The ABI Reporter E-Letter Articles

19Feb2021

Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Tech Setup

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By National Court Reporters Association The NCRA Technology Committee is looking out for you with great information you can use on the job. As everything has quickly changed, here are a few things you might do to optimize your setup. Technology Committee Chair Alan Peacock, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, a freelance CART captioner and court reporter from Mobile,
12Jan2021

Tips for More Productive Internet Research

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By Suzanne I. Trimble
Research on the internet can uncover a treasure trove of information that can save you time, which is money, and make your transcripts fantastically accurate. I’ve put together a few tips, many free of charge, that may be a refresher to some and a time saver to others to make research time more productive.
12Jan2021

Favorite Tech Gear from 2020

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By National Court Reporters Association
Zoom was probably the biggest app of 2020; but we made it through the year with more tech gear, gadgets, and gizmos than just that one. The Technology Committee shares some of their favorites from the year. See if your list matches or if there’s something new you should check out – and if you have a favorite you don’t see here,
07Dec2020

Pay It Forward

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Tari Kramer, RMR, CRR, CPE
By National Court Reporters Association Theresa (Tari) Kramer, RMR, CRR, CPE, an official court reporter from Charlotte, NC, is founder and owner of Legal Grins, a mom-and-pop online shop that sells entertaining legal retail products like Certified Stenographic Reporter lapel pins. Recently she donated a percentage from those sales to NCRF in support of NCRA A to Z® Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program.
07Dec2020

Eight Productivity Tools and Habits for Court Reporters

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By National Court Reporters Association When it comes to productivity, what is the one thing we all have in common?  Each of us only has 24 hours in a day. While this is obvious, it makes you wonder: How are some people so much more productive than others? There is no “magic bullet” to higher productivity.
10Nov2020

Zoom Depos and Reporters: Seven Lessons We’ve Learned Since March

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By Lynette Mueller Your NCRA Board of Directors and Technology Committee were hard at work at the beginning of this 2020 COVID-19 pandemic by creating and presenting webinars and content for our members regarding remote depositions and best practices. Speaking as a member of the Tech Committee, we felt strongly that information,
10Nov2020

COPE: Remote Depositions

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By Dannielle Copeland and Liz Harvey As the world adjusts to the ramifications of COVID-19, so does our profession. Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms have allowed us to continue our work throughout the pandemic, but the nature in which these remote proceedings began required us to act fast. As the months have passed,
13Oct2020

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

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By Sandra Mierop Last October on a conference call to come up with ideas about what the Technology Committee was going to accomplish over the next year, I volunteered to participate on the “Realtime Tips” project. It was right in my wheelhouse. Of all the things that I do as a stenographic reporter,
20Sep2020

CCRA and Stenograph Offer Two Virtual Training Opportunities

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CCRA is excited to work with Stenograph to bring to you two virtual training opportunities! Stenograph has donated the instructor’s time, which has allowed CCRA to keep the registration fee low for this high-value training opportunity! October 24, 2020 | 9:00 – 11:30 AM 9:00 – 9:30 AM Using Tables The Using Tables portion of the training is optional,
20Sep2020

Backup Options for Court Reporters

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By Lynette Mueller backup: a copy of computer data (as a file or the contents of a hard drive); also : the act or an instance of making a backup  In today’s technologically savvy environment, there is no excuse not to have a great backup plan for transcripts and important data. 
20Sep2020

Zoom Tips, Tricks, and Advice

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By National Court Reporters Association With an increase in remote depositions now using the Zoom format, the members of the Technology Committee thought it would be a great time to review some Zoom basics and troubleshooting tips with you. Zoom app versus web browser: It is better to download the Zoom app to the laptop or desktop computer,
19Aug2020

NCRA Connect Virtual 2020 Wrap-up

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By National Court Reporters Association Attendees at NCRA’s Connect Virtual 2020 event held August 7-9 enjoyed an array of insightful and informative sessions over the course of nearly three days. Sessions addressed topics from tips and tricks for making more money; organizing home offices; working smarter, not harder; and writing shorter and faster.
14Jul2020

