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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 26, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta 16 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, February 26, 1975 If machines replace court reporter, 'they'll replace lawyer too' By KEN ROBERTS Herald Staff Writer If man has the technology to go to the moon he has the know how to replace court reporters with machines, says the president of the Court Reporters Association of Alberta. If it ever goes that far, machines will probably replace lawyers also, Les Pearce said in a telephone interview from Edmonton. However, he doesn't think court reporters will ever be replaced by machines. The director of the electronic recording system, to be operational in Calgary provincial court in a. few months, agrees. The Calgary recording system is not. intended to replace but assist repqrters, Harold Kline said in a telephone interview from Calgary. As long as court reporters are available there will be work for them. The electronic system emerged because there was a shortage of reporters. The new system will record the less serious cases where no transcripts are expected to be required. Sometimes court reporters have to spend all afternoon at a case where no transcripts are needed. This will now be handled by the electronic system and will free reporters to cover the more serious cases where transcripts are required. The electronic tap- ing system in Calgary is a pilot project. If it's successful, it could be HAMMOND ORGANS HEINTZMAN PIANOS Exclusive Dealers Credit Plan Available THE PIANO CENTRE 313.7th Street So. Phone 328-2563 Open Thurs. til 9 p.m. introduced in other parts of the province. However, both Mr. Kline and Mr. Pearce agree it would only be economical in larger centres such as Edmonton and Calgary. The system would be un- economical for a centre the size of Lethbridge, they say. The Calgary system con- sists of eight two track tape recorders with hour tapes connected to four or five microphones in each of the eight courtrooms in the new Calgary provincial courthouse. Digital clock A ninth two track unit acts as a backup recorder in the event one of the others fails. In addition to the individual recorders, a 20 channel master recording machine with a 17 hour tape will log all the proceedings in the eight courtrooms simultaneously. This master unit is augmented by a second 20 channel recorder which serves as an additional back up master .machine. Two persons in the control will monitor the proceedings in each courtroom and main- tain a two way communica- tion system with the courtrooms. secretary, known as a recorder, will sit in each courtroom in the spot now oc- Pro ita UTEX FL jJLATWHITE 1 Square Bedroom Light Fixture only with the purchase of a Light Fixture at the regular price of 2 PROven Light Bulbs only U with the purchase of 4 Bulbs Turin's Pro Hardwire Taber Hoyt's Hirdwiri 806-608 3rd Ave. South Lethbridge 327-5767 Mirtan's Pro Hardware Coaldale Hoyt'iPioHiidwai'i Westminster Shopping Plaza Phone 328-4441 Spencer's Pro Hardware Cardslon StoM's Hardware Raymond Siagalaar s Pro Hardware Blairmore cupied by the court reporter and log the proceedings with the aid of a digital clock. She will indicate on the log who is talking at all limes whether it be the judge, prosecutor, defence counsel, witness or defendent and will maintain contact with the control room. When the judge, or a lawyer, requests part of the proceedings be played back, the recorder will transmit this request to the control room and the playback will be relayed through hidden loudspeakers in the courtroom. The length of the delay will depend on how far back the tape has to run. For transcription purposes, a voice clock on each tape will indicate the time at which the different people in the courtroom were talking. With the recorder's log to supple- ment the tape, it should then be possible to know who was speaking at any given time during the court proceedings. Transcripts With court reporters there are three steps in preparing a transcript, a bound document containing what is recorded by a court reporter. A reporter takes down' what is said, reads it into a dic- taphone and a typist types the transcript from the dic- taphone. With the electronic system the middle step is eliminated, Mr. Kline says. The recorder will type a transcript right from the tape. Even though a typist can turn out 60 pages of a transcript a day, compared with maybe 30 pages for a recorder, when it's taken into consideration the middle dic- tating step has been eliminated both systems are about the same as far as speed is concerned, Mr. Kline predicts. Mr. Pearce doesn't agree. A good day in court can result in up to 150 pages of transcript. ..A good typist.can turn out about 80 pages a day and a recorder couldn't come close to that, he suggests. Daily copy Recorders would never be able to handle what is called "daily copy" in the court recording profession, Mr. Pearce says. Mr. Pearce, a .court reporter for 20 years, and two other reporters are taking testimony at a hospital inquiry in Stoney Plain, about 15 miles west of Edmonton. Mr. Pearce records the hearing for a few hours and then leaves the courtroom and another court reporter enters. Mr. Pearce then transcribes what he has been recording and it is typed up. With the other reporters do- ing the same, participants