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Michigan Court Reporters Could See Per-Page Pay Increase

Posted on: November 18th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

michigan-capitol-buildingMichigan court reporters want to make more money. Who doesn’t, right? They are seeking a wage increase from their current pay rate of $1.75 per original page and 30 cents per copied page.

A House Bill being introduced would double Michigan’s page rate to $3.50 per original page and 75 cents per copy page. The bill was introduced by Representative Hank Vaupel, R-Fowlerville, with bipartisan co-sponsorship by Representative Julie Brixie, D-Meridian Township.

Will They Get the Increase

A court reporter transcribes court hearings for use in civil or criminal court cases, and wages are set by lawmakers. The page rates for Michigan were set in 1986 and they had not changed since that year. Not one penny of an increase.

 

“This is just yet another way that wages are being artificially low in the state of Michigan,” Brixie said. “We have to recognize that working people and working families have to be compensated fairly for the work they do.”

 

Court-hired court reporters are given a salary, and the per-page rate works the same as overtime for traditional industries. But in some cases, courts outsource their transcription work to freelance court reporters, who are only paid the per-page rate.

Court reporters are expected to provide their own health insurance and receive no sick time or vacation time in Michigan.

Court reporters seeking employment elsewhere to earn more income could have a snowball effect within the legal system, as the harder, it is to find eligible court reporters, the harder it is for people to get the justice that they’re seeking.

The bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee. In order to become law, the bill will have to pass the House and the Senate and be signed by the Governor.

CourtScribes.com supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we too are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

 

Texas Court Reporters Work to Preserve Veterans’ Stories

Posted on: November 11th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
texas-flagThroughout the year, court reporters sit down with veterans and interviewers to take down the veterans’ stories, preserving them in the Library of Congress. The Texas Court Reporters Association (TCRA) is hoping to find more veterans and preserve their stories in that library.

TCRA members have been recording veterans’ stories for a few years, but over the last four or five years, they have seen fewer veterans stepping forward to share their experiences.

 

How Does it Work

Congress created the Veterans History Project to preserve veterans’ stories back in 2000. According to the Library of Congress website, anybody who served in the armed forces from World War I to the Iraq War (2003-2011) can share their story and have it saved in the library.

The group organizes the interviews after finding a veteran who is willing to share their story. A court reporter gets in touch with an interviewer and the three of them will find a place for the sit-down interview to take place. Interviews need to be at least 30 minutes long to be submitted to the Library of Congress, according to TCRA President Lorrie Schnoor.

Schnoor admitted it’s hard to get the word out about the project. She said the TCRA has put up flyers in businesses and places that veterans frequent, but getting veterans to come forward is the hardest part.

She stated that many veterans they come in contact with don’t want to relive the experience they had while in the Armed Forces. Schnoor emphasized that due to the shortage of court reporters, organizing an interview with a veteran may take some time. There are currently 2,200 active court reporters in Texas, which Schnoor said is about 500 or more court reporters below where the state should be.

CourtScribes.com supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we too are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

Kansas Court Reporter Dealing With Ethics Violation

Posted on: November 4th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

shawnee-county-kansasSometimes court reporters can overstep their boundaries. It happened in Kansas, as an attorney representing a court reporter who worked the Shawnee County, Kansas murder trial of Dana Chandler conceded Friday his client violated professional ethics by posting to social media personal opinions about the case, but sought leniency from the Kansas Supreme Court in deciding the punishment.

A court reporter named April Shepard admitted to violating a rule requiring court reporters to maintain impartiality toward each participant in all aspects of court proceedings, including a tight-lipped approach to pending cases outside judicial settings.

The State Board of Examiners of Court Reporters recommended that she be publicly reprimanded for the infraction, but Shepard requested the Supreme Court impose a less-severe private reprimand.

 

So What Did Shepard Do

Her offense was in 2016 when she posted to Facebook a series of remarks declaring Chandler guilty in a double-homicide and defending the conduct of prosecutor Jacqie Spradling and Judge Nancy Parrish. The Chandler case was still on appeal at the time. In 2018, the Supreme Court overturned Chandler’s guilty verdicts with an opinion that concluded Spradling engaged in prosecutorial misconduct.

Todd Thompson, who represented the Board of Examiners in oral argument before the Supreme Court, said Shepard directly violated the code of conduct. Shepard said online Spradling didn’t distort facts in the Chandler case, Thompson said, but the Supreme Court found to the contrary.

A public reprimand is appropriate to inform the citizenry of this type of transgression in the legal system and consequences of that unethical behavior, he said.

James Chappas, Shepard’s attorney for the Supreme Court’s disciplinary hearing, said it would be excessive to burden Shepard with a public rebuke. He said it would be unjust for the state to “squash” people in a disciplinary process based on a public need-to-know theory.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss, presiding at his final session of oral argument as a member of the Supreme Court, said even the appearance of partiality by someone involved in the court system sent a troubling message to the public.

What Was the Chandler Case About

Michael Sisco and his fiance Karen Harkness were killed by gunfire in Topeka, Kansas in 2002. Chandler, Sisco’s ex-wife, was arrested in 2011 and charged with first-degree murder. A Shawnee County Kansas jury found her guilty in 2012. Her appeal prompted the Supreme Court’s reversal of the convictions. Chandler remains incarcerated awaiting retrial.

In December, a state board found probable cause to believe Spradling, the former Shawnee County chief deputy district attorney, violated the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct in prosecution of Chandler. He disciplinary case hasn’t ended.

The online comments by Shepard were posted while she engaged in debate about the Chandler case with Keen Umbehr, an attorney who has worked on Chandler’s behalf. Shepard said online she was confident Chandler was guilty because “I was there, I reported that whole case. I saw firsthand this case.” She acknowledged Spradling “pushed a little too far at times” during the trial and defended Parrish, the trial judge.

 

Was She Baited

Chappas, Shepard’s attorney, told justices that Umbehr enticed his client into commenting on the trial in an effort to help Chandler’s cause.

“I think supporters of Miss Chandler purposely baited Miss Shepard to engage in conversations about this particular trial,” Chappas said.

“Your client knew they were public, right?” asked Justice Caleb Stegall.

Justice Dan Biles said the back-and-forth on Facebook proved Shepard took sides on an appellate case before the Supreme Court.

“That’s showing partiality,” Biles said. “She said, I believe Jacqie Spradling. Implicit in that statement is the claim of prosecutorial misconduct is wrong.”

CourtScribes.com supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we too are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

 

Free Introduction to Court Reporting Classes Offered in Illinois

Posted on: October 28th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

As we already know, court reporters, and the transcripts they produce are a support pillar of the court system, but a shortage of licensed court reporters is looming on the horizon. This is a point that CourtScribes.com has written about often.

Tammy Bumgarner, the Director of Court Reporting Services in Springfield, Illinois, says that if something is not done soon to change the course of the profession, there could be a slow down in the court system waiting for a record of proceedings in the state.

Licensed court reporters take a verbatim record in the criminal cases heard in Illinois to ensure that all citizens have equal access to justice, not just for those who can afford to hire a court reporter.

The profession of court reporting has been seeing a decline for the past few decades for many reasons.

Why the Decline

 

The profession is in high demand with many students getting recruited by agencies and the court system before they have even have completed school. Court reporters’ starting salary in Illinois can be from $41,000 to $51,000 per year with benefits and additional transcript income. You do not need to have a college degree to be a court reporter. One just needs to gain enough proficiency on a steno machine to pass the licensing exam.

“There are many trades which are now suffering from the ‘college only’ mentality that’s been preached to kids. That’s causing shortages in professions while simultaneously driving up wages,” said Bumgarner.

 

“The average age of official court reporters in Illinois is 52 years old. One-third of our court reporters are already eligible for retirement, which means we will likely have to replace more than 400 employees in the next 10-15 years, and it’s a scary prospect,” says Bumgarner.

“We need to get creative to figure out how we can get more people to consider this profession. One of those things that we’re doing is offering a free Introduction to Court Reporting class, called First Steps, which will be taught by our court reporters,” Bumgarner says.

 

Classes will be a couple of hours, one day a week, for four weeks. Participants will learn what it takes to be a court reporter, what type of work they can do, be assessed for success in a court reporting program, and be able to get their hands on a steno writer.

With over 20 locations all over the state, there’s likely to be a class offered near you. For more information, visit www.illinoisofficialcourtreporters.com/firststeps

CourtScribes.com supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we too are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

So You Want to Be a Stenographer

Posted on: October 21st, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

So You Want to be a Court ReporterA stenographer, or court reporter, works in a courtroom and transcribes spoken words by typing them into a steno machine. A steno machine is a kind of shorthand typewriter. Having fast and accurate typing skills are vital for a stenographer job. Stenographers must be licensed and certified in addition to passing a special exam.

Important Information

Stenographers are responsible for court and medical transcription as well as live broadcast captioning for the hearing impaired and the elderly. They use shorthand and a steno machine to transcribe information and commit it to the public record. Individuals who work in the court system must be licensed and professionally certified in many states.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the job growth in this field will be faster than average for all occupations through 2028, with the best opportunities for stenographers trained in Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) or those who can go with clients to medical appointments or public meetings to provide transcription services.

 

Career Information

Stenographers are responsible for transcribing exact legal or medical proceedings for the record. Stenographers are employed primarily by courts, because lawyers and court officials need an exact transcript to use during trials. There is no room for error in the stenography profession, and most in the occupation learn to type at 225 words per minute in order to capture entire conversations quickly and accurately.

Each state has different requirements for stenographers, but all states require stenographers to pass examinations to gain their credentials before they are employed in courts. In most cases, individuals must pass a voice writer test with a written portion covering grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Job Duties

Stenographers must learn a special type of shorthand. It is an abbreviated language form that is designed for rapid transcription, to take notes on a steno machine in order to catch each word that is spoken. Once the notes are entered into the machine by the stenographer, they are translated by computer software into English.

The stenographer responsible for recording the proceedings takes the rough transcript and proofreads it before creating a final transcript and committing it to an official record. Stenographers must have a good grasp of legal and medical terminology as well as complete proficiency in the English language to do their jobs to employer standards.

Career Outlook

According to the BLS, the job outlook for stenographers should be slower than the average for all professions. Court reporting was projected to grow by 7% between years 2018-2028. Court reporters with certification were expected to still be in demand, especially in some federal and state courts. Because of growing costs, courts are at times using digital audio recording to replace stenographers, but other markets, such as live captioning for the deaf and elderly, are growing very quickly.

The more efficiently and accurately a stenographer can type, the higher their chances of finding work. Some schools may even offer associate degree programs for stenographers to increase their skills.

CourtScribes.com supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we too are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

Invisibility Leads to Court Reporter Shortages

Posted on: October 14th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

ncra-logoIf you read the blogs at CourtScribes, then you know we have pointed out how many court reporters have recently retired and new court reporters are sorely needed. The National Court Reporters Association estimates a shortage of 5,000 court reporters throughout the United States.

“There will be a crisis point in about a decade if things don’t change,” said Tammy Bumgarner, director of court reporting services for the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. “Right now, the average age of our court reporters in Illinois is 52 years old, and 75 percent are, right now, eligible for retirement. More than 400 court reporters will have to be replaced in the next 10 years.”

A court reporter is the one responsible for making a full stenographic report of the evidence and all other proceedings presented during a trial, a hearing, a deposition or any other legal proceedings. The primary function is to make a verbatim record of all testimony. Sometimes upon request, court reporters can even produce a written transcript of the proceeding. The reporter must be excellent with grammar and spelling. Having an extensive vocabulary, particularly legal, medical and technical terminology is a major benefit as well.

 

What Do the Research & Studies Say

According to an industry outlook study, 5,000 to 5,500 court reporters nationwide will retire over the next several years, creating a huge and steady demand for new professionals entering the field.

The starting salary for a court reporter can vary depending on location, experience, education, certifications and other skills. The average annual pay in 2018 was $68,560, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

The old idea of a court reporter taking notes on a steno pad, or a machine with an endless feed of paper, is long gone. It has been replaced by the modern-day paperless real-time translation technology that displays a spoken word on a computer screen almost as soon as it is said.