A Thank You for a Captioning Job Well Done

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By National Court Reporters Association and Sheri Smargon I realtimed a job a couple years ago for a writers’ national literary conference holding their annual convention in Tampa Bay, FL, where I live. I was contacted by the Disabilities Coordinator for the group after he did a search of the NCRA Sourcebook to find a local CART provider.
14Jul2020

Proofreaders Share Best Tips

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By National Court Reporters Association The JCR Weekly recently asked the members of the NCRA Proofreading Advisory Council and the NCRA Scopists and Proofreaders Facebook group for their best tips on proofreading. Here are some of their answers: I must print the work I’m going to proof. I must be in a quiet space,
08Jun2020

Practice Makes Perfect

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By National Court Reporters Association Everyone knows that practice makes perfect, and during the stay-at-home orders caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many NCRA members are taking advantage of this opportunity to hone their skills as they wait to go back to work. Antonia Moy, an official court reporter from Ridgewood, New York,
08Jun2020

Making the Best of Quarantine Time

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By National Court Reporters Association With so many professionals waiting to go back to work, finding productive ways to fill downtime during the quarantine ranged from taking up a new hobby to tackling closet shelves and drawers that haven’t been opened in — well, in some cases, years. For two NCRA members,
11May2020

Use of the “Unintelligible” Parenthetical

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By CA Court Reporters Board When is it appropriate to use the parentheticals “speaking indistinctly” or “unintelligible” in a transcript? Here is what the CA Court Reporters Board has to say: Q: My question is if it would be okay to use “(speaking indistinctly)” blurbs instead of “(unintelligible)” blurbs in the transcript of a person who I struggled really,
11May2020

Five Tips for Looking Great in Remote Depositions

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By Lynette Mueller Over the past several weeks, I’ve been refining my Zoom setup for remote depositions. Last week I shared how to optimize internet connections. This week let’s talk about video optimization! Everyone wants to look their professional best when handling depositions for their clients. Even though we are the “silent person” in the legal proceedings,
07Apr2020

What States Allow Remote and/or Online Notarization

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By NCRA Please note that each state’s notarization laws are different and may only apply to specific proceedings. Please check with your State Notary, Secretary of State, or other regulatory agency for your state’s specific remote notarization or oath administration laws. Lastly, the information provided is not intended, nor should it be construed,
07Apr2020

Tools for Web Conferencing

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By Lynette Mueller In the legal environment that court reporters work in, many clients wish to attend depositions remotely for various reasons. With the high costs of airline travel and the expenses associated with it comes the need to find affordable solutions to take depositions critical to a litigator’s case. Of course,
10Mar2020

News Show Highlights the Work of Court Reporters

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On February 20, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow expressed her thanks to court reporters, saying: “It is really hard to get detailed, perfect court transcripts turned around same day so that we in the news media can read from them on the same day that court proceedings happen.” During the segment,
10Feb2020

Celebrate 2020 Court Reporting and Captioning Week

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By NCRA For the Love of Steno is this year’s Court Reporting & Captioning Week theme and one that can be touted year-round by court reporting schools and their students. The 2020 week-long celebration designed to help showcase the benefits of a career in court reporting or captioning runs February 8-15.
10Feb2020

From Accounting to Court Reporting

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By NCRA Student Savannah Ray started out as an accounting student, but she changed paths to court reporting thanks to encouragement from her mother. UTS | Can you talk a little about your background? Did you start the program straight out of high school, or did you have another career first?
07Oct2019

Successful Reporter-Scopist Relationships

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By Cindi Lynch When scopists and reporters work as a team, each of them is happier, more productive, and more profitable. Also, with the advent of RealTeam™, reporters and scopists need each other more than ever. However, a lot of reporters say that they’re unhappy with the quality of the scopists they’ve tried,
07Oct2019

You Know You’re a Court Reporter If . . .

