Scanning Court Reporters

Court Reporters and Scanners – Win, Win, Win!

Recently the wonderful Mike Miller, Depoman, posted on Facebook – “Asbestos depo, 5 people in the room, 10+ on the phone.  Expert produces 50 pages of handwritten notes.  Phone people object to not having the notes.  I scanned them, sent them on, and the deposition went forward.”

Many of the great court reporters bring small scanners to depositions or use their smart phones.  I asked a couple of my brilliant court reporting friends what they use and asked if I could share their advice to court reporters everywhere.

Marjorie Peters suggested reporters use the CamScanner app.  You can use your mobile phone to take a picture of whatever needs to be scanned.  It allows for auto edge cropping if you are so inclined to clean up the background.  The CamScanner generates a high-resolution JPEG or PDF file.  CamScanner OCRs text files and then allows you to email the image.  (You can use it also for scanning attorneys’ business cards, notices…”

Mike Miller advises that the Fujitsu ScanSnap ix1500 is the best solution.  He and his brilliant wife, Susan Perry Miller, will set it up unobtrusively across the room and scan exhibits at breaks, which is particularly helpful on rush jobs.  Looking at the Fujitsu web page, some of the benefits are that it is wireless, uses a touch screen, has speedy 30 ppm color scanning, and you can scan 50 sheets in the Automatic Document Feeder.    Mike also likes the ScanSnap s1300.  It will only scan about 20 pages at a time, but it is much more portable than the ix500.

Court reporters are carrying a lot of equipment to the job, and a scanner might seem excessive, but when we are in an intense, high-stake deposition, and can pull off a quick scan, particularly if there are attorneys who are attending remotely, you will become even more invaluable.

Another scenario I can picture is if you have a scopist working remotely on the job while you’re writing, and you can send exhibits that attorneys are reading from, it is a win-win-win.

rosalie@kramm.com

Attorneys - Depositions -
Consciousness

Should I become a court reporter? What about voice recognition technology?

Over the last two years, I have had the privilege to speak to the criminal justice classes at San Marcos High School.  The teacher tells me that the students look forward to meeting the court reporter more so than any of his other legal professional speakers (court clerk, bailiff, and even judge).  When I get to the class, I set up so that they can see my CAT screen on a large monitor, and that allows them to see my steno notes, words-per-minute count, and real-time transcript.  I invite the students to write words on the machine and dictate a mock cross-examination while I write.

One of the questions that always comes up is, “Why don’t they just use a tape recorder or something like Siri?”  I actually look forward to that question, because the answer is so obvious.

But then I started thinking, what is happening with AI anyway?  I know Siri is weak when it comes to accurately writing down the spoken word.  She sometimes gets it right, but for the most part there are mistakes, misinterpretation of words, and bad punctuation.  So I did a little research.

I came across on article on DZone, “Everything You Need to Know About Voice Recognition Technology.”  The article explains how the technology works, and then comments on the “challenges when faced integrating voice capabilities.”

The first challenge mentioned is real-time response behavior.  The author talks about network capabilities and real-time response behavior.  The network connection, microphone, and server needed to fetch the results have to be optimized.

The second challenge is languages and accents.  “Every software doesn’t support all languages, and developers need to identify the regions of their target audience to make strategic decisions regarding languages or accents recognized.”  As court reporters, we know how difficult it is for the human brain to decipher what experts are saying with thick accents, and in the world of IP, I find many of the witnesses are from other countries and have heavy accents speaking about the newest technologies.

The third challenge is punctuation.  The author writes, “This is one of the biggest challenges that is faced when it comes to voice-based software.  Unfortunately, even the best improvements and algorithms may not work because there are virtually endless sentences with different sorts of punctuation.”

After doing my research, I have come to realize once again that the human court reporter who can write clean is essential for making a real-time record.  No machine, algorithm, or technology can perform the job of a great real-time court reporter.  The students in court reporting school have a bright future with many job opportunities in both the court and freelance sector.

 

rkramm@veritext.com

Deposition by Written Question

Consequences to Tearing Apart the Original Deposition Transcript

In Southern California many of the attorneys recite at the end of a deposition what is known as the “SoCal stip,” which is a stipulation that the noticing attorney agrees the court reporter will send the witness’ attorney the original transcript for reading/signing, and the witness’ attorney is tasked with maintaining the original and bringing it to court for trial.   (Nowhere else in the USA does this practice happen.)

