Attorneys and Paralegals working with Court Reporters in Court

ATTORNEYS – WHAT to PROVIDE the COURT REPORTER FOR HEARINGS or a TRIAL

Court reporters prepare for hearings and trials building their dictionaries with specific names and subject matter.  Before getting into the courtroom, a court reporter
will have created their caption and appearance page. To build their steno dictionary and create abbreviations for names, phrases, and subject matter that is unique to a
case, the court reporter would be need to receive any or all of the following documents:

1. Joint Exhibits list

2. Witness list

3. Job dictionary from court reporter(s) who reported the depositions in a case

4. List of case citations (hearings)

5. Points and Authorities (searchable pdf)

6. Motions in limine (searchable pdf)

7. Trial briefs (searchable pdf)

If the court reporter is providing realtime to the judge and/or any parties, having the steno dictionary that is specific to the case is imperative for clean realtime transcripts.

Related articles:  9 Tips Attorneys/Judges Realtime

What Attorneys Need to Know Working with Realtime Court Reporters

 

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Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

Court Reporters and Attorneys look for work life balance

Finding Work Life Balance – Attorneys and Court Reporters

If one decides to live a better life with work life balance and Googles, “How to achieve work life balance,” one would get over 150,000 hits with advice from psychologists, life coaches, and a myriad of other types of people.

After studying the question, and reading a ton of articles, I finally found the answer. Ready?  Work life balance is a myth.  It is impossible to achieve.  There is no such thing, and many people will beat themselves up trying to find the perfect balance.

I believe many attorneys and court reporters can easily work too much, not take care of their bodies, put off family and friends, having fun, until a more convenient time when there is no expedited transcript or hundreds of pages to scope.   When will that time come?  When you’re old?  Infirmed?  Exhausted?

The experts all agree there are five spheres of life that we have to focus on: HEALTH, WORK, FUN, FAMILY, FRIENDS.  If we don’t give energy to any one of these, our life is not fulfilled.  The experts also say that the key is to integrate all five spheres into your life NOW, to not wait, but use the whole of our workday, home life, and be mindful.

HEALTH SPHERE: We cannot put off taking care of our bodies.  Our bodies are fantastic, and we need to respect and take care of ourselves.   The experts all agree it is important to start off the day with a healthy breakfast.  Super busy people have a habit of not eating (no time) until they are so hungry that chips and junk food seem like a perfect solution.  Plan your meals.  Create a quick, healthy lunch routine.

Did you know you can do yoga in your chair? Attorneys and court reporters sit more than probably any other profession.  If you Google “Chair yoga,” you will be shocked how many great videos there are that show us how we can do simple stretching exercises while at our machines, and they’re not weird yoga poses.  The attorneys will never know you are exercising and stretching.

Exercise doesn’t have to be training for a marathon. It can be a walk around the block.

WORK SPHERE: Attorneys talk super fast.  The seven-hour rule is more like nine hours.  Depositions can go from 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. easily.  Expedites can come at us any moment like sniper fire.  Some things we cannot control. BUT there are attorneys and reporters who are using their jobs to enjoy life.  When traveling for a deposition, find time to enjoy where you are, even if it is just for an hour.  Your body and brain deserves to enjoy.

When talking about work life, the advice that came up over and over again was organization. Having an organized office, desk, home, and team allows your brain to relax.  When I talk about “organized team,” I mean to be ready with a scopist, back-up scopist, proofreader, housekeeper, gardener, Uber driver, whatever it takes to allow you to do what you do best and make money.

Multitasking has become a big part of our work life because of email, smart phones, and constant information coming at us. BUT multitasking is incredibly bad if you are striving for any type of balance.   In one recent study, Russell Poldrack, a psychology professor at UCLA found that “multitasking adversely affects how you learn.  Even if you learn while multitasking, that learning is less flexible and more specialized, so you cannot retrieve the information as easily.”  People use different parts of the brain for learning and storing new information, and when people are multitasking, the brain scans show people using the part of the brain called the striatum, a region of the brain involved in learning new skills; brain scans of people who are not distracted show activity in the hippocampus, a region involved in storing and recalling information.  Poldrack warns, “We have to be aware that there is a cost to the way that our society is changing; that humans are not built to work this way.  We’re really built to focus.  And when we force ourselves to multitask, we are less efficient in the long run.”

FAMILY SPHERE: Improve family life balance. Don’t be afraid to unplug. Create and stick to a daily routine. Make time for yourself. You need your own time. Take your vacation. Be present. Be consistent. Be accountable. Never feel guilty about taking time for yourself or for taking a vacation. Enjoy every minute. Notice the beauty around you and breathe.