A court reporter uses a steno machine (also called a writer), pressing a combination of 22 keys to take down what is being said at a speed of 225 words per minute. Each key represents a phonetic sound, which is translated by the computer program into English words.

 

Why are Electronic Recordings Better

Electronic recordings can be used as a back-up, but the court’s primary concern is to have an accurate record. Court reporters can distinguish between multiple speakers and context of what is being said. Unfortunately these can get lost in audio recordings.

A court reporter is mandated in cases involving adoption, felonies, juveniles, juvenile abuse and neglect, juvenile delinquency, mental health and non-public interviews of children.

What Do You Need to Be a Court Reporter

Forbes has named court reporting as one of the best career options that does not require a traditional four-year degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the court reporting field is expected to grow by 14 percent through the year 2020. The National Court Reporters Association offers a program called “A to Z,” which provides free, six-week trial classes to test a student’s interest.

Few enrollees finish the class and acquire their certificates. Out of a class of 40, one or two will get theirs.

The length of time for certification depends on how driven the person is.

CourtScribes.com supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we too are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

Georgia’s Only Certified Court Reporting College Closing Doors

Posted on: October 7th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

brown-college-court-reportingFor nearly 50 years students at Brown College of Court Reporting (open since 1972) in Atlanta have learned to be the quickest, the best and the most accurate court reporters in the whole country. Grads logged live legal proceedings and even did closed captioning for television.

This week as new students prepared to start their courses, they learned the school was canceling courses for incoming students.

“The director put out an email on Friday that the school would not be accepting any new students and that more information would be forthcoming,” said student Phyillis Watson. Watson is set to graduate soon with stenography and voice writing skills certifications.

Phyillis learned the bad news from friends who had just applied for classes this fall that the school would actually be closing soon.

“Friends started calling current students saying what did you refer me to this school for when they’re going to close,” Phyllis recalled.

 

Why is the School Closing

School leaders said they found out within the last week from the owners in Chicago.

“It literally was short notice,” said Carlette Jennings, the director of admissions at Brown College. “When I learned was literally when our ownership told us about it so they’re not wrong. It was short notice and it’s disappointing. It’s disappointing to all of us.”

They blame the move on low-enrollment, a growing problem with court reporting schools across the country. We have discussed this several times on CourtScribes. Brown currently has about 160 students and it’s the only accredited court reporting school in the whole state.

“I think people have mistakenly decided for themselves that this is no longer a viable career, but you still need someone in charge of the record,” Jennings said. “ We cannot give that over to cameras and microphones. The legal record, the judicial record is too important. You need some human being who is taking care of the equipment, who is proof-reading the record who is making sure everything is correct, verbatim,” she went on.

The National Court Reporter’s Association noted that just five years ago there were 60 approved schools in the United States and Canada. With Brown College’s closing, that number will dwindle down to just 24.

Current students tell us they are concerned, but the school says their classes will continue as planned this year.

New students will get assistance with other schools in other states. School officials say any admission related fees are being refunded. The next closest NCRA-approved schools are in Florida and Alabama.

CourtScribes.com supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we too are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

 

Accused Mollie Tibbetts Killer Cristhian Rivera’s Court Interpreter’s Fees

Posted on: September 30th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Cristhian-Rivera-in-courtIn addition to all of the services that CourtScribes offers, interpreters are one that is sometimes looked over. Well, they do in many languages, and for that reason, we found this story interesting as this was a big story.

Itemization forms have been filed by interpreters of Cristhian Rivera for the costs of their services. Rivera is accused of murdering Mollie Tibbetts, a University of Iowa student, while she was on a run in the city of Brooklyn, Iowa.

 

How Much Was Spent

In July, it was reported that the state of Iowa had paid more than $12,000 to hire an interpreter for Rivera.

The documents stated that Interpreters, Inc. provided the translation services to Rivera. The judge authorized an initial stipend of $8,184 for the services. However, the courts paid $12,485 to Interpreters, Inc. for their services provided up until March 1, 2019.

“For purposes of clarification, it should be noted that [$12,485] is not an additional amount over and above what the Court ordered in its March 1, 2019 Order [$8,184] but rather a total amount for all services provided by Interpreters, Inc. to date,” court documents said.

Services were rendered by a Missouri interpreter for 227 hours.

According to court documents, the standard hourly pay for an oral interpreter is $55.

The state also pays for miles traveled, parking costs and possible other expenses. The travel distance for itemization ranges as far as 100 miles.

Six additional itemization claims have been filed to date. The expenses look as follows:

According to court documents, Rivera had no job. The only monthly payment he recorded was a $270 car payment per month. As a result, the courts found that he was indigent, or poor.

In September 2018, the judge granted Rivera a stipend of $5,000 to hire investigators. In March 2019, he was granted a stipend of $3,200 for an expert. Both costs were “at the public’s expense,” according to court documents

CourtScribes.com supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we too are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

Who is CourtScribes

Posted on: September 23rd, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

courtscribes_videoWe here at CourtScribes want to explain to those reading excatly what we do and how our services work. It is important that one is informed well before making an important choice for their court records and needs. Sensitive information hinges on it.

For starters, CourtScribes uses professional-level recording systems and digitally based technology to create a record of legal proceedings. For years and years, this method has been successful in court reporting in federal, state, and local jurisdictions. The United States Supreme Court uses digital reporting exclusively to capture and preserve historic public records.

CourtScribes is bringing highly sophisticated digital technology into the marketplace to provide the highest quality transcripts. Their court reporting includes two elements:

The electronic court reporter who oversees the process.

The sound recording process itself.

CourtScribes uses computer-based digital systems that perform recording functions that have enhanced features, added convenience, flexibility, and are economical. We offer high-quality video as well.

 

Key features include:

 

 

 

 

CourtScribes.com supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we too are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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 Reporters in High Demand in Champaign

Posted on: September 16th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

champaign_courthouseThis story out of Champaign, Illinois as many there believe that court reporting is a dying industry. But court reporters are saying that it’s quite the opposite, as they’re in seriously high demand right now. And we have many blog posts supporting this right here at CourtScribes.

The profession of court reporting has been seeing a decline for the past few decades.

“When I first started working 20 years ago, as far as active reporter licenses, (there were) 3,000 (people), and now we are looking at 1,700 active and 500 of those work for the state already,” said court reporter Melissa Clagg.

Many misinformed people believe that in order to be a court reporter, one needs to have a college degree, but that’s far from the truth.

“It’s basically a vocational profession. You don’t need a four-year degree,” said Clagg.

With the shortage can come a price. There could be slowdowns in the court system waiting for a record of proceedings.

The average age of court reporter(s) is 52 years old. They are getting ready or preparing for retirement. The average age of court reporters in Illinois is 52 years old, which means many are eligible for retirement.

In this case, take the Champaign Courthouse. They have seven court reporters and three of those are eligible for retirement.

“They can decide to retire at any time and we don’t have anyone to fill their shoes,” said Clagg.

So Tammy Bumgarner came up with First Steps. It’s an introductory course to teach people about court reporting and how to get a license. It is a great “step” to getting people informed and interested.

One of those courses will be held at the Champaign Public Library on both Wednesday and Saturday for 4 weeks. They have about 20 locations all over the state.

CourtScribes.com supports all states and programs that aid in the court reporting world, and we too are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

Illinois State Grad a ‘Rising Star’ in World of Court Reporting

Posted on: September 9th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

isaiah_robertsIsaiah Roberts laughs when he people say it, but he still remains humble and proud when people call him “a rising star in the court reporting world.”

Roberts, 25, likely would be a rising star in any world he entered. For now, though, he is more than satisfied. All the more so when you know that this wasn’t his first career choice.

Roberts’ mother was a court reporter in LaSalle and McLean counties, so the young Roberts always had a fascination with the legal system.

“I went to school and got my undergrad in marketing,” he said, overlooking he was 15 when he entered Illinois State University and was the school’s youngest graduate at 19 with a bachelor’s degree. “My plan was always to go to law school. I love the law and was determined that was what I wanted to do.”

But during his last semester, as he was applying to law schools, he looked at the number of lawyers entering the workforce and wondered if the profession was becoming oversaturated.

 

What Changed for Roberts

So Roberts took a closer look at his mom’s career.

“I realized that maybe I had overlooked that,” he said. “It had many of the things I was looking for, such as being interesting, dealing with the law and, in addition, there was a high demand for workers.”

Some 2 1/2 years later, just a month after his mother retired, he passed the state certification test and began working at the McLean County Law and Justice Center.

“I think I actually took her job,” he said, “but I love it.”

 

What Now  For Mr. Roberts

Now living in Chicago, Roberts is in demand for higher profile depositions and trials. He frequently travels across the country for work. Last week, he was one of the keynote speakers at the Illinois Court Reporters Association convention in Springfield, Illinois.

“He is really amazing,” said Tammy Bumgarner, director of court reporting services for the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. “It’s not a fluke that he is a rising star in this industry.”

Roberts enjoys the challenge of focusing on his task, but also following closely the complex and difficult trials. Roberts was the court reporter for one of the hearings for Don Whalen, whose murder conviction was overturned last year.

“I (had) just finished an hour of court reporting and the secretary asked me the witness’s name, but I couldn’t recall it off the top of my head, because when you are working, you are just focused on what is being said so much,” he said.

Almost 90 percent of all court reporters are women, but Roberts knows that men can do the job, too, and do it well.

“I love my job but I get to travel, I do some captioning — which is live captioning for live television shows — and I wish people would know about all of the opportunities there are for court reporters,” he said. “It frustrates me that we have a shortage of reporters. People have the wrong idea that it is going to be replaced by audio recordings, but I don’t see that happening. There are so many parts of this industry that are growing.”

CourtScribes.com like Mr. Roberts, is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

 

Top Manhattan Court Reporter Sues to Get His Job Back

Posted on: September 2nd, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

manhattan_courthouseA former top stenographer for Manhattan (New York) civil courts claims he was wrongly fired. And that same Manhattan court reporter sues to get his state job back. John Phelps is claiming in a new suit against the New York state court system that some of his alleged misconduct had been authorized by Manhattan’s chief clerk.

 

What Happened to Phelps

Phelps oversaw a team of roughly 60 people who create the official records of trials, arguments and other matters at four state courthouses, said the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. Phelps’ suit against the New York State Unified Court System is seeking reinstatement of his job as a court reporter.

According to the court documents, some colleagues testified in Phelps’ defense and spoke highly of him, but other witnesses said he did little actual supervising and took home tens of thousands of dollars a year by disregarding the part of his job description that said he should only “rarely” transcribe proceedings.

 

What Was Said in the Courts

According to the judicial hearing decision, Phelps was chronically late, delegated much of his administrative work to a “deputy” and picked simple reporting jobs for himself. He also “borrowed” thousands of dollars from an account meant to buy gifts for judges and his staff and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor petty theft in connection with his use of that money.

 

“As one who has devoted over half a century to public service, it is not easy to recommend the termination of employment of another public servant,” said Joseph Fisch, a retired judge who heard the court’s case against Phelps. “But I cannot faithfully discharge my responsibility by failing to take notice of the portrait of the respondent that emerged after the evidence presented to me.”

 

Fisch wrote that Phelps was a “bully” who threatened to fire employees who crossed him.

Phelps argued that he had a clean record in his two decades as a court reporter, saying in his lawsuit that the court system crossed the line by firing him. He produced an email from early in his tenure as principal court reporter where John Werner, the recently retired chief clerk of the Manhattan Supreme Court Civil Term, told him it would be “no problem” for him to work with referees or take daily assignments from judges.

And Phelps also said he reimbursed the gift account or shelled out from his own pocket to buy gifts that used to be paid by the fund. He said he pleaded to petty larceny and took a sentence of 10 days’ community service and some $2,500 in restitution to avoid a felony charge.

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

The National Court Reporters Association Annual Expo in Denver

Posted on: August 26th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

NCRA_convention29 men and women filled the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver representing the cream of the court reporting crop. They descended on the Mile High City for the annual National Court Reporters Association Convention and Expo, where contestants are competing for the chance to be crowned the fastest and most accurate reporters and captioners in the country.

 

This is basically the Olympics of court reporting.

 

Who are the Participants?

