Some of My Favorite Court Reporting Briefs

As a court reporter from the old days, I have learned the importance of briefing words and phrases especially when writing realtime.  With briefs a court reporter makes fewer finger faults and can write with bursts of speed that will make your day a great one rather than “hanging on for dear life.”

When I went to court reporting school, I went through too fast and didn’t pick up many briefs.  I was a pounder and stroked my way through the syllables figuring I would decipher later what I was trying to write.  Luckily, I did learn the number bar and never had to write out numbers.  When I started writing realtime in the late 1990s, my writing was a mess.  I had conflicts and over 160K dictionary entries. 

One day, thanks to my dear husband, Chris Jordan, legal videographer and perfectionist, I saw the light, deleted my main dictionary, and started all over again.  I went through the Tabor’s Medical Dictionary and put in suffixes and prefixes, went through Webster’s and added words.  I got out the Yellow Pages and added proper names of businesses and took out my Thomas Brothers to stroke out street names. 

Life with a new dictionary has been empowering – and allowed me to pass the CRR.

I love briefing phrases.  Here are five that I use all of the time:

  1. board of director(s) – BOEKT(S)
  2. promissory note – PROET
  3. first amendment – FAEMT (second amendment SAEMT) et cetera
  4. fair characterization – FAIRKS
  5. motor vehicle accident – MOIT

The bottom line is using briefs is liberating.  Learn them.  Use them.  As an older court reporter, I am always pushing to write faster with fewer strokes.  I don’t want to be stagnant in my writing.  There is a great book called “Brief Encounters” that is available in electronic format or as a book.  If there is a word or phrase that stops you in your tracks over and over again, create a brief and practice it.  Don’t struggle.  I used to freak out if I heard the word “entrepreneur” in a deposition.  Once I learned the brief “PREUR” I couldn’t wait to report a deposition about entrepreneurs. 

This post is meant to inspire court reporters to write cleaner, faster, and have less editing time.  It is so much more fun being a court reporter having a bundle of briefs at your disposal to help you fly through the testimony.

@rosaliekramm (Twitter)

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2 replies
  1. Larry Shalberg says:

    I agree (I-RG) with your school of thought (SKAOUGT) on entrepreneur. HOUBT these:

    PRAITS = President of the United States

    It seems like he is on the news every night.

    Since the Anthory trial is over you probably will never hear this again but this is what we used.

    HAEUFPLTS = heart shaped stickers

    You probably don’t hear this too often, but I have been using this for a long time.

    OIK = Oklahoma City



  2. Barbara Reed says:

    I’m a court reporter manager. We are doing a transcript for an out of service reporter. She has T-FRS. Does anyone know what that is? It has something to do with a conference and a room number.

    Thank you.

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