FRIENDS SPHERE: Friends are important. Keep in contact. Don’t keep score. In other words, don’t think, “I invited her over last time. It is her turn to invite me over.” Be loyal. In other words, don’t tell others what your friends have trusted you to know. Remember their birthdays. Deal with any conflict. Be a fan and want for your friends to succeed. Live in the moment. Follow the golden rule. Friends are quality, not quantity.

FUN SPHERE: Find fun wherever, whenever you can. Use music in the morning to help wake you up. Dance in your room. Sing in the shower. Laugh at your pets’ antics. You are allowed to have fun all of the time – so let yourself.

Integration is the key to success

Being off-balance is good for you

Embrace opportunities at all times

Protect your time – Don’t waste time

Learn to say “Let me think about it…” Then think.

Kramm Court Reporting is committed to finding balance and supporting our clients and the reporters we work with in finding their work life balance.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arbitration conference room - Kramm Court Reporting

11 TASKS THAT PARALEGALS CAN DELEGATE TO COURT REPORTING FIRM

Paralegals oftentimes are the engine that keeps a law firm running.  They are incredibly efficient with time, resources, and know how to delegate
important tasks that need to be done correctly in an expedited manner.  Kramm Court Reporting looks for opportunities to support our paralegal clients.

Below are 11 of the most common tasks that paralegals can rely on a court reporting firm to complete:

1. Find and reserve a conference room anywhere worldwide

2. Set up interpreters

3. Recommend process servers in the area to process deposition subpoenas

4. Provide a common calendar for parties including location, witness name, time, noticing party

5. Organize exhibits and pre-assign exhibit numbers for cases with multi-track depositions

6. Arrange for videographers and the syncing of transcripts

7. Provide suggested language for notices to include video and real-time transcription

8. Archive errata sheets of witnesses’ changes and signature

9. Set up mobile videoconference (MVC) depositions/trial testimony worldwide

10. Set up teleconference depositions with access numbers supplied to all parties

11. Coordinate standing orders of rough drafts, real-time with iPads, synced transcripts, et cetera

It is a pleasure to support our clients and help paralegals coordinate deposition services.  If you would like to learn more about setting up
a mobile videoconference or best practices for teleconference depositions, please read our articles found below or contact me, Rosalie@kramm.com.

Tricks and Tips for Telephonic Depositions

Five Tips for Successful International Mobile Videoconference Depositions

How Paralegals and Legal Secretaries Can Benefit From Having Exhibits in the Cloud

Tips for Videoconferencing Depositions and Trial Testimony

Sample Notice Language for Video and Real-Time Depositions

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

Deposition Arbitration Room

ATTORNEYS – 8 ADMONITIONS FOR DEPOSITIONS

As a court reporter, I have sat through thousands of depositions and heard thousands of variances on the admonitions attorneys give the witness at the beginning of a deposition.  Many attorneys have a checklist that they use so as to not forget any particular admonition.  These eight admonitions are the most common:
1. All testimony is under oath just as if the witness were testifying in a court of law.  Penalty of perjury laws apply.

2. Answers need to be audible, no shakes of the head, shoulder shrugs.  “Uh-huh” and “huh-huh” are difficult to interpret in a written form.

3. Witnesses may estimate, should not guess.  (Example:  How much change is in my pocket? = Guess.  How much change is in your pocket? = Estimate)

4. Everything that is said is being taken down by the court reporter verbatim, unless everyone agrees to go off the record.

5. You will have an opportunity to read/sign the deposition transcript and make corrections you believe are necessary.

6. Allow question and any objections to be stated before you speak.  The court reporter cannot take down more than one person speaking at the same time.  Otherwise, the record will be jumbled, and the questions and answers will be disjointed.   Pause before answering so counsel have a chance to object to a question.

7. Objections are for the record.  Unless your counsel instructs you not to answer, you are to answer.  The judge will later decide what questions and answers will be allowed in future proceedings.

8. Breaks are allowed.

________________________________________________________________________________

Admonitions that might bring objections or waive Federal Code provision:

1. You must answer a question that is pending before being allowed to take a break.

2. You will have a chance later to read/sign transcript; but if changes are made, and they are substantive, that can reflect poorly at trial on your being truthful while at the deposition.  (Court reporters are taught that if this admonition is given in a deposition that falls within the Federal Rules, Rule 30 comes into play, and the witness will have the right to read/sign.)

In another related article, we discuss Witnesses Unintentionally Waive Right to Read/Sign Under Federal Rules.

