Archives for April 23, 2019

Article about court reporting school spotlights captioner for Pittsburgh Pirates

RealClear Politics posted an article on April 16 about Nathan Sibley, York County, Pa., who entered the court reporting program at his local community college. Since graduation, he has earned the job of JumboTron captioner for the Pittsburgh Pirates major league baseball club after interning with the organization.

Read more.

NCRA member showcases court reporting and captioning at California school

NCRA member Trudy O’Brien speaking at Grizzly Youth Academy

On April 19, NCRA member Trudy O’Brien, a freelance court reporter from Morro Bay, Calif., showcased the court reporting and captioning professions to students at the Grizzly Youth Academy (GYA) in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

The GYA is a partnership between the California National Guard and the Grizzly Challenge Charger School. It serves youth between the ages of 16 and 18 who have dropped out of high school or are at risk of dropping out. The curriculum offers a high-structured environment that promotes leadership, cooperation, and academic skills, while building self-esteem, pride, and confidence.

According to O’Brien, while she didn’t have any of the students asking where to sign up to learn the profession, she is hopeful the seed was planted in some of them.

“I could tell they were fascinated by my writing by what they were saying, so they definitely saw the magic happen. The kids enjoyed being able to take away bags and highlighters, and I made sure that they all left with a flyer,” she added.

A growing number of NCRA members have realized the value in attending career fairs as a way to promote the profession. Members report that they have participated in career fairs held at middle schools, high schools, community colleges, and other venues to promote the benefits of a career in court reporting or captioning. Below is a list of tips that include ways to find a career fair event near you and help you to plan a successful career day demonstration.

  • Visit a local high school website and contact counselors or directors of public relations/admissions.
  • Contact the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or other youth organizations in your community to see if there is an opportunity to introduce the students to the court reporting and captioning professions. 
  • Contact high schools in your area to see if they are holding any college fairs.
  • Sign up to exhibit at your state’s high school guidance counselor convention to showcase what you do.
  • Bring along a short transcript to use as part of your demonstration. Let the students get a flavor for what goes on in the courtroom or the deposition suite by letting them have a turn at being the judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, or the defendant. 
  • Share personal stories of why you chose this profession. Let students know how diversified the profession is and more about the various work venues, flexibility, salary potential, training required, and job availability.
  • Be sure to have on hand materials such as flyers and information about where to learn more about the profession.
  • Be sure to pack plenty of your personal business cards. Offer interested students the opportunity to shadow you or a colleague in whatever area of our profession may be of interest to them. Give them the chance to see just how exciting the career is.

NCRA members who are interested in presenting at career fairs can access a variety of resources available from the Association. The Resource Center at DiscoverSteno.com has fliers, posters, a PowerPoint presentation, and more.

Members may also find value in the resources at NCRA.org/Awareness. These materials are focused on Court Reporting & Captioning Week, but members can adapt them for other promotional purposes or use them to find ideas for highlighting court reporting and captioning.

Other good sources to tap into for opportunities to showcase the court reporting and captioning professions include the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) and the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), which holds college fairs on national, state, and regional levels.

Members who do participate in career fairs or any other promotional activities are encouraged to contact pr@ncra.org to have their stories possibly included in the JCR or JCR Weekly. Keep in mind that any photos taken at a school career event will likely need to hide any identifying features of minors, especially faces.

Angel Donor Profile: Aimee Goldberg

Aimee Goldberg

The National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) supports the advancement of the court reporting and captioning professions through education, scholarship, recognition, and programs critical to preserving the past, enriching the present, and securing the future of the profession. NCRF is able to do the great work it does with donations from individuals and organizations through various donor programs, including the popular Angels program.

Each month, the JCR Weekly will highlight one of the more than 100 Angels who support the National Court Reporters Foundation year after year. This month, we profile Aimee Goldberg, CEO of and partner in Benchmark Reporting Agency in Minneapolis, Minn.

JCR | Let’s begin with learning where you are based and what you do.

