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The ABI Reporter E-Letter Articles

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

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

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

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,
01Dec2013

Missing the Message

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By Jennifer Moritz, Dixon Schwabl
Not long ago, the word world spun into a frenzy when someone discovered that several dictionaries had added a second definition for the word “literally.” Now, instead of meaning “actually,” it also means “Just kidding, not really.” For the better part of a week,
01Oct2013

My “Secret” for Better Realtime

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By Jerry Kelley
When I am preparing for a trial, I do a number of things to make my realtime better. I go to the law firms’ websites and copy and paste photos of the litigators, along with their bios. This helps me build my speaker ID in advance. 
01Oct2013

Nine Ways for Court Reporters to Relieve Stress

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By Kathy Sieckman, PP, PLS, CLA
A court reporter’s job is to take down, verbatim, every word spoken for hours at a time, which can be a pain in the neck. I have written thousands of pages the last couple of weeks, all expedited, and my neck has a constant throb.
01Oct2013

Realtime Competition Got You Nervous? You Got This!

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Last July during the NCRA convention in Philadelphia I found myself in a room filled with people I was sure were the people who SHOULD be in that room, who DESERVED to be in that room, and who were good enough to be in that room. What in the world was I doing in a room filled with speed champions,
01Oct2013

High Speed Chase

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By Dom Tursi
When I hear talk about amazing shorthand speeds, it always stirs my professional passions. The ambitious goal of 400 wpm is now on the horizon as the speed zenith of 2013. This has rekindled memories of speed contest thrills and evoked a desire to share my historical shorthand knowledge as director of the Gallery of Shorthand.
01Aug2013

The Importance of Proofreading

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By Kathy Sieckman, PP, PLS, CLA
Believe it or not, people are judging you every day by your grammar skills—or a lack thereof. A letter, email, or document from your firm may be the first (and only) impression that a client, opposing counsel, judge, or prospective client gets of you,
01Jul2013

How to Motivate Yourself

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Staying motivated is a struggle. Our drive is constantly assaulted by negative thoughts and anxiety about the future. Everyone faces doubt and depression. What separates the highly successful is the ability to keep moving forward. There is no simple solution for a lack of motivation. Even after beating it, the problem reappears at the first sign of failure.
01Jul2013

Realtime Success

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Whether you are already providing realtime to all your clients or whether you are just dipping a toe into realtime feeds, you can pick up something new from talking to other reporters. That is exactly the premise of NCRA’s Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide (or TRAIN, as it is called).
01Jul2013

Relaxation Exercise: The Inner Smile

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By Sarah Jeffrey-Gray
It’s essential to take the time to relax – to take a break from other things: work, home, other people. It is vital to maintain ourselves and our health, both physically and mentally. We really need to give priority to the time to relax regularly in order to recharge the batteries.
01Jun2013

Good News from Our Clients

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To Lauri Pullman: “It is very rare that I have the opportunity to compliment a court reporter for her work on a deposition. We took a deposition and I had the pleasure of the services of Ms. Pullman from your offices. She was polite and professional. I was surprised that she was able to get down what was said,
01Apr2013

Being Aware of Unhelpful Thinking Tendencies

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The Conscious (thinking) Brain and the Subconscious (emotional) Brain
Our brain is a complex and fascinating organ. The thinking (conscious) brain operates at an intellectual level, giving us perspective and good problem-solving capability. When it works in healthy harmony with our emotional (subconscious) brain, we function at our best and can be at our most robust and resilient in dealing with whatever life throws at us.
01Apr2013

Improve the Quality of Your Audio

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By Wes Long, Director of Technology, Dynamic Captioning
First, I’m excited to talk about audio because that’s actually what I got my degree in (even though I now make software and products to help the deaf). There is a lot you can do to help “muffled” audio. First, make sure you have enough of an amplifier to drive your headset/headphones.
01Apr2013

How to Motivate Yourself

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Staying motivated is a struggle. Our drive is constantly assaulted by negative thoughts and anxiety about the future. Everyone faces doubt and depression. What separates the highly successful is the ability to keep moving forward. There is no simple solution for a lack of motivation. Even after beating it, the problem reappears at the first sign of failure.
01Apr2013

