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Last Post 03 Jun 2021 05:30 PM by  Marretta Mathes
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
Marcella Daughtry
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 12:34 PM
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.

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.

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. Please vote against any changes to the current rules.

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.

Marcella Daughtry, RMR, RPR
Freelance Court Reporter
22884 South 194th Street, Queen Creek, Arizona 85142
602-550-6223
[email protected]
slmunter
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 12:40 PM
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.
I have been reporting for over 30 years and have been asked to transcribe these electronic hearings. The audio is awful. Never in my 30 years have I ever inserted the word "inaudible" into a transcript where I am physically present, either in person or, as in the current COVID state, where I am present remotely, but while recently asked by a client to transcribe a one-hour hearing, I inserted the word "inaudible" a minimum of ten times. Not to mention the number of times I transcribed what I "think" I heard, versus what I "know" I heard on the tape. By tape recording these proceedings, you are doing injustice to all parties involved.
Sandra Munter
3932 E Torrey Pines Ln
Chandler, AZ 85249
602.692.0320
AZ Cert 50348
Benjamin
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 01:10 PM
Benjamin C. Bamford, RPR
[email protected]

I strongly oppose this rule change. It is absurd to think courts will rely specifically on electronic recordings. I have transcribed many of these over the past few years and oftentimes you can't make out what was said or who said it. It is far from ideal and in no way should be considered to be the official record.

Technology does not need to replace court reporters, but instead benefit court reporters. Please vote no against this proposed rule change. Thank you.
Deborah Serrata
New Member
Posts:11 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 01:33 PM
KENNETH N. VICK
CHIEF DEPUTY
225 WEST MADISON STREET
PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85003
TELEPHONE: (602) 506-3800
[email protected]
(STATE BAR NUMBER 017540)

R-20-0013

MARICOPA COUNTY ATTORNEY’S COMMENT IN OPPOSITION
Attachments
Rossana
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 01:50 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.
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 FinalReport 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.
Our country is going through a trying time in light of COVID-19, and many courts are proceeding with differing means of making a record with videoconferencing and telephonically. A live court reporter being present is essential.
Please vote against any change to the current rules.

Rossana K. Baker, CR-RMR
Freelance Court Reporter
Post Office Box 1182
Flagstaff, Arizona 86002
(928) 380-1964
[email protected]
LoriZucco
New Member
Posts:2 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 02:19 PM
Lori Zucco
Chief Criminal Deputy
Cochise County Attorney's Office
150 Quality Hill
PO Drawer CA
Bisbee, AZ 85603
520-432-8705
[email protected]

I am in opposition to this rule change. Certified Court Reporters are an essential part of the criminal justice system. They have an ethical duty to make an accurate record, vital to our grand jury proceedings, changes of plea and sentencing hearings, and jury trials.

During trials and hearings when the attorneys and the witnesses start talking over each other, the Court Reporter stops the proceeding, asks the parties to speak one at a time, and makes sure there is an accurate record. If a mere audio recording is made for later transcription, the entire portion where people are talking over each other will probably read "inaudible," which is useless for a record.

The function of a Court Reporter simply cannot be replicated by an audio recording and transcription. Our Justice Courts use this method exclusively and I have had to grapple with this very issue when litigating preliminary hearing challenges based upon this type of prepared transcript. I cannot imagine the issues that will arise in appeals in homicide and other serious cases if we are forced to use this inadequate method.

Sincerely,

/s/ Lori Zucco
April Escobedo
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 03:06 PM
April Escobedo, RPR
2808 N. Pennington Dr.
Chandler, AZ 85224
(480)332-7850
[email protected]

I am in opposition to the suggested rule change. I have been a certified court reporter for 22 years. I have witnessed weekly electronic recording failures. The technology is not advanced enough, even in 2020. This year a judge contacted the Court Reporting Department requesting a court reporter for a lengthy hearing they had to redo. The electronic recording did not record for two hours.

There is not only technical difficulties, but also operator error. I have heard numerous times in court the bailiff say they forgot to turn on the FTR.

I have transcribed many transcripts from digital recordings. I completed a settlement conference where I had to state (INAUDIBLE) for many of the judge's comments. The judge was not by a microphone and his voice could not be heard.

The proposed language change for 12.7 Record of Grand Jury Proceedings states, "Any arrangements must ensure that no images of grand jurors are taken or captured." What about the protection of witnesses? Many are undercover police officers. How can their images and voices be protected by an electronic recording device?