AG | I own Benchmark Reporting Agency along with my partner, Eric Goldberg. I oversee the administration and operations of our firm.

JCR | How long have you been an Angel?

AG | I have been a contributing member of the NCRF Angels program since 2008.

JCR | Clearly being an Angel is important to you. Why?

AG | I am a firm believer in supporting and giving back to our profession. NCRF supports our profession in many ways. NCRF creates exposure, building awareness and knowledge about our industry. NCRF also provides financial support to students with scholarships and programs designed to enhance their education. One of the programs will pay a student’s NCRA dues upon completion of two oral histories through the Oral Histories Program. This gives them access to invaluable resources available to NCRA members, including the JCR

JCR | What is your favorite NCRF program?

AG | My favorite NCRF program is the Oral Histories Program. This allows our profession to shine by providing a written record of those who were interviewed as a part of world events that should never be forgotten. This is a prime example of the far-reaching power of the written word.

Learn more about the NCRF Angel Donors program, or become an Angel.

News from STARtech 19

By Lynette Mueller

Certified trainers Rosalynn DiBartolo and Merilee Johnson, RDR, CRR, CRC

As I reflect on my professional educational journey, it seems I have a habit of attending the same conferences and seminars each year. I wanted to do something new and different. I heard some buzz about computer software user groups and decided I should take a deeper dive by attending STARtech 19 in Nashville, Tenn. I definitely had high hopes for an amazing experience, and I was not disappointed. The in-depth CAT software training was topnotch, and there were free 30-minute one-on-one sessions with certified trainers! I totally took advantage of that huge perk. In the interest of keeping everyone up to date on the latest tech news, I also took the opportunity to interview Cindi Lynch, Stenograph’s trainer extraordinaire; James Kuta from Stenograph; and Lauren Lawrence from Stenovate.

Case CATalyst – RealTeam


The Stenograph team

Cindi Lynch from Stenograph gave me the rundown on this new feature for Case CATalyst.

LM | Give us an overview of the new feature of Case CATalyst — RealTeam.

CL | RealTeam is Stenograph’s simultaneous editing feature. It enables sharing of text, audio, and globals in real time. All of the RealTeam participants have access to all text, audio, and globals. For example, a reporter can be writing and translating in realtime while one or more scopists edit and/or proofreaders proof the same file; or, outside of realtime, two or more scopists and/or proofreaders can work simultaneously on the same file. This feature can significantly speed up the process of transcript production by enabling multiple parties to edit the same file during realtime or post-translation. Also, if the realtime is being output to CaseViewNet or a CARTView display, any party receiving a realtime text display also gets the benefit of more accurate translation.

LM | How is this a game-changer for aspiring realtime court reporters?

CL | This is a game-changing feature for everyone involved in transcript production — reporters, scopists, and proofers — as it enables editing and proofing to be done far more quickly. A reporter with a reliable partner, or multiple partners, can count on those partners to assist in the accurate editing of the file. This means more accurate realtime translation display and the ability to deliver the finished product more quickly than ever before. For a reporter who is not yet providing realtime, having a trusted partner who can correct on the fly could mean the difference in quality of output that could mean being confident enough to be able to provide realtime translation services to the other participants in the proceedings (vs. not providing those services). They can compete with their colleagues and out-deliver competitors.

LM | What are the main requirements for a court reporter and a scopist as far as software to utilize this new feature?

CL | All members of the team must be using Case CATalyst Version 20 and have an internet connection.

LM | What do you feel are the top three benefits of this new feature?

CL | These are my top picks:

1. Speed of delivery. A good team can provide more accurate translation during realtime and a final transcript very quickly after the conclusion of the proceedings. Instead of taking weeks or days, the transcript can realistically be completed same day or next day. That makes the clients happy and impressed with the service provided (which is also good for the profession as a whole).

2. Better schedule coverage/opportunities to earn more. Instead of dedicating one or two days a week to write and the rest of the week to edit, a reporter and scoping/proofing team has time to take more jobs. Realistically, a reporter could write 4-5 days per week, earning the income from those additional jobs.

