Page 3

Parent Status of Court Reporters in Trial
Date 23 December 1946
Language English
Collection Tavenner Papers & IMTFE Official Records
Box Box 3
Folder General Reports and Memoranda from December 1946
Repository University of Virginia Law Library
-3- Throughout. We feel and have been told by the Chief Court Reporter from Nuernberg now in this theatre that our record is far superior to that of Nuernberg in appearance, quality and speed of production, and an examination of the Pearl Harbor proceedings will convince anyone that the same holds true for that comparison. Also in regard to Nuernerg, the court reporters were not responsible for the record, a board of three officers being engaged in editing and revising the record on the basis of the reporters; notes and the sound recording device, t eh main reliance being placed on the latter. Here we have no sound track, and the reporting section is entirely responsible and must certify to the accuracy of the record. As to a comparison on the basis of economy, there were twenty-two (22) court reporters at Nuernberg, certainly a great deal more than the eleven (11) at this trial; and as for the Pearl Harbor trial, it was reported by Ward & Paul, a free-lance reporting concern in Washington, D. C., whose rates per page applied to reporting this trial, even at a very minimum, would cost the government well over one million dollars ($1,000,000) a year as compared to $78,000 for the same services here or about one-fifteenth (1/15) the expense. Regardless of the outcome of this problem, I wish to recommend that the present standards of reporting this trial be maintained, especially in view of the extraordinary reporting problems entailed, the careful scrutiny with which this record is read, its obvious utility to the attorneys in presenting and arguing their case, and the great help it affords to the Tribunal in hearing the case and making their decision (the additional indices included). I say this with the thought in mind of what the job analyst of the Civilian Personnel Section has said: that, if necessary, they will round up all the fast stenographers in Tokyo and replace us with as much as four (4) stenographers in court at a time, obviously on the mistaken assumption that, if two court reporters at a time can do the job, four (4) stenographers can do it as well or better. If this comes about the record of proceedings will be reduced to a farce. The reporters at this Tribunal each had to qualify with at least six (6) years of experience, a qualification which was imposed on no other court reporters hired by the War Department; and it has been my experience that that was a wise provision for an inexperienced or otherwise unqualified reporter would be utterly lost in the midst of these proceedings; and how much more son in t he extremely fast and difficult Proceedings in Chambers?