Kramm Court Reporting uses VeloBind to bind transcripts, a method that punches tiny holes along the spine of the transcript, plastic strips are inserted, and then the VeloBind machine uses heat to melt the plastic so that there is a strong bind, and it is difficult to pull the transcript apart.

Last week I received a call from an attorney demanding that we re-bind an original transcript. I asked him who tore it apart. He replied that his firm did so that they could scan and OCR the transcript since they did not wish to purchase a Certified Copy from the court reporter.

I told him that it would be improper under the California Code of Civil Procedure for us to re-bind an original that had been torn apart. He asked why? I replied that we wouldn’t be able to certify a transcript that was taken apart. He asked why again.  I gave him the hypothetical that perhaps his firm might have changed some of the testimony, added or deleted something.

Then he said, “Why would we do that? It was our client’s testimony.”

I replied, “Maybe you didn’t like your client’s testimony.”

He wanted my full name so he could report me.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Bottom line: Court reporters, don’t be intimidated or acquiesce when someone asks or demands that you put together an original transcript after it was taken apart.  Attorneys do stipulate away the original to allow for easier read/sign, but no part of that stipulation gives anyone permission to tear apart the transcript. Once a transcript has been dismantled, the liability of the torn-apart transcript falls upon the person’s shoulders who took it apart.  That person can tell the judge what happened and suffer the consequences.

Oxytocin Battles Stress

Three Things I Hate: Stress, Rejection, Worrying – Part 1 Stress

I’m not a social psychologist, but I know how to research a subject on the internet,
and I decided to learn about what the experts say about three things I hate, but are
a huge part of my daily life, feeling stressed, dealing with rejection, and worrying.

My first article in this series will deal with stress.

Part 1 – Stress

Stress is defined as “changes our body and mind experience in response to a
continually changing environment, something you can’t control; for example, traffic.
You can’t control traffic; you can control attorneys talking at the same time or too
fast to a certain extent, but a full day of telling people to talk one at a time is
stressful, and often the court reporter doesn’t have control.

What I discovered in my research is if we adjust ourselves to different circumstances,
stress can actually help us, or hinder us, depending on how we react to it.  When we are
stressed we secrete cortisol/adrenaline, fear or flight hormones.  As a working court
reporter and firm owner, I have relied on adrenaline to write faster and get things done.
I felt being “hyped up” was the way to be most effective.  I start with a double
cappuccino every morning to get my adrenal glands pumping.  But after 40 years, my energy
level is not as strong, and as a consequence I have hypothyroidism and have to take
Synthroid medication.

But, in my research, I learned about a relatively new scientific fact that is incredibly
great.  Oxytocin, the “love hormone” can physiologically battle the harmful effects of stress,
and it is pumped out simultaneously with adrenaline.

What scientists used to believe is oxytocin would only be produced by a mother breastfeeding
her child to help bond with her child.

Physiologically, when we are stressed our arteries get tighter.  Our heart beats faster, We
start breathing more, getting oxygen into our blood cells, which is a good thing, but that
tightening of the arteries is what’s really dangerous.  Oxytocin actually widens the
arteries allowing more blood flow.

The question is:  How do you get oxytocin to secrete in your body? Have you ever noticed when
you are stressed you want to reach out to a friend, confidante, someone you can talk to and
connect with?  When you do connect, you pump out oxytocin.

Personally, when I am stressed out about work or life in general, I look to talk to my husband
or trusted friends.  Just talking dissipates the “flight or fright” feeling.

The lesson is when you are stressed out, talk to a friend and connect – pump out your oxytocin.
Your arteries will open up, and your body will thank you.  Oxytocin = resilience.

Advice from the experts:  Think of your adrenals as a built-in pump, something that gets you
going when you feel that adrenaline rush.  Stop saying, “I am stressed,” but think of yourself as
being in a situation that is giving you stress.  It’s not you.  It’s not your body.  It’s the
situation.  Be curious.  Ask, “Why every single time I am in this situation I get so stressed
out?”  And start your oxytocin pump.

 

Twitter: @rosaliekramm

Court Reporters and Golfers practice for perfection.

COURT REPORTERS – How to Write SUPER FAST with Stress

I was reading a fantastic article in the Wall Street Journal about Francesco Molinari’s win at the British Open Golf Championship, “The Uncomfortable Practice Habits of a Champion,” and immediately thought about court reporters and particularly court reporting students.

