From: Gerry Armstrong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Comment on the reporters' transcripts,
Scientology v. Armstrong, LASC No. C 420153
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In the posted and webbed transcripts of the 1984 Los Angeles Superior
Court Armstrong I trial we have attempted to duplicate the hard copy
that was created by the court reporters. This duplication, including
page numbering, line breaks, line numbering, paragraphing and spelling
makes the electronic transcript generally dependable for legal
purposes. Our product therefore contains the transcription errors that
were made during the trial.
There were two court reporters throughout the trial, and they switched
off, one catching the words of the trial participants by stenotype,
and the other reporter, in an adjacent office, preparing the
transcript of the words he or she had just caught. Then the reporters
switched places and functions. Trial transcripts were thus available
to the parties' attorneys every morning for the previous day's
Court reporters write with the stenotype phonetically, rather than
letter by letter as with a standard keyboard. Some of the errors in
the trial transcripts are therefore phonetic, either deliberately by
the reporter, since he or she couldn't stop the proceeding to get a
spelling of some name never heard before, or inadvertently because
something was misheard or misrecorded.
E.g., from the Volume 13 transcript:
p. 2038 "they are since tried and not ours." = their sins are
and not ours.
p. 2039 "Bal Neil" = [Lord] Balniel.
p. 2133 "Brahms works" = Problems of Work.
With current court reporting technology, most of these errors would
not have occurred, and the court reporters would not have had to do
much of the scrambling they did.
Because the reporters switched off, some spelling errors and phonetic
errors switched on and off with them. Some errors are just
typographical or inattention. The speaker is a few times
misidentified, and pages misnumbered.
The transcript is I think pretty clear, although there are some errors
as mentioned that we have preserved. A few errors get "corrected"
during the OCRing, and a few might get "corrected" during the
checking. Page misnumbering was corrected if not correcting it was
If something is not clear, let us know. We're missing a few transcript
pages, so if anyone has a set of transcript volumes also let us know.
© Gerry Armstrong