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By NCRA We recently asked this fill-in-the-blank question on the NCRA Facebook page. Here are some of the great answers: You know you’re a court reporter if . . . “When you edit and punctuate restaurant menus, church bulletins, billboards (while driving), your text messages to other court reporters, hate the AI functions on your text messaging when they get it wrong,
09Sep2019

Incorporating Briefs for Parentheticals

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By NCRA Dear Techie: I am an aspiring realtimer and love to learn from more experienced and awesome realtime court reporters. My focus is on how to use briefs for parentheticals that explain to the attorneys what’s happening. I would love to have specific and easy-to-learn examples that I can incorporate into my dictionary.
09Sep2019

Life Tips from Erin Brockovich

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By NCRA Attendees at NCRA’s 2019 Convention and Expo in Denver, CO, heard firsthand the stories behind the movie Erin Brockovich from its namesake during the packed Premier Session. Brockovich, the renowned consumer advocate and environmental activist, shared bits of her life story, how she learned to persevere, and who her major influencers were.
12Aug2019

How to Tell if an Email is a Scam

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By Computer Hope E-mails come in many forms, and it sometimes can be difficult to tell the difference between a genuine message and a scam. Here are some of the many indicators that the e-mail you’ve received is fraudulent. Incomplete/misspelled words One of the indications of a scam e-mail is poor spelling,
08Apr2019

Ever Have Difficulty with Background Noise at Depos?

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Here’s an interesting gadget for reporters, a sound amplifier that reduces background noise. The size of a deck of cards, it also comes with headphones or a single earbud. Turn it on when you’re at a location where you are having difficulty with air conditioning hiss, construction noise, or the like.
12Feb2019

Great Briefs for Common Phrases

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By NCRA Dear Techie,
I’ve heard so much lately that court reporters need to write shorter to keep up with the fast talkers and to save stress on their hands. I’d like to see if the Tech Committee members have some good one-stroker briefs for some common phrases that come up during depositions on a regular basis.
11Feb2019

NCRA Members Gear Up for 2019 Court Reporting and Captioning Week

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By NCRA Nationwide, NCRA members are beginning to share what they plan to do to celebrate 2019 Court Reporting and Captioning Week February 9-16. From securing official proclamations to hosting Veterans History Project events to participating in career fairs, the activity that will mark the seventh year of this national, week-long event is expected to top that of previous years.
13Jan2019

Actor Tom Hank “Hearts” Captioning

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By National Court Reporters Association NCRA member Jo Gayle, RPR, CRR, CRC, a freelance captioner from Chicago, IL, recently earned a shout-out from actor Tom Hanks for her captioning skills during an event held by the Chicago Humanities Festival.  The JCR Weekly reached out to Gayle to find out more about being recognized by an international celebrity for her skills. 
07Jan2019

2018 Word of the Year

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By National Court Reporters Association Current events seem to play a big role in this year’s decisions by dictionary makers for a word of the year. Merriam-Webster Merriam-Webster chose “justice” as their word of the year. The company cited a variety of reasons the word won the top spot. According to Merriam-Webster,
08May2018

Off the Record to Request a Protective Order

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By Atkinson-Baker Court Reporters Generally reporters must remain impartial and avoid doing anything which has the appearance of taking sides.  But we all know that situations can arise where the reporter is asked to do something by one attorney and it is objected to by opposing counsel. Requests to go off the record is one such scenario. 
19Sep2017

The No Excuses Guide to Conquering your Fear

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Being nervous or fearful of displaying your realtime screen the very first time is very normal.  Feeling nervous about doing just about anything for the first time is normal, particularly if you are doing it in front of a highly educated audience. Here is some great advice from some very qualified realtime reporters that I received with suggestions on how to overcome the fear of someone reading and critiquing your work.
31May2017

Are You Ready for Daily Copy?