The article, by Brian Costa, talks about how in past years Molinari would practice hitting balls on the driving range, hitting perfect shots, was always considered a top golfer, but never made the cut. Molinari was frustrated and decided to hire Dave Alred, a soccer/rugby sports psychologist. Alred wrote the book, “The Pressure Principle.” He advises athletes (court reporters) “you need to add stress to sometimes otherwise mindless practice shots” (speed tapes).

Golfers in many ways are like court reporters. They practice at their own speed, improve at their own pace, and don’t require teammates to make them successful. Becoming a great golfer takes hundreds of hours of practice and a special talent that only certain people are born with. Court reporters learn their theory and then spend hundreds of hours practicing for speed and accuracy, many hours alone only motivated by their strong desire to be great (or pass a speed test).

When Alred was hired by Molinari, Alred asked, “Do you want to be comfortable, or do you want to be ready?” As a court reporter, I know that I can write clean and fast when everyone is speaking clearly with a consistent cadence. But when it is time to pass the CSR, CRR, RMR… even though the speakers are speaking clearly and with a consistent cadence, nerves set in, and the writing becomes a challenge.

Costa writes, “Molinari went on to win the British Open with a stellar short game and almost robotically steady play on a volatile leaderboard. But his ascent to become the first Italian to win a major championship is rooted partly in a change he made only to the past two years. It wasn’t in the way he swung. It was the way he practiced.”

Costa goes on, “At their first session together, at the Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles, was a preview of how things were about to change. Alred had Molinari practice a tricky flop shot on a downhill lie and asked him to keep hitting it until he had stopped five balls within 3 feet of the hole. It took him 48 tries.”   Alred made Molinari practice at a high frustration level

Another sports psychologist, Cordie Walker says, “We want to have learning environments that foster skills that are retained on the golf course.” (Speed test.) “Desirable difficulty,” a term coined by cognitive psychologist Robert Bjork argues that introducing a certain degree of challenge to the learning process boosts long-term retention.

The bottom line is the experts believe that practicing just for the sake of practice is not good enough. Practice needs to be intense and even uncomfortable. I am thinking it would be good to practice at quick bursts of speeds beyond my capability, slowing down to write sustained complex material, and then have another speed burst. That would be very tiring for my brain, but perhaps a beneficial exercise for increasing speed and accuracy.

I found the article about Molinari to be inspiring. I want to be better. Pushing out of our comfort zone will make us better than ever!

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

 

Deposition by Written Question

Federal Rule 30 – Deposition by Written Questions – Best Practices

Upon occasion attorneys will provide the deposition officer (court reporter) a set of written questions that a deponent is to answer pursuant to Federal Rule 30.  Court reporters around the country have contacted me asking for advice when written questions come in as far as the logistics and format, so I have come up with the following best practices for attorneys and court reporters so the examination can go smoothly.

The rule reads:  (3) Participating Through Written Questions. Instead of participating in the oral examination, a party may serve written questions in a sealed envelope on the party noticing the deposition, who must deliver them to the officer. The officer must ask the deponent those questions and record the answers verbatim.

Best Practices for Attorneys:

1. Number questions starting with No. 1.  It will make it easier for the court reporter to provide a transcript that you can easily discern which answer corresponds to which question.

2. Alternatively, include the written questions on a flash drive in the sealed envelope.  The court reporter could then easily copy/paste your question before the answer if you prefer to see the question and answer together in the final transcript.

Best Practices/Procedure for the Court Reporter:

1. Swear in the witness
2. Read the whole of the question to the witness
3. Upon completion of reading the question, report the witness’ answer verbatim.
4. Attach a certificate to the end of the transcript including the fact the witness was duly sworn, each question was read to the witness and that the witness’ answers were taken down verbatim, along with the language used in your standard Federal Rules certificate.

ADVICE:  Before the questions are read, inform the deponent that you will not be commenting in any way, shape, or form on the questions.  Many times witnesses will ask how they are supposed to answer or ask to have something clarified.  DO NOT COMMENT ON THE QUESTIONS.  Let the witness know that you are only to write down their answers verbatim.

If you found this article helpful, you might want to read the article, Federal Rule 30(e) – Deposition Read/Sign.

