Transcripts for Court: Putting the Evidence on Paper

Transcripts for Court: Putting the Evidence on Paper

by Tina Swithin

One of the Warrior Mom’s who has been a part of my journey since the very beginning happens to own a transcription business. I am highlighting her business, “One Mom’s Transcription” because I see it as a valuable resource for so many of us.  I recently asked her to explain the benefits of using her services and this is what she shared with me:

One of the biggest things that a transcript provides is the ability to cut to the heart of a matter.  Most judges are not going to sit and listen to a 20-minute phone call of a child crying.  They’re going to refuse outright because they don’t want to commit that kind of time to listening to one piece of evidence.  Plus, audio or even video isn’t very easy to put into the court record.  Transcripts are much easier to add to the record, be reviewed in a judge’s chambers prior to rendering a decision, and ensure that everybody is seeing the same thing.  With audio, people can hear different things, and reach different conclusions, which can be a big problem.

Transcripts also create the ability to bring up numbers, which can be huge to the efficacy of your case.  For instance, with audio a parent can tell a judge, “Listen.  You can hear that my child’s father tells him to ‘Shut up’ a bunch of times.”  With a transcript, you can put in the record, “In this five-minute conversation, my child’s father told him to ‘Shut up’ sixteen times.  That’s an average of more than 3 times per minute, or every 20 seconds.”  That can make a HUGE impact on the case.

Transcripts help to reduce the level of emotion while in the courtroom.  Hearing your child cry can be heart-wrenching, and for parents who are self-represented, being overcome with emotion can really hinder actually being able to represent themselves.  The same goes for recordings of domestic violence.

Transcripts can be highlighted, whereas recordings cannot.  You can emphasize what you feel is most important/relevant to the matter at hand, and not leave it up to the judge or to the other party to determine what they think your point is.

It’s also easier for a psychologist or counselor to go over transcripts, as opposed to audio, and point out where an insidious behavior appears to have started – like with mild insults or demeaning tones – and then how it escalated over time.  A pattern of behavior can be pivotal – as you know! – but can be really difficult to outline.  Plus, if a professional tries to determine a pattern of behavior based on one party’s testimony, it can easily be thrown out of court.

You can even use transcripts to help file charges in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, harassment, and even spousal support.

If you are like me and find yourself sitting on recordings then this may be the time to contact One Mom’s Transcription!  -Tina

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