Legal Transcription – The Language And The Job

No doubt, one of the things that make legal language hardest to understand is its unusual words and terms. Some legal terms such as-judge, court, interrogation etc. are relatively well known, where as others are complete mystery to non-professionals. Some legal writings tend to consist of very long sentences, sometimes hundreds of words in length. This makes the transcription job harder. Below are some tips and hints of the legal terms encountered in legal transcription and how to transcribe a document successfully.

Some difficult legal words and terms

. Without knowing these, transcribing legal documents will be almost impossible.

1. Arbitration-A method of alternative dispute resolution in which the disputing parties agrees to abide by the decision of an arbitrator.

2. Assignment-The transfer of legal rights, from one person to another.

3. Bankruptcy-This is a process governed by the federal law to help people, when they cannot or will not pay their bills.

4. Bifurcation-Splitting a trial into two parts: a liability phase and a penalty phase.

5. Certiorari - It refers to the order of a court so that it can review the decision and proceedings in the lower court.

6. Deed-A written legal document that describes a piece of property and outlines its boundaries.

7. Defamation-The publication of the statement that injures a person’s reputation.

8. Deposition-It is a process in which a witness testifies under oath, before trial.

9. Escrow-The deed of a property will be in escrow( in pending), until the completion of the real estate transaction.

10. Foreclosure-When a borrower cannot repay a loan and the lender seeks to sell the property.

11. Immunity-Exemption from a legal duty or penalty.

12. Implied warranty-A guarantee imposed by law in a sale.

13. Intestate-To die without a will.

14. Plaintiff-The person who initiates a lawsuit.

15. Pro se-A person who represents himself in court alone without the help of the lawyer.

16. Quash-To nullify or declare invalid.

17. Slander-Defamatory oral statements and gestures

18. Subpoena-An order compelling a person to appear in court or produce documents.

19.Suvoir Dire-Means speak the truth.

Tips to become a good legal transcriptionist

Below are certain rules you have to keep in your mind to become a good legal transcriptionist.

1.   Listen to a legal phrase or group of meaningful words carefully again and again before transcribe, till you are not sure.

2.   Understand each legal testimony correctly and use them appropriately.

3.   Analyse what is being dictated, listen dictator’s voice, and follow it as a guide.

4.   A 1-hour tape will take not less than 3 to 4 hours, depending on your speed.  Maintain a good speed throughout, so that you can finish it in time.

5.   Review document for a second time and improve it by studying rules.

6.   Use information found in the appendix, prefix, suffix sections of legal reference texts, whenever necessary.

7.   Edit the final copy, which should be free of spelling, punctuation, grammar or any other errors.

8.   Proofread the transcript with 100% accuracy.

Legal transcription involves the conversion of audio files into typed transcripts. Modern day legal transcription technology has gone digital and is highly effective.

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