The primary purpose of any court reporting program is to provide an impartial means of capturing and preserving the spoken word so that an accurate verbatim transcript may be produced. Court reporters can be found in civil and criminal courts and also provide services outside of court, such as depositions.
In 2010 legislation was enacted creating a Board of Court Reporting. All court reporters must be licensed. However, court reporters who work specifically for the federal government or who are governed under T.C.A. §40-14-301 through §40-14-317 (those that provide services for hearings in felony criminal cases) are not required to have a license. See Board of Court Reporting.
BECOMING A COURT REPORTER FOR CRIMINAL COURT
Criminal Court - The AOC accepts resumes on a continual basis for contract court reporters. Qualifications are evaluated and references will be verified. If criteria are met, applicants are sent a contract.
The AOC requires that all reporters possess a high school diploma or equivalent; preference given to candidates who have practical court reporting experience or who have completed court reporter training; must be able to operate a computer and use associated software; must be able to operate other electronic recording equipment; familiarity with legal terminology and basic office skills preferred; notaries public are also preferred. All reporters will be required to produce timely verbatim transcripts, thus, the ability to type is essential.
Civil Court - The AOC has no statutory responsibility to provide court reporters for proceedings that are held in courts assigned with civil jurisdiction. Please contact the Tennessee Court Reporters Association (http://tncra.com/) for information on obtaining a position relating to civil matter.
COURT REPORTERS IN CRIMINAL CASES OR CASES WITH COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL
T.C.A. §40-14-301 - §40-14-317 governs court reporters providing services in Tennessee’s criminal courts. The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has administered this program since 1965.
The services of court reporters working in criminal courts are also sometimes needed for non-hearing matters such as matters that help attorneys appointed to represent parties when the parties are indigent (cannot afford an attorney). This can include court reporting services during depositions. In addition, court reporters may be needed during preliminary hearings held in general sessions court; juvenile court proceedings such as termination of parental rights and dependency/neglect; and proceedings that waive parental consent for abortions by minors. Authorization for such services is governed by Supreme Court Rule 13 and Supreme Court Rule 24.