The Importance Of Accurate Legal Transcription

by takenotetyping on December 5, 2013

There are many important elements to working within law, but one on which many legal professions are agreed in accuracy. There is no room for error in many legal cases; one lapse in concentration by one person can lead to an entire mistrial or, worse, an incorrect sentence being passed. The rules must be adhered to and the standards must always be high.

And that applies to your transcripts too. These can be your bread and butter; the information which can make or break your case. It is, therefore, essential that your transcripts reflect the original source material 100%.

Errors in legal transcribing can be catastrophic. An example of this occurred a couple of years ago in Australia, during a court case. In the transcription, the phrase “Did you stop anyone moving?” was changed to “Did you push anyone?” – a very different, much more leaded question. Because of this, and a number of other errors in the transcript, this court case was declared a mistrial due to the misunderstanding. This is just one example of the problems poor transcribing can cause.

So how can this be avoided? Professional legal transcription services from a company such as Take Note Typing can provide a great solution. There are business across the UK providing a range of services from court transcriptions to police interviews, interrogations and client letters. You may think that it is easier and more cost-efficient to hire a transcriber in-house, but utilising a professional transcriber brings a number of benefits.

  • Legal Knowledge – Professional transcribers possess a good knowledge of the legal system, including legal terms. It is not enough to simply hire a typist and expect them to carrying out legal transcribing to the required standard; a legal transcriber should have a good working knowledge of legal systems, procedures and terminology. Professional transcribers will have an understanding of what they are transcribing, therefore making it much more likely to be accurate.
  • Thorough & Accurate – You may think that the placement of a full stop or a comma is of little importance but, when it comes to legal transcriptions, you’d be wrong. Particularly in spoken items such as phone calls, interrogations and interviews, the transcriber’s interpretation of things such as tone of voice and punctuation are crucial – they can completely alter the meaning of a sentence. With professional transcribers, you know that they are fully trained and qualified to pick up on these subtle nuances which could make all the difference to your case.
  • Necessity – Like it or not, transcription is often a necessity in order for you to put together your case. If you are using information from interviews or recorded telephone conversations, they will need to be transcribed in order to be used as evidence.
  • Ease Of Analysis – Transcribing your audio or visual data also makes it easier for you to scan and analyse the documentation when working on a case, rather than having to keeping skipping back and forth within a recording.
  • Time Saving – As well as audio content, transcribers can work on letters, legal briefs and general legal correspondence – items which you may otherwise have had to write up yourself. Hiring a professional company allows you to take some of the load off your own shoulders, leaving you to get on with what you do best.
Emma Williams - Law blogger and writer for UK-based Take Note Typing

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