Most know court reporters from movies or TV shows as the silent, robotic human that sits at a steno machine without so much as a smile or smirk and types away indiscriminately.

“People think we’re robots,” said court reporter Amanda Maze, “We’re not!”

And while the name of the role suggests court duties only, the profession extends far beyond depositions and preliminary hearings. Music festivals, TV, movies and more need closed captioning for performances. Sports broadcasts need someone to keep up with the announcers for its telecasts.

And guess what…none of it requires a college degree.

 

“People have no idea what a great job it is,” says a court reporter from Illinois and contest chair for the competition. “You can travel. You can have a great government job. You can stay home. There are so many possibilities.”

 

What do the Contestants Have to Say?

Court reporting is not typing, contrary to popular belief. It’s really learning a language.

Stenography machines look like laptops with smaller screens. They feature keyboards with long, piano-like keys without any letters of numbers. To keep up with the speed of human speech, reporters write in their own shorthand, combining different keys to produce words and phrases. They can also program keys to write common words that can be used with just one keystroke.

While these skills are mostly used in courtrooms and in boardrooms, veteran court reporters and captioners relish the ability to compete against one another on steno’s biggest stage: the National Speed and Realtime competitions.

Court reporters are usually grammar buffs and detail nuts with unnerving concentration. The best of them just let their fingers fly, a rhythm so familiar it’s like breathing or blinking.

“If you’re thinking,” Maze said, “you’ve already lost.”

 

The Competition 

In the speed contest, the contestants raced to complete three, five-minute sessions, that gradually escalate in speed and difficulty. Afterward, they’re allowed to clean up their transcriptions, and the person with the most accurate account takes home the gold.

And it’s all done in complete silence. Organizers gathered all cellphones and watches to prevent any distractions. One court reporter made sure that everyone had their Wi-Fi turned off.

Participants kept their stenos on black tripods, hoisted up to their waists. The computer voice launched into the third and final test, a rapid-fire sequence of questions and answers from a lawyer to a DNA expert. The speed: 280 words per minute.

The good news is that steno keys are virtually silent, unlike computer keyboards.

Many of the participants said the tight-knit court reporter community is what brought them to Denver. It wasn’t just about winning a medal. They come together as a fraternity that from our previous posts are “the last of a dying breed”.

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

New York State Dealing With Court Stenographer Shortages

Posted on: August 19th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

stenographyNews out of Albany, New York shows that across the country officials are looking to recruit young professionals to be court stenographers. This effort comes as big changes are being made to the justice system in New York state. We in the stenographer community tip our hat to New York as they are dealing with the court stenographer shortages.

“There’s going to be a lot of opportunity in the near future as we continue to lose people to retirement,” said John Keller, Principal Court Reporter for the 3rd judicial district of New York.

There are other factors that have led to the shortages like the development of digital recorders and a nearly 85 percent dropout rate in court reporting instructional programs.

Stenographers in many local courts have been covering for each other when the courts are short-staffed. But soon enough even that will become a problem. Especially because legislative changes taking effect, like the Raise the Age and the Child Victims Act, will likely increase caseloads.

 

What are the Courts Looking to Do

That’s why court officials are looking to implement new programs to recruit young professionals, like Steno A to Z, among others.

“The [New York State] Unified Court System and the Office of Court Administration is reaching out to BOCES programs and small community colleges to try to spark an interest in them starting programs,” John Keller said. “Because it really is an exciting field to get into. It’s very rewarding. It’s rewarding personally, professionally and financially as well.”

The average salary for a court reporter is not bad at all. It is about $57,000 a year. The top 10 percent of earners bring in about a very healthy $100,000 per year.

“If you’re a patient person and you can stay focused for a very long time that’s basically is what’s required especially when you’re in a courtroom all day long and it’s your responsibility to take every word down verbatim, word for word everything that is said in the courtroom,” Keller said.

You can learn more about the Steno A to Z program here.

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.

There Is No Substitute for a Real Live Court Reporter

Posted on: August 12th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
court reporters

There’s still a place for courtroom stenography in the technological revolution by court reporting agency CourtScribes.

The facts are, that a trained court reporter (not court recorder) can produce a realtime verbatim transcript of proceedings with 99% accuracy. This would be in real-time, immediately, as the proceedings are occurring.

This article is a commentary from a court reporter who is well aware of the shortages in the field, as well as the new rise in digital court reporting.

When reading about artificial intelligence being used, digital recordings of proceedings, it is so fulfilling when we see how attorneys hate it, cannot rely on it, and are telling their agencies “Do not send a recorder!  Send a real, live, skilled court reporter!” They request this, because court reporters are the gold standard of creating a record.

 

Questions to Be Asked

Does the field of court reporting/court stenography need more reporters? Of course, it does!

“Given appropriate management and supervision, electronic sound recording can provide an accurate record of United States district court proceedings at reduced costs, without delay or interruption and provide the basis for accurate and timely, transcript delivery.”

A trained court reporter can produce a realtime verbatim transcript of proceedings with 99% accuracy. That is in realtime, instantaneously, immediately, as the proceedings are occurring. When providing realtime services, a court reporter streams their recording of the proceedings directly to a user’s laptop, desktop, iPad, tablet or smartphone. Artificial intelligence, while useful in many applications, just cannot stand up to the output a realtime reporter can produce.

Try This Experiment

Here is an experiment. Speak into your smartphone, Alexa, Siri or other voice-to-text application in a normal, conversational cadence. See how frustrating it can be?

Now try doing that at speeds of up to 225 words per minute and see how disastrous it will be. Now throw in technical jargon, whether it be medical, industrial, etc. and the transcript would not be completely unusable if it was voice recorded only.

Before leaving school, a court reporting student must be able to write 225 words per minute. So they must be fast. Additionally, a court reporter is always present in the room and can clarify any discrepancies, inaudible words, phrases and adds priceless human interaction with the attorneys, witnesses, judges; whoever is part of the record. You just can’t get that from a recording device.

Court reporting has long been an intriguing but little-known profession. State associations are becoming more involved in recruitment, in educating the public on the field, and in educating reporters.

New court reporting programs are starting in various parts of the country. We are at a renaissance time period for court reporting. The public at large is becoming more educated about the field.

Upon passing the exam and obtaining one year of court reporting experience reporters are eligible for appointment to a permanent position from the many and various employment opportunities available as an official court reporter.

Burglary Conviction Overturned Due to Stenographer Errors

Posted on: August 5th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

victor_grimesA man serving a seven-year prison sentence for a burglary in Byron, NY was granted a new trial because of errors made when a court stenographer was unable to transcribe the final day of the man’s trial in 2016. We have posted about this before on CourtScribes regarding the difficulty some have had understanding African-American vernacular.

It is now the third time this year that a stenographer has caused problems for Genesee County Court cases.

Victor J. Grimes, 29, was convicted of second-degree burglary after a jury trial in 2016. He was sentenced in August of that year to a seven-year prison term because he was a second felony offender.

Grimes appealed the conviction and the sentence.

And with that, the state Appellate Division, Fourth Department unanimously reversed Grimes’ conviction and granted him a new trial.

The court ruled that an “absence of record proof” on the final day of the trial led to the reversal.

The situation revolved around two notes the jury handed to the judge during deliberations.

The court ruled that “Here the stenographer was unable to transcribe the final day of the trial that included County Court’s handling of the jury notes due to an error that rendered the subject electronic stenographic notes unrecoverable, and a reconstruction hearing failed to establish the court’s on-the-record handling of those notes.”

The court did reject other claims made by Grimes’ appeals attorney, including that the verdict was against the weight of evidence and that the sentence was unduly harsh and severe.

Grimes, who had a long criminal history, including convictions for dealing drugs, was accused of entering a house on Cockram Road in Byron in May 2013. He was arrested and charged with burglary two years later.

Grimes has been in prison since August 2016 and his earliest release date was February 2022.

It will be up to the District Attorney’s Office to decide whether the case should go to trial again or whether an agreement can be worked out with Grimes.

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

St. Louis Launching Court Reporter Program in Response to Shortages

Posted on: July 29th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

st_charles_community_collegeWe have reported on this over and over on this site. And it still seems like there is no end in sight of court reporter shortages in America.

So to highlight another area where this is occurring, there is a growing shortage in the St. Louis, Missouri, area courtrooms that could have judges and attorney’s delaying or even redoing court proceedings.

They need more court reporters!

The Civil Courthouse in downtown St. Louis has dozens of court cases on the docket daily.

Jennifer Dunn is an official court reporter for the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court. She has written several transcripts for big cases including former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens trial, the Johnson and Johnson case and hundreds of murder cases. She has an opinion on the situation.

“It is the responsibly of taking every word spoken in a legal proceeding down verbatim,” said Dunn.

Dunn uses a stenography machine, creating word-for-word transcripts-at least 225 words a minute. She’s been a court reporter for 25 years.

Without Dunn or other court reporters, there would be no official record of what went on in court.

“We definitely have a shortage not only locally, but nationwide,” said Dunn. “It’s the uniqueness of the profession, I think a lot of people don’t know a lot about what we do as a court reporter.”

Recently, many schools have stopped offering court-reporting programs altogether.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in the year 2016, more than 17,000 people were working as court reporters in the United States. That number dropped to 18 percent as of May 2018, to about 14,500. This is a pretty significant drop-off.

“So the record is really, really important,” said Cindy Taylor, a St. Charles County court reporter. “Especially for the people appealing. They need their transcripts. If it’s not there, it’s not there. So a reporter to be there is essential.”

The need is so dire, St. Charles Community College will offer a court reporter program in August. The program is an intense 22-month high-demand class where instructors prepare students to take the Missouri state court reporter certification test.

Nationally, many courts have tried to deal with the court reporter shortage using other methods including digital recordings, but quickly learned they didn’t give an accurate record. We have discussed the pros and cons of both in previous posts.

Taylor says the challenge comes as many current court reporters are set to retire soon and there aren’t any applicants to fill spots.

Currently, at the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court, there are three openings, with very few people applying.

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

Turkish Keyboarder Wins Italy Tournament

Posted on: July 22nd, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

celal_askinA Turkish group of keyboarders on July 19th, 2019, won the top awards at an international keyboarding championship that was held in Italy.

Celal Aşkın broke his own record in the text production category for seniors and won a gold medal by typing 156 words a minute.

Organized by Intersteno, the International Federation for Information and Communication Processing, the championships were held from July 13th-19th in Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia. An island right off of Italy.

İlyas Pamukçu won second place in the text production category for juniors by typing 117 words a minute, while Mehmet Kurt won third place with 113 words.

Hakan Kurt won world championship award in the shorthand and Speech Capturing category for seniors with 321 words a minute, while Celal Aşkın got second-place honors with 320 words. Pretty amazing stuff. These guys are good.

Onur Demirbaş also won the world championship in the real-time transcription category for pupils, while Celal Askin won second place for seniors and Hakan Kurt got third place, and İlyas Pamukçu won third place for juniors.

Celal Aşkın also won third place in a combination list for seniors.

Seçkin Köse, head of the Turkish group, said this year the national team raised its gold medal tally from 94 to 97, including 39 world records.

Intersteno is a non-profit founded in 1887 to celebrate 300 years of modern stenography.

Wow! We can certainly use guys like this at CourtScribes. They are fast!

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

Are Court Stenographers on Their Way Out

Posted on: July 15th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

As technology continues to improve daily, and it does continue rapidly to do so, there has been a concern regarding how much its advancement may cost people their jobs in the future. Now, we have entered an era where not only basic audio recordings, but also voice-to-text translations have become widely available, officials have started to wonder, “Are court reporters still needed in the courtroom…are stenographers on their way out?

And while the idea may strike fear to many, it’s not something that can be ignored. It’s an important discussion. The same way the steam engine has completely revolutionized the way people travel. Similar questions have been raised, like whether e-books will replace printed materials. As new technologies are adopted, is there a need to be worried about the livelihoods of people such as court reporters?

Some States are Changing

This shift has been happening a lot in recent years. Massachusetts, among other states, have actually discontinued the employment of official court reporters in the Supreme Court since June 30, 2018. Instead, a court monitor or a freelance court reporter oversees an electronic recording. This change is a clear indication of the move towards human-less interaction.

