A transcript is a map of what can be argued from a recording in evidence. It is the step that can't be skipped in any disciplined effort to use recorded evidence as a tool of advocacy.
In most recorded evidence cases, the devil is in the details, but so are the angels. A client's prospects can turn on an apostrophe, a half uttered syllable or a two letter word mumbled in a fraction of a second. Language in evidence has to be sifted carefully to find the treasure. If the contents of a transcript are going to anchor a trial strategy, decide a case, force a plea or encourage a settlement, knowing every detail of a recording is a nonnegotiable prerequisite to any decision making by counsel or client.
There is nothing that can be said intelligently about any recording until it is professionally transcribed. Transcribing surreptitiously recorded conversation is not as simple as court transcription. Secretly recorded conversations are not made in courtrooms, without background noises, with witnesses and counsel neatly taking turns speaking. Covertly recorded audios are random, complex and conversational, often very difficult to understand in the background of noises and other voices speaking over one another. Audio enhancement can only carry the ear so far towards comprehending the nearly inaccessible comment that may be the difference maker. The rest of the distance to be traveled comes from the training and discipline of the expert listener. That skill set so necessary to meticulously transcribe recorded conversations is hard won, gained only by working for many years with audio evidence of every type, quantity and degree of difficulty.
Because we understand that covert recordings can only benefit a client when the trial lawyers understand every nuance of their meaning, we give great attention to every audible linguistic feature recorded on them, not just the intelligible words. Using methods we have developed ourselves over decades of transcribing thousands of hours of digital and analog recordings, we analyze and document more than the intelligible words. We also study the audio for movement indicators, background events, speech performance errors and conversational cues of discontinuity in the recorded conversation. By transcribing strictly and literally without omission, we obtain every iota of data from the verbal, nonverbal, acoustic and psychological content of the recording. We can only gain advantage from what words and sounds we know are on the recording. Our expert transcription gains every advantage there is.