Two people shaking hands at a mediation

The Role of Court Reporters in Mediation and Arbitration

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods, such as mediation and arbitration, have gained prominence in recent years as effective alternatives to traditional courtroom litigation. These methods emphasize collaboration, confidentiality, and efficiency. While the spotlight often shines on the skilled mediators and arbitrators facilitating these processes, the court reporters are playing a crucial role behind the scenes. These professionals ensure accuracy, transparency, and a lasting record of resolution attempts.

The Role of Court Reporters in Mediation and Arbitration

Mediation is a voluntary process where a neutral third party, the mediator, facilitates communication between disputing parties to help them reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Arbitration involves a neutral third party, the arbitrator or panel of arbitrators, who makes a decision after hearing the arguments and evidence presented by the parties in the dispute. Court reporters in mediation and arbitration act as impartial record-keepers, transcribing the dialogue, agreements, and nuances of the discussions.

Accurate and Objective Documentation

Court reporters possess the skills to capture spoken words with precision. In ADR proceedings, where details matter, their ability to produce accurate transcripts ensures that there is an indisputable record of what transpired during the proceeding. This is crucial in the event the parties need to refer back to specific points or if a dispute arises regarding the terms discussed. [1]

A court reporter’s commitment to impartiality ensures that the ADR process remains fair and objective. This neutrality continues into the transcription process, where court reporters document the words spoken without injecting personal opinions or interpretations. [2]

Creating an Official Real-Time Record

Since court reporters in arbitration and mediation create an official record of the proceedings, this record serves as a foundation for any potential appeals and guarantees that the arbitration process adheres to legal standards.

Some ADR processes benefit from real-time reporting, where court reporters provide instantaneous transcripts during the proceedings. This enables parties and arbitrators to review and refer to the testimony immediately, enhancing the efficiency of the ADR process. [2] [3]

Confidentiality Assurance

Mediation and arbitration often depend on confidentiality, which allows parties to explore solutions without fear of public exposure. Court reporters are bound by ethical standards to maintain the confidentiality of the proceedings. Their role is not just about transcribing words but also safeguarding the sensitive information exchanged during mediation sessions.


In the field of alternative dispute resolution, a court reporter’s work in capturing and preserving the spoken word not only contributes to the effectiveness of mediation and arbitration but also upholds the principles of transparency, confidentiality, and due process. As we celebrate the evolution of ADR methods, let’s not forget to acknowledge the silent individuals of resolution – the court reporters who bring a sense of order to the often complex and emotionally charged process of dispute resolution.


[1] “Bartelt | Nix Reporting, LLC.”, 2021,

[2] Wallace, Reade. “Elite Discovery | Benefits of Having a Court Reporter at Your next Arbitration.” Elite Discovery, 12 May 2023,

[3] “What Is Arbitration?” Planet Depos, 2017, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.