Presence of Transcript Errors

There have been incidents of transcript errors found on electronic proceedings, and investigations have been conducted in order to pinpoint the cause. Among the errors, they include machines suddenly turning off during proceedings (which cause missed testimonies), incomplete testimonies, and large portions of proceedings not being captured properly.

This being said, it’s clear how machines can be unreliable during important moments. All the more important, when it is in the case of a recording a court proceeding. But, it’s not only about technical difficulties. Machines, unlike humans, are incapable of politely interrupting in order to clarify misunderstood or misspoken words. A stenographer aka court reporter can do so. That is a major difference. It’s difficult to predict how much the technology will improve over the years. But, it’s apparent that current technology is still very limited, and factors such as background noise, low audio, or unclear speech may cause inconsistencies in the court transcripts.

So What is the Future

Human intervention is a highly important aspect of effective court reporting. This is one thing that the courts can’t do without in order to come up with accurate transcriptions. A court reporter has a huge contribution to the overall quality of work, and they’re not only responsible for actions inside the courtroom. Other tasks include preparing transcripts, making sure the printed transcripts are accurate, arranging the schedules of trials and other court proceedings, filing completed court transcripts with the county clerk, and even performing clerk duties such as the maintenance of law libraries, among others.

So, are court reporters on their way out? While there have been significant changes in the current court setup, court reporters are far from being “phased out.” At least to this point. But the tides are turning and technology is not going away. The technology at present, while useful, is still widely unreliable, and inaccuracies can be detrimental to any court proceeding. However, it’s still interesting to witness how much the industry is changing and progressing.

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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 Reporters Themselves See Stenographer Shortages Ahead

Posted on: July 8th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
Court Reporting StenographWe keep reporting here at CourtScribes.com about the shortages in the court reporting industry. There does not seem to be an end in sight if the enrollment into programs does not increase. Even court reporters themselves see the stenographer shortages ahead. So what can be done?

One issue is that television advertisements for schools & programs have become less common and schools that teach stenography, like Winter Park Tech in Florida, have shut down in recent years. It also does not help that awareness of the profession has greatly declined. This has obviously led to a shortage of young professionals entering the industry.

So What Can Be Done

“The average age of a court reporter right now is 56 years old.”

Let that sink in. What that means, is that as those folks retire in the next five to ten years, the shortage will get deeper if young people are not enrolling.

“Keep in mind that stenographers not only provide transcripts for court proceedings but also live captioning during television broadcasts and even college lectures”, said Rosa Naccarato, government relations chair for the Florida Court Reporters Association.

Chief Judge Frederick Lauten of the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida said the looming shortage has spared Central Florida courts so far.

“We just haven’t faced it yet,” he said.

 

Stenographers are Important

But the shortage of stenographers has been long anticipated. Back in 2013, the National Court Reporters Association commissioned an independent research group to study the industry and make predictions on its future demands.

In the study, known within the industry as the Ducker Report, researchers determined that by 2018 (which has clearly passed) a lack of student enrollment rates “combined with significant retirement rates,” would create a shortage of about 5,500 court reporters nationwide.

The drop in enrollment has led to schools closing, including two in Central Florida. Now, the only stenographic reporting programs in the state are in South Florida, though students can take classes online. Other major hurdles are that student failure rates are high, and so is the cost of equipment and schooling.

Stenography is a Valuable Skill

Stenography is a skill akin to learning piano. It is not easy or for everybody. In some programs, only 4% of students who enter actually graduate. The program itself can take between two to eight years to finish, and tuition can cost more than $10,000 per year.

It is even fair to say that stenography is like a combination of learning a foreign language and a musical instrument at the same time.

However, steno is a lucrative career, and those in the industry say a job is basically guaranteed (those shortages) upon completion of training. Recently graduated stenographers typically start with salaries in the low $40,000 range, but can eventually make upward of $150,000. Because most stenographers are independent contractors, income is based on how much work a reporter takes on. That means there is independence as well. In reality, you are your own boss.

 

Automation in Stenography

Like many trade occupations, automation has made its way into this industry as well. In court reporting, digital reporters have replaced stenographers for many routine legal proceedings. They set up microphones in a courtroom, then transcribe the recordings later. Seems unfair in a way, doesn’t it?

Training for this is minimal. Just about four weeks of training to do this.

While digital reporters help by freeing up stenographers for more complex legal work, transcriptions can take three to five times longer for a digital reporter and often contain more errors. This is not a help but a hindrance. If the work has to be corrected or double & triple checked than is it worth it?

As courts continue to see a shortage in stenographers, forcing digital reporters to cover more high-profile proceedings, the quality of the record will deteriorate.

Orange and Osceola County courts will actually reserve stenographers for lengthy, high-profile hearings, which indicates the high quality of their work.

Occasionally, transcripts from digital reporters come back indicating a word or sentence was inaudible, which rarely happens with stenographers. Since they are writing the record as it unfolds, they can ask someone to repeat a word, or move closer to their microphone. They can be interactive whereas a recorder just sits and records.

The National Court Reporters Association has a program called “A to Z,” which offers students free, six-week trial classes to test their interest in the profession. This is a great way to test the waters.

Students who decide to pursue the job can get tuition assistance and mentorship through Project Steno, which focuses on student outreach and enrollment.

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

This blog page, as well as the rest of this really exceptional website was designed by Dependable Website Management. If you think this website looks good and has been informative, don’t hesitate to click the link and take a look at what Dependable Website Management has to offer in the way of web development, social media marketing & management, web hosting, directory management and much more. DWM does amazing work, provides excellent customer service and has a team with over 50 years of combined web development, SEO, SEM and internet marketing experience.

 

Grand Jury Indictment Dismissed After Stenographer Speaks with Grand Jurors

Posted on: July 1st, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Court reporters

99% of the time court reporters have a positive impact on a courtroom and trial. They do their jobs and do them well. But very rarely, there can be a negative impact. In New York, a Grand Jury indictment was dismissed after a courtroom stenographer spoke with grand jurors during the trial.

For the second time this year, the actions of a stenographer in the Grand Jury room is causing difficulties for District Attorney Lawrence Friedman in the Genesee County Courtroom. This caused the DA to seek that the Grand Jury indictment be dismissed after the stenographer spoke with Grand Jurors.

Friedman moved to have a sealed indictment on burglary, trespassing, and forgery charges dismissed because a stenographer spoke to grand jurors about the case while the prosecutor was out of the room!

 

What Happens Now

Friedman must now have a new grand jury hear the case against defendant Malik Ayala at a later date.

Ayala was in court today to deal with matters related to his pending case of criminal possession of stolen property. He was also arraigned on these new charges from the sealed indictment.

The counts in the indictment were burglary, criminal possession of stolen property, and forgery.

After the charges were read, Friedman made a motion to dismiss the indictment because a court stenographer had jeopardized the integrity of the proceeding.

Freidman said he had previously informed the Public Defender representing Ayala, that he would move to have the indictment dismissed. But with the court’s permission, he wanted to resubmit the case to a grand jury.

He gave the defender a choice. You can present it to the current grand jury, which is the one that heard the case the first time, or wait for a new grand jury to be empaneled. They asked that the case be presented to a new grand jury.

 

The Details

This has happened before as noted. In March, Friedman revealed during a previous court proceeding that a stenographer had been using an audio recording device on her machine to record grand jury proceedings.

Friedman was not immediately available for questions, so it is not known if it is the same or a different stenographer.

Ayala was arrested in November along with his brother after the two men were stopped in a car that had pulled into the driveway of County Manager Jay Gsell where they reportedly tried to dispose of a handgun.

During today’s proceedings, the Judge told Ayala that he had been informed that Ayala had violated the terms of his release-under-supervision contract. He said that Ayala is accused of testing positive for marijuana and alcohol consumption May 7th and May 14th, and for marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol May 28th, and that he was arrested on a petit larceny charge June 7th.

Ayala’s status could change when and if a new grand jury indictment is returned.

One can be assured that the court reporters and stenographers at CourtScribes would never make this mistake. But you already knew that. CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

What to Ask When Hiring a Court Reporter

Posted on: June 24th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

So You Want to be a Court ReporterMore times than not, law firms give very little thought to the court reporting firm they will use in litigation. They assume all firms have court reporters who are similarly trained and experienced. Sometimes they stick with a court reporting service they have traditionally used without assessing whether the reporters are meeting the law firm’s needs in the most effective way. These law firms may be doing themselves and their clients a disservice. This blog post will examine what to ask when hiring a court reporter.

Choosing a highly experienced court reporter can make the deposition process easier, ensure the accuracy and integrity of the record, decrease the stress on your legal team and clients, and save time and money for all involved.

When choosing the right court reporting firm to support depositions, it will help to ask the following questions about the company’s reporters.

Is the Court Reporter Confident & Professional?

It is important that a court reporter presents themselves in a secure and professional manner throughout an entire deposition. This involves showing up on time for court and turning transcripts around in a prompt manner. While this is important, it is even more important, critical even, for the accuracy of the record that your court reporter is assertive and in control of the deposition.

For example:

As an officer of the court, court reporters have a duty to ensure the accuracy of the record. That accuracy of the reporter’s work can have an impact on issues as important as settlement negotiations and examination and cross-examination of witnesses. It is critical that attorneys use professional, and experienced court reporters for their depositions.

 

Has the Reporter Deposed in Highly Technical Litigation?

Many law firms who regularly use court reporting services handle complex litigation and having the right court reporter can be invaluable. Cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical malpractice, mass torts, intellectual property, or similar issues will involve highly technical terminology. The court reporter should be familiar. This helps ensure a complete and accurate record that you can rely on in the event of a trial or an appeal.

Does the Reporter Have Access to Tech That Improves the Deposition Experience?

Court reporting firms have access to many types of technology that can increase the convenience and reliability of the deposition process. The tools a high-quality court reporting firm should provide include:

If law firms want to maximize efficiency, they should make sure to choose a full-service court reporting firm. Seek a court reporting service that provides not only top-notch reporters but also the full-service assistance you need for a successful deposition.

 

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

What is a Court Reporter

Posted on: June 17th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

legal.booksThere are many professions that simply do not get the spotlight that they deserve. We know that we need talented doctors, dentists, and teachers. But there are other professionals who have amazing skills in essential positions. A court reporting career showcases those with those amazing skills.

Along with the more celebrated lawyers and paralegals, court reporters are the lifeblood of the legal discovery and depositions business. The role of a court reporter is essential to the legal process. It is quite amazing that it isn’t marketed enough to young adults when choosing their career path. This article should shed a light on the basics of court reporting and the court reporter career outlook. And maybe this will inspire and locate the talent to pursue this career, or encourage another excellent fit.

 

What is a Court Reporter

A court reporter, sometimes known as a stenographer or shorthand reporter, transcribes the spoken word/testimony at court hearings, depositions, trials, arbitrations, or other official proceedings. While there are several types of tools and technology used to make the record, the primary method today is a steno machine, a word processor with a modified 22-button keyboard, upon which words are “written” phonetically.

A certified court reporter must be able to write at, minimally, a 95% accuracy rate at 225 words per minute. This is no simple task. Higher level certifications require rates of up to 260 words per minute. Elite court reporters even offer a service known as “realtime”, where their record is streamed, obviously in real time to laptops and tablets in the room.

Often court reporters take work outside the courtroom. One of the most common gigs is captioning services for radio and TV broadcasts for the hearing-impaired. Court reporters working in closed captioning often also provide realtime captioning for corporate events, live concerts, sporting events, and conventions.

 

Why are Court Reporters Important

Court reporters are an integral part of the legal process. They are responsible for preparing and recording verbatim the transcripts of proceedings to be used by the litigants, the attorneys, and the judges. Court reporters also serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities by providing realtime captions for live television programs, as well as one-on-one personalized services in educational and public environments.

 

How Long is the Court Reporting Program

Typically, a court reporting school is a two or three year program. It can take up to three to five years to complete the court reporter training. It is highly dependent on the amount of effort put into developing the skill set to become a reporter.

Check out the list of certified schools and programs on file with the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) to find the right fit for you!

