The ABI Reporter E-Letter Articles

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,
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,
17Nov2013

Time is Money

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By Sheila Atkinson-Baker
Many of us have hired housekeepers from time to time even though we are capable of cleaning our own house. We’ve also hired painters and gardeners even though we could do the jobs ourselves. Why? We do this for the sole purpose of freeing up time and energy so we can focus on other important areas that need attention.
17Nov2013

Proud to Be a Legal Secretary

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By Carol Ann Wilson
A voice on the telephone recently asked me, “Are you his secretary, or do you prefer to be called his administrative assistant?” I told him, “I am his secretary and very proud of it.” You could hear the relief in his voice as he replied,
17Nov2013

Medical Terms Dictionary for Word

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Hosford Medical Terms Dictionary v3.0 is offered as a text file that you can import into Word as a custom dictionary. (A voluntary donation of $3 is requested.) Step #1: Download the zip file at: Medical Terms Dictionary Step #2: Extract the files and save them in a directory where you can leave them permanently.
17Nov2013

Your Online Historical Information Archivist

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By Mary Ellen Bates, President, Bates Information Services
Researchers and info pros know that everything is NOT available for free on the web, although sometimes it feels that way. One area in which it is evident that information comes with a price tag is news from more than a month or two ago.
17Nov2013

From Pearl Harbor to Legal Secretary

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By Barbara Lynch, Atkinson-Baker
A Unique Pivotal Point Many of us can trace our line of previous jobs to find that pivotal point which steered us into the legal profession. For Adele Naito, a legal secretary in Honolulu, that turning point came on the heels of working at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base Library when,
01Nov2013

Ten Tips for Dealing with Difficult People at Work

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In every workplace, you will have difficult coworkers. Dealing with difficult coworkers, bosses, customers, clients, and friends is an art worth perfecting. Dealing with difficult situations at work is challenging, yet rewarding. You can increase your skill at dealing with the difficult people who surround you in your work world. These tips will help you.
01Nov2013

Spotlight: National Association for Legal Professionals

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NALS is a leader in the legal services industry offering professional development by providing continuing legal education, certifications, resources, and training to those choosing the legal services industry as their career.  NALS was formed in 1929, was incorporated in 1949, and has been dedicated to members of the legal community ever since.  
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.
01Oct2013

Technology Is Making the Role of a Legal Secretary More Secure Than Ever Before

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While the world continues to change with technological growth, keeping in step with technological growth is required in every profession. With radical changes taking place in the entire dynamics of information storage, access, retrieval, publishing, and search and indexing mechanisms, apparently a lot of secretarial work that can be done either more efficiently or cost-effectively by software is being delegated to software.
01Oct2013

A Legal Secretary Tale

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By Patricia O’Neill
One of my hobbies is going to folk clubs. I do comic songs, and once I made up some doggerel about things which can go awry in a legal office – for instance, an inexperienced casual receptionist telling a client point-blank that the legal eagle is too busy to talk to him or her,
01Sep2013

How To – Skills Building Session

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By Alexis Kessler, Baldwin County ALP (Alabama)
We’ve all been there.  You start a new job, maybe your first job in the legal field, and they begin by giving you “basic tasks” until you both feel more comfortable in your skill level. Sounds great, right? Until you begin to realize that your definition of “basic” and their definition of “basic” are two completely opposite things.   
01Sep2013

Time Management Tip: Use the Power of Three

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My last time management tip talked about creating a “Don’t Do” list – effectively whittling down the number of tasks or projects you have to complete so that you can prioritize and better focus on the highest value and most important tasks. Another tool to help you focus on what is most important is the Power of Three.
01Sep2013

I’m a Survivor – Maintaining a Positive Attitude

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By Alexis Kessler, Baldwin County ALP (Alabama)
We’ve all worked with that one person whose voice just makes you want to cringe when you hear them say your name, or their name comes up on your caller ID and you wonder, “Do I really have to answer it?” Of course you do.
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,
01Aug2013

Introducing Doris T. Compton, NALS New Presidentle

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Doris Marie Compton, PP, PLS, lived in many different towns in the State of Arkansas, as well as in Enid, Oklahoma, and Abilene, Texas, before finally making her home in Little Rock, Arkansas. Long before Doris knew about NALS, she was involved in the law through her dad’s profession. He was an Arkansas State Trooper.
01Aug2013

Do Work and Life Ever Balance?

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By Stephanie Potter
Many of us lawyers are Type A, competitive perfectionists, and these traits don’t fade away when we become mothers.  While our aggressive natures can serve our clients well, I question how well they sometimes serve us. Recently, a good friend of mine who is also an attorney asked me how I “do it all.”  I was flabbergasted. 
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.
01Jul2013

Managing Conflict in Meetings or Presentations

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We have all, at some time, encountered the steamroller and the sniper. “Steamrollers” are aggressive, hostile, and intimidating; they don’t listen, they talk over what anyone else may have to say, and they bludgeon others with their views and demands. “Snipers” are far more insidious; they seek to undermine, often indirectly,
01Jun2013

Eight Work Traits of a Successful Secretary

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So you’ve mastered the core skills of a legal secretary.  How do you set yourself apart as a stand-out secretarial professional?
Here are eight traits of a successful secretary. 1. Reliable Since a legal secretary is the attorney’s right-hand person, reliability is crucial.  A secretary who is punctual, timely,
01Jun2013

Court Reporters Help Record Veterans’ Stories

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By NAPS, North American Precis Syndicate
Once again, court reporters are making sure that the stories of America’s veterans are recorded for future generations. 2013 marks the tenth consecutive year that the Veterans History Project (VHP) has worked with the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) and the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).
01Jun2013

Are You Assertive?

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Everyone recalls a time or a particular situation when we wish we had been more assertive. Assertive communication is all about putting our point of view over – clearly and calmly, free from the distortion of mood or circumstances – so that we can best communicate how we feel about something and what we need as a result.
01May2013

Letiquette – Netiquette

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By Marie Schoenfeldt, PLS, CLA
When composing a letter, be mindful of your etiquette, especially if it is a first contact business letter. Keep the recipient of your correspondence in mind, as well as what and how you want to communicate. If this is your first contact with the recipient,
01May2013

How to Be Irreplaceable in a Tough Economy

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By Ruth M. Schaub, PP, PLS
I began my first law office job 25 years ago as a receptionist for a small firm. Along the road I learned the value of becoming the type of employee no boss wants to be without. Read my suggestions and find a way to make them apply to you and your work situation.
01May2013

Improving Profile and Visability

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By Des Whitehorn
In a perfect world people would judge us by results and the quality of our work. However, life isn’t perfect. People who work hard and are loyal can be overlooked for promotion or pay raises, while those doing a good PR job on themselves tend to be thanked and appreciated more often.
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

Tips for Working with the Deaf or Hearing Impaired

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By Allison Streepey, B.A., CRS, PLS
Thirty-six million people, approximately 17%, in the United States are suffering from hearing loss. It is expected that this population will increase rapidly because more people are developing high-frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud noise, new unexplained deafness, trauma, and disease,
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,