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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Essay on Duties of Court Employees

            A courtroom bailiff’s duty is to assist the judge and ensure that there is orderly conduct of the trial (“Career: Bailiff” 2008, p.1).  He is directly in charge of providing courtroom security by checking for hidden bombs, guns, or other danger inside the courtroom.  Whenever some people inside the courtroom are found to be behaving unruly, he may place them under arrest and remove them from the courthouse.  He also ensures that the courtroom is clean.  
            The courtroom bailiff closely coordinates with the court reporter and the law clerk, and other court personnel in ensuring that the court has enough case files and supplies.  He also coordinates with the court personnel in ensuring that order is maintained inside the courthouse.   Whenever court personnel find a person who has in his possession a gun or a deadly weapon inside the courthouse, the bailiff’s duty is to confiscate the weapon.  He also coordinates with them in determining the judge is ready to make his entry into the courthouse.  If the judge is ready, then the courtroom bailiff announces the entry of the judge in the courtroom. 
            A law clerk is a person who provides legal assistance to a judge in researching issues that arise in a case.  He also assists in the preparation of opinions that may help in facilitating the writing of court decisions (Sally Kane, 2009, p.1).  While they are called clerks, they perform relatively few clerical duties as they are in fact lawyers who consider the position of a law clerk as a stepping stone for higher positions in the legal profession.  The law clerk is mostly the second in command inside the court house and he coordinates most of the time with the judge.
            In preparing opinions, the law clerk usually asks for the transcript of all the proceedings from the court reporter.  The law clerk examines the statements of the parties which are considered part of the court proceedings.  The law clerk may use this as basis in arriving at decisions for or against a party. 
            The court reporter or stenographer is the person in charge of transcribing the spoken or recorded speech into written form (“Court Reporters: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition” p.1).  His task is to prepare official transcripts of court hearings.  These transcripts are helpful for lawyers in the event they decide to review the whole case and study the responses of the opposing counsel to the questions asked to them.   The court reporter closely coordinates with the law clerk and provides the latter with assistance insofar as the preparation of the transcript of the entire proceedings. 
            The Probation officers duty is to supervise the offenders on probation or parole through personal contact and supervision with the offenders and their families (“Probation Officer: Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2008-2009 Edition” p.1).  They require the offenders to meet in their homes and in their places of employment.  They may also seek the aid of community organizations to monitor the behavior of offenders. 
            Since the probation officer is not a party to the case, he oftentimes consults the court personnel and reads the transcript of the proceedings in studying and determining the behavior of the offender.  This may aid in planning the appropriate program for the offender which is necessary in the probationer’s re-introduction into the mainstream society.
            Court watchers, on the other hand, are not court personnel or employees.  They are also not part of the Executive Branch, Legislative Branch or the Judiciary.  Court watchers are people who monitor and closely observe the proceedings in the courtroom.  They make sure that the rights of the parties to the case are protected and that they are not abused.              Oftentimes, these court watchers may get the ire of the bailiff when their behavior inside the courtroom becomes unruly. 


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