ELAWYER BLOG

Technology and Court Reporting

One of the fastest growing career fields today is that of court reporting. Statistics indicate that this field will see a growth rate that could be as high as 18 percent by 2018. The technology used by court reporters is also growing; some courts are installing completely automated reporting systems. This may sound bad for human court reporters but the technological advances will actually produce more jobs than it eliminates.

While used mainly in courtrooms, court report technology is also used during other legal proceedings such as depositions and such. Court reporting makes a record of what is done and said during the proceedings to protect not only the court but the other participants (witnesses, attorneys and so on) as well.

Early court reporters used pen and ink up until about the late 1800s. In the late 1870s, the first stenotype machine was introduced. The Stenomask was introduced in the 1940s and these two machines were the main technologies used by court reporters.

Types of Court Reporting

The stenographic system is the most commonly used today and uses a stenotype machine. These machines use a series of buttons that translates to letters and words.

Electronic reporting uses audio technology. This technology does still require a person who takes notes about what is actually happening in the court, such as who is actually talking and any physical actions.

Another form of court reporting is voice writing, where a reporter speaks into a special microphone with a voice silencer.

Automated Systems

Because the court systems are experiencing budget cuts, some have decided to choose automated reporting systems. No human court reporter is required as this system entails both video and audio recording technology. If transcription is needed, it can be done at another location. There are many opportunities to embrace this new technology as a career.

Suicide Letters on Facebook

Only in gloomy science fiction had a topic so morbid been addressed before. While deaths occurred on live television before, an announced intention to commit suicide and then carrying out the act seems more like it belongs in a fictional world than in the headlines.

Forty-two year-old Simone Back issued an alert that announced her intention to commit suicide via Facebook. Despite putting this cry for help in her status, not a single person out of her more than 1,000 Facebook friends acted in an attempt to save her. The British based Daily Mail reports that Black’s Facebook status read, “Took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone.” She died on Christmas Day 2010.

Rather than act in sympathy or to try to help Back, her Facebook wall contained multiple obtuse messages that expressed doubt or even seemed to dare her to act. It took more than 17 hours for police to respond to the posting and break down the door of her residence, where she was found dead.

Back’s mother said that some friends who did not live in the area attempted to intercede by asking for her address. No one who lived near here made any attempts. One of Back’s friends said that people argued over how to act or acting as if the suicide attempt was not occurring.

As disturbing as Back’s case is, hers is not the only example of a person announcing their intention to attempt suicide. Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi posted the status of “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry” before his body was found.

The technology of Facebook presents an interesting legal dilemma. There might be a moral obligation to help a Facebook friend in need, but is there a legal one? Currently, the answer is no, but if more cases of suicide announcements via Facebook occur lawmakers and lawyers might seek to punish those that ignore cyber cries for help.

Online Legal Services: Online Divorces

You really can get anything online these days, including a divorce. As technology spurs forward even more with coding and software advances, our reliance on the Internet becomes greater. Legal document templates have long been available online as well as other legal services, but now with a few clicks of your mouse, you can get a divorce.

The Internet isn’t likely to replace lawyers as each of the online legal service websites will quickly point out that their services are for information and advice only. It seems, however, that the days of long drawn out divorce proceedings costing thousands of dollars may well become the exception rather than the rule.

Designed primarily for uncontested divorces, the online divorce services are favored by couples who want a quick dissolution of their marriage. Couples would need to still agree on the standard issues of child custody and support, alimony, and the liquidation and sharing of communal property. Couples would still need to sign a professionally prepared contract, but these documents are available on online divorce websites.

The cost of online divorce is perhaps one of the most attractive features. A traditional conventionally filed divorce with no contest will start at about $1000.00, and go up from there. Online divorces cost an average of about $300.00. This will gain you all the documents you need as well as filing instructions. Court filing fees are generally not included and neither are notary fees, if applicable.

The second most attractive component of an online divorce is the lack of drama typically associated with conventional divorces. There are no angry mediation sessions, no stern judges looking down at you, no tears as one party or the other feels slighted.

There are many companies offering online legal services, but online divorces are quickly gaining in popularity amongst couples who wish an amicable separation carried out quickly, inexpensively and without unnecessary drama.

Legal Services Offered for Website Creation Issues

If you want to start a personal business online but aren’t sure how to begin, a good starting point is researching passive income options. One wonderful option for Internet-based passive income sources is website creation.

Those individuals with great website ideas or an insight into online user demands make wonderful incomes doing what they love. However, while there are wonderful benefits to using website creation as passive income sources, there are also certain safety precautions to take. A few of those precautions are listed below.

Creating Domain Names

When you are deciding which domain name to create for your website, be sure you don’t violate any copyright issues with the domain name. Many website creators have faced serious legal issues because the domain names they purchased violated the copyrights of major corporations.

For example, if you want to start a blog discussing a certain product you love, it may not be legal to use part of the product’s name in your domain address. Even if you think the corporation will never find your domain or press charges if you are violating their copyright, this is an issue to avoid because it can create a variety of unnecessary problems.

Understanding Plagiarism

If you will be hiring writers to create articles with links to your website for search optimization purposes, ensure the articles aren’t plagiarized by using text searching technology. Many sources are available where you can input text and assess whether or not the copy is original work. You should never use plagiarized material for search engine optimization or other purposes because this can affect your search engine rankings and reduce the credibility of your website.

Consult a Professional

If you have any questions regarding the legal issues of starting a website, consult a professional. Legal professionals who specialize in online issues can aid you in the website creation process and help you bypass the legal dilemmas so many others have faced.