Top 4 Recommended Books for Court ReportersTop 4 Recommended Books for Court Reporters
Are you a court reporter in Durham Region or Southeastern Ontario, or considering becoming one? Beyond honing the prerequisite typing skills, there are a few key resources you may wish to keep nearby as you learn and improve. The following is a list of books On the Record Court Reporting recommends to assist legal court reporters with terminology, shorthand, and skill upgrading.
1. Brief Encounters: A Dictionary for Court Reporting (4th Edition) by Laurie Boucke
Ms. Boucke’s seminal volume on shorthand for real time typists and court reporters has one of the highest review ratings among court-reporting related books on Amazon. It is no wonder why: the book boasts shorthand abbreviations for more than 20,000 words and over 6,500 phrases. The bonus is that none of the shorthands are repeated or conflict with one another.
Memorizing key phrases that tend to come up during legal proceedings and implementing those into shorthand can dramatically speed up a reporter’s work. For example, Brief Encounters suggests using MOINGS for “among other things,” and STHR-LGS for “Is there anything else.”
Reviews have found Brief Encounters useful for experienced and inexperienced court reporters alike. One reviewer writes, “I’ve been reporting 21 years, have all my certifications, but I’d have to say I feel like I have just now ‘turned the corner’ after incorporating some of these briefs!”
2. Morson’s English Guide for Court Reporters (2nd Edition) by Lillian I. Morson
Abbreviations may help with speed, but eventually the full word and sentence needs to be spelled out correctly. Ms. Morson’s guide helps with grammar, spelling and syntax—not only by providing the rules, but helpful examples taken from real court transcripts. Morson’s remains exceedingly popular among court reporters and trainees alike because of its helpful and relevant legal examples.
3. The Gregg Reference Manual (10th Edition) by William A. Sabin
The key competitor to Morson’s is the Gregg Reference Manual. Although not specifically geared towards court reporting, Gregg’s has had 10 editions reprinted and is used across many industries. As an additional benefit beyond what Morson’s offers, the Gregg manual includes an electronic index that speeds up the search for particular contents and guidelines. It is definitely a resource to consider for court reporting professionals.
4. The Complete Court Reporter’s Handbook and Guide for Realtime Writers (5th Edition) by Robert W. McCormick, Mary H. Knapp, and Melissa H. Blake.
Although perhaps not as relevant for Canadian audiences, this handbook is widely reviewed by American court reporters and students as a must-see resource. It goes beyond grammar, abbreviations and syntax to describe the actual process of court reporting, as well as other “realtime writer” professions. The handbook is a hefty 400 pages and was recently updated. It is described by Amazon reviews as “informative,” “densely packed,” and “one of the few on the market that makes the process understandable.”
If you have more questions about court reporting in Durham Region, or would like to speak with a certified court reporter, contact On the Record Court Reporting at (289) 638-2020 or at