 

 

 

Is Certification Required

In some states, certification is required. The most recognized certifications are those offered through the NCRA. The entry-level Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) requires passing a skills test with 95% accuracy at 225 words per minute. There is also the advanced Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) certification, which requires 95% accuracy at 260 words per minute. A higher standard and accreditation. According to the NCRA, the highest level of certification available is the Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR). The Diplomate Reporter differentiates the advanced, veteran reporters as the elite in the profession.

 

What Personality Traits Should Court Reporters Possess

 

How Much Can a Court Reporter Make

Just as anything else in life, what you get out of something depends on what sort of effort you put into it! Court reporting is no different. Salaries can range depending on one’s situation. Many reporters work as independent contractors at their own pace, taking jobs to match their lifestyle. Other reporters work in fulltime positions within the court system. It is about choosing what is best for you.

As of April 2019, the average annual salary for a court reporter was $56,000+. Reporters who have invested in continuing education, advanced certification, and cutting-edge technology typically earn $100,000+.

 

What Types of Court Reporters are There

It is important to remember that there are different types of jobs for those who master the skills required to become a court reporter.

freelance court reporter is an independent contractor, or one who works for one or more court reporting agencies. Their work primarily consists of recording testimony taken in the discovery phase of a case (depositions), as well as meetings, arbitrations, and hearings.

An official court reporter is typically hired by a court system and works inside the courtroom. These reporters are generally full-time employees of the court and work regular hours.

 

What is the Court Reporting Career Outlook

In a word: Strong!

There is a critical shortage of stenographic reporters across the nation. In 2013, the NCRA commissioned a report on the impact of the shortage in the industry. The Court Reporting Industry Outlook Report, concluded that the demand for court reporters would exceed the supply within five years (2018).

Nationwide an additional 5,500 stenographic reporters would be needed to fill the void. The profession fell drastically short on meeting demand and many stenographic schools closed. This resulted in fewer enrollees, and fewer professionals entering the field. These numbers also didn’t consider the number that have and will continue to retire.

Due to the necessity of court reporters in legal proceedings, it’s a profession that is at its prime to enter. Larger metropolitan areas are in desperate need for new professionals. Agencies will often move you to locations with more jobs than you could ever hope to cover. The areas that are seeing the greatest demand for new reporters are California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and Washington, D.C.

There has long been speculation that technology will take over the court reporter’s job. Many courts and court reporting agencies are implementing new technology, such as digital reporters, to fill the deficit of stenographic reporters.

The problem though, is that these new technologies are unable to provide many elite services that experienced stenographic reporters deliver, such as real-time. Stenographic reporters are, and will be, an essential piece in the legal landscape. The profession is here to stay and joining now can provide you with a fascinating career for the rest of your life.

So what are you waiting for. Sign up for a class now.

What is Digital Court Reporting

Posted on: June 10th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
court reporters

There needs to be a balance between traditional court reporting and new technologies.

When it comes to court reporting, people are most familiar with seeing the lady typing on the weird typewriter and going very fast to keep up with the testimony being given. What they may not know is that she is using a special stenographer’s tool that shortens the words for speed purposes. Well, it was only a matter of time that technology would catch up in the court reporting industry as well. That is why you are starting to see the proliferation of digital court reporting. So that does beg the question, what is digital court reporting?

What is Digital Court Reporting

Digital court reporting is a newcomer to the field of court reporting. This new form of court reporting did not come on the scene without scrutiny. Traditional stenographers argue that accuracy and quality are compromised when digital reporting takes place. Nevertheless, this type of court reporting is gaining popularity in courtrooms across America.

A big reason for this, as we have blogged about many times on the CourtScribes.com website, is that there is a serious shortage of stenographers as well as a shortage of those going to school to learn stenography.

Digital court reporting, also referred to as electronic court reporting, has made its way into a number of courtrooms across the United States, thanks to advancements in digital recording. Digital reporting involves using high-quality digital recording equipment. This typically includes a number of strategically placed microphones and video recorders throughout the courtroom. All of which is generally hardwired, which means the initial investment is rather significant.

Beyond the initial investment, digital court reporting equipment needs to be maintained and updated. A dedicated professional (a digital court reporter) must always oversee the recording process.

Unlike traditional stenographers, who enter the proceedings using shorthand and into a stenotype machine, digital court reporters usually have a much different set of qualifications and skills. Oddly enough, digital court reporters have no need to learn shorthand and the stenotype machine. Isn’t that a game changer?

Instead, they are responsible for taking notes during the proceedings and creating a log note of speaker identification and keywords, which serve as a general outline of the digital recording.

What digital court reporters must possess though, is an understanding of the digital recording system and its maintenance, upkeep, and operation.  They must have knowledge and training in digital court recording software, and they must also be capable of providing litigation support when needed.

 

The Benefits of Digital Court Reporting

On the flip side are those proponents of digital court reporting. They enjoy the high-quality audio that it captures. And most digital recording systems have a number of audio backups to ensure that the transcript is complete.

Digital court reporting also has the ability to provided multi-track recording, which can prove to be very useful for understanding everyone’s statements, particularly when people are talking over one another, or speaking in hard to understand accents, vernaculars, etc.

Digitally recorded proceedings are easily delivered via the Internet, thereby saving the court money on shopping costs and hassles as a result of shopping delays.

Many attorneys appreciate working videos, as they often help them examine both verbal and non-verbal reactions of witnesses and defendants, including gestures, body language, facial expressions, and eye contact, and many judges and attorneys see digital recording as a way to decrease the risk of inaccurate transcriptions. Sounds pretty important to get right, huh?

Another positive (or negative depending on who you ask) is that many jurisdictions see digital recording systems as a cost-saver, due to the elimination of costly stenographer salaries.

In terms of education and training, learning the skills associated with digital court reporting is often much less laborious than traditional stenographer training. The latter requires the completion of a court reporting program, which usually takes about two years, as well as state licensure and/or professional certification. Many digital court reporting programs take about six months and involve learning how to take accurate notes and how to operate the sound and/or video equipment. Seems like a ‘no-brainer’, right?

 

The Digital Debate

One of the biggest arguments for digital recording systems is the reduction in costly stenographer salaries, however, there are some things to consider. Digital recording systems may be far pricier than just the initial investment. There are expenses for maintaining, repairing, and replacing the equipment. Further, if hard transcripts are required, jurisdictions must still pay for the cost of producing paper transcripts.

Although traditional stenographers may not be needed in a court that has a digital recording system, a digital court reporter is still required to operate the equipment and provide notes. Therefore, the savings are not always as great as first anticipated.

There are times also where digital court reporters are just not needed at all. In the case of proceedings that may involve appeals and those that cannot risk inaccuracy from the failure of a recording device (even the most advanced recording equipment can’t capture a mumbling person), digital recording systems are often passed over in lieu of written transcripts via a traditional stenographer court reporter.

Because digital court reporters are not skilled in transcription, the court must use a stenographer or dedicated transcriptionist to provide a hard transcript of the proceedings. However, because the stenographer transcribing the proceedings was not present at the time of the recording, inaccuracy in the transcript may occur.

 

Is There a Compromise

Many jurisdictions now recognize the value of both the traditional stenographer and the digital court reporter in the courtroom setting. Digital court reporting may be quite useful for meetings, hearings, and simple litigation situations, while conventional litigation situations require the expertise of a stenographer. Perhaps a marriage of both is what is needed anyway. Nothing wrong with old skool meeting new school when it comes to court reporting.

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

Pennsylvania College Offers Free Court Reporting Course

Posted on: June 3rd, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Allegheny_college_logoIf you have been a dedicated blog reader here at CourtScribes.com you have read about the severe shortage in the industry. Courtscribes.com is your premier court reporting and video-to-text reporting service, provider. Well, there is a Pennsylvania college that notices the shortage and wanted to help do something about it.

The Community College of Allegheny County aka CCAC is offering a free summer term “Introduction to Court Reporting” course.

Students are required to register to attend the three-week course. The classes will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. June 19th, June 26th and July 10th. And from 10 a.m. to noon on June 22nd, 29th and July 13th in Milton Hall at the Allegheny Campus. Parking is free.

The course was launched by Project Steno to offer a basic introduction to court reporting. After students are done completing the free course, they are eligible to apply for tuition assistance to attend CCAC’s fall court reporting class beginning on Aug. 19th.

CCAC professors Mary Beth Johnson and Barbara Lightcap will teach the course.

In addition to transcribing legal proceedings for courts and legislatures, court reporters, also known as captioners and stenographers, caption major sporting events and other broadcast television shows for persons who are hard of hearing.

CCAC graduate Nathan Sibley is the main captioner for the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.

Court reporters are in high demand across the nation. According to the National Court Reporters Association, there are currently a whopping 5,500 unfilled job openings.

For more information or to register, contact Mary Beth Johnson at mjohnson@ccac.edu or 412-237-2748.

We here at CourtScribes.com think that this is awesome news for the industry. Offer some free basic courses to see if you can whet the appetite of potential new court reports and stenographers.

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

This blog page, as well as the rest of this really exceptional website was designed by Dependable Website Management. If you think this website looks good and has been informative, don’t hesitate to click the link and take a look at what Dependable Website Management has to offer in the way of web development, social media marketing & management, web hosting, directory management and much more. DWM does amazing work, provides excellent customer service and has a team with over 50 years of combined web development, SEO, SEM and internet marketing experience.

Will AI Fix the Court Reporter Shortage in the Future

Posted on: May 27th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
technology

Artificial intelligence is making inroads in the legal profession.

There is a question that must be pondered. Will AI (Artificial Intelligence) fix the court reporter shortage in the near future? The innovation of AI applied to legal transcriptions should result in an updated version of the invaluable profession of court reporting. The second question is, is this a good thing?

Court reporters are the silent force that drives the court system efficiency, from local levels all the way to federal levels.

Their typing speed, which is unrivaled, meets the courts’ needs for transcripts on all proceedings. The average court reporter types 225 words a minute. That is three times as fast as a regular typist and five times the speed of an average one.

 

Finding those capable of reaching the needed skill level has been difficult. Due to a variety of reasons as we have highlighted before in previous stories, the court system is facing a shortage of court reporters. And this forces the courts to slow down as a result. A National Court Reporter Association (NCRA) report estimated that there is a current shortage of 5,000 court reporters in the United States. The industry is used to employing 32,000 court reporters. This means that 16% of the workforce has been wiped out without being replaced.

But machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence) can step in and fill that gap. AI and voice recognition are improving to the point that they can transcribe the courtroom dialogue in real time. AI transcription has the potential to rescue court systems from their chronic backlogs by filling in the gaps where there aren’t enough court reporters present. SOunds pretty amazing, right?

 

Why the Shortage

The court reporter shortage has been having a significant negative impact on the productivity of the court system. What causes are behind the shortage?

The effects of the shortage create issues in civil, criminal and family courts across the country. Without proper transcription that these court reporters bring, proceedings cannot move forward in a timely manner.

One silver lining for those who are able to meet the challenge in a smaller pool of trained stenographers means qualified reporters are able to demand higher salaries thanks to the scarcity of their skills. But this increases both courts’ costs and time spent on negotiations.

What is AI’s Potential

AI-driven technology has the potential to completely transform the court system’s court reporter struggles. Some states have already gotten started. Those states are Alaska, Indiana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont. They all use audio digital recording in all or most of their general court sessions, while many other states are close to catching up with those states. Here’s how it might affect several different elements of what courts already struggle with amid the court reporter shortage.

What is Ahead

While all of these benefits are exciting, it’s important to note that skilled professionals are indispensable as monitors of that technology. Just as court reporters went from handwritten transcription to stenotype machines, they now must learn to adapt to AI-enabled transcription and voice recognition software.

This advanced technology is driving the transition from court reporter to court “technologist”. Human judgment is impossible to replicate, so a skilled individual who is an expert at managing a wide array of court technologies and ensuring that they function properly is still sure to be in high demand going forward.

The adoption of these emerging technologies disproves the idea that courts are conservative when it comes to tech. While human court reporters will remain an integral part of the process, by teaming up with technology, humans can offer long-lasting benefits for the whole court system. Being open to transcription technology (which is coming like it or not) is a natural next step courts can take to improve their operations.