I ask you to please vote against Proposed Rule R-20-0013.

Thank you for your consideration.
April Escobedo
K. Wunsch
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 03:07 PM
I am in opposition of the suggested rule changes. Certified Court Reporters have ethical responsibilities and training in taking down testimony and in the production of transcripts. A human being who has a focus of obtaining a good transcript during a court proceeding has proven time and time again to be imperative for obtaining the most accurate record and for producing a readable and useful transcript. Electronic recording increases the likelihood of unknown equipment malfunction, inaudible portions in the transcript, unknown speakers, and otherwise inaccurate transcripts. These 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.

Kristen L. Wunsch, RPR
Certified Reporter No. 50719

[email protected]
602-615-0968
Michele Balmer
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 03:25 PM

The court systems in Arizona are already using a blend of technology that includes certified court reporters and digital recording. While some language in the rules and statutes needs to be updated to reflect that current reality, it should not involve removing protections around the five types of proceedings that currently require a certified court reporter, which includes grand jury proceedings, capital cases, felony jury trials, initial determination of sexually violent person status, and requests for authorization of abortion with parental consent.


As stated in the Final Report of the SKREM Task Force authored by the Chair, the Honorable Samuel A. Thumma, it describes what was a “largely mechanical task of identifying and capturing possible changes to statutes, rules and the ACJA,” and that “Adopting such changes, particularly as they apply to “[g]rand jury proceedings” where no judicial officer is present, would implicate significant policy issues, which are beyond the scope of the charge of the task force.”


While the SKREM Task Force was not tasked with considering policy issues and was focused strictly on language changes to accomplish a specific goal, the Supreme Court’s Keeping the Record Committee was focused on policy and best practices. While technology has significantly changed in the last 15 years since the Keeping the Record Committee’s recommendations, there is still not a more accurate, efficient, and more secure way to capture, for example, Grand Jury proceedings than a certified court reporter. This is one of the reasons that the recommended statute changes in HB2235 failed to pass this year, and, as a result, A.R.S. 21-411, Appointment of reporter; transcript, relating to grand jury proceedings remains unchanged and would conflict with the Supreme Court Rules if these proposed amendments are adopted.


I am opposed to any changes that would allow the electronic recording only of Grand Jury proceedings, capital cases, and felony jury trials, and any proceeding that is of such a serious nature that only the best record-making method should be utilized, and that is still a certified court reporter.

Respectfully submitted,

Michele E. Balmer, RPR
AZ Certified Reporter # 50489
Yuma Court Reporters, LLC
301 S. 2nd Avenue, Suite 3
Yuma, Arizona 85364
480.720.2153
[email protected]

cindy
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 03:38 PM
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. Thank you.

Cindy Mahoney, RPR, RMR
Freelance Reporter
17394 W. Pima St.
Goodyear, AZ 85338
623-512-7069
[email protected]
Ty Taber
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 05:08 PM
J. Tyrrell Taber
Ty Taber
Burg Simpson
2390 E. Camelback Rd.
Suite 403
Phoenix Az 85016
[email protected]


I am opposed to the amendments to the Rules restricting the ability of Court Reporters to continue to make the verbatim record.

Access to a record made by a certified Court Reporter has been invaluable to the preservation of what was actually said during legal proceedings. There is no substitute for the presence of a Court Reporter, opposing counsel, and often times the Court to insure the creation of accurate and reliable record.

While video and audio tapes exist, they are a poor substitute. I am aware of and have been involved in numerous disputes about what was said in the absence of a court reporter that could not be clarified because the recording was inaudible or inaccessible due to some mechanical malfunction.

This issue is important to me as a trial lawyer and an attorney member of the Arizona Court Reporter Board for years during some of the crucial times concerning the necessity of Court Reporters as an integral part of the Arizona system of justice.

This issue has been debated for decades, all efforts to do away with, or limit the services of Court Reporters have been soundly rejected. This was the case, in our recent legislative session. The bill seeking to implement similar changes was defeated, that was the right thing.

J. Tyrrell Taber
.

M Morrisette
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 05:44 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. If anything, the certified reporter has become an integral part within the judicial process by assisting judges in the courtroom and providing a real-time transcript, thereby creating expediency and efficiency within the court proceedings. People’s lives and liberty are at stake, and relying on an electronic recording to create the record would be a major injustice. Please vote against any changes to the current rules.

