judge

Motion GRANTED re Court Reporters’ Page Rates

Government Code Sections 69950 and 69954 regulate page rates an official court reporter may charge for transcripts in California Superior Courts. A lawsuit was brought by attorneys against an independent court reporting firm for charging more than what the Government Code provides for.   On Friday, January 8, 2016, the Court ruled on a motion brought be the Defendants for judgment.  The following is language from the ruling by Amy D. Hogue, Judge of the Superior Court.

“The Court is concerned, moreover, that government regulation of private court reporter rates compromises strong countervailing public policies favoring free enterprise and competition. The Court also agrees with Defendant that regulating the rates for private reporters may have additional impacts on the free market and potentially reduce the economic incentive for highly qualified private court reporters to serve as official reporters pro tempore.”

“With tax payers are no longer providing official court reporting services to all litigants and private reporters generating their own salaries, insurance and benefits, it is difficult to justify regulating private reporter rates as a matter of public policy.”

“The Court rejects Plaintiffs’ interpretation of the applicable statutes and finds that Plaintiffs have failed to state an actionable claim. The Court therefore GRANTS Defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings,” Amy D. Hogue, Judge of the Superior Court.

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Linda Pool Wins Disney Race

Five Tips For Success and Opportunity – Attorneys, Court Reporters…

In the last few months I have been approached by an attorney who just passed the bar, a financial planner that is selling for a large insurance company, a 53-year-old woman who was just laid off after 29 years working at a grocery store, and a newly licensed Certified Shorthand Reporter, all asking if I had any advice about networking and finding opportunity.  I know from experience certain things, but I wanted to give them “scientific, expert” advice.  Therefore, I did some research and found the following:

  1. A 10th of a Second: A series of experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov reveal that all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their facial expression and how they present themselves.  You need to be 100 percent ready the moment you walk in the room, smiling, dressed appropriately, and with a positive attitude.
  2. Adjust your attitude:   In a recent Forbes article, Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., business coach advises, “People pick up your attitude instantly. Before you turn to greet someone, or enter the boardroom, courtroom, or deposition, think about the situation and make a conscious choice about the attitude you want to embody.”  Before you get in the room think to yourself, “It’s show time,” and get energized.
  3. Straighten your posture: Goman also writes, “Status and power are nonverbally conveyed by height and space. Standing tall, pulling your shoulders back, and holding your head straight are all signals of confidence and competence.”
  4. Physical Contact: Reading, “Psychology of a Handshake,” it states, “A good handshake relates positively to extroversion and emotional expressiveness like sociability and friendliness, while a limp handshake is regarded negatively, as being indicative of shyness, neuroticism, and introversion.  Learn how to give a firm, friendly handshake.
  5. Use the Person’s Name:  As Dale Carnegie states, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”  There is a great article that talks about everything from using someone’s name you meet at a party to an email I found in the Washington Post, “Career Coach:  The Power of Using a Name.”

These five pieces of advice are all doable.  They are physical and practical.  Once a person has their degree, certification, or diploma, I believe you have the tools to embrace opportunity.  The key is to go forth and “do it.”  Congratulations to all of the newly licensed court reporters, attorneys, financial planners – everyone in the workforce.  I wish all of you great success in your careers.

 

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january 1

New 2016 Law Applies to California Deposition Notices

A new law requires language to be added to Notices of Deposition, AB 1197, effective January 1, 2016, authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla.

CA CCP 2025.220 now reads as follows with the addition of section (8): 

California Code of Civil Procedure 2025.220

  1. A party desiring to take the oral deposition of any person shall give notice in writing.

The deposition notice shall state all of the following:

(1) The address where the deposition will be taken.

(2) The date of the deposition, selected under Section 2025.270, and the time it will commence.

(3) The name of each deponent, and the address and telephone number, if known, of any

deponent who is not a party to the action. If the name of the deponent is not known, the

deposition notice shall set forth instead a general description sufficient to identify the person or particular class to which the person belongs.

(4) The specification with reasonable particularity of any materials or category of materials, including any electronically stored information, to be produced by the deponent.

