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The Importance Of A Trial Transcript

(File photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

(File photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Ever wonder why there needs to be a court stenographer typing everything that gets said during a trial?

A court reporter in New York apparently lost his mind and then lost his job. Instead of typing what the people testifying were saying, he started typing – I HATE MY JOB, I HATE MY JOB, I HATE MY JOB. Anyone who has ever worked in an office is kind of with him. Dude, I get it! Anyone who has every had a case in a courthouse is kind of wanting to kill him.

But, once a trial is over, why would you even need a transcript? Actually, a transcript of the trial is critically important in the judicial system.

You have the right to an appeal. But when you appeal, you’re not getting a do over. The appeals court doesn’t re-hear the evidence and make its own decision about your guilt or innocence. Instead, when you appeal, you can only tell the appeals court judge why the lower courts judge made a mistake in a ruling. If the error is big enough you get to go back down to the trial court for re-hearing. But, if there is no recording of what happened, the appeals court has nothing to go on. And fairness dictates, where an appeal can’t be decided, the case might have to get a whole new trial.

Then you’ll hear the lawyers saying, I HATE MY JOB, I HATE MY JOB, I HATE MY JOB.