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

Court Reporters = Stamina

5 Tips for Building Mental Stamina (Attorneys, Paralegals, Court Reporters)

Great attorneys, court reporters, videographers, and paralegals all perform in their jobs at the highest level and can get far on their raw ability, but as Robert E. Corb, Ph.D, the Director of Sports Psychology Program at UCLA in the article “5 Tips for Building Mental Stamina” points out, “What separates the truly elite from the rest is that they know how to use their minds.”

Professionals in the legal field need mental stamina to deal with quick deadlines, expedites, and many hours of focused inquiry and writing.  Corb suggests the following tips to build mental stamina:

1. Think Positively:  “Self-confidence is the most important mental characteristic that athletes (legal professionals) need,” says Corb.  We’ve all seen highly-skilled athletes who    lose their self-confidence fall apart.

How do you get more self-confidence?  Corb urges people to listen to what they’re telling themselves.  “If you keep saying, ‘I’ll never be able to do this,’” before a speed test or jury trial, “then you won’t be able to do it. If you say something enough to yourself, you’ll make it come true.”

I think we all have heard the advice, “act as if.”  The experts suggest that you replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts on a conscious level, and in time interrupting    the negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones will have a real effect on what you want to succeed at.

2. Use Visualization: “Some athletes use visualization right before a game to practice mentally,” says David Geier, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and Director of Sports Medicine at the   Medical University of South Carolina.  “A basketball player might close her eyes and think what a free throw will look like.”  Visualization can give you a mental space to rehearse.
Corb also says, “I tell people to visualize past achievements.  It’s almost like a highlight reel that you play back in your mind.  Focus on times you felt really good, and remember  that feeling.  It can give you a real boost.”

3. Plan for Setbacks:  As an attorney you might lose a client, and as a court reporter in school you might not pass a speed test you thought you were ready for.  These things happen.   Corb suggests, “One of the things that separates elite athletes is their ability to hold up after a setback.  They don’t spiral out of control.”  How can you regain your confidence  when things go wrong?  “You need to practice techniques to re-center yourself,” Corb says.  Athletes use different methods to become re-centered:  a sequence of stretches, a  positive mantra they repeat to themselves, a specific song they play in their head or iPod; 30 seconds of deep breathing. The experts say to have a plan in place so you know what to  do when the pressure mounts.

4. Manage Stress:  “Not all stress is bad,” says Geier.  “The fight or flight response can push you harder during an athletic competition.”  Corb points out, “Positive stress  (excitement) and negative stress (anxiety) really have the same physical effects.  Your heart rate and breathing go up.  Your pupils dilate.”  Use excitement to get amped up, but if  it is tipping you into panic, that’s bad.  It is up to you how you interpret the “stress.”
5. Sleep More:  Studies have shown that getting enough sleep can improve reaction time and split second decision making.  (7 to 9 hours a night is the goal.)
Develop a Plan to Build Your Mental Stamina

Mental stamina is a skill.  Building your mental stamina takes practice, and the experts say to have a plan.  Building mental stamina will have a tremendous benefit for your life.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

Certified Shorthand Reporters' ethical obligations in California

Court Reporters’ Legal Obligations – California Code of Regulation

Below is the language that court reporters are to adhere to in California. I have summarized Items 1 through 8 to simplify the regulation for court reporters and attorneys.

Summary:

  1. Court reporters are to make truthful and accurate public statements when advertising professional qualifications and competence and/or services rendered to the public.
  2. Maintain confidentiality of information.
  3. Perform professional services competently. If you determine you are not competent, notify the parties present or the presiding official (judge). The court reporter may continue if all parties present stipulate or upon an order of the presiding official.
  4. Comply with legal and/or agreed-to delivery dates and/or provide prompt notification of any delays.
  5. Promptly notify, when reasonably able to do so, all known parties in attendance at a deposition or civil court proceeding of any request for the preparation of all or any part of a transcript and/or rough draft. (No such notification is necessary if it comes from the Court.)
  6. Act without bias or prejudice against any party or their attorney
  7. Do not enter into a relationship that compromises the impartiality of the CSR, including if compensation is based on the outcome of a proceeding.
  8. Do not give or receive any gift in the aggregate that is more than $100 in a calendar year.

