Marking Direct and Cross-Examinations on Your Disks


Official court reporters today still have the same demands on them to find requested readback testimony that they have had since pre-computer aided transcription.

Official reporters today who use CAT may want to use a system of indexing witnesses' and the direct and cross-examinations.

The system works like this:

When each witness is sworn, the reporter writes the witnesses' names on a printed form.


Then as the testimony is given, the reporter writes in his notes consecutive number designating each witness's direct examination and each segment of the and cross-examinations and redirect examinations.

The reporter types that number into stenotype machine record by hitting a special arbitrary combination of keys before the number plus consecutive numbers.


For example:





            T*/4, et cetera.


Court reporters could develop their own arbitraries stroke denoting the different segments of examination to fit in with their writing techniques.

The reporter then keeps a list witnesses and the numbers by handwriting the numbers on a printed form to record each witness's name and the number given the portions of the direct and cross-examinations.

Then when asked to read back the testimony of Mr. Smith in the redirect or re-re-cross examination, the reporter does a computer search for the numbered portions of the testimony.

As a non-CAT court reporter, I developed paper numbered stickers which I stuck onto the paper machine shorthand notes to mark the direct and cross-examinations.


I was requested to be the reporter on one case because I could find testimony readbacks faster than the CAT reporters who were not using my numbering system for indexing witnesses and their direct and cross-examinations.


Also, a witness list is a must for official reporters to have when they are asked to find the testimony of witnesses in a trial.


I developed a combination note wrapper/printed witness list and testimony index sheet.

If any official reporters or any other reporters would like the printed sheets I developed for listing witnesses for making handwritten notes  indexing of witnesses' testimony, I have a very large supply of those index sheets and would be glad to provide those sheets free of charge to any reporters who wanted to use the above indexing system. For free copies of the printed sheets, send requests to


I also have a large quantity of the numbered stickers to place on paper notes if any reporters would like those free of charge.

It would also seem to me that if you had a month long trial and the lawyer requested the testimony of a particular witness and didn't provide the date of the testimony, that the above system would allow a reporter to quickly check his records and find the witness's testimony.