 

This is why you need the services of CourtScribes.com. They are ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

Why Choose CourtScribes

Posted on: May 20th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

If you have a need for court services, you might want to look into contacting CourtScribes. Why choose CourtScribes? Well, to start, they are the number one court reporting agency in Florida, and they deliver both a complete range of standard court reporting services as well as advanced, high-value services. This includes services that are 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. CourtScribes covers trials, depositions, arbitrations, mediations and hearings.

 

Free Professional Legal Videography

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

 

Expect Perfection with CourtScribes

CourtScribes understands how crucial it is to create a verbatim record. We pride ourselves in creating a completely accurate, verbatim transcript no matter how difficult the environment. With our unique and powerful, industry-leading technology, you can expect nothing less than total perfection.

 

Our 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. Whether it be by phone, tablet, or PC, you can access all of your transcripts, exhibits, and on-demand videos sorted by each individual case. How about that for convenience? We want to make things as easy and connected as possible.

 

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you right now in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

 

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.

 

Illinois Court Reporter Lobbies Lawmakers

Posted on: May 13th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
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Illinois court reporter Kim Cottrell with Senator Tammy Duckworth.

Great news for the court reporting world is coming out of Illinois. A certified shorthand reporter with the Illinois Eighth Judicial Circuit was in Washington last week advocating for the court reporting profession at the National Court Reporter Association’s 2019 Leadership and Legislative Boot Camp.

 

Kim Cottrell, who has worked in the Eighth Circuit for two years, met with staffers from U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood and Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin. It was a fruitful meeting.

 

“My experience at Boot Camp was life changing,” Cottrell said. “It gave me the confidence to continue to advocate for court reporting in any arena; particularly, its superiority over electronic recording in our state courts.”

 

What Did She Do

While meeting with congressional staffers, Cottrell, a member of the Illinois Court Reporters Association Board of Director, urged the lawmakers to support the reauthorization of the Training for Realtime Writers grants under the Higher Education Act enacted in 2009.

 

The legislation created a grant program to train realtime writers to provide both captioned information and communication access for 30 million Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing. Programs established with past grants also aided working reporters in learning and polishing realtime skills.

The National Court Reporters Association represents stenographic court reporters, captioners, and legal videographers. And boy are we thankful for them and their representation.

 

What Did the Boot Camp Provide

The Boot Camp provided sessions on politics and grassroots lobbying, effective press communications and what to expect when visiting lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Other session provided mock hearings and tips for promoting the profession to consumer groups, as well as how to testify before legislators.

This is something that can only help the court reporting industry which can use any help it can get. We have shown in previous posts here at CourtScribes.com that there is a dire shortage of reporters out there.

CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

 

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.

This blog page, as well as the rest of this really exceptional website was designed by Dependable Website Management. If you think this website looks good and has been informative, don’t hesitate to click the link and take a look at what Dependable Website Management has to offer in the way of web development, social media marketing & management, web hosting, directory management and much more. DWM does amazing work, provides excellent customer service and has a team with over 50 years of combined web development, SEO, SEM and internet marketing experience.

First African-American Smith County Woman Court Reporter Celebrates 25 Years

Posted on: May 6th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
Court_reporter_Kim_Christopher

East Texas Court Reporter Kim Christopher.

The world of court reporting has it’s ‘firsts’ just like any other industry. CourtScribes.com is proud to salute and congratulate a very deserving court reporter out of Tyler, Texas. The first African-American woman to be hired as a Smith County court reporter is celebrating 25 years of service.

This is quite a feat as there is a shortage, not just in Texas, but throughout the whole United States, in general of those doing her job.

How Did it All Start

On April 25, 1994, Kim Christopher was hired by the now deceased Smith County Judge, Larry Craig as his reporter for County/Probate Court. Christopher was also the roving local reporter. She worked in a different courtroom each day or for weeks at a time. Her duties also included recording the record for grand jury proceedings.

“Smith County has been a blessing to me and my family,” said Kim Christopher “I have worked with many wonderful judges, court staff, and have formed friendships that are like family. If it is the Lord’s will, I am looking forward to serving Smith County for many more years to come,” she said.

114th District Judge Christi Kennedy said a few words about her.

“I am privileged to be able to recognize Kim Christopher for her 25 years of service to Smith County,” Ms. Kennedy said, adding that she has put up with more judges and attorneys than she could count and has always had the best demeanor in doing so. She said when Mrs. Christopher started working for the county, she had no children but now has kids in college and high school.

Judge Kennedy said she is most impressed by what Christopher has done in her last year of service, by implementing an evening program to try to encourage young people to choose a court reporting career because of a severe shortage in the profession (as we have pointed out in previous blogs).

Who Is Kim Christopher

Christopher has been married to her husband, Michael for twenty-eight years. They have two sons, Kirby, who is a senior in high school, and Jordan, who is a sophomore in high school. They attend North Tenneha Church of Christ and are very active members.

It truly is wonderful that Mrs. Christopher has lasted this long in the industry. It is a testament to the fact that she enjoys what she does, values what she does, and knows that she is filling a very important civic role. Especially as her position of court reporter is becoming ‘endagered’.

And much like Mrs. Christopher does in Tyler, Texas, CourtScribes.com is ready to serve you in your court reporting, videography services, interpreters, live-streaming, and video-to-text synchronization.

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.

So, You Want to be a Court Reporter

Posted on: April 29th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management 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 CourtScribes.com, 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 Dependable Website Management No Comments
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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 CourtScribes.com 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 Dependable Website Management 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 Dependable Website Management No Comments
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Portrait of Cara Brousseau

We here at courtscribes.com 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 courtscribes.com 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 Dependable Website Management No Comments
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There is a continued need for court reporters

Courtscribes.com 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 courtscribes.com have plenty of reporters for your court reporting needs. Contact now to find out what is needed to take advantage of our many services.

Is There a Shortage of Qualified Stenographers

Posted on: March 25th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Court Reporting StenographThere seems to be a little issue happening in our courts. Court reporters are seeing a stenographer shortage coming in the very near future. So that does beg the question, is there a shortage of qualified Stenographers? We here at Courtscribes.com are here to find out.

‘People think this is an archaic profession. … it’s not’

What is Stenography aka Shorthand?

Shorthand is an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed and brevity of writing as compared to longhand. Longhand is a more common method of writing a language. The process of writing in shorthand is called stenography.

Traditional shorthand systems were written on paper with a stenographic pencil or pen. Machine shorthand is also a common term for writing produced by a stenotype, a specialized keyboard that are often used for courtroom transcripts.

Learning stenography is like learning another language. The stenographic court reporting machine has 24 keys and works phonetically.

Why is There a Shortage of Stenographers?

To start awareness of the profession has steadily declined. A drop in enrollment has actually led to stenography schools closing. The industry’s focus is pushing young professionals into the job and supporting them through tough schooling.

It does not help that television advertisements have become less common and schools that teach stenography have shuttered in recent years.

The average age of a court reporter right now is 56 years old. The feeling is that many of these people are going to retire and by virtue of that fact, there will be a serious shortage of court reporters in the very near future.

Stenographers provide transcripts for not only court proceedings, but also live captioning during cable broadcasts and college lectures, among other services.

Did They See This Coming?

The shortage of stenographers has been long anticipated. In 2013, the National Court Reporters Association commissioned an independent research group to study the industry and make predictions on its future demands.

In the study, known in the industry as the Ducker Report, researchers determined that by 2018 a lack of student enrollment rates “combined with significant retirement rates,” would create a shortage of about 5,500 court reporters nationwide as “increased legal activity and new opportunities … drive demand.”

The drop in enrollment has led to schools closing, including two in the Central Florida area. Now, the only stenographic reporting programs in the state are in South Florida, though students can take classes online.

Another problem is that student failure rates in these programs are high, and so is the cost of equipment and schooling.

Stenography is a skill, much like learning piano. In some programs, only 4 percent of students who enter graduate. It can take between two and eight years to finish, and tuition can cost more than $10,000 per year.

What is the Future?

It is a lucrative career, and basically, a job is guaranteed upon completion of training. Recently graduated stenographers typically start with salaries in the low $40,000s, but can eventually make upward of $150,000. Since most stenographers are independent contractors, their income is based on how much work the reporter actually logs in.

Like many trade occupations, automation has made its way into the industry. In court reporting, digital reporters have replaced stenographers for many routine legal proceedings. They set up microphones in a courtroom, then transcribe the recordings later.

But their training is minimal. Minimal like only four weeks.

“The sad thing is, people think this is an archaic profession, a dying profession, and it’s not,” experts say. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, aren’t you going to be replaced by technology? Can’t they just record?’ You can’t compare what a court reporter does to a recording.”

While digital reporters help by freeing up stenographers for more complex legal work, transcriptions can take three to five times longer for a digital reporter and often contain more errors.

If courts continue to see a shortage in stenographers, forcing digital reporters to cover more high-profile proceedings, the quality of the record will deteriorate without a doubt.

For example, occasional transcripts from digital reporters have come back indicating a word or sentence was inaudible, which doesn’t happen with stenographers. Since they are writing the record as it unfolds, they can ask someone to repeat a word, or move closer to their microphone.

The National Court Reporters Association has a program called “A to Z,” which offers students free, six-week trial classes to test their interest in the profession. Students who decide to pursue the job can get tuition assistance and mentorship through Project Steno, which focuses on student outreach and enrollment.

A program like this can only help what will become a dire situation unless it is addressed. If you ever need a stenographer, you can book one right now on our website courtscribes.com.

Mount Hope Student Is Fastest Court Reporter

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
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Maia Morgan, the winner of Plaza College’s 2019 National Court Reporting Association Student Speed Competition.

Mount Hope resident Maia Morgan from the Bronx is one of twelve winners in Plaza College’s 2019 National Court Reporting Association Student Speed Competition.

With over 100 students racing against the clock and racing against each other to see who was the fastest and most accurate court reporter in honor of National Court Reporting and Capturing Week, Morgan was the best.

Morgan and her peers were to transcribe using a stenotype. It is a specialized shorthand machine which interfaces with a customized laptop, and take dictation at various speeds as they train to become professional court reporters. Morgan has proven that she is good enough to be hired by CourtScribes, which houses the best in the business.

A stenotype keyboard has fewer keys than a conventional alphanumeric keyboard. It is usually used for court reporting purposes. Multiple keys are pressed simultaneously to spell out whole syllables, words, and phrases with a single hand motion. Since the keyboard does not contain all the letters of the English alphabet, letter combinations are substituted for the missing characters.

 

“Using the stenotype machine is almost like learning another language,” Morgan expressed.

 

Morgan types at an impressive 120 words per minute with 96% accuracy. To graduate, she will have to increase her speed to 225 words per minute. Morgan aspires to one day work as a stenographer in either the supreme or civil court. She finds being a court reporter an exciting career option and encourages everyone to give it a try.

“Maintaining the required speed and trying not to think too hard while typing are challenges, but they can be overcome through practice and patience,” Morgan said.

She said making one’s fingers nimble is key to increasing typing speed. Morgan suggested learning to play an instrument such as a piano or guitar to establish muscle memory.

According to Karen Santucci, Plaza College Court Reporting chairwoman and NYS Court Reporters Association vice president, stenographers are very vital. They keep records for legal hearings and trials; grand juries; depositions; government meetings and hearings at local, state and federal levels; as well as TV closed captioning and services for the hearing impaired.

“Our role is crucial because we record and preserve the accurate accounts of trials, depositions, grand juries and other crucial aspects of the legal system which are essential to ensuring the fair administration of justice,” Santucci explained.

Court reporters’ records ensure fair trials and serve as the basis for appeals and other cornerstones of the entire American legal process. These professionals (court reporters), 90% of whom are women, are responsible for preserving the historical record of legal proceedings and serve as crucial documentarians ensuring reliability.

Court reporters’ salaries can top $100,000 a year. If you have trained to be a court reporter or you are in need of one, go to the website courtscribes.com to see how you can become a part of the team, or contact to hire a reporter.

Plaza College is NYC’s sole court stenographer program, with 200 students currently enrolled. Plaza College has a 70% graduation rate across all of their offered programs and more specifically a 73% retention rate within the court reporting program. A true sign of a successful program putting out successful reporters.

