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In Defense of Court Reporters
By Dennis D. Depew
As I write this column, there is a move afoot in the Kansas House to begin the process of eliminating court reporters in the courtrooms of Kansas. In times where there constantly seems to be more needs than money, proposals like this, which a few years ago would have been unthinkable, now seem to be gaining traction. The Kansas Supreme Court’s own Blue Ribbon Commission and its more recent Court Budget Advisory Council have both breached this topic as well in recent years as a potential cost savings idea.
I remember as a child going to court with my dad from time to time during the summer months when school was not in session. It was always fun and, at times, very entertaining. I got to meet all sorts of interesting people including other lawyers, judges, law enforcement officers, court clerks, and a number of court reporters. I can remember dad telling me how important it was to maintain a good relationship with all of these people, regardless of whether or not your case turned out like you and your client wanted it to, because it was these people that made the legal system work. Over the years, dad and then my brother and I have continued those efforts to be friendly and have not only a good relationship with but to show the proper respect to everyone who was a part of the court system in both state and federal courts in which we appeared.