(5) Any intention by the party noticing the deposition to record the testimony by audio or video technology, in addition to recording the testimony by the stenographic method as required by Section 2025.330 and any intention to record the testimony by stenographic method through the instant visual display of the testimony. If the deposition will be conducted using instant visual display, a copy of the deposition notice shall also be given to the deposition officer. Any offer to provide the instant visual display of the testimony or to provide rough draft transcripts to any party which is accepted prior to, or offered at, the deposition shall also be made by the deposition officer at the deposition to all parties in attendance. Any party or attorney requesting the provision of the instant visual display of the testimony, or rough draft transcripts, shall pay the reasonable cost of those services, which may be no greater than the costs charged to any other party or attorney.

(6) Any intention to reserve the right to use at trial a video recording of the deposition testimony of a treating or consulting physician or of any expert witness under subdivision (d) of Section 2025.620. In this event, the operator of the video camera shall be a person who is authorized to administer an oath, and shall not be financially interested in the action or be a relative or employee of any attorney of any of the parties.

(7) The form in which any electronically stored information is to be produced, if a particular form is desired.

(8) (A) A statement disclosing the existence of a contract, if any is known to the noticing party, between the noticing party or a third party who is financing all or part of the action and either of the following for any service beyond the noticed deposition:

(i) The deposition officer

(ii) The entity providing the services of the deposition officer

(B) A statement disclosing that the party noticing the deposition, or a third party financing

all or part of the action, directed his or her attorney to use a particular officer or entity to

provide services for the deposition, if applicable. 

___________________________________________________________________________

Below is sample language that law firms can use to comply with Section (8)

The undersigned counsel has been directed to use the court reporting firm that will be used to report the deposition.  

There is a contract between the party noticing this deposition or the entity financing the litigation and the court reporting firm that will be used to report the deposition.  

The aforementioned contract includes the court reporting firm providing services beyond deposition services.

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Court Reporters Punch Fear

Court Reporters Punch Fear in the Face

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it,” said Victor Hugo.

Being a court reporter takes so many skillsets: the ability to write 250+ words per minute accurately, having the intelligence to understand words spoken by every type of expert in the world talking about every subject from mold remediation to DNA sequencing of the human genome, and having to, upon occasion, interact with high-maintenance individuals.

The type of person that becomes a great court reporter is the type of person who knows how to face their fear and master it.

When a person makes the decision to go to court reporting school, they have to take into account only 10 percent of the students actually graduate. They know it could take two, four, six or eight years to become licensed.  To go to court reporting school takes courage and determination, and I would suggest those who face any fear they might have about going to court reporting school, ignore the naysayers that worry for the student and ask, “What is wrong?  Why aren’t you done yet?” have a great career ahead of them.

When a person is first licensed to be a court reporter, there is a fear of all of the “firsts,” first deposition, first hearing, first I.M.E., first arbitration… Great court reporters put their heads down, ask for advice from more seasoned reporters, and take the job.  After 34 years as a court reporter, I still get nervous when I have a “first.”

Because court reporters have a tremendous talent, especially with their real-time skillset, new opportunities are opening up all of the time; for example, there are the court reporters who are reporting the trials at GITMO. I am lucky enough to be a friend of some of those reporters, and I would bet $100 that when they first flew down there they were nervous, and these reporters are some of the most talent court reporters in our nation.  Now, they are a tightknit team, providing amazing instantaneous real-time, scoping and proofing for each other, and have received accolades and praise for their work.

Being a stenographer and transcribing meetings, writing CART, providing closed-captioning are just some of the modern opportunities that court reporters have.

We know the average age of court reporters is 56, 57 in the United States, and the majority are women. I think it is GREAT that as a woman in my mid-50s I have the opportunity to keep walking through my fear/nerves and try new things.  To be honest, I have thought to myself, “I don’t need to learn how to work a webcam and stream video/text.  I can let someone else do it.  I know enough stuff.”  But then I think to myself, “I need to know as much as any other court reporter, so just do it, Rosalie.”  It is about winning.  I remember the first time I provided interactive real-time.  I was super scared, and real-time was so new the attorney stared at the screen the whole day.  He had never seen anything like it before, and he couldn’t help himself and kept stopping the deposition to point out a misstroke or let me know “tier not tear.”  A part of me never wanted to provide real-time again, but then another part of me got mad, and I wasn’t going to let an uneducated attorney stop me from working at getting better, clean up my writing, and then ultimately getting my CRR certification – so there.

This week I reported two public meetings. I didn’t ask any of the reporters that work with me to do them because meetings are always hard, these occurred at night, and it is hard to anticipate what is going to happen or the format.  I wanted to experience the meeting so I could coach court reporters in the future what to expect since we will be doing a series of these. It turned out to be super interesting, everyone there wanted to help me make a record, and they were mesmerized by my real-time screen.

