Court Reporters and Realtime – Wires or Wireless?

Once a realtime court reporter goes wireless and sends their realtime feed to an attorney’s computer, it is hard to go back to wires.  Carrying the little bag around full of tangled wires with the little box is not efficient.  AND YET twice in the past three months my firm has had the situation in which the client made it clear using a wireless connection to be unacceptable and demanded wires.

Wires were demanded in one situation because the subject matter of the job was “top secret” and the client was worried that someone could pick up a wireless feed in another room…  I know court reporters reading this will be rolling their eyes, but as the saying goes, “The client is always right.”

Another law firm we work with won’t allow wireless realtime for their attorneys because once, four years ago, a court reporter’s feed stopped, and testimony was dropped on the attorney’s screen.  The firm does not allow wireless realtime and won’t allow the necessary drivers to be loaded onto the computers.

Chris Jordan is always a part of every buying decision my court reporting firm makes when it comes to computers and technology.  When I need to buy a new laptop as a court reporter, Chris insists I purchase the laptop from my CAT vendor so it is built for the job.  I spend more money than a reporter buying a laptop from a Fry’s or BestBuy, but I have a serial port, a PCMCIA card slot, as well as USB ports.  Many would argue PCM cards and serial ports are outdated technology, and they would be right, but in our world, we need serial ports.

I love using Stenocast.  If I can get a driver loaded on an attorney’s computer, it is so much easier to have a successful hook-in, not having to deal with USB-to-serial dongles and their drivers.  BUT if an attorney needs to use wires, I have to be ready.  My advice:  Don’t throw away or lose your realtime wires/box.  One day you might get the GREAT JOB because you can write as a retro-realtime court reporter.


@rosaliekramm  Twitter



3 replies
  1. Kellie says:

    Love the blog info, Rosalie. I keep my case of wires in my trunk so they’re handy if needed. Wireless connects so much better that I hate going “retro.” Another reporter and I are starting a big case soon and it was recommended we look at CaseviewNet because apparently you can just plug router into a wall plug and transmit to everyone. We’re still researching though. Even with the yearly fee, it sounds better than buying multiple dongles from Stenocast and loading drivers onto many attorneys’ computers before the depo. I still love Stenocast. It’s a great product.

  2. Reformed RetroReporter says:

    Have you ever been so early that you’re considered late? How about so reliable that you’re considered old school? How many of us proud, self-proclaimed anal retentive reporters can relate to this? I personally am reformed. Wireless is now on my radar bigger than ever before. Although, the trusty cables can be dusted off at a moment’s notice. Now, I consider myself so far behind that I’m ahead! (Footnote: Regardless of whether you deliver real-time by smoke signals or satellite, it’s the quality of your output that counts the most. Keep it clean!)

  3. Rosalie Kramm says:

    Retro-Reporter, You are very wise. It is incredibly true, the output is what truly counts. Many young reporters are excited, two weeks out from getting the CSR, they write and tell me they are ordering realtime cables. I answer, “Whoa. Clean writing comes first. Wires, wireless, blah, blah, blah comes next.” Writing clean is the true key to success.

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