Horry-Georgetown Tech Launches Court Reporting Program

Posted on: March 11th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

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The campus of Horry-Georgetown Technical College

Horry-Georgetown Technical College of Conway, South Carolina launched a digital court reporting program this week, which the school says is the first of its kind in South Carolina. They are launching the program with the hopes of prepping students for a career that is seeing a national shortage.

 

“If a student has an interest in technology, this is a great way to utilize that interest and have an opportunity for a pretty nice salary,” said Daniel Hoppe, director of the Distance Learning Institute at HGTC. “The starting salary is around $41,000.”

“The State of South Carolina is looking toward digital court reporting to meet that demand,” Hoppe said. “We’ve partnered with them to identify that need and provide education for them.”

 

Hoppe says the program will help fill roughly 5,500 unfilled court reporting jobs nationwide, 164 of which are in South Carolina alone.

Fifteen students in online classes learn how to use specialized audio technology to keep court records. HGTC says the program also teaches students tasks they need to do outside the courtroom like depositions.

 

Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Murrells Inlet, helped the college at the state level. He says more court reporters will make Horry County’s legal system more efficient.

“In the last six months, I know of at least three terms of court that have been canceled,” Sen. Goldfinch said. “It is affecting every single county in the state.”

“Our program, working with our partner BlueLedge, is an accredited program, so students who complete our program are able to go right to work at the State of South Carolina.”

 

The digital court reporting course only takes 15-18 weeks to complete. HGTC will also launch stenography and voice writing programs next month to go right in sync with its court reporting curriculum.

In the future, Courtscribes may hire one of the graduates of the HGTC program. In the meantime, you can hire one of the amazing court reporters right here at Courtscribes.com. Use our contact form to inquire now.

Court Reporters Inaccurately Transcribing ‘African-American Vernacular English’

Posted on: March 4th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments
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Audio and digital recording in court can make all the difference.

So picture this scenario:

You are African American. A court reporter taking notes during your criminal case makes an error in the transcript that ends up becoming a point of contention in an appeal. An appeal that you lose. You probably would not have lost the case if your words had been reported accurately. Now you’re facing penalties, or even worse, prison time because of that court reporter’s mistake.

If you’re a person who uses a dialect like African-American Vernacular English, also known as AAVE, that situation is much more likely to happen to you, according to research in Philadelphia. This is why having a digital court reporter via Courtscribes is so very important. It can be the difference between jail and freedom.

This study found serious errors in court transcripts that materially changed what people said or rendered their speech as incomprehensible gibberish. People perceived as speaking “incorrectly” already deal with a substantial social stigma, and apparently, that includes courtroom settings.

 

How Can We Solve This Problem?

When a court reporter is not familiar with a given dialect, their lack of understanding can influence the way they record one’s speech (testimony). Unless someone reviews and contests the transcript in a timely manner, it may go on the record as incorrect. This will become a much more difficult problem to correct months or years in the future.

This problem can even reinforce biases that put certain people at a disadvantage in the courtroom. For black defendants, testifying in ‘AAVE’ may have a serious impact on how those defendants are perceived by juries, as well as how their words are recorded for posterity.

Many states are starting to transition away from the classic court recorder to audio or video recordings, which capture a complete digital record of everything that was said. This can be used instead of or in addition to transcripts for accuracy. Much like the services that Courtscribes offers. One thing courts shouldn’t be relying on though is an automated transcription. Anyone who has spoken text into their cellphone in an attempt at transcribing a message would agree.

The technologies used for speech recognition just aren’t there yet. This is true in the case of many accents and dialects, where word order and inflection can carry very different meanings.

 

Solutions are Coming

The solution to this problem is multifaceted. Court reporters across the country may need more training to improve their accuracy with both transcribing and paraphrasing when people speak with accents or dialects. That training should be regionally-appropriate as well because different aspects and dialects have variable representations depending on locale.

Also using digital recordings as a backup may be a good idea. Transcripts can ensure that information is available in multiple formats, with the original recordings retained to cross-reference. The stakes are simply too high for these kinds of mistakes.

Detailed digital recordkeeping benefits both courts and defendants. Not only does it serve that purpose, but it will also aid future dialect researchers who may be interested in looking at a large body of material stored from year to year to learn more about how dialects and accents evolve.

N.Y. Court Reporting Students Take Top Prizes At Competition

Posted on: February 18th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Several students from Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island, New York, were recently named winners in the National Court Reporting Association Student Speed Competition held at Plaza College.

Plaza College in Forest Hills, New York the hosted the 2019 National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Student Speed Contest competition Feb. 13 as part of their court reporting and captioning week. More than 100 students who are training to be court stenographers competed in contests  to test their speed and accuracy.

“We are the guardians of the record. Our role is crucial because we record and preserve the accurate accounts of trials, depositions, grand juries and other crucial aspects of the legal system which are essential to ensuring the fair administration of justice,” Karen Santucci, Plaza College court reporting program chair and vice president of the NYS Court Reporters Association, told QNS.

“We are extremely proud of the professionals who graduate this program and go on to not only work in the courts but also perform closed captioning and provide services for the hearing impaired. Our students are well prepared for these crucially important well-paying jobs in which they can build their careers,” Santucci said.

Two hundred students are currently enrolled in the Plaza College program, which is

Several students from Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island, New York, were rnamed winners in the student speed competition.

Students transcribe using a specialized shorthand machine which interfaces with a customized laptop computer, taking dictation at various speeds as they train to join the ranks of court reporters.

Court reporters’ records are key to ensuring fair trials, often serving as the basis for appeals. Court reporting professionals are responsible for preserving the historical record of legal proceedings and serving as documentarians that ensure the exacting reliability.   

Winners of the  2019 National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Student Speed Contest include Bianna Lewis of Brooklyn; Dishawn Williams of New Jersey; Taylor Mascari of Staten Island; Letizia Yemma of Staten Island; Paula Mullen of Queens; Christina Penna of  Staten Island; Alexandra Bourekas of Queens; Emily Nicholson of Staten Island;  Rachel Salatino of Long Island; Tikiya Etchison of Staten Island;  Michelle Paluszek of New Jersey, and Maia Morgan of Bronx.

Students Realize The Value Of A Two-Year Degree

Posted on: February 4th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Many people are beginning to question whether a four-year college degree is worth the high cost of tuition, especially since many students now have to take out  student loans that they will be paying off for years in order to afford their schooling.

Many are returning to institutions that teach specific skills like court reporting, usually in two years. They used to be known as “business colleges.”

Forbes reported that students attending Chicago-based MacCormac pay about $25,000 a year for a two-year court reporting program, but most students get some form of financial aid, bringing their cost to $13,520 a year.

A court reporting student who gets a degree at MacCormac is likely to come out with about $30,000 in debt but will likely get a job paying at least $40,000 annually, Forbes said.

As they progress in their field, students will probably make between $50,000 and $100,000 court reporting, depending on where they work.

Other jobs such as medical records clerk, paramedic, welder or long-distance truck driver also pay good wages without a college degree.

According to the National Center for Education 19.9 million, which is higher than the enrollment of 15.3 million students in fall 2000. Total enrollment is expected to increase between fall 2018 and fall 2027 to 20.5 million.

Women are expected to account for the majority of college and university students in fall 2018, with about 11.2 million women enrolled compared with 8.7 million men. Also, more students are expected to attend full time (an estimated 12.1 million students) than part time (7.8 million students).

About 6.7 million students will attend 2-year institutions and 13.3 million will attend 4-year colleges. About 17 million students are expected to enroll in undergraduate programs.

During the 2018–19 school year, colleges and universities are expected to award 1.0 million associate‘s degrees; 1.9 million bachelor’s degrees; 780,000 master’s degrees; and 182,000 doctor’s degrees. In 2015–16, postsecondary institutions awarded 939,000 certificates below the associate‘s degree level, 1 million associate‘s degrees, 1.9 million bachelor‘s degrees, 786,000 master‘s degrees, and 178,000 doctor‘s degrees.

Study Shows Court Reporters Have Trouble With Dialects

Posted on: January 28th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

A study set to be published in the journal Language looked at how well court reporters in Philadelphia transcribe dialects and found that 40 percent of the sentences they had transcribed were wrong, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Linguists from the University of Pennsylvania, a sociologist from New York University and a co-founder of Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity found that among the 27 court reporters they tested, 67 percent of their attempts at paraphrasing inaccurate, and 11 percent were called “gibberish.”

Court reporters must test at a 95 percent accuracy rate to be certified in Pennsylvania.

Linguists note that African American English is a dialect that has its own grammatical rules.

African American English speakers have “a very reasonable expectation” to be understood in the court system, said  Jessica Kalbfeld, a doctoral candidate in sociology at New York University and co-researcher on the study.

“They’re not getting the benefits of those rights, because people aren’t understanding them and don’t even know that that’s happening,” she told the Inquirer.

In one example, a speaker in the study said, “That cop partner been got transferred,” meaning that the police officer had been transferred a while ago, and the court reporter recorded the line as: “That cop partner, Ben, got transferred.”

Black court reporters in the study scored higher in paraphrasing and syntax, but their transcriptions weren’t any more accurate.

Researchers also tested seven lawyers, three of whom spoke African American English, and found that black lawyers scored much higher in their comprehension of African American English than attorneys of other races.

Researchers said it’s possible that social differences and enduring disapproval of African American English, even among black people who speak it, may be a reason why black court reporters as well as non-black reporters scored poorly on their transcription.

“It could be they’re coming across forms that could not be in their speech community,” said researcher Taylor Jones, a doctoral candidate in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jury Selection Is Important To The Judicial Process

Posted on: January 7th, 2019 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Having an accurate court reporting service on hand is an important part of any trial, and Court Scribes is one of the best. But there are obviously a lot of other parties involved in making a trail successful: attorneys and their staff members, an impartial judge, and in the case of a criminal prosecution a jury of your peers.

But how does that panel of people hearing the case come to be seated?

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution grants criminal defendants the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury representing a cross-section of the community. The right to a jury only applies to offenses in which the penalty is imprisonment for longer than six months.

The jury’s job is to review the evidence presented in a trail and deliberating then coming to a conclusion about what the penalty for the accused should be.

Jury selection happens in two parts, random selection and “voir dire,” when attorneys question potential jurors to see if they are suitable to sit on that specific jury.

In the random selection process, the state or federal district chooses names randomly from lists including rosters of registered voters, people who hold driver’s licenses in the state, or people receiving unemployment benefits, for example, according to findlaw.com.

People who are randomly selected from one of these lists will receive a notice in the mail telling they will be expected to report to serve on a certain date.

“Voir Dire” is the process the court and the attorneys use to narrow down the pool of candidates to 12. Sometimes a judge will randomly excuse some people from duty if there are too many.

But usually, during the voir dire process, the judge and attorneys will interview each juror about their background and beliefs and look for reasons to object to jurors. The two types of objections include “peremptory challenges” and “challenges for cause.”

When an attorney challenges a juror for cause, it usually means there is something in the juror’s background that would prevent them from being objective about a case. In federal courts, each side has an unlimited number of challenges for cause, but each side only gets a limited number of peremptory challenges. Attorneys do not need to give reasons for peremptory challenges.

Technology Is Catching Up To Humans For Accurate Transcribing

Posted on: December 31st, 2018 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Technology is catching up to the sophistication of the human ear when it comes to accurate transcribing.

Artificial intelligence-driven transcription and voice-to-text solutions have improved 80 percent in accuracy over the past decade, IT News Africa reported. Although human-driven transcription solutions are still a little further ahead, technology is not far behind.

Microsoft reported that its transcription abilities had a reduced error rate of 12 percent from 2016 to 2017, which meant its automated transcriptions were 94.9 percent accurate.

Voice recognition software turns talk into text, but it occasionally runs into issues. The biggest advantage a human transcriber has over artificial intelligence is that a human knows what to keep and what to factor out.

Humans are better at disregarding background noise. Humans also are better at understanding different cultural contexts and identifying different accents than machines.

IT News Africa cited a 2018 study that found Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant had difficulty “understanding” accents even when the speakers spoke fluent English. Accuracy dropped by 2.6 percent when speakers had a Chinese accent and by as much as 4.2 percent for Spanish accents.