Court reporters are amazing in so many different ways. Having a talent that so few people can master is something to be proud of, and I would suggest trying new things keeps people in their 50s and 60s young.  Punching fear in the face and moving forward is actually fun and is what court reporters do best.

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Appeal

2015 California Rules of Court – Appeal Transcripts – Court Reporters Do Not Provide “Fee Waivers”

Due to the fact that many civil courtrooms throughout California no longer have court reporters, and attorneys need to bring in a pro tem court reporter for hearings and trials, some of the procedures in regards to filing appeal transcripts are new to both attorneys and the pro tem court reporters, and there has been some confusion because of the language used by law firms when requesting the preparation of appeal transcripts.

If a person Googles “fee waiver California appeals court,” you will find a definition of fee waiver that is not related to what court reporters are asked to provide to attorneys when attorneys need a court reporter’s transcript for their appeal.  A fee waiver in the context of California courts is defined in Government Code Section 68631 relates to a Court granting waiving of fees because a person is indigent.

Reading through the 2015 California Rules of Court, Rule 8.130, Reporter’s transcript, I found 8.130(b)(3)(A)  which references a reporter’s written waiver of a deposit.  Many attorneys refer to this provision as a “fee waiver” when asking the court reporter to bill them directly for a transcript and not ask the clerk to collect the money to save time in filing the appeal.   The court reporter is not being asked to waive their transcript fees.

2015 California Rules of Court, 8.130 reads as follows:

(a) Notice

(1)A notice under rule 8.121 designating a reporter’s transcript must specify the date of each proceeding to be included in the transcript and may specify portions of designated proceedings that are not to be included. The notice must identify any proceeding for which a certified transcript has previously been prepared by checking the appropriate box on Appellant’s Notice Designating Record on Appeal (Unlimited Civil) (form APP-003) or, if that form is not used, placing an asterisk before that proceeding in the notice.

(2)If the appellant designates less than all the testimony, the notice must state the points to be raised on appeal; the appeal is then limited to those points unless, on motion, the reviewing court permits otherwise.

(3)If the appellant serves and files a notice designating a reporter’s transcript, the respondent may, within 10 days after such service, serve and file a notice in superior court designating any additional proceedings the respondent wants included in the transcript. The notice must identify any proceeding for which a certified transcript has previously been prepared by checking the appropriate box on Respondent’s Notice Designating Record on Appeal (Unlimited Civil Case) (form APP-010) or, if that form is not used, placing an asterisk before that proceeding in the notice.

(4)If the appellant elects to proceed without a reporter’s transcript, the respondent cannot require that a reporter’s transcript be prepared. But the reviewing court, on its own or the respondent’s motion, may order the record augmented under rule 8.155 to prevent a miscarriage of justice. Unless the court orders otherwise, the appellant is responsible for the cost of any reporter’s transcript the court may order under this subdivision.

(5)Except when a party submits a certified transcript that contains all the designated proceedings under (b)(3)(C) with the notice of designation, the notice of designation must be served on each known reporter of the designated proceedings.

((b) Deposit or substitute for cost of transcript

(1)With its notice of designation, a party must deposit with the superior court clerk the approximate cost of transcribing the proceedings it designates and a fee of $50 for the superior court to hold this deposit in trust. The deposit must be either:

(A)The amount specified in the reporter’s written estimate; or

(B)An amount calculated as follows:

(i)For proceedings that have not previously been transcribed: $325 per fraction of the day’s proceedings that did not exceed three hours, or $650 per day or fraction that exceeded three hours.

(ii)For proceedings that have previously been transcribed: $80 per fraction of the day’s proceedings that did not exceed three hours, or $160 per day or fraction that exceeded three hours.

(2)If the reporter believes the deposit is inadequate, within 15 days after the clerk mails the notice under (d)(1) the reporter may file with the clerk and mail to the designating party an estimate of the transcript’s total cost at the statutory rate, showing the additional deposit required. The party must deposit the additional sum within 10 days after the reporter mails the estimate.

(3)Instead of a deposit under (1), the party may substitute:

(A)The reporter’s written waiver of a deposit. A reporter may waive the deposit for a part of the designated proceedings, but such a waiver replaces the deposit for only that part.