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It’s Friday at 7:30 p.m.  The weekend has officially started.  You’re just kicking back to relax with a movie and some popcorn.  Then this email hits your inbox: “We need someone to cover a three-week asbestos trial starting Monday, daily copy, rough at close of each day, four realtime feeds plus judge,
31May2017

Get Realtime Capable Now: Tips for Learning Brief Forms for Court Reporters

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Being realtime capable should be the goal of every court reporter.  My realtime goal is to always strive for 99.8 percent translation rate on every job.  The prep work is essential to maintain or exceed that goal.  My writing is constantly evolving (even after 30 years of reporting).  Writing short is paramount to the success of my translation rate,
24Nov2016

Seven Microsoft Word Hacks Every Legal Professional Should Know

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Microsoft Word is one of those programs that you instinctively think you’re a master in because you likely use it almost every day of your life.  Certainly if you had asked me, after having worked with Word for well over a decade, whether there was anything else I could know, I’d have said a firm “no.” If,
19Aug2016

Time Management: Be the Reporter Who Can Be Counted On

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If you’re not managing your time — or, more particularly, if you are not managing your backlog of transcripts — you can easily fall behind. As a profession, we don’t need any black marks against us. Be responsible. Don’t offer excuses. If you worked in an office and didn’t get your work done,
19Aug2016

Why Enter the Speed Contest?

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Why enter the speed contest? The answer really can be reframed as: Why do we want more speed? In our everyday work as court reporters, we are constantly thinking, evaluating what we hear and how to render it on our realtime screens. Was that word in or and, imminent or eminent,
19Aug2016

Just Do It

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“Knowing I am a competent reporter is one thing, but wondering if I could hang in there with those who have participated in the contests is what motivated me to enter. It’s something I had always wanted to do and I found myself at a time and place in life where I could go for it.” 
19Aug2016

No Fear! Getting Past Realtime Roadblocks

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What’s preventing you from providing realtime? The Technology Subcommittee asked realtime providers through the TRAIN program for their best tips in getting past the roadblocks and into the groove. How do you fight the fear of your realtime feed not being perfect? Breathe! After 32 years of reporting, I still get nervous for the first five minutes of any deposition.
29Mar2016

The Transcript as the Attorney’s Tool

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Here is an interesting view of the subject of transcripts, seen through the eyes of the attorney, our client. The reporter’s transcript is the official record of legal proceedings.  Deposition transcripts are used 1) for nailing down witness testimony for trial, and 2) for trial preparation.  Court transcripts are used for preparation of motions and briefs. 
29Mar2016

Reporter’s Certificate on Federal Cases

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Reporter’s Certificate on Federal Cases Did you know the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that the reporter’s certificate state whether or not the witness’s review of the transcript was requested? Rule 30 (e) (2): “Changes Indicated in the Officer’s Certificate. The officer must note in the certificate prescribed by Rule 30(f) (1) whether a review was requested .
29Mar2016

Get Excellent Quality Audio Backups

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Not happy with the quality of your audio backup? Do you want the best quality audio backup you can get? Here is a link to Martel’s top-of-the-line mic. It is a USB microphone, so it creates the audio in a digital format. It bypasses the internal components of the laptop that would normally record when you have an analog mic plugged in.
15May2015

Dickens: From Court Reporter to Novelist

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Years before his prolific career as a novelist, Charles Dickens worked as a court reporter. After studying Gurney shorthand, he became a freelance reporter at Doctor Commons courts in London in 1829. He reported the first of the Reform Bill debates, and because of his impressive work, he later secured the position as shorthand reporter of Parliamentary proceedings at the age of 19.
15Apr2015

What Realtime Means to Me

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“Realtime” is the goal for many reporters – whether it’s a means to a more secure job, better-paying work, or a step into a new career in captioning. But when any group of reporters gets together, they can find that realtime can mean something different to each of them. The TRAIN Task Force asked its members and TRAIN participants what they mean when they talk about realtime.