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The ABI Reporter E-Letter Articles

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.
15Apr2015

Purge Your Closet

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I wish clothing tags were required to have expiration dates. “Please wear this garment by:_____” Expiration tags on clothing certainly would eliminate a lot of confusion. If a woman simply knew when her clothes should be purged, she wouldn’t have those nagging doubts about whether a certain item is still “in style.”
11Mar2015

Everything Old is New Again … Well, Sort of

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In approximately the 8th century B.C., the Greek poet Homer said, “The journey is the thing.” That is evident when we look back and consider what got us from where we were to now. Recently, I found an old secretary’s manual from 1975. This is from the days of manual typewriters,
02Feb2015

What is Connectify Hotspot? How Does this Affect Me?

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A LAN (Local Area Network) is a private computer network that links computers at a single location, such as at a private residence or office building. Establishing a LAN allows files, software, and devices like printers and fax machines (or realtime software like CaseViewNet or Bridge) to be shared among the users of the LAN.
01Feb2015

Business E-mail Etiquette Basics

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“There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.” – Dale Carnegie (1888-1955),  American Educator When it comes to your business e-mail communications,
23Jan2015

Business Tips for Freelancers

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While flexibility and independence are strengths of freelancing, they also introduce complications. Managing personal business affairs while developing professionally and finding a balance between life and work can be challenging. Fortunately, these skills can get better with practice, and experienced court reporters are a great resource for business tips. Marketing For a freelancer,
01Oct2014

The Challenges of Court Reporting

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By Joseph Millikan
What passes itself off as the norm of acceptability in verbatim reporting and transcription from some of today’s court reporters causes shudders among even the most sanguine of seasoned professionals. According to those skilled in the art, the problem is the sheer lack of education and theory exploitation,
01Jul2014

NEW! A Mobile Version of Atkinson-Baker’s Reporter Website (ARS)

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A mobile version of Atkinson-Baker’s reporter website (ARS) is now available in a form specifically for use with smartphones. If you open ARS (https://abias.com/ars) with any popular smartphone, the phone will be directed to the mobile site (https://abias.com/ars/m/).  This mobile website is designed for devices that have tall, narrow screens and are touch operated. 
01Jul2014

15 Tools to Put You in the Winner’s Circle

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Competition is the life force of a free market – and often the bane of our existence. Competition isn’t the problem, but sometimes our response to competition is frustration and annoyance. That’s not productive. NCRA’s five-year strategic plan, Vision 2018, calls for us to create resources for you, our members,
01Jul2014

Law Firm Dress Code for Men

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A decade after the dot-com boom pushed casual workplace attire into vogue, casual dress has become commonplace in many industries. However, the conservative legal field has been slow to embrace casual dress. Even in law firms that have adopted a business casual dress code, law firm associates and other legal professionals might do well to ignore it for many reasons.
01Jul2014

Law Firm Dress Code for Women

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In the legal industry, appearances matter. The way you dress can help you command respect, inspire trust and convey a polished, professional image. Your wardrobe is a tool to win the trust of supervisors, clients, opposing counsel and judges. You don’t need to spend your entire paycheck on looking good. Adhering to your firm’s dress code and following the simple guidelines below can help women dress to impress.
01Jul2014

Is the Customer Always Right?

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By Jim Cudahy
About 20 years ago, I was watching a segment on 20/20 orDateline that went to great lengths to test — even strain — one of the long-held commandments of business, which is that the customer is always right. In the segment, an imposter customer was placed in a department store with a dress shirt from a different retail outlet.
08May2014

Simplify and Accelerate Your Transcript Production

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Immediately send electronically signed transcripts to ABI at any time for immediate production. Only 20% of ABI reporters have enrolled and are taking advantage of RealLegal’s Reporter E-Transcript software which is available to ABI reporters at no cost. If you haven’t already, we are inviting you below* to enroll and start increasing your productivity today.
23Apr2014

Preventing Burnout

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Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Coping Strategies If constant stress has you feeling disillusioned, helpless, and completely worn out, you may be suffering from burnout. When you’re burned out, problems seem insurmountable, everything looks bleak, and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care—let alone do something about your situation. The unhappiness and detachment burnout causes can threaten your job,