Legal Transcription- The Language, the Job and the New Challenge

No doubt, one of the things that make legal language hardest to understand is its unusual words and terms, which initially, can make the transcriber’s job a challenge. But what about when the transcriber’s job becomes the challenge itself because the devices used to play back audio material are coated with layers or proprietary information or must first be converted?

It wouldn’t be strange if some legal terms such as-judge, court, interrogation etc. are easy to define for you where as others might be a complete mystery to you as a non-professional. Some legal writings tend to consist of very long sentences, sometimes hundreds of words in length. To understand a bit more about more common legal terms encountered in legal transcription and what it takes to transcribe a document successfully, consider the following:

Some difficult legal words and terms

The Must-Know Terms: 

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.

Legal transcription involves the conversion of audio files into typed transcripts. While legal transcription technology has gone digital and is highly effective in many industries, one that is surprisingly behind is law enforcement. With many in law enforcement still using devices designed for long-term surveillance to capture witness testimony or relying on devices that are layered with proprietary red tape, converting interviews to transcribable material can be more of a mess than learning the terms is to start!

One of the chief complaints we learn from our clients is the lack of a universal system that will capture and record testimony in an easy-to-use, easy-to-share, easy-to-hear format. With iRecord, all your needs are met when it comes to playback.


    • Turnkey solution to record, store and playback interviews
    • One page recording user manual means NO COMPUTER EXPERIENCE NECESSARY TO OPERATE.
    • CD/DVD storage media eliminates difficulties associated with storing cassette or VHS tapes over long periods of time.
    • No extensive IT support required to implement.
    • Using CD/DVD storage means no more lost interviews from broken or damaged tapes.
    • No more rewinding or fast-forwarding tapes!
    • Notes taken individually are private to each recording.
    • Easily find specific sections of an interview by searching for specific words or information in individual recordings

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