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GLFM Blog

27.04.2017
Robin Smith
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Just like a judge or a mediator, court reporters have a duty to be impartial and fair to both sides of the case.  Everyone relies on this, they trust that verbatim transcripts are just that, verbatim. They trust that both sides receive the same service and the transcript is equally available. Without this fairness and impartiality, the system would be threatened. This is our duty – and our gift to you. Trust that we will treat you the same as the other party. It's the only gift we can give. When court reporters begin to offer gifts, rewards, points or anything that can be exchanged for value, anything offered in exchange for work – even significantly reduced pricing --the integrity of their impartiality is threatened. The critical role that court reporters have as impartial and neutral officers of the court is undermined. Court reporters who are members of the National Court Reporters Association’s Ethics First program are part of an “effort to encourage court reporters, firms, and the clients that they serve to promote the impartiality and neutrality of the court reporting profession and avoid even the appearance of impropriety with regards to inappropriate gift-giving.” Look for this pledge from your court reporting firm and know that you are receiving a gift of trust and impartiality and a commitment from your court reporter to serving as an un-biased officer of the court.
There are times when you just can’t make it to an out-of-town deposition, snowed in, crazy schedule or perhaps not just the best use of client funds. There is always the good old telephone but with new technology it’s tempting to want to use it. After all, being able to see is always better than just plain on audio over the phone. So there’s Skype. It’s free. You can hear. You can see. Perfect. Right? Maybe, maybe not. Skype is wonderful. If you’re talking to your grandkids or friends from around the world. For casual, conversational chats it’s an amazing tool. And it’s free! You can’t beat that. But there is an old saying, I’m sure you’ve heard it – you get what you pay for. In a litigation proceeding, hearing every single word is critical. And let’s be frank, Skype is not known for its superior audio quality. Drop outs, freezing, buzzing and echoes are just some of the things one can experience with Skype. And let’s just say you hear everything fine, a court reporter requires a higher degree of hearing. While we hear, and can fill in the blanks, court reporter’s do not have that luxury. It is a verbatim transcript. Every word needs to be heard and processed and written. In fact, some court reporters request a waiver for depositions conducted via Skype that a verbatim transcript cannot be guaranteed. Skype is only free for single use, if you want to have multiple parties, you have to sign up – and pay for – the ability to conduct group calls. Also, camera views are limited to the view of your webcam, seeing an entire conference room can be challenging. What’s the alternative? For a reasonable and nominal fee, you can be “bridged” into our video conference equipment and experience all the benefits of being there without being there. High definition video, superior audio, full conference room view and as many bridged participants as you want. And you get a guaranteed verbatim transcript and a very happy court reporter. For your next remote or telephone deposition, give us a call for information on how to make your next remote deposition a success.
Court reporting. Studies show that the demand for court reporters will significantly outweigh the supply over the next 5 years by 5500 jobs. Court reporting and captioning is a top professional career that does not require a four-year college degree. Bottom line, court reporters spend less time in school and are very quickly on their way to earning a salary that is competitive with four-year degree professions. People who train for a career as a court reporter have a few career options: Freelance reporter – Be your own boss and work for attorneys, corporations, and unions providing verbatim transcript of depositions, arbitrations, zoning hearings and so much more. Official reporter – Work for a county, state or federal court house and provide verbatim transcripts of civil and criminal trials as well as other court proceedings. Broadcast captioner or Cart provider – use your skills to provide instant translations for hard of hearing individuals for things such as TV programing or students in classrooms. What it takes to be a good court reporter: Good with language – court reporters must have a strong vocabulary and good ear for dialectics and accents. Creative – capturing the spoken word requires the ability to think on your feet and adapt to situations. Many court reporters played a musical instrument when they were young, the memory and finger dexterity skills translates well to court reporting skills. Self-motivated – court reporters often work on their own and must be focused and self-directed. For more information about this exciting career, visit crTakeNote.com. For information on the A to Z Program, a free class that teaches steno theory and provides the opportunity to not only meet working court reporters but also investigate whether this is the career for you, contact Robin Smith at rsmith@glfmllc.com.
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