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Archive for April, 2019

So, You Want to be a Court Reporter

Posted on: April 29th, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments

So You Want to be a Court ReporterThere are few jobs that are more in demand than court reporters right now. There is a major shortage all around the country. Here, CourtScribes will show you the steps. So, you want to be a court reporter? Well, here is what you need to know.


Court reporters, also known as stenographers or shorthand reporters are the professionals that are hired to ensure that all words spoken as well as the gestures of a proceeding are recorded to produce an accurate transcript.


These guardians court records are required to be impartial, reliable, responsible, and they must be properly trained and certified to expertly perform their job.


With outstanding employment and salary potential, it’s no wonder many are pursuing careers in court reporting and stenography. But before you embark on a career as a court reporter, you must complete a comprehensive program in court reporting. You also must satisfy requirements for licensure or certification that is required in many states.


1. Choosing Your Career Path

There are a number of paths you could choose in a career in court reporting. It is important to find a path of interest before beginning a court reporter program.


The International Realtime Court Reporting Institute offers online programs at all levels, from basic and retraining courses in speech-to-text technology to advanced CAT system training in Eclipse Vox.
Although all court reporter programs have the same, basic structure for preparing students for state licensure and/or professional certification, many schools do divide their programs in a number of ways to best prepare students for specific areas of court reporting. Others provide a more comprehensive approach to court reporting.


Some schools provide a wider approach, which allows the students to study in a number of areas within the profession. This includes:


Other programs may separate court reporter programs by:


2. Preparing for the Program

One thing the students have to bite the bullet and do is that they must purchase their own manual stenotype machine. These usually cost between $100 and $250. Most schools don’t endorse paperless writers. They feel it is important that writers learn to read paper notes.


Students are then often required to rent or purchase a model computerized writer for CAT classes. Purchasing a new computerized writer can be very expensive. Like costing upwards of $2,000 expensive. Used models can be purchased for as little as $400. That does offer a little bit of a break. Since the cost is on the high side, many students choose to rent these models. Software for the computerized writers may also cost an additional $100 to $500.


Students need to also be prepared to take entrance exams prior to being accepted into a court reporter program. These exams are usually in typing and English. Students should have a firm grasp of the English language before applying to a court reporter program.


3. Completing the Program

The path to a court reporting career is standard in terms of education. Individuals must complete a recognized court reporting program. Where this education is obtained may differ, as court reporting programs are available in a number of institutions. This ranges from community colleges to dedicated court reporter schools. A court reporting program may result in an associate’s degree or professional diploma or certificate, depending on the institution in which the program is located.


Court reporting programs tend to be quite flexible. Many institutions offer a number of online courses and day and evening classes to accommodate today’s busy lifestyles. Some programs, especially those in dedicated court reporter schools and technical schools even offer combination court reporting programs that include online academics with hands-on speed classes taken on-site.


Because court reporting programs are designed to prepare students to achieve state licensure and/or professional certification, they must contain a similar curriculum. Students must be able to achieve a minimum skills standard for machine shorthand which, according to the National Court Reporters Association, is


Most court reporting programs deal with shorthand. Most specifically, the mastery of it. A minimum accuracy must be achieved in machine shorthand. This is usually 97 percent accuracy. Most programs also require students to achieve a minimum, average grade in both speed-building classes and coursework.


In addition to teaching students the skills through the use of a stenography machine and often computer-aided real-time technology, court reporting programs are designed to provide a comprehensive education in:


4.  Meeting Licensing Requirements

Depending on the state in which one practices their court reporting, a state license may be required. Most states that require licensing either have their own court reporting examinations, which consist of both a written examination and a skill test, and many accept the Certified Verbatim Reporter’s examination (CVR) through the National Verbatim Reporters Association or the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) designation through the National Court Reporters Association in lieu of state exams.

Even states in which no licensing requirements exist, it is common to find many employers seeking the RPR designation, which is the entry-level designation for the National Court Reporters Association.


We here at, know about the shortage of court reporters and how important it is to continue to train those who have an interest in court reporting. The faster you train, the faster you can get going embarking on your new career. Courtrooms are not going anywhere. Why not get certified, get into the courtroom and let your fingers start typing away.

Owner of Stenotype Institute In Jacksonville Sentenced

Posted on: April 22nd, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments

The Stenotype Institute in Jacksonville, Florida.

