Realtime Court Reporters write to Case Notebook

Tips for Realtime Court Reporters writing to Case Notebook

Attorneys using the Thomson Reuters product CaseNotebook to organize, manage, and share key case documents might request at their next deposition or trial to have a realtime court reporter write directly to their CaseNotebook on the attorney’s laptop/iPad.  CaseNotebook has built-in LiveNote realtime and stream capabilities.  (Thomson Reuters bought LiveNote.)

I contacted tech support to ask if their realtime experts had any advice to give to court reporters that might have an assignment to work with an attorney needing a CaseNotebook reporter.

CaseNotebook tips for court reporters:

  1. Court reporter needs to download LiveNote Stream Manager onto their realtime laptop. The software is free.  I have the software residing on my laptop ready to go.  I am not waiting for an assignment.
  2. Run the local stream option if you are onsite with attorney(s).
  3. Use global stream if streaming to attorneys offsite. (If you need to schedule a global stream, it must be done 24 hours in advance of the deposition through LiveNote Central website.)
  4. Reporters typically use wireless dongles or a network connection to connect with attorney.
  5. Reporters can use a virtual port if the CAT software and LiveNote Stream Manager are installed on the same computer and you are not using a serial connection at the deposition, e.g., you are not connected to a computer with Case Notebook via a serial port. In some cases, even if the Case Notebook computer is in the same room, you may find it easier to connect via LiveNote Stream instead of using a serial connection.
  6. The most common problem when connecting is if the court reporter is connecting to a law firm’s wi-fi as a guest, and the attorney is connecting directly to the firm’s network (not as a guest). The attorney cannot toggle out of the realtime stream. It is suggested that the reporter contact the law firm’s IT person to be able to gain access to the firm’s internal network before the day of the deposition.
  7. I highly recommend that reporters download the free software and call support to run a test. 800-290-9378, Extension 4.  Once the LiveStream settings are compatible with your CAT software, they are set as a default and you will be ready to write to CaseNotebook.

Originally published on the Veritext Partner Community:  https://www.veritext.com/case-notebook-tips-for-court-reporters

Rosalie Kramm

rkramm@veritext.com

Tips for Attorneys about Realtime Reporting

9 Tips Attorneys/Realtime Reporting

Having access to the instantaneous transcript provided by a court reporter during a deposition, arbitration, or trial has great value to attorneys. Court reporters can provide the realtime transcript text to attorneys in the deposition suite or courtroom and stream that text to any computer in the world.

The realtime technology has changed in the past two decades. Court reporters used to send the feed via wires (and some still have to in certain courtrooms); then they transitioned to using dongles (USB) ports and routers.  The feed is still for the most part a serial connection which is old technology, but is still the standard.

In my experience 90 percent of the attorneys now rely on court reporters to bring a realtime device (tablet or computer) with the realtime software and drivers already loaded and ready to go.

So what does an attorney that is using realtime need to know?

  1. If you are using CaseNotebook (Thomson Reuters) or TextMap (Lexis Nexis), the court reporter will need to connect to your computer. Popular software that a reporter will use to connect with you: CaseViewNet, LiveLitigation, Stenocast, and Connection Magic.
  2. If the reporter is using LiveLitigation, the reporter can connect locally or stream the realtime text.
  3. If you are using LiveLitigation, CaseViewNet, or Bridge Mobile, you can download free apps to your tablet and  makes notes, marks, and save the transcript as a .ptx file.
  4. If you have installed Bridge on your computer (free software provided by Advantage Software), you can make notes, marks, and export the .ptx file for use in your transcript management software.
  5. The .ptx file once saved in CaseNotebook or TextMap can be updated with the cleaned-up rough draft or final transcript, and you won’t lose your marks and notes made during the realtime transcription.
  6. You can leave the room with your computer or tablet with the realtime transcript during a break, and when you return the transcript will sync back up with the court reporter’s realtime feed when back on the record.
  7. Tip: If you decide to scroll up or mark a portion of the transcript, the realtime feed will stop at the place you are reading/marking. There will always be an icon or a method to turn the scrolling realtime text back on. Ask the court reporter at the beginning of the day how to get back to the scrolling realtime text.
  8. If the reporter is using Stenocast to send the feed, you will need to download drivers into your computer. Go to www.stenocast.com and choose ALL COLORS. Different reporters will have different colored dongles (you don’t need to know why). If you choose all colors, you are covered.

