One of the first instances of court reporters can be traced back to 63 B.C. when the Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Tiro and the layer Cicero worked in conjunction preserve and recall the case in it’s entirety. Tiro took dictation and also managed Cicero’s finances. In order to transcribe speeches, he developed a system of symbols and abbreviations which is often referred to nowadays as shorthand. Tire’s shorthand system consisted of over 4,00 different signs and symbols.

Court Reporters Shorthand Expands To The English Language

Later, in 1180, John of Tilbury introduced the first-ever shorthand system for English speakers. However, shorthand was not widely used by English speakers until the British physician Timothie Bright published a system of 500 symbols that could be used for English Shorthand. Bright’s system was quickly adopted by many scholars and ministers and became very popular.

Next came John Willis, who published his own shorthand system in 1602. His system was based upon the English alphabet, rather than symbols. Court reporters and secretaries in the United States began using shorthand in the late 19th century when John Robert Gregg England and opened shorthand schools in Boston as well as Chicago, Gregg’s method of shorthand was published in 1893.

Developments in Modern Shorthand

As technology developed as did the forms of shorthand that were used. In the last 1870s, an American court reporter by the name of Miles Bartholomew invented the first version of the steno-type machine. It was because of this that court reports were able to type faster than they could write, making pens almost unnecessary for shorthand.

If you fast-forward to the early 20th century when court reports adding recording devices to their stenotype machines, making for a more efficient and accurate method. By the 1940s, the steno-type machines had changed the very definition of the word “shorthand” to also include the typed abbreviations.

Today and Beyond

Today steno-type machines are very similar to computers in the same regard that they have microprocessors and LSD screens where the shorthand abbreviations appear in English.

In addition to updated machines, voice recognition adds a new level of technology that continues to improve the quality as well as the speed of short-hand court reporting. In fact, speech-to-text translation has an accuracy of 96%.

The Cal Dep Difference

  • Experienced Realtime Court Reporters
  • Last-Minute Scheduling
  • Secure Online Office, Scheduling, and Document Repository
  • Personal service that meets or exceeds our clients’ needs.
  • Our best assets are our clients. Our mission is to provide professional services that meet or exceed our clients’ expectations.
  • We believe the difference between the competition and Cal Dep is the court reporters we work with. Their personal commitment to excellence is unparalleled.
  • The professionalism and congeniality the office provides clients is yet another reason to choose Cal Dep.

Contact Us About Court Reporters

No matter where technology takes court reporting in the future, you always know that we will be there for your court reporting needs. Contact us today to learn more about our court disposition.