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Chief judge designates Court Reporter Week

Posted on 2/11/2016, 8:11 AM

BENTON — Franklin County's judicial system could not operate effectively without talented court reporters.
And since court is held daily at the Franklin County Courthouse, judges, attorneys, circuit clerk officials and participants of the judicial system are fortunate to have two seasoned professionals — Amy Quint and Leslee Copple — both of Benton.
Chief Judge Thomas J. Tedeschi of the Second Judicial Circuit has announced the week of Feb. 14 through 20 has been designated as National Court Reporting and Captioning Week by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The Second Circuit currently employs 15 full-time court reporters who cover a 12-county area that covers more geographical territory than any other circuit in the state. The circuit runs from Robinson to the north to Elizabethtown in Southern Illinois.
Tedeschi said the work of the local court reporters is to be commended.
"The service these women provide is wonderful," Tedeschi said, adding it is a good profession, and the need is great. Quint said there are currently 42 positions unfilled in the state.
"Our court reporters in our judicial system are invaluable to the administration of our system. They've been around since the beginning of the common law. We are honored to have fine court reporters here at the Franklin County Courthouse," said Franklin County State's Attorney Evan Owens.
"Court reporters are a valuable part of our legal system and I don't think it would function properly without them," said Carbondale attorney Brian Roberts.
While some court reporters have four-year degrees, the minimum requirement is an associate's degree.
"Some colleges have the program and some are private schools that only do court reporting," Quint said. She and Copple both attended Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, although their court reporting curriculum is no longer available.
"It's the only job I've ever had," Quint said. "It's nice to be recognized for our work."
The local court reporters are employed by Court Reporting Services, an arm of the Illinois State Comptroller's office. However, the chief judge's office in Mt. Vernon handles the scheduling.
Both Quint and Copple say their jobs require minimal travel since Franklin County has various court cases on a Monday through Friday basis.
"I like that your hearing things about all types of subject manner. Court cases go from a land dispute to a money dispute all the way up to a murder case. It's something different day," Quint said.
"You never get bored. You hear something new every day. That part of it is very exciting," added Copple. "It's nice to be part of the system too and watch the judicial system working, and we're a big part of that."
Court reporting is a highly-technical career which involves taking down spoken testimony and transcribing those words into written transcripts. Those with stenographic skills are employable as court reporters, live-event captioners for the hard-of hearing community and capitioners for broadcast and specialized videography. Over the next five years, about 5,500 jobs in the court reporting and captioning profession are expected to become available.
The toughest part of the job, both women said in unison, is "when everyone is talking at the same time."
Quint said she became interested in becoming a court reporter from the influence of an uncle, retired judge Jerry Flynn of Randolph County.
"I wanted something in the legal field but I didn't want to spend seven years in college to get a law degree. He suggested this might be a good fit," Quint said.
"Two people in separate discussions suggested to me on the same day to become a court reporter. I had two years of my undergraduate studies completed and I didn't know what I wanted to do. I was looking through a book to pick a major, read about it and I was a real good typist in high school so I decided to try it," Copple said.
"The good thing court reporting has going for it right now, it's one of the few professions where people could get out of school with a 100 percent job placement," Quint said.
Anyone who is interested in acquiring more information about the profession may call Karen Crisel, court report supervisor, at (618) 244-8036.

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