3. Quality of life. Reporters working alone typically devote 3-4 hours of editing for every hour that they write. With teamwork, the job can be completed in far less time. That means a significant increase in the amount of time available to each person who works on a job. A reporter no longer must assume his or her job may eat up the weekend as well as the week. A scopist no longer has to miss his or her kid’s soccer game or forgo dinner plans with the significant other because he or she has hundreds of pages to edit and return. Firm owners and office managers from firms will have less stress because the jobs they are responsible for getting to the client are available to them faster than ever before. Getting the job of transcripts edited and delivered faster means more time to enjoy life beyond work. Less stress means greater satisfaction with life and work, which in turn has positive effects on one’s health and happiness. RealTeam can be the ticket to all this!

LM | Do the changes appear on a client’s realtime screen immediately?

CL | To a client viewing a CARTView window – yes. To a client viewing via CaseViewNet Browser or iCVNet or CaseViewNet PC – yes, ifthe reporter has a CaseViewNet license and thus has access to the Rapid Refresh feature that ensures that editing changes display immediately. A client viewing output via some other viewer or the product of a reporter without a CaseViewNet license would not have the same capabilities.

CaseViewNet

James Kuta from Stenograph offered more details on CaseViewNet.

LM | What is CaseViewNet and who should use it?

JK | CaseViewNet is a software platform for the realtime delivery of text to clients. CaseViewNet is used by court reporters and captioners to provide the delivery of text to attorneys, judges, and CART customers in realtime. CaseViewNet is useful in any situation where a client wants to receive a realtime text feed from a court reporter or broadcast or CART captioner.

CaseViewNet is a software platform that allows for both local and remote delivery of text through a local area network or the internet. There are three CaseViewNet viewing software platforms available:

  • CaseViewNet for Windows is a fully featured viewing software that allows for both local and remote viewing. It has tools clients can use to mark, annotate, search, and create text reports.
  • CaseViewNet for iPad is a lighter-weight viewer that is available for the Apple iPad devices. It has tools clients can use to mark and search text.
  • CaseViewNet Browser Edition is a browser-based text viewer that is compatible with most any device that has internet capabilities. Text can be marked and searched.

LM | What are the three most important features of CaseViewNet?

JK | There are many, but if I had to choose, these are the three I’d pick:

  • CaseViewNet has a Rapid Refresh feature that updates the text on the CaseViewNet viewing software with all editing changes made by the court reporter or scoping team during the realtime connection.
  • CaseViewNet allows court reporters to wirelessly send realtime text to clients, both locally and remotely, either through a local area network or through an internet connection.
  • CaseViewNet allows attorneys and CART clients to search for text, connect late and still receive a full feed of all text from before they connected, and save a copy of the transcript (if court reporter allows) in common litigation software formats.

LM | Does a court reporter need additional equipment besides a writer and laptop to get started?

JK | It is possible a court reporter will need a WiFi router. It depends on their work environment. If the reporter works where there is already a WiFi router available for use or other means of internet connection, no addition equipment is needed.

LM | Is your product user-friendly from a client perspective?

JK | We believe it is. The CaseViewNet for Windows and CaseViewNet for iPad viewing software are free to download and use. The CaseViewNet Browser Edition software does not even require download or installation. The client simply goes to caseviewnet.com. Connecting to a realtime feed is as simple as clicking connect and then selecting the court reporter in the connect dialog, in the case of a local area connection. For a remote internet connection, a client will be provided with a “session code” by the court reporter.

LM | What if a client wants access to realtime but they’re in a different location? Will CaseViewNet be a viable option?

JK | Absolutely. CaseViewNet has remote connection capabilities through an internet connection.

LM | Can a court reporter using different CAT software utilize CaseViewNet?

JK | Yes. Court reporters using CAT software other than Case CATalyst can still use CaseViewNet. There are two connection types available to reporters on other CAT software: a wired connection using serial cables or a wireless connection using the internet.

Stenovate

I spoke to Lauren Lawrence about Stenovate, a work management tool featured at STARtech19.

