Introducing REMS: Reportex Errata Management Solution
Trial transcripts of complex proceedings involving constitutional and charter challenges that will likely find their way to the Supreme Court of Canada require special care and consideration in order to ensure that appellate courts have the most accurate evidence before them. These types of trials tend to run for months or even years, and the volume of transcript pages produced can reach into the tens of thousands. Highly technical expert evidence, dense terminology, and First Nation orthographies involving multiple dialects are just a few of the challenges court reporters face when striving for accuracy and consistency across their transcripts. Add in more and more virtual courtroom attendance by counsel and witnesses, and these challenges increase exponentially.
For 15 years Reportex has utilized a complimentary errata protocol for its complex trials, giving parties the opportunity to provide suggested corrections to the reporter for their consideration prior to certifying the transcripts. This protocol is not mandatory and is only implemented if the parties choose to participate; however, in our experience, parties are pleased to have this opportunity, and their efforts ultimately ensure the best possible transcription of the evidence.
Until recently the parties would provide their errata suggestions to the reporter by email. Depending on the number of parties involved, this could get a bit unwieldy, and this prompted Reportex to find a better solution. For the past six months, we have been building the Reportex Errata Management Solution (REMS), which we recently launched for the Cowichan Tribes trial.
What is REMS?
REMS is a cloud-based repository (in Canada) where counsel can access transcripts (and download them individually or in batches) and enter their errata suggestions. Reportex can then respond directly to suggestions right within the REMS. The program is automated to generate email reminders of impending errata due dates, and responses to the errata are in different-colored font. Parties can collaborate on their errata lists as a team, and they can collapse/expand days to see the errata that has been received and/or responded to. There is also a prompt for reporters if they upload duplicate files, and REMS will automatically update the transcript status accordingly based on file naming conventions. The list of features goes on and on.
REMS was built for Reportex by Penticton-based developer Colin Fletcher in conjunction with realtime reporter Kelsey Fletcher, who is currently reporting the Cowichan Tribes trial in Victoria, which was going into its 300th day at the time of this announcement. This case involves seven parties, three First Nations orthographies (Halkomelem, Hul’qumi’num and Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓), numerous expert witnesses and reams of historical documents. Although Reportex’s reporting/editing teams utilize well-honed systems to ensure accuracy and consistency, the sheer volume of evidence spanning years makes it inevitable that errors will creep into the transcripts.
Christy Pratt, realtime reporter, and owner of Reportex, told us that “REMS has completely revolutionalized our errata process, making things so much more efficient for our clients and our reporting/editing teams. It’s clean and polished and professional and just generally fabulous.”
Developing systems and efficiencies like REMS for our court reporters is part of what we at Reportex consider to be thoughtful extras. Enabling our teams to work more efficiently in the production of highly accurate, consistent transcripts ultimately means better service to our clients.
You can learn more about our services and solutions here.