The ABI Reporter E-Letter Articles

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,
01Apr2014

Tips to Improve Your Stamina

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One of the most challenging things for shorthand reporters is keeping pace with the spoken word for hours on end.  Often the rate of speech is beyond your comfort level, and it is common to experience mental and physical exhaustion at the end of the day. Use these exercises to keep your steno fingers in good shape and help avoid repetitive strain injuries overall.
01Apr2014

Tips for Synchronizing Time Stamping on Transcripts with Videos

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By Sheila Atkinson-Baker, President, Atkinson-Baker Court Reporters
Time stamping on transcripts must synchronize with the time on the video. Clients use the time stamping on the transcript to locate a particular point in the video (to see witness facial expression and other body language). They also watch the video to find a particular point in the transcript.
23Feb2014

25 Questions to Ask Yourself in 2014

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Beyond the festivities, travel, celebration, and joy of the holiday season, December was truly a time of reflection.  I experienced this myself as I was home with family.  Amidst all the chaos that is involved with kids running around, a sick husband, and spending time with loved ones, I had the chance to sit back and really reflect on all that happened in 2013.
01Jan2014

Skilled for Success

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By Linda Smolkin, NCRA
There are many court reporters who partake in activities outside of the courtroom.  Sure, some of these activities may have started out as a hobby to unwind after a long day at the office.  But as time passed, the skills gained from these activities have become a great benefit. 
01Jan2014

Friendly Reminders for Reporters

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SOME FRIENDLY REMINDERS … As a reminder, do not leave your equipment and/or work product in your car unattended for any period of time.  If you have to stop somewhere on your way home, make sure that you keep the backup of your jobs on your person.  It is also advisable that you keep one back up in your bag and one on your person when leaving the job site.
27Dec2013

Whose Side are We On?

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Given the oppositional nature of the legal field, it is not surprising that we are sometimes asked which side we are on. After all, there are plaintiff lawyers and defense lawyers, plaintiff experts and defense experts. Some attorneys would consider it a breach of duty if they didn’t go venue shopping to ensure the most favorable forum and jury for the client.
27Dec2013

Widening the Highway

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As the saying goes, “Time is money,” and how true this rings for a depo reporter. Being paid by the amount of transcript pages produced speaks loudly of the importance of efficiency. That is, if we want to make a decent income and still have time left over to prop our feet up on the desk (or better yet,
27Dec2013

Staying at the Top of your Field

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The U.S. Open Golf Tournament is always Tiger Woods’ time to be the overwhelming favorite to win. At just 29 years old, he has already established himself as the best player ever, and what he can achieve over the next twenty years is mind boggling. After winning the Masters Tournaments, and becoming the first person ever to win all four Majors in a twelve-month period,
27Dec2013

Tips and Ideas on Business and Managing Stress

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“The one thing that I do that really helps me is to make sure that I’m there 1/2 an hour early (especially if it’s someplace I’ve never been before). I know Atkinson-Baker wants me there 15 minutes early, but this gives me time to relax, locate the bathroom and settle in after getting out of traffic.
27Dec2013

Reporter Preference Sheet for Working with Scopists

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YES/NO – USE SLASHES BETWEEN DATE YES/NO – USE DASH BETWEEN DATE YES/NO – USE (INDICATING) YES/NO – USE DIRECT QUOTATIONS MARKS YES/NO – USE INDIRECT QUOTATION MARKS YES/NO – MAKE JOB DICTIONARY SPELL OUT WORDS IN: CAPS – LOWER CASE – WITHOUT DASHES TURNAROUND TIME EXPECTED_____________________________________ TYPE OF SCAN MARK TO LEAVE____________________________________ FREQUENCY OF PAYMENT: (Example: 1st &
27Dec2013

Is There a Shortage of Court Reporters?

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A question that has been coming up lately is whether there is a shortage of court reporters and, if so, how long will it last? The answer is that yes, we are entering a period where, in many parts of the country, there will be a shortage over the next several years.
27Dec2013

Saunders Case Decision

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Mark D. Saunders, et al. v.
Truck Insurance Exchange, et al. is a California case regarding the legality of contracting for court reporting services. The case has attracted a lot of national attention in the reporting profession over the last eight years and was even featured on the NCRA website last year.
27Dec2013

More Free Time … Samantha’s Story

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By Barbara Lynch
More free time, less stress AND more money?  That doesn’t seem right, does it? Aren’t being stressed and having no free time two of the sacrifices that are necessary for court reporters to make if they are to earn more money? The answer is definitely no.
27Dec2013

Reporting in the Internet Age

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In 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held two days of oral arguments in the Microsoft antitrust case. While the arguments themselves were interesting, what was also noteworthy is the way in which the hearing was conducted. In the first place, the judges required that both parties in the case file their briefs on CD-ROM.
27Dec2013

Grammatical Preference

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What do you prefer? Where did you work when — Strike that. Where are you working? Where did you work when — strike that. Where are you working? Where did you work when — strike that — where are you working? Where did you work when — strike that — Where are you working?
27Dec2013

Hire a Scopist and Earn More Money

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The relationship you have with a scopist is a very valuable partnership and should be treated as such.  Partnering with scopists provides many benefits without sacrificing the quality of your transcripts. A Win-Win By employing a scopist, you can, on average, accept two more depositions a week than without using a scopist.
27Dec2013

ABI Reporter Spotlight with June Cochrane

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MEET JUNE COCHRANE… What got you into court reporting? I originally had thought of being a court reporter while in high school. But being overseas there was very little info on the field. So I ended up getting my college degree and moving into the world of retail management and being a diamond consultant.
27Dec2013

Competition and Quality of Service

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It’s not easy keeping ahead of the competition. As a litigator, you’ve probably long since lost count of the extra hours you’ve put in trying to keep one motion ahead of your opposing counsel. CJRA Plans and “fast track” systems give you less time than before to prepare your case for trial.
27Dec2013

Creating Time and Increasing Profits

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In another article, we discuss the importance of using a scopist and RealTime writing to help manage your time. While these do play a very important role when it comes to managing a reporter’s time, there are other factors to look at. In this article, we will take a look at planning as a way to increase efficiency and organization,
10Dec2013

Can You Hear Me Now? Five Tips for Effective Client Communication

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By Chere, Estrin, The Estrin Report
“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw Those legal professionals who are effective in client communications are those who stop, for just a moment, to reflect upon who their clients are, the client’s personal makeup,