Many realtime court reporters have become techno experts when it comes to serial ports, device managers, and understanding transcript management programs. Our goal is to provide the very best product and service in assisting attorneys in doing their job, and we take great pride in doing so.

 

@rosaliekramm  (Twitter)

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Court Reporter's Deposition Transcript

Court Reporter’s Transcript

Upon occasion our attorney clients are asked by opposing counsel to provide a copy of a transcript that our client had purchased from the court reporter. Our client doesn’t want to feel obligated to give the transcript to opposing counsel and will ask us to give them a legal cite that they can use to tell their opposing counsel to contact the court reporter for the Certified Copy.

The California Government Code provides as follows:

Government Code Section 69954

(d) Any court, party, or person who has purchased a transcript may, without paying a further fee to the reporter, reproduce a copy or portion thereof as an exhibit pursuant to court order or rule, or for internal use, but shall not otherwise provide or sell a copy or copies to any other party or person.

 

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Certified Shorthand Reporters' ethical obligations in California

USPTO – Great Information for Court Reporters and Attorneys – Swearing in a Witness

As court reporters in the patent and trademark litigation world, we are often asked to report depositions in foreign countries. One of the requests that frequently comes up is, who is going to swear in the witness? Certain countries have rules that would prohibit any swearing in on their soil, such as Japan and China.

In doing research regarding USPTO deposition rules, I found the following:

(1) The testimony of witnesses in inter partes cases may be taken by depositions upon oral examination as provided by this section or by depositions upon written questions as provided by § 2.124. If a party serves notice of the taking of a testimonial deposition upon written questions of a witness who is, or will be at the time of the deposition, present within the United States or any territory which is under the control and jurisdiction of the United States, any adverse party may, within fifteen days from the date of service of the notice, file a motion with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, for good cause, for an order that the deposition be taken by oral examination.

(2) A testimonial deposition taken in a foreign country shall be taken by deposition upon written questions as provided by § 2.124, unless the Board, upon motion for good cause, orders that the deposition be taken by oral examination, or the parties so stipulate.

(b) Stipulations. If the parties so stipulate in writing, depositions may be taken before any person authorized to administer oaths, at any place, upon any notice, and in any manner, and when so taken may be used like other depositions. By written agreement of the parties, the testimony of any witness or witnesses of any party, may be submitted in the form of an affidavit by such witness or witnesses. The parties may stipulate in writing what a particular witness would testify to if called, or the facts in the case of any party may be stipulated in writing

The “Stipulations” language makes it easy for attorneys to take oral testimony and have the deposition officer swear in the witness.

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Court Reporters – Suggestions on When and How to Interrupt

Court reporters have the job of writing down everything anyone says in a legal proceeding while on the record.  How a court reporter is able to write down anything anyone says is by writing everything phonetically.  Therefore, it is possible for a court reporter to take down the words of an Australian scientist discussing the sequencing of the human genome.

At moments the job can be impossible.  Why?  Because two or more people speak simultaneously, people mumble, and people have heavy accents or speak at 350+ words per minute.

How does a court reporter deal with the situation when it is impossible to take down the record?  What is a polite way to tell someone to slow down or stop mumbling?  There is no easy answer.  For the new court reporter, when and how is especially tough.

The following are my suggestions:

  1. Don’t interrupt to get spellings.  Make a note in the record to check a spelling.  I have a stroke that writes (spelling?) .  Sometimes when I am writing realtime, an attorney will see (spelling?) and write down the correct spelling for me or ask the witness.  It irritates attorneys to have constant interruptions for spellings, particularly if the case has been going on for a while, and the reporters are not sharing word lists.
  2. Don’t interrupt if you hear an unusual phrase.  Write it out phonetically and use the same (spelling?) brief.  Ask at a break what the phrase is.
  3. When two or more people are talking at the same time, politely say something like,  “Please speak one at a time for the record.”
  4. If a witness is constantly starting the answer while the question is still being asked, and it happens three or four times in a row, I will say, “Excuse me.  The witness needs to let the question finish before answering.”  If possible, I will wait until the first break and tell the witness’ attorney.
  5. If the questioning attorney constantly says, “Okay,” during an answer, or “Right,” and the witness is speaking fast, I will just write the answer and not all of the “okays.”  Most of the time the interruptions are almost under the attorney’s breath.
  6. If the testimony is too fast, look at your words per minute meter on your CAT software.  Tell the people, “You are speaking at 325 words per minute” (or whatever it is).  “I need you to please slow down.”
  7. Mumbling.  If you are at a video deposition, ask the videographer for a feed from the microphones, and turn up the volume.  It makes an unbelievable difference in dealing with a mumbler.  Otherwise, I suggest you physically ask counsel to stop, and start scooching your chair towards the witness with your machine.  Get close.  Physically move to show everyone you are having trouble hearing/understanding the witness.  The action will hopefully make the witness more conscious of the fact you are writing down their words.
  8. If the witness has a heavy accent, and you happen to have an extra netbook or realtime device, put a screen in front of the witness (with the attorneys’ permission) to ensure you are writing what they are saying.  Otherwise, you are forced to constantly interrupt.

One thing I know for sure:  If you are working hard and really focusing on getting the record, everyone in the room will respect how difficult your job is – particularly, if it is fast, furious, and really intense.  If you need to interrupt or slow people down, do it.  Be polite.  Try not to be angry (or show that you are angry.)  Court reporters have a really hard job some days.  That is just the way it is.  Luckily, most days are great.

 

GOOGLE GLASS and COURT REPORTERS

Last month I had the opportunity to meet Sergey Brin at Google HQ.   My court reporting equipment was set up, including my pink Diamonte steno machine.  Sergey walked in the room and made a beeline to my machine wearing his Google Glass.  His comment to me was, “I have always wanted to know how you guys do it.”  He took a photo of my machine with his Google Glass and said, “There must be a more efficient way to do this.”  I explained to him how we write sounds, words, and phrases in strokes and define our steno with English words so court reporters can write and produce an instantaneous transcript of what is being said (including speaker identification and punctuation).

I thanked Sergey for their Panda updates which is a filter meant to stop sites with poor quality content from working their way to the top of a Google search.

Sergey took another picture with his Google Glass of my blog url and then put his Glass on me.  He touched the glass rim and voila, I could see my pink steno machine floating up on the right corner of the Glass; then he hit tapped it again, and I saw the screen shot of my blog’s url.  He sent the two pictures to his phone/computer (who knows where).

I have been thinking since my meeting with Sergey, how could Google Glass help a court reporter be more efficient?  Here are my ideas so far:

  1. Documents – when an attorney is reading from a document that is not marked as an exhibit, and there are proper names and punctuation the court reporter needs in order to create a transcript, the court reporter can take a picture of the document with her/his Google Glass and save it to a computer for future use.
  2. A Multi-Party Deposition – when a court reporter is at a deposition or arbitration, she/he can take a photo of all of the participants in the room, send it to a computer/iPad and create a seating chart to help with speaker identification.
  3. Searching online – Many court reporters are online during depositions and Google proper names, phrases, et cetera, whenever there is a break in the proceedings.  I wonder if Google Glass can be programmed to take a screenshot of the court reporter’s realtime transcript on her/his computer, and begin a search for the proper spelling so the court reporter doesn’t have to take her/his hands off the steno machine and to switch to the Google screen on her/his computer.  That would save time, energy and stress not having to go back and forth.
  4. Time – Google Glass keeps time.  I wonder if, with the Federal Rules and California’s law regarding the “seven-hour deposition” time limit, and attorneys relying on the court reporter and/or videographer to keep the official time of the deposition, if Google Glass can be programmed to keep the exact running time of a deposition with the court reporter or videographer simply tapping on the Glass to start and stop the time to take into account breaks or being off the record.

I would like to emphasize one important point.   People respect what a court reporter can do.  Sergey Brin, one of the most brilliant minds of our time, was fascinated and very interested in how we are able to write what people are saying with tremendous speed and unbelievable accuracy.  Being a great court reporter is something to be very proud of and not to be taken lightly.  Think about it, one of the founders of Google is in awe of what a court reporter can do.

