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PROFILE: Dallas Ann H. Erwood, RDR, CRR

Erwood_IMG_0199Official Court Reporter, St. of CA, Riverside County, Indio Drug Court

Currently resides in Indian Wells, Calif.

MEMBER SINCE: May 2, 1981

GRADUATED FROM:  San Diego College of Business/Rutledge College

THEORY:  Herman Miller


Why did you decide to become a court reporter?  How did you learn about the career? 

A teammate on my Bobby Sox Softball All Start team, when we were about 12, said she wanted to be a court reporter when she grew up, and I said, “What’s a court reporter?”  Then when I was attending college and floundering, I heard an ad for a local vocational school on the radio proclaiming “The exciting life of a court reporter,” so I signed up to start that September.

What surprised you about your career and why? Would you tell us about that experience? 

The money!  I did not want to make any of my answers about money, but honestly, I did not go into this business for the money.  I loved the language, letters, listening, word problems, and puzzles.  I was shocked and amazed what they paid for this skill!

One time, I was working on a “double indemnity” insurance case in civil court where one insurance company was suing another insurance company and it was all about which one had to pay up, or who had to indemnify, and both sides’ counsel came up to me and said, “We want you to make as much money as you can on this case!”  They both wanted a realtime feed, printouts. And it was appealed.

Do you have a favorite gadget?  If so, what is it, and why do you like it? 

Why, the Diamante, of course! My husband got me the blood-red model for my birthday this year, and I was told in school that “You will have to marry your machine,” and so we  – “Ruby” and me – are in our honeymoon phase this first year.  She has my back, and she’s got my backup!  Her touch is perfect:  light but firm, if you know what I mean; I can make it whatever I want.  She is so pretty, and I love looking at her inner workings and her screen where my steno converts to all these wonderful words … I could wax on forever, or at least 3-1/2 more years until I retire.

What book are you reading right now? 

I’m reading Hawaii: A Novel by James A. Michener right now, because we are going to Hawaii for Christmas. It’s the first thing on my bucket list:  Christmas in Hawaii.

What advice or tips would you offer to new reporters?

Be open to all possibilities this job offers. You get to choose, and you can’t lose.

Have you accomplished something not related to your career that you would like to relate? 

I rode a bike down Haleakala Mountain on Maui in 2007 for my 50th birthday.  About a month after we got home, there was an article in the L.A. Times about how they shut down all touring companies offering guided rides down Haleakala because they’d experienced the third death of that year, so they yanked all licenses of all companies.  So we really cheated death, and it was death-defying indeed.  The only muscles of my body that were sore were the palms of my hands from squeezing the handbrakes the whole way down.  I felt like E.T. the extraterrestrial riding a bike up in that super-high atmosphere at the crack of dawn!



Very briefly, your honor  –  PW-S (BS!)

Paraphernalia  –  PAEUFRPBL

Indemnification  –  TKEPLGS

And last but not least, initial P  –  process