 

FAQs:

Q.  Do I have to put my CSR number on all of my emails after my name and on invoices to the agencies I work for?

A.  In reading No. 1, yes, you proudly will put your CSR number on all professional correspondence after your name.

Q. Do I have to tell the attorneys if the judge asks me to provide a transcript or rough draft?

A.  In reading No. 5, “No such notification is necessary if the request comes from the Court.”

Q.  When I am in court and report a civil trial or hearing, and an attorney asks me to get them a transcript or rough draft, but not to tell opposing counsel, can I do that?

A.  Once again in reading No. 5, the court reporter is to advise all parties if a transcript or rough draft is ordered when reasonably able to do so.

Q.  I cannot keep up with the witness and the attorney has a thick accent. I don’t think I can produce a record. What do I do?

A. According to No. 3, notify everyone. If they stipulate to allow you to continue (writing to the best of your ability) you may continue. (Good luck.)

Q. Is it true that we are not supposed to give a gift that is more than $100 per year to an attorney, legal secretary or paralegal that we do business with?

A.  No. 8 goes into detail about gift-giving, which is a chronic problem in our industry.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

CA Code of Regulation, Title 16, Division 24, Article 8, section 2475:

 

(a) Consistent with any action that may be taken by the Board pursuant to Sections 8025 and 8025.1 of the Code, the Board may cite a business that renders professional services, namely shorthand reporting services, within the meaning of Corporations Code Section 13401 or cite or discipline any certificate holder, including suspending, revoking, or denying the certification of a certified shorthand reporter, for violation of professional standards of practice.

(b) Every person under the jurisdiction of the Board who holds a license or certificate, or temporary license or certificate, or business that renders professional services, namely shorthand reporting services, within the meaning of Corporations Code Section 13401, shall comply with the following professional standards of practice:

(1) Make truthful and accurate public statements when advertising professional qualifications and competence and/or services offered to the public.

(2) Maintain confidentiality of information which is confidential as a result of rule, regulation, statute, court order, or deposition proceedings.

(3) Perform professional services within the scope of one’s competence, including promptly notifying the parties present or the presiding officer upon determining that one is not competent to continue an assignment. A licensee may continue to report proceedings after such notification upon stipulation on the record of all parties present or upon order of the presiding officer.

(4) Comply with legal and/or agreed-to delivery dates and/or provide prompt notification of delays.

(5) In addition to the requirements of Section 2025.220(a)(5) of the Code of Civil Procedure, promptly notify, when reasonably able to do so, all known parties in attendance at a deposition or civil court proceeding and/or their attorneys of a request for preparation of all or any part of a transcript, including a rough draft, in electronic or paper form. No such notification is necessary when the request is from the court.

(6) Act without bias toward, or prejudice against, any parties and/or their attorneys.

(7) Not enter into, arrange, or participate in a relationship that compromises the impartiality of the certified shorthand reporter, including, but not limited to, a relationship in which compensation for reporting services is based upon the outcome of the proceeding.

(8) Other than the receipt of compensation for reporting services, neither directly or indirectly give nor receive any gift, incentive, reward, or anything of value to or from any person or entity associated with a proceeding being reported. Such persons or entities shall include, but are not limited to, attorneys or an attorney’s family members, employees of attorneys or an employee’s family members, law firms as single entities, clients, witnesses, insurers, underwriters, or any agents or representatives thereof. Exceptions to the foregoing restriction shall be as follows: (A) giving or receiving items that do not exceed $100 (in the aggregate for any combination of items given and/or received) per calendar year to or from an attorney or an attorney’s family members, an employee of an attorney or an employee’s family members, a law firm as a single entity, a client, a witness, an insurer, an underwriter, or any agent or representative thereof; or (B) providing services without charge for which the certified shorthand reporter reasonably expects to be reimbursed from the Transcript Reimbursement Fund, Sections 8030 et seq. of the Code, or otherwise for an “indigent person” as defined in Section 8030.4(f) of the Code.

Kramm Court Reporters & Legal Video has the court reporters and videographers that are familiar with the rules and are happy to answer any questions you might have about your next deposition.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

Kramm Court Reporting (Facebook)

 

 

Deposition by Written Question

CFR United States Department of Labor OSHA Deposition Guidelines

Reading through the Code of Federal Regulations, OSHA guidelines regarding depositions, there are many differences from Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30 when it comes to the court reporter and videographer. The provisions are set out as follows:

2200.56(a) General. Deposition of parties, intervenors, or witnesses shall be allowed only by agreement of all parties, or on order of the Commission or Judge following the filing of a motion of a party stating good and just reasons.  All depositions shall be before an officer authorized to administer oaths and affirmations at the place of examination.  The deposition shall be taken in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, particularly Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30.