LM | What is Stenovate, and who should use it?

LL | Stenovate is a business admin and collaborative work management tool designed for the transcript community, a/k/a court reporters, scopists, transcriptionists, and proofreaders. Currently, we all have our own business “system.” We’re savvy enough to piece everything together and produce accurate verbatim records, but it’s so much more work than it has to be.

I’ve talked to countless transcript gurus and asked how they organize their work, find help, communicate with their team, transfer files, invoice, pay, and get paid. I listen to their “system,” and then I repeat it back to them to make sure I understand. “So you’re telling me you…” xyz, xyz, xyz. When I’m done repeating it back, they proudly say, “You’ve got it! That’s what I do!” as if I’ve cracked their code. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

We’re building Stenovate to give everyone a better system — one system. By doing this, we remove inefficiencies that have been slowing us down. Getting everyone on the same page (pun intended) will be a game-changer for this community.

LM | What problem does your product solve for court reporters and scopists?

LL | There’s plenty of fancy tools for when we’re on the record. Stenovate is for everything off the record. It’s for when you go home and need to prioritize, communicate who’s covering what, transfer files around, track invoices, etc. I’ve always said attorneys don’t realize that time on the record is only half the job. There’s a whole backlog of things to do from home, and that’s where Stenovate solves problems.

LM | If productivity is the ultimate goal, how much time will I save?

LL | Since we’re a brand-new technology solution in a space that’s never had a platform like this before, it’s hard to give you statistics without a history, but we can give you some really solid data from “Driving Strategic and Operational Agility with Modern Work Management” featuring research from Forrester, one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world.

The article explains that Collaborative Work Management (CWM) is a new way to organize, track, and manage work. It’s built to “encourage agility and clarity so everyone, regardless of their role, can successfully plan, manage, and deliver business-critical work.” The report claims that “companies that adopt a CWM solution” like Stenovate “realize significant positive impacts,” especially with increased productivity and improved cross-functional execution.

Even if you don’t have a bunch of employees and hold weekly meetings, you are running a business. Stenovate recognizes and respects your hustle. We’re really excited to be serving this incredible community, and we’re looking forward to saving you time, providing the opportunity to earn more, and helping grow your business.

LM | What tools that users currently use will be replaced with Stenovate?

LL | The right tool can give you the rocket fuel you need; however, a bundle of disconnected tools can hinder momentum. Here’s a list of what we’ve seen the community using to organize, communicate, transfer files, or create/track invoices:

Excel, Word, Google Calendar (or any calendar), Depobook, Trello, WhatsApp, Facebook (Messenger or Groups), LinkedIn, Scoof, Slack, Viber, We Transfer, Dropbox, Gmail (or any mail), Share File, PayPal, Freshbooks, Wave, Quickbooks, Reporter Suite, and/or Stenaura.

I’ll stop at 20. There are others, but I’m sure you can see why the current “system” can be a headache, especially if you’re collaborating with multiple people who use different tools.

LM | What’s the learning curve to use this software?

LL | We’ve worked with some amazing user-interface and user-experience designers to be sure that Stenovate is user-friendly for anyone, even those who are not “techie.” If you can use Facebook, you can use Stenovate.


Use social media to stay informed about NCRA

There are many ways to stay in touch with NCRA and our members.

First, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Stay on top of the latest NCRA news at theJCR.com. News is also sent out every Wednesday through the JCR Weekly email.

To make sure you see NCRA Facebook posts, check your notification settings. Click on the arrow in the top right-hand corner to bring down the drop-down menu. Choose News Feed Preferences. Next click on Prioritize who to see first. Click on NCRA to make sure our posts show up in your news feed.

Another option for interacting with others in court reporting, captioning, and legal videography is our Facebook groups. Members of the groups can post useful information or ask questions of their peers.

“There are so many avenues to gain our tech knowledge and advice these days,” said Lynette Mueller, RDR, CRR, of Germantown, Tenn., chair of NCRA’s Technology Committee. “Facebook is definitely one of the forums some court reporters go to as their first source. When choosing to utilize Facebook groups or pages, my go-to is Court Reporter Technology!”

