Saturday, March 31, 2007

Digital audio is no substitute for a readable transcript

Matt Conigliaro links here to a Florida decision, in which the author of the concurring opinion says this:

Many trial courts, especially criminal courts, are courts of record. Their proceedings are expected to be available for the public to review after the fact. We do significant damage to the legitimacy of this branch of government when we accept records that do not accurately explain the proceedings that occurred in open court. I am convinced that modern digital methods can eventually produce adequate records to safeguard courts of record; I am less convinced that those methods are currently providing adequate transcripts for appellate review. Hopefully, both the public and the legislature understand that there are real costs associated with any change in technology that deteriorates the quality of the record in courts of record.

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