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What is the Difference Between Transcription and Court Reporting?

You may wonder, “When do I need a transcriptionist and when do I need a court stenographer?” The simple rule of thumb is as follows: If an audio or video recording needs to be transcribed into a text document, use a qualified court transcriptionist. A court reporter is used if someone needs to be present at a deposition, hearing, arbitration, trial, or other legal proceeding to record live and read back if necessary.

The Cost Factor

Court transcription service providers specialize in audio-to-text and video-to-text services, and charge substantially less than court reporting firms. Most transcription companies charge by the audio minute (total minutes of the recording) with no additional fees. Court reporting firms typically charge appearance fees, listening fees, per page fees, and upcharges for expedited turnaround times.

Most Transcription Companies are not Qualified in Court Transcription

Court transcription is much more specialized than general transcription, and unless a transcription company has a vast amount of courtroom transcription experience you would not utilize it to prepare your legal transcripts.

With more than 25 years experience in court transcription, Transcription Experts is the leader in legal and courtroom transcription.  Our court transcription team is comprised primarily of former court reporters who possess the necessary knowledge to prepare hearing, trial, deposition, and statement transcripts according to AAERT standards. We have relationships with numerous Judicial Circuits throughout the U.S. and are aware of each circuit’s specific requirements.  Call or email us today for a free quote. 

See the price comparison below for two 30-minute depositions that need to be transcribed within three business days.


Listening Fee for 1st recordingNo charge$  30
Listening Fee for 2nd recordingNo charge$  30
Transcription$  96
(60 minutes X $1.90)
$ 200
(40 pp x $5)
Turnaround Time within 72 hoursNo charge$  72
Certificate No charge No Charge