Last week I sat on a panel at the 2012 NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference, “Changes in the Legal Industry – What You Need to Know,” and a question was asked, “How do you get someone who has passed the CRR to hook in when they refuse out of fear?”  My quick answer was, “Tell the reporter to knock it off.”

Seriously, I feel very sorry for those talented writers.  I understand the fear. I have felt it. I still feel it on days where the deposition is close to being out of control, attorneys are fighting or I am just not on my best game.  Those days I play a mental game with myself, saying, “Knock it off, Rosalie.  Perform.”  I physically shake my hands, my head, and my shoulders.  I power through it.

As Dale Carnegie said, “Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… That is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.”

Dale is talking about the fear of realtime court reporting.  If you are a clean writer with a great tran rate, and especially if you are realtime certified, some might argue you have a moral responsibility to your profession to hook in.  You need to be an evangelist for the unique talent only stenographic court reporters can offer.  Siri can’t do what we do; no machine and no one can.

I promise you the first time you hook in, you will not become fatally ill or fall off a cliff or have to speak in public. Your fear is in your mind and the attorneys are not paying that much attention to every word and every comma.  It is true, you have to be a solid writer.   I suggest you start with an easy deposition. Get one under your belt.

Once you face the fear of being a realtime court reporter and then walk (write) through it, you are going to feel a surge of joy.

@rosaliekramm Twitter

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5 replies
  1. Laury Wasoff says:

    Am I alone in how I feel about providing real-time? I always see things about reporters’ fears about their writing abilities and having that exposed to attorneys. I don’t care one hoot about that. I am only rarely self-conscious about my writing. Mainly on those out-of-control type jobs that you mention. I only have trepidation about the technology. Honestly, until those first words come across the attorney’s laptop, I have a pit in my stomach about all the myriad things that could possibly go wrong with the hook-up. And to make it worse, I now mostly work for one agency. None of their clients ever want real-time. So the less I do it, the more anxiety I have.

    I never see this aspect of real-time writing addressed, and I think the technological aspect of it is by far more stressful than having an attorney see my work in progress. And I also don’t know how to get over this. Haven’t we all had nine out of ten jobs go perfectly fine and then it’s that tenth job where you can’t get the feed going no matter what? And sometimes even with the help of an IT person when you’re working at a large law firm. Not to mention the added pressure of stress under a time crunch for those attorneys who come breezing in late and want to hook in. Inevitably those are the ones where you have trouble and then you have four pairs of eyes staring at you wanting to get started with the depo.

  2. Rosalie Kramm says:

    Thanks, Laury, for your smart comments. Your advice about getting the laptops early and being able to relax when hooking in is huge. Having someone watch you while you get the computers set up is stressful. I really appreciate your sharing your thoughts. You can help others.

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