costs were higher, and it is an inferior service compared to a certified reporter.

All of these states made the poor decision to rely exclusively on a recording system and found out the hard way – at the expense of the taxpayers and the litigants – that it was the wrong choice every time.

As far as the false notion that transcripts would be produced in a timelier manner, that is simply not the truth. Certified reporters are given deadlines for transcripts and are supervised and can be penalized for untimely transcript production. There is no penalty or oversight for outside transcribers. The accountability factor is gone, and the pride in workmanship is gone. One needs only to look at the Court of Appeal Transcript Due index to see the constant and voluminous past due transcripts arising from the digital recording. In fact, in these difficult times with Covid-19, official certified reporters have stepped in and taken on transcribing some of the outstanding digital recordings where no certified reporter was present in order to alleviate this backlog of past due transcripts.

Electronic recording is a wonderful tool, but it will never replace a live certified reporter in the courtroom. During the legislative session earlier this year regarding HB2355, Representative Domingo DeGrazia made the comparison of a skydiver to a electronic recording. He explained that the sky diver has a primary parachute and an emergency parachute. He compared relying on a recording to throwing away the main parachute and relying on the emergency backup chute. Why would someone endanger their life in that way?

Yet in the courtroom on a daily basis, peoples’ lives and liberty are at stake, and this Rule is throwing away the main parachute to rely on an emergency backup. The difference is the sky diver has a choice. The citizens of Arizona aren’t making this choice. The citizens of Arizona deserve better.

Arizona citizens deserve to have their right to a verbatim record and their right to justice upheld, and it would be a disservice to all litigants to take the certified reporter out of the courtroom.

Certified reporters have been ahead of the rest of the legal system in applying digital technology in the workplace. Reporter-based technologies such as realtime enhance the functioning of the judicial system in both headline trials and everyday depositions. Embracing technology that supports and enhances the efficient operations of the courts is one thing; naïve dependence on technology and the elimination of human judgment and wisdom is quite another. Put simply, employing the services of a realtime certified reporter in a well-managed courtroom ensures a complete, accurate, secure, and instant record of what was said for immediate use by attorneys and judges. Digital audio or video cannot make that guarantee.

In closing, if this proposal is truly trying to solve a perceived problem and to SUPPLEMENT certified reporters in ONLY outlying counties that are not able to obtain a certified reporter, as has been repeatedly stated and argued by the Administrative Office of the Courts, rather than eliminating ALL certified reporters in ALL court hearings as this proposal proposes, the language could and should be rewritten to address those specific matters instead of this complete rewrite of the rule which flies in the face of the legislative decision and public best interest. Regardless, the statutorily mandated hearings of grand jury proceedings, felony jury trials, death penalty trials, initial determinations of sexually violent person status, and proceedings on a request for authorization of abortion without parental consent should always be protected and require a certified reporter to create and protect the record.

Much time and effort was put into educating the public, attorneys, and judges about the proposed language changes and the dangers it poses to all litigants and their right to have a verbatim record preserved for appellate purposes, and their voices were heard. We are raising our voices again.

We are urging that this proposed Rule change be denied.

Respectfully,
COALITION OF ARIZONA COURT REPORTERS
c/o Angela Miller
623-975-7472
Angela@MillerCertifiedReporting.com
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