Capturing the Spoken Word and Each Other’s Hearts

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By Linda Smolkin
When we think of couples, more than a few come to mind. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Sonny and  Cher. John Lennon and Yoko Ono. In the court reporting world, we have several couples who have captured the spoken word — and each other’s hearts. Some have met while on the job,
01Mar2013

Attributes of Excellent Client Services

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By Fran McClean, PLS
When you think of client service, what comes to mind? Think about it. Client service is all about how we treat our clients. Take a moment to think about your day. Are you providing excellent or proper client service (both internally and externally)? If you are not sure how you can improve the quality of service,
01Jan2013

Timesavers and Tips

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Case CATalyst Users: Timesavers to be had with just a little effort Total Eclipse Users: Sign up and get free access to tips! Check out this Eclipse user group! Cheetah Users: Archives of “Tip of the Week”
01Jan2013

Is Your Dictionary Getting in the Way of Realtime?

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By Anissa R. Nierenberger
When the National Court Reporters Association launched the Writing our Future initiative, it set for members a lofty goal: get everyone to write realtime. Anyone who attended last year’s NCRA annual convention in Las Vegas got that message again — big time. The realtime goal is its number one priority.
01Jan2013

Challenging Negative Self-Talk

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By Sarah Jeffrey-Gray
There are times when we talk to ourselves critically. Perhaps we just think it, or perhaps we voice it out loud. “I’ll never get this right.” “I’m such an idiot.” Phrases like this are a sure sign that emotional hijacking is at work. If we become aware that this is going on,
01Feb2012

Write Shorter

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By Ron Cook, CCR, RMR, CRR, Premier Realtime, Seattle
After years and years (I won’t admit how many) of dutifully writing things out, for the past five-plus years, I have been steadily trying to compact my writing style. I have kept my eyes and ears open for any and all briefs and techniques that make sense to me.
01Feb2012

The Value of Certification

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By Joyce Z. Casey, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP
In times of economic downturn, it may be tempting to let your certification lapse or to reduce your continuing education aspirations. But with high unemployment rates and fierce competition for available jobs, you may now need your credentials more than ever before.
01Feb2012

Overcoming Procrastination

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Many people have a tendency to procrastinate. This could be because the task is complicated, you’re unfamiliar with it, there’s a prospect of conflict, or you simply prefer to socialize rather than work! But motivating yourself to “do” rather than “avoid” some tasks will result in higher levels of achievement,
01Feb2012

Interpersonal Communication

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By Des Whitehorn
The most effective communicators use a style that can change on each occasion and be adapted for each individual. This brings out the best in everyone, especially if you are a manager or team leader. These skills need continual practice and fine tuning until they become a natural response which is seen by others as appropriate across a wide range of situations.
01Jan2012

Confident Body Language

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By Sarah Jeffrey-Gray
Many of us are sometimes unaware of our body language, especially at times when we are under stress. Body language has a large part to play in situations where we want to feel confident and to come over as such to others. So it can be helpful to spend a little time being curious about our own tendencies and what messages we may be giving out.
01Aug2011

Why Punctuality Matters

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By Ali Luke
Do you often find yourself running late? Perhaps it’s been a life-long problem – at college, you were always sloping into class five minutes after the professor had begun. It might not have mattered too much then … but in the working world, punctuality is crucial.
01Aug2011

Heroes in the Field: The Story of Glenda Cook

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By Rodney Lumpkin
How One Paralegal Overcame Tremendous Obstacles to be Recognized and Awarded for  Extraordinary Efforts Domestic or intimate partner violence may be one of the most widespread criminal offenses in America. Yet it is consistently one of the least reported. Although most abuse victims are female, there is no typical victim.
01Aug2011

Methods of Backing Up Work

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By Sally Jenkins
Do you make regular backup copies of your work? We all know how temperamental computers can be – one minute they’re working fine and then the next they freeze up and refuse to do anything. Usually the ‘turn it off and back on again’ method brings the machine back to life and everything is hunky-dory again,
01Aug2011

Doing Things Carefully

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wisdompage.com
My brother Dave has the attitude. I first noticed it twenty years ago when he showed me the boat he’d built. What a beauty! Every piece of hand-shaped wood was just right, and he’d given the boat many coats of spar varnish. This brought out the richness of the wood’s grain and color to the point where it almost glowed.