NCRA offers these Facebook groups:

Legal Videographers – CLVS

Court Reporter Technology

NCRA’s Realtime Program

Scopists & Proofreaders – NCRA

Official Reporters – NCRA

CART Captioners – NCRA

Freelance Court Reporters – NCRA

Captioners – NCRA

“I would encourage and urge all our members and court reporter colleagues to make NCRA’s Court Reporter Technology Facebook group your first and ultimate resource to solve your technology questions,” Mueller said. 

It’s also possible to set your notifications for Facebook groups.

On the left-hand side of the Facebook page, click on Groups. To change the notification settings for a group, click on the asterisk next to the group name. That will bring up a menu of choices about how often you want to be notified about posts in the group.

“I can attest to the vast wealth of knowledge and technical expertise our Technology Committee members possess,” Mueller said. “Currently, the committee has several ongoing feature articles that are published periodically on all things technology and realtime: Ask the techie, TechLinks, and articles in TheJCR.com and the Journal of Court Reporting.

“Our Ask the Techie articles are generated from our member questions. The latest articles have concentrated on brief forms to help court reporters write short and have flawless realtime output. The Committee will tackle any of your questions and provide expert solutions and results for any technology or realtime situation! You may send the questions you want the Technology Committee members to tackle to jcrfeedback@ncra.org.”

Erin Brockovich to Address 2019 Convention Attendees

Erin Brockovich

NCRA is pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for its 2019 Convention & Expo taking place Aug. 15-18 in Denver, Colo., will be renowned consumer advocate and environmental activist Erin Brockovich. She will deliver the keynote address on Friday morning as part of the Premier Session, which will also include the installation of officers.

“I am excited to welcome Erin to our event and look forward to hearing her insights, which will set the stage for the rest of Convention. Having a speaker of Erin’s caliber is one way that the NCRA Board of Directors is working hard to fulfill the promise of taking NCRA to the next level with NCRA 2.0. Of course, I look forward to welcoming every attendee to Denver and sharing with all of you this wonderful learning and networking experience. The 2019 Convention & Expo promises to be a one-of-a-kind event,” says President-Elect Max Curry, RPR, CRI, who will automatically ascend to the presidency during Convention.

The movie Erin Brockovich turned Erin from an unknown legal researcher into a 20th-century icon by showcasing how her persistence was the force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history. She continues to fight and uses her notoriety, knowledge, and dedicated spirit to encourage others to stand up and make a difference.

In addition to a diverse line-up of sessions for court reporters, captioners, legal videographers, and scopists, the 2019 Convention & Expo will include the two-day CRC Workshop and CRC Exam, the ever-popular CRR Boot Camp, full-day vendor training workshops, and the Punctuation Workshop on Thursday afternoon. Throughout the Convention attendees can earn up to 1.175 CEUs.

In addition to education, the NCRA Convention & Expo is known for its networking. Make sure to reserve your space for the highly anticipated ticketed events, including the Opening Reception, where you can meet and mingle with the Board of Directors, the many supportive vendors who make your jobs easier each and every day, and the members in attendance who are looking to make connections, too; the Awards Luncheon, where many NCRA members are recognized for their accomplishments; and the Member Recognition Gala, during which members can enjoy a night of dinner, drinks, and dancing. The annual Realtime and Speed Contests are also expected to sell out quickly, so don’t delay registering for these special events!

For more information about the 2019 NCRA Convention & Expo, or to register, visit NCRA.org/Convention. Take advantage of the special pricing in effect through May 15 that will get early registrants a $50 discount on the full registration. Attendees are also encouraged to reserve hotel rooms for the Convention at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. Staying at the host hotel not only gets great amenities for registered attendees (including continental breakfast on Friday and Saturday), but it also helps NCRA keep rates for events reasonable for everyone.

For sponsorship information please contact Mary Petto, Senior Director of External Affairs, at mpetto@ncra.org.