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Currently Browsing: Court Reporting

Managing Medical Record Retrieval

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Many legal cases hinge on successful medical record retrieval. Medical records provide the basis for claims in medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, disability, and product liability. But because the information embodied in medical records is usually confidential and sensitive, there are many restrictions for their retrieval and use, so it is no easy task to get at them. Moreover, medical records are usually detailed and extensive, and it can be a challenge to extract relevant data pursuant to a particular case. It takes skill, time and knowledge to retrieve and process medical records so that it can be used effectively in a legal proceeding.

Lawyers necessarily deal with a lot of documents when they prepare and present cases, but seldom have the time or experience to process the raw data that make up most of the records they have retrieved, such as medical records. What they present to the client, the court and the jury had been interpreted, analyzed and summarized so that those with no specialized knowledge can understand it. For example, the chart containing the details of an operation would be full of medical terms and notations that would not make sense to a person with no medical training. Lawyers would probably just be as confused, so the information is useless unless it is translated into plain language.

This is where a professional records retrieval service comes in handy. Good lawyers know the value of a good records retrieval service in saving time, money and effort when preparing for a case. Aside from knowing what authorizations to get and the correct procedure for retrieving medical records, the records retrieval service will have the personnel to filter, organize, interpret and process the data into usable form depending on the needs of the lawyer. The service would also know the protocols about using the information they retrieve so that it does not violate any laws. If there is anything that law firms should outsource, it is medical record retrieval.

Skills Required of a Court Reporter

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Court reporting is a very important part of the legal process. It is where a person transcribes or takes down the recorded or spoken legal speeches and testimonies into written word for documentation or future references and evidences. Those who perform court reporting are the ones who provide and produce the transcripts from court hearings, depositions, and other legal transcripts. Training for this type of job often requires academic coursework and other specific jobs which would require further studies and training.

Because of the importance and weight of what court reporting can do to every legal hearing, it is vital that a court reporter posses certain skills and characteristics in order to not only succeed but to excel in this profession.

  1. Being accurate – attention to detail along with a conscious awareness to the finer points of certain subjects (such as legal and medical language, business law, and proper English grammar), are very important in a court reporter. Every court reporter should have immense vocabulary, familiar with slang or unusual words and jargons that may be used in court.
  2. Being diligent – having perseverance and strong drive to work hard is expected of a court reporter. It is important for court reporting to consistently work towards a goal, as this profession requires constant practice.
  3. Being able to take information and write fast – speed is vital in a court reporter. Along with accuracy, being able to document the spoken word in real time requires a lot of practice and training. Because it is the court reporters job to document the hearing, he or she should be able to type faster than a person speaks, able to identify the speakers and add narrative notes.
  4. Being able to concentrate – concentrating on documenting the whole trial requires a lot of effort. With so many things going on, a court reporter should not be distracted with the emotions that will be present in the court.

Court reporting can be a very lucrative profession, but just as with any other profession, it requires skill and practice. There are many attributes that can make an excellent court reporter, and but these skill and characteristics can be learned and developed. There is presently a shortage of court reporters, so knowing what to look for your legal proceedings is essential in having the best legal support.

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