Gloria Wiley, the former owner of the Stenotype Institute of Jacksonville, located in Jacksonville, Florida was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for her failures to refund federal student aid money. This aid money was commonly referred to as ‘Stafford Loans’ and ‘Pell Grants’.


Wiley plead guilty November 13th, 2018.


The court also ordered Wiley to pay nearly $289,000 in restitution to former students of the Stenotype Institute, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


According to the final judgment signed by Senior U.S. District Judge Harvey Schlesinger, Wiley must pay up to 50 percent of her income, if she works in a federal prison industry, to the clerk of the U.S. District Court.


After being released, she is required to repay the government $300 per month until the reimbursement is satisfied. She actually faced a maximum penalty of up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. So she lucked out.


Wiley, 73, was the owner of Stenotype Institute of Jacksonville Inc., a Jacksonville-based stenography school that opened in 1940. The school provided professional education to students pursuing stenography careers, including court reporting and medical transcription.


The business was authorized to receive federal student aid funds from the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of its students to cover tuition, fees and living expenses. Excess funds drawn on behalf of students were required to be refunded to the U.S. Department of Education or to the student within 45 days.


But starting in June 2015, instead of refunding the excess funds, Wiley and her staff began tracking the amounts owed in a spreadsheet. Meanwhile, Wiley continued to draw funds from the school for personal use which is illegal.


According to court documents, Wiley and the institute held about $290,000 in refunds due to the U.S. Department of Education and to former students, and $9,000 due to the Department of Veterans Affairs, none of which were ever paid.


The Stenotype Institute closed in March 2016, soon after an on-site program inspection by the U.S. Department of Education.


The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Education – Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor.


This is a real shame because there is a dire shortage of court reporters aka stenographers in the United States and especially Florida. These type of schools are sorely needed. When a school like this closes down, everybody loses. Gloria Wiley has truly done a disservice. She is now paying the price.


At we provide the best in videographers and court reporters that you may need to hire. We operate in cities throughout all of Florida (our home base) as well as the whole country. You can go to the website now and contact us to set up a consult and you can learn why CourtScribes is right for you and your transcribing needs. Operators are standing by to take your call.

What Cities Does CourtScribes Service

Posted on: April 15th, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments

courtscribes_logoCourtScribes is the premier stenography and court reporting agency in all of the United States. While the company is based out of Florida, the services are offered all over the states. CourtScribes does everything you need involved in court reporting and getting testimony on the record. CourtScribes not only delivers a complete range of standard court reporting services but also as advanced, high-value services not available from other court reporting companies. In addition to the certified transcript, CourtScribes provides live & on-demand video streaming of trial proceedings for enhanced trial team support. They cover trials, depositions, arbitrations, mediations and hearings. If after reading this so far, you ask yourself what cities does CourtScribes service, then read on.


As far as standard services go, CourtScribes offers daily delivery of transcripts, expedited delivery of transcripts, licensed videographer, as well as interpreters. Advanced services include free professional legal videography, free 24/7 access to your transcripts, exhibits and videos, live streaming at a marginal extra cost, and even video-to-text synchronization.

Free Professional Legal Videography

Videography can be expensive. Typically, even more expensive than court reporting. No matter how complex your case, expect a perfect video record of your proceeding at no additional cost.


Perfection with CourtScribes

CourtScribes understands that it is crucial to create a verbatim record. CourtScribes prides themselves in creating a completely accurate, verbatim transcript no matter how chaotic the environment. With unique and powerful, industry-leading technology, you can expect nothing less than perfection.


Private Online Repository

With CourtScribes’ Private Online Repository, you are able to access all of your transcripts, exhibits and videos no matter where you are located. Whether by phone, tablet, or PC, you can access all of your transcripts, exhibits, and on-demand videos sorted by each individual case.


Although the majority of cities that offer CourtScribes’ services are in Florida, the company home base, other cities all across these United States that CourtScribes offers services in, are the following: Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Coral, Coral Springs, Clearwater, Palm Bay, Fort Myers, Weston, Sarasota, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Stuart, Hollywood, Naples, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Jupiter, Key West, Coral Gables, Maryland, Manhattan, Buffalo, Washington DC, Baltimore, Bowie, Virginia, Frederick, Albany, New York, Brooklyn,  Westchester, Gaithersberg, and Rockville.