 

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Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

 

Kramm accepts Aurelio Altruism Award at NCRA annual convention

Rosalie Kramm Receives 2017 Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism

The National Court Reporters Foundation recognized long-time NCRA member Rosalie Kramm, RPR, CRR, San Diego, Calif., with the 2017 Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism. The award was presented to Kramm during the Awards Luncheon on Aug. 12 at the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo, held in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Santo J. Aurelio Award is given to a working court reporter with more than 25 years of experience who has given back to the profession and to the court reporting community with no expectation of any reward.  “Having the respect of my peers and colleagues means so much to me.  I love my profession,” Kramm stated.

Kramm began her career as a court reporter in 1981 working for Robinson & Vint Court Reporters. In 1985, she opened Kramm Court Reporting. According to comments submitted by those who nominated her, Kramm is regarded in the profession for her professionalism, willingness to help, and love of promoting the profession.

Press Release – NCRA

 

Deposition Arbitration Room

TIPS FOR TELEPHONIC DEPOSITIONS FOR ATTORNEYS & COURT REPORTERS

Everyone is looking for opportunities to save costs these days in litigation. Many attorneys are choosing to take depositions telephonically so as to not incur travel costs and to save travel time.  Here are some ideas on how to make the telephonic deposition go smoothly.

  1. Have the court reporter with the witness. The reporter is able to swear in the witness and hear every word. As everyone knows, with teleconferences, if two people speak at the same time or there is any type of line interference, it is hard to hear or understand. Having the reporter with the witness ensures a better record.
  2. Advice to court reporters (especially if there are multiple people on the line): Rather than writing down each person’s information, including address and phone number(s), just get the attorney’s full name and website. It is much easier to look up the attorneys and create your appearance page(s) from a website than from scribbling down information over a phone.
  3. Court reporters, speak up if you are not understanding something, can’t hear, or don’t know who is speaking. Before the deposition starts, make a statement, for example, “Please identify yourself before you speak. There are multiple voices, and it is difficult to differentiate between them.” If someone starts speaking, and you are not sure who it is, you may interrupt with, “Excuse me. Who is speaking?” After a while, people will get the hang of it.
  4. Attorneys, if your court reporter interrupts, as discussed above, please be patient and understanding. They are not, in any way, trying to disrupt you. They are only trying to do produce the best record they can of the deposition.
  5. Court reporters, if possible, get a service list before the deposition begins and start inputting your appearance page or get a copy and check off names. You will need to know who the different participants represent. Once again, it is often difficult to get that kind of information with spellings over the phone.
  6. Court reporters, if the firm you are working with agrees and/or if you don’t mind giving out your personal email, give the participants your email address and ask the participants to email you who they represent.
  7. Be confident, court reporter. Nobody enjoys doing a telephonic deposition (or at least most people don’t). If you are polite, organized, and ready for action, your day may turn out to be one of the best ever!

In another related article, we discuss What Attorneys Need to Know When Using a Realtime Court Reporter.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

Avoid Cyber Attacks

Law Firms Beware – Ransomware: 9 Tips to Avoid Cyber Attack

Upon listening to a panel of cybersecurity experts, I came to the conclusion that law firms and court reporting firms are vulnerable to the most prevalent cyber attack, ransomware.  Ransomware is defined as “a type of malicious software that is designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.” Many times, the currency used to pay the ransom is Bitcoin.

Advice given by the experts includes these 9 tips to avoid a ransomware cyber attack:

1. Regularly update your Windows, Mac, Linus software especially when the update is security related.

2. Install antivirus software and keep it up-to-date to block emerging malware.

3. Be wary of suspicious emails and pop-ups.  What is suspicious?

  • Look at email address of the sender to see if it is coming from a legitimate email.
  • Look for obvious typos and grammatical errors in the body of the email.
  • Hover over hyperlinks and see if it would direct you to a suspicious web page.
  • Banks, doctors, the IRS will never ask you to send sensitive information like your SS number.

4. Often pop-ups windows that advertise software products that remove malware have ransomware in the pop-up ready to attack.  Don’t click through to learn more or download these products.

5. If you are a victim of ransomware, immediately disconnect your computer from the internet, and then report the crime to law enforcement.  Seek help from a technology professional who specializes in data recovery to see what your options might be.

6. Look into purchasing cybersecurity insurance.

7. If you are storing your data offsite with a third-party vendor (colo site), ask them if they have cybersecurity insurance.  (The answer should be yes.)  Ask your vendor to add your firm as an additional insured on the policy.

8. Educate your personnel on not opening suspicious emails or pop-ups, “But the dancing bunny was so cute… I clicked on it.”

9. Don’t allow personnel to check personal email from their workstation or have their smart phone, personal computer, or other devices connected to their workstation.