I Oppose This Petition,

M Morrisette, CSR#7342, CCR#50334
[email protected]
Sheryl Henke
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 06:29 PM
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. Court reporters are invested in keeping an accurate record. There are no "inaudibles" in our transcripts. We are there to seek clarification in the case of speakers overlapping one another, noise interruptions, speakers with accents. We are there in person to see and identify who is speaking. We have expertise in the reporting of medical and expert testimony. Our skill set is unique and ER cannot replace the expertise of a court reporter. To rely on electronic recording leaves too many opportunities for error. Please vote against any changes to the current rules.

Sheryl Henke, RPR
Goodyear, Arizona 85395
[email protected]
(623)734-2959


Lee
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 06:54 PM
Lee Hunter
P. O. Box 76
Taylor, AZ 85939
[email protected]

I have knowledge of cases that have been compromised on numerous levels because of technological difficulties. On numerous occasions when faced with listening to a recording, I have attempted to decipher the speaker(s) and that chore has proven almost impossible because of the elevated voices and the members of the proceedings all speaking at once. The time and expense that is wasted trying to decipher an ill-recorded proceeding in my opinion is, at times, far more costly than a court reporter's wages. The sense of security that a party feels by seeing a reporter in the courtroom is also a great asset. Individuals have an elevated awareness when they are recorded and feel it necessary to pay more attention to a microphone than to the words they are speaking as a response. They tend to be more nervous and muddle their words more. However, with a court reporter, parties just speak. They have a sense of confidence that the record is being correctly kept. Therefore, the cost savings, the sense of security by the parties and the general record of the court are all more secure when a reporter is physically present in the court.
Lkuhnhenn
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 09:58 PM
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.
Lauren Kuhnhenn, CCR, RPR
[email protected]
Michelle Parker
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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30 Apr 2020 10:04 PM
As an editor/scopist with 21 years’ experience, I’ve been a fly on the wall in many trials. While I do receive the transcript with full audio before I start, these challenges remain constant: (1) Many voices sound alike. Without a court reporter there to accurately identify each speaker (and stop two from speaking simultaneously), it’s impossible to distinguish who is speaking; (2) One juror’s cough or paper shuffled near the mic means critical words are missed. If there is no human there to recognize that moment and request clarification, it’s gone forever; (3) Portions of audio are often compromised, either due to static or electronics nearby; (4) Digital recorders can’t read lips. A burdened court system does not justify a shoddy record. Court reporters are the best of the best in a field where only 6 to 8 percent pass the test. Why not recognize how critical team effort is – a team effort that starts with respecting the one person tasked with getting every single word that every single person utters? I have only one more question for anyone still with me here: How did your last conversation with Siri go?

Michelle Parker
500 N. Estrella Pkwy.
Ste. B2-242
Goodyear, AZ 85338
[email protected]
Mary Davis
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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01 May 2020 07:56 AM
I am against any change to the current rules. Certified Court Reporters have ethical responsibilities when taking down testimony and producing our transcripts. To rely on electronic recording would leave too many opportunities for error. I have experienced these difficulties in using electronic recording. People's lives and liberty depend on an accurate record and court hearings need a certified court reporter to preserve the testimony. Please vote against any changes to the current rule

Mary Davis, RPR
[email protected]
480-229-9096
LisaNance
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

--
01 May 2020 09:06 AM
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.

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.

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. Please vote against any changes to the current rules.

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.

Lisa A Nance
4232 W. McLellan Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85019-1230
623 203-7525
[email protected]
Gerard Coash
New Member
Posts:1 New Member

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01 May 2020 09:34 AM
Gerard T. Coash
[email protected]
602-689-0706
1215 West Lawrence Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85021

I am in opposition to this rule change. Please vote against it. The integrity of the record is at stake. The inherent inaccuracy and unreliability of electronic recording will compromise judicial proceedings for years to come if this is passed.
State Bar of Arizona
Basic Member
Posts:101 Basic Member

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01 May 2020 11:57 AM
Comment of the State Bar of Arizona.

Lisa M. Panahi, Bar No. 023421
General Counsel
State Bar of Arizona
4201 N. 24th Street, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85016-6288
(602) 340-7236
[email protected]
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