Court of Appeals in NY Appoints First-Ever Female State Reporter

Posted on: April 8th, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments

Portrait of Cara Brousseau

We here at like to keep you up-to-date on all of the news and views surrounding the court reporting industry here in the United States. Our blog covers all of the interesting and poignant stories in this industry. This includes important hirings in our industry as well. On Thursday, the Court of Appeals appointed Cara Brousseau to be the first-ever female state reporter for the New York State Law Reporting Bureau. She will succeed William Hooks in the position.


Brousseau will be responsible for the bureau’s operations, including the regular publishing of decisions by the appellate courts and, sometimes, trial courts. She will be responsible for producing more than 17 bound volumes each year.


It’s a position she’s familiar with; Brousseau has been the deputy state reporter at the bureau since February 2017. Before that, she spent nearly two years as the assistant state reporter.


Brousseau has been practicing law for two decades now, after graduating cum laude from Albany Law School in 1999. She was admitted to the New York Bar later that year. She entered the legal community as an associate attorney for Iseman, Cunningham, Riester & Hyde in Albany, where she worked in labor law, civil rights cases and mental hygiene law.


Then she left the firm to clerk for former Court of Appeals Associate Judge Susan Phillips Read. Read served on the high court for twelve years after being appointed in 2003. Brousseau clerked for her during the first four years of her tenure on the bench.


Cara went on to serve as deputy executive director and counsel for the New York State Board of Law Examiners, which administers the bar exam and operates under the Court of Appeals. She oversaw litigation involving the board and supervised candidate misconduct investigations.


She held that position until she became assistant state reporter in April 2015. Brousseau is a past president of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association and a member of the Appellate Division, Third Department Committees on Character and Fitness.


It is good to see women like Brousseau climbing up the ladder. We at are very proud of her, and remind you that if you ever need legal services in court reporting, videography, or interpreters, then please consult us via the website.

Stenographer Shortages Hit Illinois Too

Posted on: April 2nd, 2019 by Sfl Media No Comments
Court reporters

There is a continued need for court reporters has written before about the shortages that have hit the court reporting industry. Well, that trend continues as now the state of Illinois is waving the red flag.


Nicole Kopec, who is the court reporting supervisor in the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Illinois, knows that court reporters in the West-Central Illinois area are stretched thin. She knows this because she travels to various counties to make sure reporters are available when needed. And she’s not the only one.

Kopec sees many court reporters, including herself, traveling across the circuit up to four days a week.


The Eighth Judicial Circuit is meant to have twelve court reporters to notate the events in various criminal and civil cases. Currently, there are seven reporters for the eighth-county circuit because several court reporters have retired and there are no replacements.

Court reporter Shannon Niekamp, who works in the Adams County Courthouse, said her day consists of various court hearings and preparing transcripts.

“I like being busy, so it doesn’t bother me,” Niekamp said. “You get to be in the action (of the courtroom) without doing anything. You’re just a neutral party preserving the record.”

Kopec and Niekamp both heard when they decided to become court reporters that their profession would soon be eliminated with technological advances, but they remain certain that there will always be a need for court reporters.

Niekamp said, “Somebody is always going to have be there to transcribe the record and make sure it’s accurate. There are so many times where the audio — even in this county — where it doesn’t work.”

Kopec once was working during a jury trial when the courthouse lost power.

“I was there, so we got to keep going on with the jury trial,” she said. “And I think any reporter will tell you that what we do is way better quality than anything that you can take off the electronic recording. Attorneys talk over each other. There is no one to tell them to stop or slow down.”

Court reporters test at 225 words per minute. Employed by the state of Illinois, a newly-certified court reporter’s salary starts at about $30,000 and can climb up to $47,000 if they are real-time certified, which is similar to closed captioning on TV. Court reporters also are able to earn extra money for preparing transcripts.

Anyone interested in exploring a career in court reporting can visit the National Court Reporters Association website. It also offers a free introductory course. Training programs are site-based or online, and can be completed in two and a half to four and a half years on average. Illinois allows court reporters who aren’t yet licensed to work for up to a year before they become certified.

“There’s been reporters who have completed it in 19 months,” Kopec said. “It’s possible to do it quick. It’s all up to you.”

As you know from previous articles, this continues to be a problem all around the United States. Luckily, we at have plenty of reporters for your court reporting needs. Contact now to find out what is needed to take advantage of our many services.