Along with following these above steps in our offices, Kramm Court Reporting has taken steps to protect sensitive data that we have online including having our Case 24/7 repository be SSA 16 compliant and having our backup locations encrypted over VPNs, and SSL certificates are used. If you are one of our clients, you can be assured that we have proactively done and continue to do everything we can to protect your information from these attacks.

In another related article, we discuss How Paralegals + Legal Assistants Can Benefit from Court Reporting Technology in the Cloud.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

Court Reporters - Be Careful with Windows 10 Updates

Court Reporters – WARNING – Windows 10 Updates

One of the great court reporters we work with who is on StenoCat had a HORRIBLE experience setting up in court this week and sent the following alert:

“New Windows update could possibly wreak havoc on your computer settings.

“My computer updated last night, and this morning all my drivers were erased, my Bluetooth was disabled, my software key would not work, and all my COM ports were missing from my Device Manager.

“Also, because that wasn’t enough, my SD card on my writer was “bad” and would not save any new jobs so writing on it and transferring the notes to the computer later was not an option.

“Obviously my writer issue had nothing to do with the Windows update, but it happened all on the same day. Complete system fail.

“While our office staff scrambled to find another reporter to cover my job, I re-loaded my software, my drivers, and somehow managed to get it working in 20 minutes.  I had to write without a dictionary so my tran rate was a big fat zero, and my screen was all red.

“I’ve now reconfigured everything and all is well.

“After you install this latest update, set everything up and test it before you go to a job.  It was probably just a weird thing on my end, but it was super stressful and I want to save you all from living this nightmare.”

_________________________________________________________________________________

From my experience, the best way to handle this problem is to turn off Windows updates.  This is the process according to my Google search:

1.  Click Computer Configuration.

2. Click Policies

3. Click Administrative Templates

4. Click Windows Component

5. Click Windows Update

6. Double click Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update

7.  Click Enable.

Microsoft has made it extremely difficult to stop the updates in Windows 10.  If you can choose to never install updates or you decide when and if you wish to install an update, that is your best bet, in my opinion.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

Deposition Arbitration Room

How Paralegals + Legal Assistants Can Benefit from Court Reporting Technology in the Cloud

Having worked with many law firms throughout my career in the court reporting industry, I have found that leveraging technology is a powerful way to save a tremendous amount of time and create efficiencies. Using a cloud-based, cyber secure calendaring system and repository allows 24/7/365 access to vital, time sensitive information and documents.

The following services are ways paralegals, legal assistants, and attorneys can utilize cloud-based technology:

1.  Online repository that houses transcripts and exhibits/notices/correspondence for all of your law firm’s cases. For security purposes, check to ensure the repository is SSA 16 compliant as well as the backup locations offsite are encrypted over VPNs and SSL certificates are used.

2.  Mobile app that gives the same access to the transcripts/exhibits/correspondence with the same cyber secure benefits mentioned in Item 1.

3.  Online calendar that shows all of your calendared hearings, depositions, and trials. You do not have to worry whether or not a matter is on the court reporting company’s calendar or if the time/location are correct. Just go online and check.

4.  The calendar would also be available on a mobile app and includes Mapquest directions.

5.  Invoices and Statements: You can check and see if an invoice was paid by logging in or checking the mobile app.

For more information or to learn about our cloud-based technology (Case 24/7), please call us at 800.939.0080.  We would love to work with you.

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Woman-Owned Business Enterprise Certification

Attorneys Marketing: California Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WOBE)

Kramm & Associates, Inc., dba Kramm Court Reporting, has been recertified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WOBE). The purpose of the certification is to assist law firms and attorneys to win contracts by having their court reporting vendor (Kramm) have the SMBE certification.

In doing research in how to assist our clients with their marketing objectives, I came across the following article in Inc. Magazine:

Corporations, the federal government, and state agencies all want to do business with minority-owned companies. The Department of Transportation, for example, requires that recipients of its funding award a percentage of contracts to minority-owned businesses and many large companies have goals for buying from minority-owned suppliers.

“The reason for such mandates is twofold. First, contracting with minority-owned businesses is important to customers: ‘Corporate America understands that you cannot expect minorities to buy things when you haven’t done business with minorities,’ says Steven Sims, the vice president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Second, it’s responsible: ‘It’s important because we have an obligation in government to ensure that all firms in our state have an opportunity to participate in contracts that are paid for with tax dollars,’ says Luwanda Jenkins, the special secretary of minority affairs for Maryland.

“To meet their objectives, private and public sector firms search for minority-owned suppliers through programs that have formal certification processes. If you’re not certified, you can miss out on business ranging from a marketing opportunity to reduced-competition access to a public contract.” Sarah Kessler – Inc. Magazine

Please contact us today if you would like us to send you our WOBE certification for your next government RFP.

 

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Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)