(B)A copy of a Transcript Reimbursement Fund application filed under (c)(1).

(C)A certified transcript of all of the proceedings designated by the party. The transcript must comply with the format requirements of rule 8.144.

(3)Instead of a deposit under (1), the party may substitute:

(A)The reporter’s written waiver of a deposit. A reporter may waive the deposit for a part of the designated proceedings, but such a waiver replaces the deposit for only that part.

(B)A copy of a Transcript Reimbursement Fund application filed under (c)(1).

(C)A certified transcript of all of the proceedings designated by the party. The transcript must comply with the format requirements of rule 8.144.

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I Forgot

Oops! The Court Reporter Didn’t Swear In the Witness

The Court Reporters Board of California periodically receives calls from frazzled court reporters who realize they forgot to swear in the witness, and the deposition had started. I know sometimes when an attorney says, “Let’s go on the record.  I need to make a statement,” and then there is colloquy between counsel, everyone’s timing gets off.  The attorneys make their record, and then one of them says to the witness, “Okay.  State your name for the record.”  And there they go…

But then the court reporter remembers that the witness was never sworn in. What does the court reporter do?  The Court Reporters Board of California has been publishing “Best Practices” for different scenarios and situations that happen at the deposition.  The forgetting of swearing in the witness is one such scenario.

The solution suggested by the CA CRB is as follows:

As soon as the reporter realizes the omission, the best practice is to stop the proceeding and place the witness under oath using an extended oath such as: Do you solemnly state the statements you’ve given and the testimony you’re about to give are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” 

If the attorneys want to later argue that there is an issue with the deposition before the witness was sworn, that would be their prerogative. In the meantime, the court reporter has done what is necessary to mitigate the situation.

 

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sittingsmoking-01

Beware Attorneys, Court Reporters, and Legal Videographers “Sitting is the New Smoking”

At a lecture on health by Angel Chelik of Sea Level Workouts, Angel made the statement, “As you’ve probably heard, sitting is the new smoking.”  The audience was made up of court reporters. Angel had everyone’s attention.

Following the lecture, I Googled “Sitting is the new smoking,” and was shocked to find article after article about medical studies and experts writing about the hazards of sitting.

The following are some of the maladies that stem from sitting:

  1. Sitting increases the risk for obesity
  2. Prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing Type II diabetes. Sitting for extended periods of time effects blood sugar levels and insulin in the body.
  3. Frequent sitters are susceptible to muscle issues. (No kidding.)
  4. LPL or lipoprotein lipase is an enzyme that breaks down fat and uses it as energy. When the enzyme is not working as it should, fat is stored.
  5. Sitting makes it more difficult for the “feel-good” hormones to reach the receptors; therefore sitting for long periods of time is associated with a higher risk of developing depression.
  6. Heart disease
  7. Perhaps colon cancer and other types of cancers.

Mayo Clinic endocrinologist, James A. Levine, M.D., made the statement in a recent New York Times article, “Excessive sitting is a lethal activity.” Levine subsequently created the idea of the “treadmill desk.” Mike Miller, NCRA Director, would attest to the benefits of the treadmill desk.

Reading a Pittsburgh Quarterly article, “Is sitting the new smoking,” Marc T. Hamilton, of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center of Baton Rouge, LA, stated, “As soon as we sit, electrical activity in our leg muscles stop, impacting a variety of metabolic pathways influencing heart disease and diabetes. For example, an enzyme that acts like the vacuum cleaner for blood fat is shut off, leading to other effects of on cholesterol metabolism.”

What is disappointing is researchers are finding that the ill effects of prolonged sitting can’t be fixed with a gym workout. “’Even if people meet the current recommendation of 30 minutes of physical activity on most days each week, there may be significant adverse metabolic and health effects from prolonged sitting, concluded the authors of a 2009 editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.”

What can we do? Hamilton states, “Any type of brief, yet frequent muscle contraction throughout the day, may be necessary to short-circuit unhealthy molecular signals causing metabolic diseases.”

So what does this mean for court reporters, legal videographers, and attorneys who have to sit through depositions? With the seven-hour rule in place, many depositions last eight to nine hours with a timed seven-hour sit-down. And because the testimony is crucial, and time is of the essence, the breaks are quick. I know I have sat through breaks editing the transcript and replying to emails; thus, I don’t even stand up for four hours at a time.