2200.56(b) When to file. A motion to take a deposition may be filed after the filing of the first responsive pleading or motion that delays the filing of an answer, such as a motion to strike.

2200.56(c) Notice of taking. Any depositions allowed by the Commission or Judge may be taken 10 days written notice to the other party or parties.  The 10-day notice requirement may be waived by the parties.

2200.56(d) Expenses. Expenses for a court reporter and the preparing and serving of depositions shall be borne by the party at whose instance the deposition is taken.

2200.56(e) Use of depositions. Depositions taken under this rule may be used for discovery, to contradict or impeach the testimony of a deponent as a witness, or for any other purpose permitted by the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, particularly Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 32.

2200.56(f) Excerpts from depositions to be offered at hearing. Except when used for purposes of impeachment, at least 5 working days prior to the hearing, the parties or counsel shall furnish to the Judge and all opposing counsel the excerpts from depositions (by page and line number) which they expect to introduce at the hearing.  Four working days thereafter, the adverse party or counsel for the adverse party shall furnish to the Judge and all opposing parties or counsel additional excerpts from the depositions (by page and line number) which they expect to be read pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 32(a)(4), as well as any objections (by page and line number) to opposing party’s or counsel’s depositions.  With reasonable notice to the Judge and all parties or counsel, other excerpts may be read.

2200.56(g)(1) Telephone depositions may be conducted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(4)

2200.56(g)(2) If a party objects to a telephone deposition, he shall make known his objections at least 5 days prior to the taking of the deposition. If the objection is not resolved by the parties or the Judge before the scheduled deposition date, the deposition shall be stayed pending resolution of the dispute.

2200.56(h) Video depositions. By indicating in its notice of a deposition that it wishes to record the deposition by videotape (and identifying the proposed videotape operator), a party shall be deemed to have moved for such an order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(3).  Unless an objection is filed and served within 10 days after such notice is received, the Judge shall be deemed to have granted the motion pursuant to the following terms and conditions:

Stenographic recording. The videotaped deposition shall be simultaneously recorded stenographically by a qualified court reporter.  The court reporter shall administer the oath or affirmation to the deponents on camera.  The written transcript by the court reporter shall constitute the official record of the deposition for purposes of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(e)(submission to witness).

2200.56(h)(2) Cost.  The noticing party shall bear the expense of both the videotaping and the stenographic recording.  Any party may at its own expense obtain a copy of the videotape and the stenographic transcript.

2200.56(h)(3) Video operator. The operator(s) of the videotape recording equipment shall be subject to the provisions of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 28(c). At the commencement of the deposition the operator(s) shall swear or affirm to record the proceedings fairly and accurately.

2200.56(h)(4) Attendance. Each witness, attorney, and other person attending the deposition shall be identified on camera at the commencement of the deposition.  Thereafter, only the deponent (and demonstrative materials used during the deposition) will be videotaped.  Identification on camera of each witness, attorney, and other person attending the deposition may be waived by the attorney for the parties.

2200.56(h)(5) Standards. The deposition shall be conducted in a manner to replicate, to the extent feasible, the presentation of evidence at a hearing.  Unless physically incapacitated, the deponent shall be seated at a table or in a witness box except when reviewing or presenting demonstrative materials for which a change in position is needed.  To the extent practicable, the deposition shall be conducted in a neutral setting, against a solid background, with only such lighting as is required for accurate video recording.  Lighting, camera angle, lens setting, and field of view will be changed only as necessary to record accurately the natural body movements of the deponent or to portray exhibits and materials used during the deposition.  Sound levels will be altered only as necessary to record satisfactorily the voices of counsel and the deponent. Eating and smoking by deponents or counsel during the deposition will not be permitted.

2200.56(h)(6) Interruptions. Videotape recording will be suspended during all “off the record” discussions.

A couple of the more interesting provisions require the videographer to be sworn in to video fairly and accurately, and no eating or smoking is permissible at the deposition.

Kramm Court Reporters & Legal Video has the court reporters and videographers that are familiar with the rules and are happy to answer any questions you might have about your next deposition.  Here is a link to more information about Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 30(e) regarding reading/signing depositions.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

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)