in the inquiry can receive what has been said that day in transcript form by about p.m. the same day. Mr. Kline, a court reporter for 14 years, doesn't know if an electronic system can han- dle a daily copy situation but says it's.possible. A portion of a hearing could be taped on one tape and then this tape would be taken from the machine and transcribed while another tape would con- tinue recording the hearing. Mr. Pearce says in the in- stance of a perjury charge there is no way a machine could testify: "Yes, this is the evidence I as a court reporter could. He's not opposed to court recorders. "Personally, I can't be opposed to court recorders unless more court reporters are made available to cover he says. Recorders would free reporters to cover more serious trials where transcripts' are required. Some people in the profes- sion are opposed to more peo- ple coming into the profession whether they be recorders or new. reporters because it means less money in fees for transcripts, he adds. "This is wrong. We need new people in the profession or it will die. This is why the association instituted the court reporters course in Ed- Mr. Pearce says. Mr. Kline says the electronic system will probably result in more money in fees for reporters as they won't have to cover as many trials where they receive no fees. Salary, fees He says recorders will receive lesser salaries than reporters and will receive no fees. It was, decided recorders would receive no money for fees because they don't possess the shorthand skill of reporters. Most court reporters can take down evidence at a minimum of 180 words per minute. Recorders are to receive a salary that ranges between and per month, ac- cording to a Calgary Herald story. Reporters make a basic salary of between and 000 per month. Reporters can also make between and a year in fees, one court reporter told The Herald. As far as the economics of the two systems, Mr. Kline says for eight courtrooms eight court reporters would be needed and they would require eight typists. Woman hired This compares with 12 recorders and two men in a control room for eight courtrooms with the electronic system. The two systems will re- quire about the same number of people, Mr. Kline says. However, this does not take into account the extra expen- diture for the recording equip- ment with the electronic system. Mr. Kline and Mr. Pearce are in agreement that after a certain amount of time in a courtroom a recorder could interpret and understand legal jargon as well as reporters. Mr. Kline is training six girls to work as recorders. The Calgary system was scheduled to be operational in January but a delay in the in- 'stallation of the equipment has prevented that. The equipment is now scheduled'to be completely in1 stalled by March 12 and as soon as the girls get some practical experience with the equipment, which should take about one or two months, the system will be ready to go. Mr. Kline says they have hired only women but if a man is interested in the job and has the qualifications he would be hired. Mr. Kline says electronic systems are being used in courts in Quebec and Nova Scotia. In Halifax they are be- ing used in all three levels of court. Provincial Judge L. W. Hudson says recording devices are only permitted at the provincial court level in Alberta. Mr. Kline says the electronic system, may be plagued with Ihe staff shor- tage problem like the court reporting profession. It may have problems getting people qualified to be recorders. A recorder 'also has to be a person with special skills. URANIUM FOR BRITAIN LONDON (CP) Britain is lo obtain a "relatively modest" quantity of enriched uranium from the Soviet Union for its power stations, with delivery planned for the early and mid 1980's, Agence France-Presse reports. The Central Electricity .Generating Board i's contracting with the Soviets for uranium enrichment "as back up supply in case there are problems with the new British enrichment The Guardian newspaper says. Here's where GREAT MENUS BEGIN Sunkisl Nivsl Oranges 88's Canada No. 1 Carrots 3 Ibs., each 49C Aylmer Fancy Halves or Sliced 14 fl. oz. tins PEACHES SWEETLETS PEAS BEANS with PORK COFFEE MATE LUNCHEON MEAT Green Giant 14 fl. oz. tins Top Valu Carnation 16oz. netwt. Holiday 12oz. netwt. 2575' 3i99< J29 ORANGE CRYSTALS Rise 'n Shine. 4 oz. net wt. 79C CORN Clark's Whole Kernel. 12 fl. oz. TOMATO JUICE Aylmer. 48 II. oz. tins TOWELS Scott. Assorted colors. 2 roll pack KU ass. INSTANT CHOCOLATE SEX 1" PlPlfl PQ Bick's Sweet Mixed or Yum Yum Water riVllLLv 15fl.oz.jar BABY DILLS MARMALADE RICE KRISPIES SHREDDED WHEAT JELLY POWDER BEEF IT UP MIR LIQUID Ifllll LNfUllf LISTERINE 55' 2- 24 fl.oz. bottles T-Bone Steak Steak Sirloin Steak sr- 59 1 69 I69 I Rump Roast sr-" I45 Boston Butt ;sr< I09 BONELESS Crowd Beef Canada Grade A Beef.lb.......... 7 R 0 Luncheon Meats 4 Varieties Wieners Burns Pride of Canada. Regular 7QC or all Beef, Ib....... 19 Campfire 1lb. netwt COIL GARLIC SAUSAGE 89 D t Margarine 1 1b. net wt. CANADIAN CHEESE Single Slices. 16 oz. net wt. 1 High Liner Cod. 16 oz. net wt. DOUGH White or Brown. 5's JUICE Orange. 6 II. oz. tins 4i'1 Prices effective February 26 to March 64213th Street North Quality Cut Requirerner 1RYOUR .qu.rem.nt. FHEt City DtHvwy on Llrgt Oldtri HOUBS: Monday, and i lo I p.m. Thuridiy ind Fridiy t le 9 p.m. reierve Ihe riflhl lo limit quantities. foods t ;