My goal is to become more disciplined and force myself to stand and walk around the room, do something, during breaks, maybe create an exercise room at the Discovery Conference Centre. When no one is looking I will do some shoulder and open-the-chest exercises. I do notice after getting the blood circulating, when we go back on the record, I write cleaner and faster.

I don’t know of an easy solution for court reporters. Having a standing tripod? That might feel great for a two-hour stint during a deposition or trial. If anyone uses a standing tripod, please let me know what you think. I would suggest that videographers stand occasionally during depositions. I have seen attorneys and witnesses ask for permission to stand during examinations because of back pain, and everyone in the room immediately says, “Please stand whenever you need to. Don’t even ask.” I believe most people who have had any type of back or knee issues could attest that sitting causes discomfort. I know of two judges in San Diego that stand while on the bench.

I wanted to share my research with everyone in my wonderful profession as well as all of the sitters in the legal professions. Let’s all stand up for our bodies. We deserve it!

 

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Moscow MVC

5 Tips for a Successful International Mobile Videoconference Deposition

Last month a paralegal called Kramm to inquire whether we could set up a Skype-like deposition (mobile videoconference) to depose a witness in Moscow. The attorneys would be in San Diego. The paralegal had questions about the logistics of setting up the deposition, the quality of the video/audio, and cost. The attorneys also needed the video to be captured for trial testimony.

We suggested to the paralegal the following 5 steps would need to take place for a successful mobile videoconference (MVC) deposition:

  1. Kramm would use Cameo II as the MVC platform due to the fact that the attorneys would use our Polycom videoconference equipment in San Diego, and at the Moscow location there would be a computer with a webcam available for the witness. Cameo II allows the interface of a traditional videoconference unit with an iPad/PC/MAC. (Note: Using Cameo II rather than a traditional VC unit in Moscow saved the client hundreds of dollars.)
  2. The witness would need to be in an office or location that had hardwire internet capability. (Note: The witness in Moscow chose to wear a headset to ensure clear audio. A teleconference number was set up as backup if the audio was not sufficient with Cameo II.   The teleconference was not necessary. The Cameo II audio was excellent, which saved the client TC costs.)
  3. Approximately a week before the deposition, the witness was sent the Cameo II link and went to the deposition site in Moscow to run a test with Kramm’s VC unit to troubleshoot any issues that might come up.
  4. Kramm had a legal videographer in San Diego capture the video/audio feed off of the Polycom unit, and whose job was to QC the video/audio to preserve the testimony for trial.
  5. A Russian interpreter was in San Diego. She interpreted the testimony in a consecutive mode (not simultaneous) which allowed accuracy for the syncing of the transcript. (Note: In past MVC depositions wherein the witnesses were in Serbia and China, the interpreter was with the witness. We leave it up to the attorneys to decide where the interpreter should be located.)

I am happy to report the Moscow deposition went perfectly, and the client was thrilled with the result. Using the newest mobile videoconferencing technology, attorneys can save a tremendous amount of time and money. It is not always necessary to fly to a foreign country or even out of state to conduct a deposition or preserve trial testimony. It does take planning and knowledge of the pros and cons of the different MVC products in the marketplace. If you have any questions on mobile videoconferencing, let me know. Finding solutions using technology for our clients is what we do best.

 

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Business Communication Duplicate model

9 Networking Tips & Tricks = Conventions, Meetings, Conferences

Having belonged to a multitude of state and national court reporting trade associations, as well as being a member of attorney, paralegal and legal secretary associations, I have had the great opportunity of attending receptions, cocktail parties, and events where the objective of the event is to network.

I was in my 20s when I started going to networking events. I remember feeling uncomfortable, a little shy, overwhelmed, and kind of scared that there wouldn’t be anyone to talk to and would look weird standing by myself in a corner. But I kept going because I knew it was important, and I truly wanted to figure out how the world of networking works.

The following are some suggestions for successful networking:

1.  Know your audience and anticipate what they want out of the event.

2.  Are you at an event with colleagues and competitors that want to know how business is going or about new technology that you just discovered and are excited about? Be ready to share information that YOU WANT TO SHARE. Be clear in your mind before you get to the event what is proprietary to your business and what information would be helpful and interesting. Being ready to share interesting information will give people a reason and wish to talk to you.