AI-driven services also have difficulty understanding interlocked speech and colloquial and slang terms, while humans  are able to achieve accuracy rates of between 99 percent and 100 percent.

“We cannot doubt the fact that the advancements AI has made in the transcription sphere in recent years is phenomenal,” said Peter Trebek, the CEO of GoTranscript. “However, with error rates over 5 percent, there are still some considerable improvements to be made.”

Programmers need to work closely with language experts to clear up the problems.

CourtScribes uses professional-level recording systems to bring the most sophisticated digital technology into the courtroom to produce the highest-quality transcripts.

Electronic recording equipment is overseen by an experienced reporter who simultaneously takes notes that are time-linked to the corresponding recording, so people involved with the case can instantly find the point in the record where they want to re-listen.

Library Of Congress Needs Your Help Transcribing Lincoln’s Letters

Posted on: December 24th, 2018 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Looking for something to do in your free time that will include service to your country? Love history as much as court reporting?

Then the Library of Congress has a volunteer job for you.

The Library of Congress is looking for volunteers to volunteers to transcribe writings left behind by some of the greatest names in history, including Abraham Lincoln, American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, Civil War veterans, Civil Rights campaigner Rosa Parks, leaders of the woman’s suffrage movement, American poets, important figures in the history of psychiatry, and other important historical figures, Mental Floss reported.

The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress contain more than 40,550 documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln when he was a lawyer, representative from Illinois, and 16th president of the United State, about half of which are available online. Of those 20,000, about half have already been transcribed, the Library said.

The Library’s goal is to have volunteers transcribe all of the remaining materials as well so that they are easy for people to search online using key words.

The goal of the Letters to Lincoln Challenge 2018 is to transcribe all 28,000 pages by December 31, but more opportunities will be available beyond the end of the year.

Documents include not only letters written by Lincoln but also by correspondents including friends and associates, well-known political figures and reformers, and individuals and organizations.

Because the documents are hand written, they are difficult for computers to read and decode. Some are faded and written in difficult to read cursive, Mental Floss said.

To learn how to help with the project, log on to crowd.loc.gov, the library’s crowdsourcing site, and create an account on the registration page. Documents that are transcribed are then reviewed by another registered volunteer.

Carla Hayden, a librarian at the Library of Congress, said the project is a good way to serve the public good while learning about history at the same time.

“The pages awaiting transcription at crowd.loc.gov represent some of the diversity of the Library’s treasure, and the metadata that will result from these transcriptions mean these digitized documents will have even greater use to classrooms, researchers, or anyone who is curious about these historical figures,” Hayden said.

For more detailed instructions on how to help, visit the library’s guide here.

Real-Life Stenographer Gets Court Reporter Role In Showtime Series

Posted on: December 17th, 2018 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

A Pennsylvania court stenographer’s job led to her landing a part in a television drama, The Mercury, a newspaper published in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

Emilie Posnan, who has been a Montgomery County Court stenographer for 13 years, got a role on a Showtime drama, “Escape At Dannemora,” about a 2015 prison break in upstate New York.

The series premiered Nov. 18 and will continue through Dec. 30, Sundays at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

The limited-event series is based on the escape from Clinton Correctional Facility by inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat that spawned the largest manhunt in the history of New York State. The escapees were helped by prison employee, Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell, “who reportedly carried on affairs with both men while supervising them in the tailor shop,” according to Showtime.

The series stars Benicio Del Toro, Paul Dano, Patricia Arquette and Bonnie. Ben Stiller is the director and executive producer.

The creators of the series wanted a  real-life stenographer to appear in the series to properly portray the typing rhythm and the locked-in attention that are the trademarks of the craft.

During the first scene of the series, Hunt’s character says she won’t begin until the stenographer, portrayed by Posnan, arrives.

Posnan held a screening party at her home for the series premiere.

She learned about the role from an actress friend who had read a casting notice from a talent agency. She submitted a photo and was one of seven stenographers who were called to Brooklyn for an audition.

On her drive home from the audition, she learned she had gotten the part.

The following week, she went to Queens, N.Y. for two days of filming. She was told to actually record what the characters said during the scene to make her role appear authentic.

Posnan, her husband, some relatives and friends traveled to Lincoln Center in New York for the November premiere of the series.

The Showtime series has been nominated for several Golden Globes.

Court Reporting Student Sues Department of Education

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

A former student at a for-profit court reporting school that had locations in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington is suing the U.S. Department of Education for not forgiving her student loans.

The school, called the Court Reporting Institute, went out of business.

The school allegedly told students that its three-year program in legal transcription would get them a high-paying job, the Seattle Times reported.

State investigators shut down the school in 2006, saying it used deceptive business practices.

The former student who filed the lawsuit, Christine Gold, said she incurred nearly $36,000 in debt while attending the school.

Borrowers misled by a school are eligible for federal student-loan forgiveness, per the Times.

The nonprofit National Student Legal Defense Network filed the suit in the District of Columbia last week, naming the Department of Education and its secretary, Betsy DeVos, as defendants.

The Department of Education had no comment for the Times because the litigation is pending.

DeVos’ critics say her department has been slow to process claims and is too easy on for-profit colleges.

According to the lawsuit, Gold was the sole earner in her household when she started attending the Court Reporting Institute in 2001. She says she was told by an admissions officer that she would make $65,000 a year after she graduated from a three-year program.

Complaints against the school showed that it repeatedly misrepresented educational practices, instructor qualifications, graduation rates, program length, employment prospects and the amount of financial aid available, and that it did not make mandated changes.

Gold said she never seemed to be making progress toward graduation despite the classes she finished and after nearly three-and-a-half years, she withdrew in 2005 with $35,750 in federal loans.

Because she was unable to pay the money back without a better job and because of interest accrued, she now owes around $62,000.

Another State Acknowledges Its Shortage Of Court Reporters

Posted on: November 26th, 2018 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Court reporter shortages are reported across the country, and court reporting technology like the services provided by Court Scribes in Florida and other states may be a solution in some situations.

South Dakota is one of the states that’s feeling the effects of the court reporter shortage, according to KELO of Keloland Media Group in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Court reporting is one of several skilled trades that’s facing a shortage in South Dakota, along with plumbers and electricians, KELO reported.

“We know we’re going to have positions open, and we need bodies to fill them,” Official Court Reporter Carla Dedula of South Dakota’s Unified Judicial System said. Dedula is one of just 50 court reporters in the system. Of the 50, almost half will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years, and there are not necessarily younger people coming up behind them to fill the empty positions.

“Nationally there were 5,500 open positions last year,” Freelance Court Reporter Pat Beck told the TV station.

He pointed out that in some states, courts are having to reschedule court cases because there aren’t enough reporters to make a record of what’s going on in the courtroom.

There aren’t any brick and mortar programs in South Dakota any more where people can learn the skill of court reporting, meaning if people in the state are interested in pursuing the field, they have to get a degree online, which usually takes a couple of years.

CourtScribes uses professional-level recording systems to bring the most sophisticated digital technology into the private marketplace and provide the highest quality transcripts.

Advanced technology helps make trials easier in many ways. There are many benefits of court technology, the most important being that people who can’t attend the trial can view the transcript in real-time if they have an internet connection.

Four Reasons To Hire A Skilled Court Reporting Service

Posted on: November 19th, 2018 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Professional court reporting services like Court Scribes are an important part of any trial, a fact that attorneys recognize.

Conservative Daily News recently listed several benefits of hiring a skilled court reporting service:

Expertise

Court reporters have to complete training that gives them the necessary knowledge and skills they need to provide their services in a courtroom. Most professional court reporters complete a two-year training course.

Miami court reporters

Experienced court reporters and stenographers have a good famliarity with legal documents, legal terms, and how court cases progress. They also are comfortable dealing with interruptions, delays, and background noise that are often associated with most depositions.

Peace of mind

Hiring a reliable court reporting agency will help the lawyer run the case smoothly, eliminating stress and headaches. A skilled court reporting agency will  handle all logistics and any last-minute.

Court reporters have a strong understanding of the importance of confidentiality and with the concept of neutrality. They understand they must always behave as an unbiased third party.

Prompt services

Agencies like Court Scribes that offer professional court reporting services, deposition services, and transcription have experience dealing with the needs of different attorneys and services are very efficient and reliable.

High level of accuracy

Court reporting services like Court Scribes have the background and experience to produce high-quality, accurate transcripts thanks to the cutting-edge technology they use and the quality people they employ.

CourtScribes uses professional-level recording systems to bring the most sophisticated digital technology into the private marketplace and provide the highest quality transcripts.

The company uses computer-based digital systems with enhanced features that perform recording functions with convenience, flexibility, and economy.

Electronic recording equipment is overseen by an experienced reporter at all times. The reporter simultaneously takes notes that are time-linked to the corresponding recording, so people involved with the case can instantly find the point in the record where they want to re-listen.

Head Of Court Reporters Philanthropic Organization To Retire

Posted on: November 5th, 2018 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters, captioners, and legal videographers, announced that the head of its philanthropic arm will retire in January.

BJ Shorak, Deputy Executive Director of the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF), will be replaced by NCRA Senior Director of External Affairs Mary Petto.

“Today’s announcement does not mark the end of an era for NCRA and NCRF, but rather a step into the future for both organizations as they continue to work together to advance the court reporting and captioning professions,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO and Executive Director of NCRA.

“BJ has committed the last 28 years of her career to building lasting relationships between NCRF and like-minded organizations, establishing unprecedented programs that benefit our members, students, and the legal profession as a whole and creating a legacy on which the Foundation will continue to grow,” she added.

Petto, who has been with NCRA for a year, most recently established NCRA’s Corporate Partnership Program to strengthen the Association’s mission to promote and protect the court reporting and captioning professions.

“I’ve had the privilege to work closely with Mary over the past year on a variety of fundraising activities for NCRF and am confident that her experience and fundraising talents will carry NCRF on its strategic path well into the future,” Shorak said.” I am confident that NCRF’s presence in the industry will remain strong and viable with the leadership of Mary and Marcia, who also has extensive experience in the fundraising arena.”

Shorak joined NCRA in 1987 as Director of Research and Technology. She was named Deputy Executive Director of the Foundation in 1992 when it began operating separately from NCRA.

Throughout her tenure, Shorak has successfully built lasting relationships with organizations and individuals that have led to dozens of meaningful programs

“I know I speak for hundreds of others whose lives BJ has touched through her work with the Foundation, that as she begins this new journey in her life, we will always be grateful for her commitment that has created the legacy she leaves behind: making a difference in the court reporting and captioning professions, and a smile in our hearts and on our faces whenever we think of her,” said NCRA Past President Tami Keenan.

Court Workers In Fresno County Set To Strike

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by Dependable Website Management No Comments

Court workers are important to the smooth operation of the American court system, but when workers find it’s necessary to strike to protest work conditions, the system can grind to a halt.   

CourtScribes court reporting agency is working to change the industry by having fewer workers in the courtroom, using internet-age technology to create the official record of court proceedings, using remote transcriptionists and charging attorneys up to 50 percent less. The attorneys not only benefit from a less-expensive transcript, but video and/or audio recording also provides them with a more accurate and verifiable record.

Fresno County, California is one place that could be facing court proceeding disruptions because nearly 300 courtroom workers could walk off the job if they don’t reach an agreement with court administrators on increased pay, hours and benefits.

Clerks, assistants, and court reporters have been working without a contract since September 30th, looking for a raise and protesting steep increases in health care costs as well as seeking better benefits.

Six years ago during the economic crisis, court reporters had their 40 hour week reduced to 35 hour week, according to ABC 30 Action News. The latest proposal would increase the work week to 37.5 hours, but court reporters would not get a pay raise, although clerks, judicial assistants and office assistants would get a 3 percent raise.

Workers protested that the eight to nine percent increase in the cost of health benefits would mean workers would still have to pay more out of pocket, even with the increase in hours. They rejected the proposal and are heading back to the negotiation table but are still considering a strike.

Court administrators issued a statement saying, “We are very disappointed to hear rumors about the employees’ vote to not accept the Court’s offer. The Court has no more money to offer.”