People who work in the legal community don’t generally ask us this question, but ordinary mortals do. I am an ordinary mortal too, mostly, so the question seemed well worth a blog post on the subject:
Before trying to track down that transcriptionist, aka transcriber, or even doing it yourself:
1) First, make sure you know what is on the CD and how it was recorded. For example, Oregon Courts use FTR (“For The Record”) to record trials. Is that what is on your CD?
2) Second, keep in mind that, depending on what you plan to do with that transcript, transcribing from Oregon court CDs is not a simple matter of listening to the transcript and typing what you hear:
a) The transcript is recorded using special software, i.e. that FTR software I mentioned above, and you need to download software to listen to the recording. Check with the Court that provided you with the CD if you have any questions.
b) There are rules (and a manual) about transcripts for use in court (pro se litigants should read the rules or contact the court where they are making their appeal if they want to know if there are any waivers or exceptions from the rules and fees):
** OJD: Oregon Court System: Transcript Procedures Manual (If that link no longer works (it’s not what you might call a PURL, a permanent uniform resource locator), you can also link to the Manual from the OJD website, assuming that hasn’t changed, or use your favorite search engine to find.)
3) Third: Find someone to transcribe that CD. There are a number of ways to go about doing this, from a simple phone book or online search, to more targeted searches. Try one or more of the following. Be prepared with the information above and then ask the businesses you phone about their rates, timelines, and other services as needed.
a) Look online for a transcriber: Come up with a few keywords to make sure what you find online is what you want and make sure you specify the state (Oregon!), e.g. court transcriptionist, court transcripts, transcribers, secretary, court reporting, Oregon, etc.
d) Call a local secretarial service, ask friends if you don’t know any or use the phone book, and just ask if they do court transcriptions or if they can recommend someone.