As a court reporter, I love my Verizon 4G Hotspot because it allows me to send out depositions, arbitrations, and rough drafts no matter where I am. As an added benefit, the device gives me the opportunity to share internet connectivity with attorneys at depositions.
This is the decade of efficiency. There are tools on the market that will make your life as a court reporter better if you decide you want to participate and use them. I believe most wifi companies have a gadget that allows a person to share internet activity with one to five people at a time.
Many depositions and arbitrations (meetings) are held in public rooms or hotels that do not provide internet connectivity or charge outrageous rates to be online. I was court reporting a deposition in Laguna Beach last month, and the hotel wanted to charge $800 per day to allow up to ten people wireless access to the internet. After I almost fell over when I heard the charge, the gentleman quickly offered the wireless deal for $400 per day. It was CRAZY.
Offering my Hotspot to the attorneys made me very popular for the day. As an added piece of advice (a DepoMan tip), have your password for the attorneys to log on be something like, “Kramm Court Reporting is Great” or “I love my court reporter – Linda.” Having a number as a password is kind of boring, in my opinion, but for a serious crowd of lawyers might be appropriate.
Having my Hotspot I can send a rough draft out no matter where I am. I can access exhibits on my repository when proofing a transcript or indexing exhibits.
I believe a Hotspot is a great investment for a working court reporter out in the field.
One of the biggest hurdles court reporters have when traveling to foreign countries is being able to give the oath that puts a witness under penalty of perjury to tell the truth. The question is, what is an alternative to getting a commission or only having the deposition proceed at a USA Embassy (which is always the case in Japan)?
After much research I have found the “norm” is for the parties to stipulate that the USA court reporter will give the oath, and counsel will waive any objection to the testimony later based on the oath.
Attorneys stipulating to allowing the USA court reporter give the oath is an excellent way to save costs and time when setting up a deposition in a foreign country.
As an audience member at the 2012 Deposition Reporters Association Annual Convention for the great Mark Kislingbury’s keynote presentation, I found myself (a court reporting veteran of 31 years) in awe of how the “young people” are writing steno. I know I am a really good writer. I am a Certified Realtime Reporter, and I write clean realtime for some of the fastest talking attorneys in San Diego. YET this week, watching my strokes, I became conscious that I write dozens and dozens of words in three strokes. I don’t phrase enough. I am working much too hard banging at the keys.
Kislingbury wrote unfamiliar sustained dictation at the conference at 295 words per minute for 30 seconds with two errors. He stood as he wrote on his Stenovation machine, and I could see he barely moved his fingers. (FYI – A question was asked if a person should practice on the same machine as they use when on a job. His answer was as long as you can adjust your machine to have shallow strokes, it doesn’t matter what machine you use, i.e., Diamante or Passport.) Kislingbury advised everyone we need to warm up with a fast five-minute dictation before every job. Since we are athletes, it makes sense to warm up on something other than an attorney’s admonitions.
As court reporting athletes, we have to warm up, shorten our strokes, and learn new ways of writing. I believe Magnum Steno is a great resource for shifting our writing to learn to write short. Briefing is the key to success. One of the reporters I work with purposely stacks phrases, questions, and answers. If an attorney is speaking 300 – 350 words a minute and is right on top of the witness’ answers, moving the fingers faster becomes physically impossible.
Let’s all choose a phrase family we will work on for the month of March and see what happens. I choose something very basic. I am embarrassed to admit I write “I don’t know” in three strokes and “I know” in two. I need to incorporate the YO. It seems crazy to use Y for I and O for do, but I plan on doing it anyway.
Let’s all stroke less in 2012. Maybe we can work up to competing in the realtime or speed contests. It is incredibly great we have the option to write faster and be even greater than ever. Being a court reporter means being an athlete. As someone that started out as a Herman Miller theory San Diego court reporter, there is plenty of room to grow.