3.  Are you at an event with clients or potential clients? In my experience, talking about how great my company is or all of the bells and whistles that we have available is totally boring. They want to talk about their business, what they might need help with, who they are as people. Because the court reporting industry is saturated with salespeople and account executives, I have found that many times the moment I mention I own a court reporting firm, attorneys cringe and try to get away. I believe court reporting is the last thing they want to hear about. Sports, weather, and interesting news is a better bet.

4. Are you at an event with businesspeople not related to your particular industry? I believe this is the easiest and most fun group of people to network with. Learning about different businesses, asking businesspeople how they think, make decisions, what their typical day is like is super interesting. Attorneys are lucky. Everyone is a potential client. As a court reporter, I enjoy going to Rotary, Chamber of Commerce meetings with an eye towards knowing people and what they do. Oftentimes, I will meet people that learn I am a court reporter and want to ask me for legal advice or if I know an attorney that does a particular type of litigation or transactional work. There is no better way to network than to refer an attorney client to someone.

5. The key is to listen and always be thinking, “How can I help this person? Who do they need to know? Is there anyone I can introduce her/him to that would be beneficial for all?”

6.  If a person doesn’t want to talk to you, move on, and don’t let your feelings be hurt. I have found many people come to networking events with a specific agenda in mind or to meet a particular person. If they say, “I really want to meet Joe Smith,” and you happen to know Joe Smith, make the introduction. If you just get the vibe they want to move on, excuse yourself and go talk to someone else.

7.  Ways to politely excuse yourself: “It was really great talking to you. I think I am going to go freshen my drink,” or “I need to speak to Ted Smith before he leaves, please excuse me,” or, “It was great talking to you. I hope I see you tomorrow at the seminar,” or, “Do you know Jan Campo? I think it would be great for you two to meet because…” and introduce them.

8.  If you have no one to talk to, find someone else that has no one to talk to. You can go up to them, shake their hand, say your name, and ask, “How long have you been a member,” or, “Where are you from,” or “What seminars look good to you,” or, “Have you tried the shrimp? They’re amazing.” If the person is not interested in talking to you, move on. You can say, “It was nice talking to you. Enjoy the convention.”

9.  If you have a specific agenda or want to be introduced to a person, find someone that knows the person and ask for an introduction. People like to help people connect.

The next time you go to a networking event, know that many of the people there are nervous, probably a little scared, and want to connect. I promise networking is easy, but for some people it takes practice. Don’t waste any opportunity to meet people. I believe networking = success.

@rosaliekramm  Twitter

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PROOFING-01

COURT REPORTERS – WHO IS PROOFING YOUR WORK?

I have the privilege of working with a new California Certified Shorthand Reporter who passed the exam in November 2014.  She wrote me asking if Kramm had any work we could send to her.  My reply was, yes, but I would proof all of her work until she was ready to work on her own with a professional proofer.

I wonder, what happens to the other court reporters that don’t have someone reading over their transcripts?

Recently, I was reading over another young reporter’s work and was very disappointed in the work product.  There were misspellings, non-words, and confusing punctuation.  When I asked, “Why,” I got the response that that was how she had learned to do things in school, and she proofs her own work to ensure everything is correct, “I don’t trust anyone else doing a good job on my transcripts.”  The response made no sense to me.

I realize that most new CSRs or court reporters have limited funds, and it might seem too expensive to hire someone to proof or scope their work.  I would suggest that all new court reporters, no matter the circumstance, whether working in alliance with a firm or freelancing, need to have someone proof their work.   A good proofer will teach how to handle the nuances of putting the spoken word on paper when it comes to making a transcript.

Paying for a proofer has value.  Young reporters are setting themselves up for the rest of their career.  Being known for clean, usable transcripts has a tremendous value.  Being known for sloppy, poor transcripts might haunt you the rest of your life.

Finding a smart scopist/proofer is important.  I believe a retired court reporter would be a good choice, because the experienced court reporter could make suggestions on globals and format.  I see many reporters asking for help on format and punctuation on Facebook.  The problem with Facebook is there can be a myriad of errors that a new reporter wouldn’t know they need to address, and some of the advice might be correct in one geographical area, but wrong in another.

Approximately 10 percent of court reporting students pass the qualifying exams that allow them to practice, and  schools teach and test punctuation, but in the real world, people sometimes speak in an “interesting” way, and weird scenarios happen all of the time when creating a transcript.  Turning out beautiful transcripts is what makes our profession so respected and great.

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