RULE 4004 - Qualifications of Court Reporters and Court Recorders

RULE 4004. Qualifications of Court Reporters and Court Recorders

(A) No person shall be employed or utilized by a court as a court reporter or court recorder unless approved by the president judge or his or her designee as meeting the minimum criteria set forth in subdivision (B)(1), (B)(2), or (C) except:

(1) those persons already employed or utilized by a court at the time of the adoption of these rules or

(2) those court reporters who hold and maintain a professional certification.

(B) The minimum criteria for qualification of a court reporter, for both stenographic and voice writing, are the following:

(1) stenographic requirements: the court reporter is capable of recording proceedings at a 95% accuracy level at the following speeds:

(a) literary at 180 w.p.m.

(b) jury charge at 200 w.p.m.

(c) testimony and question and answer at 225 w.p.m.

(2) voice writing requirements: the court reporter is capable of recording proceedings at a 95% accuracy level at the following speeds:

(a) literary at 180 w.p.m.

(b) jury charge at 200 w.p.m.

(c) two-voice question and answer at 225 w.p.m.

(C) The minimum criteria for qualification of a court recorder are the following:

(1) full familiarity with the controls of the electronic audio or audio-visual equipment;

(2) adequate hearing acuity to assure a high quality recording;

(3) insistence on clarity of the recording;

(4) ability to quickly diagnose and correct routine malfunctions;

(5) proficiency in note taking; and

(6) understanding of courtroom procedures and vocabulary.

(D) All persons employed or utilized by a court as a court reporter or court recorder, including those employed or utilized prior to the adoption of these rules, shall be requalified as meeting the above criteria at least every three (3) years.

(1) Court reporters shall be requalified every three (3) years upon completion of thirty (30) hours of continuing professional education which has been properly accredited or certified by the National Court Reporters Association. Proof of attendance shall be submitted to the president judge or his or her designee.

(2) Court recorders shall be requalified every three (3) years. The president judge may rely upon reports of the district court administrator and the judicial district's judges and quasi-judicial officers to determine whether the requirements set forth in subdivision (C) are satisfactorily met. Those reports must be based on recent courtroom experience and a review of work products (e.g., lists, log notes, CD recordings) for accuracy, timeliness and quality.

(E) Any person employed or utilized by a court as a court reporter or court recorder who fails to meet the minimum criteria at the time of requalification shall be given six months to comply. Anyone who fails to comply with this subdivision shall be prohibited from further serving as a court reporter or court recorder if not requalified by the end of the six-month period.

(The provisions of this Rule 4004 amended May 25, 2018, effective July 1, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 3403. Amended by Pennsylvania Bulletin, Vol 46, No. 35. August 27, 2016, effective 8/27/2016 Amended by Pennsylvania Bulletin, Vol 46, No. 52. December 24, 2016, effective 12/24/2016 Amended by Pennsylvania Bulletin, Vol 48, No. 23. June 9, 2018, effective 6/9/2018)

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