@rosaliekramm Twitter

Court Reporters and Streaming Realtime Text

Streaming deposition and trial testimony by realtime court reporters to remote locations is now becoming a norm.  Having access to the internet is becoming easier all of the time with most law offices providing wireless internet access and the invention of the hotspot.

The key to successful streaming is not only does the reporter have to be a clean, proficient writer, but the reporter needs to be proactive and have the different software(s) that allow for the streaming to take place reside on their laptop.  Many of us wait for the call, “Tomorrow can you do a realtime streaming job with LiveDeposition,” or “Remote Counsel,” or “Livenote Stream,” or “TeleView,” or “MyView,” or “Speche,” and because we don’t have the software tested and ready to go on our laptop, we have to turn the job down or show up and nothing works.

Most of the software for the products mentioned above is free to download, and the companies have free technical support to help the court reporter get their ports configured correctly so the streaming software works in conjunction with their CAT (computer-aided transcription) software.

Court reporters have an amazing talent and ability that the world is fascinated with.  Having the ability to send a realtime text feed of everything that is said in a deposition, arbitration, or a trial is mind-blowing.  I challenge all court reporters to be ready for the next opportunity to show off your skill.  The world is fascinated by you.

 

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Should You Become a Court Reporter?

Some days I can’t believe I am so lucky to be a court reporter. If it weren’t for Ms. Garcia so many years ago while I was in high school letting me know I had a talent (typing fast), I wouldn’t get to experience the joy I feel now as a 52 year old.

I get inspired working with smart lawyers, experts, and great legal staff. I am very proud of my team of reporters and staff and what we have created.

People often write me asking if they should become a court reporter.  My answer is if you are very disciplined, have a natural talent for typing or shorthand, and you love hearing about different subjects every day, you should go to court reporting school. Voice recognition software in my opinion is still very far off in the future. People speak poorly, at the same time, and with heavy accents. Great court reporters will be a valuable commodity for the next two decades and beyond.

What are the challenges of being a great reporter?  You have to sit a tremendous amount. You have to be under a constant stress of being perfect.  You have to work long hours sometimes unexpectedly because a witness has a late night flight to catch. You might have expedites that ruin your weekend plans. With organization (getting a great scopist) and clean writing skills, you can mitigate the challenges.

I highly recommend court reporting as a career. The only thing is, you have to be great.

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Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board – Court Reporters and Depositions

A court reporter student called me this week asking why at workers’ comp depositions it is an automatic original and two copies and why does the defense have to pay for the 0&2.  The attorney at the deposition challenged the court reporter why he was responsible for paying for and providing the applicant a copy of the deposition transcript.

California WCAB Rule 40.15.16:

Where the employer or its insurance carrier requests a deposition to be taken of an injured employee, or any person claiming benefits as a dependent of an injured employee, the deponent is entitled to receive, in addition to all other benefits:

  1. All reasonable expenses of transportation, meals and lodging incident to such deposition.
  2. Reimbursement for any loss of wages incurred during attendance at such deposition.
  3. A free copy of the transcript of the deposition.
  4. A reasonable allowance for attorney’s fees for the deponent, if represented by an attorney…

 

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Federal Rule 30(e) – What to do if Reading/Signing is Requested – Court Reporters

Rule 30

(e)  Review by Witness; Changes; Signing.

At a deposition, if the deponent or a party requests to read/sign their transcript before the completion of the deposition, the deponent shall have 30 days after being notified by the officer (court reporter) that the transcript is available in which to review the transcript and, if there are changes in form or substance, to sign a statement (errata sheet) reciting such changes and the reasons given by the deponent for making them.  The officer (court reporter) shall indicate in the certificate prescribed by subdivision (f)(1) whether any review was requested and, if so, shall append any changes (errata sheet with changes) made by the deponent in the time allowed.

Court reporters need to pay attention during federal/district court cases whether or not there is a request made by the witness or counsel for reading/signing.  If there is no request made, the court reporter’s certificate page should so indicate.  I believe many court reporters don’t always pay attention to the jurisdiction under which a deposition is taken, whether in State Court or Federal Court.  It is important to understand Rule 30(e) so the proper certificate is appended to the deposition transcript if a deposition is taken under the Federal Rules.

Please leave any comments you might have.

@rosaliekramm (Twitter)