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A court reporter’s work is never done

Photo by the Hon. Melba Marsh

A recent story in TheJCR.com highlighted NCRA member Taleesa Smith, RPR, an official court reporter from Hamilton County, Ohio. She found herself reporting a sentencing proceeding from outside of an ambulance.

That led us to ask through NCRA’s social media accounts for other stories about unusual places court reporters and captioners have worked. Here are some of the answers:

Michael Anthony Scire, RPR, CMRS, Sarasota, Fla.

Parking garage. The jury had to see the car where the crime took place, so the parking garage was turned into a makeshift courtroom. My twin brother was the official that day in the courtroom. In order to not disrupt his realtime, we dressed alike that day and I pretended to be Richard S. Scire in the garage while he stayed in the courtroom.

Amanda Daniel, Tampa, Fla.

In a shed in the backyard of the witness’s house. The backyard shed was home to her billing service business. I knocked on her front door, her husband answered the door in nothing but his boxer shorts and pointed me to the backyard, and, oh, by the way, watch out for the dog. I sat on a filing cabinet in a corner of a shed with my machine on my lap. And it was a rush order. Because of course it was.

Lora Barnett, RMR, Overland Park, Kan.

Lora Barnett

On the side of a ski slope in Keystone, Colo., during ski season. It was on a “black” run, a ski run for more experienced skiers. It was a lawsuit about a skiing accident that happened on that run. The biggest problem was trying to keep the ink in my machine, and my fingers, from freezing.

Frances Ray, RPR, Florence, S.C.

We had a defendant who was very obese. Because of his size it was decided it would be too risky for him to use the elevator in the courthouse, so the judge agreed to take his guilty plea in the parking lot. The defendant sat in his truck and I was sitting in a chair in the parking lot with my writer, taking down the proceedings.

Paul G. Brandell, RPR, Lansing, Mich.

On a bus traveling across the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Canada and then standing up in a duty- free warehouse.

Julie Patti-Andolpho, Boynton Beach, Fla.

On a very high floor in a building that was being constructed in Miami. I had to wear a hard hat and boots. Very scary.

Shannon Roberts, RPR, Canton, Ohio

On a dirt road next to a pig farm, talking about property lines, sitting on bumpers of cars. I finally asked for a better seat and got an old feed bucket.

Tiffany Treffeisen, RPR, Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.

I’ve had a few, but the top two are on a man-made berm that the entire court staff had to ride airboats to get to and; second, a jury view with multiple stops outside in the middle of a road being constructed through a family’s farm.

Sherree DeAnda, Sacramento, Calif.

It was in Jalisco, Mexico, and involved a two-hour drive on a dirt road to a hut-like structure.

Susan Gee, RMR, CRR, Cincinnati, Ohio

The old Reds stadium where somebody was injured in the field. It was tough keeping my paper in the tray because it was windy. Also at a table at Perkins where every five minutes the waitress asked if we were ready to order. Sheesh.

Maryl Jonas, RMR, Canton, Ohio

Sitting on a bar stool in the kitchen of a guy who did fabricating out of his barn. I had to balance my machine on my lap, and his elderly Doberman slobbered down my leg. The guy had no kitchen table and a framed picture of the Dobie on the wall.

Rhonda Hall-Breuwet, RDR, CRR

On the Ringling Brothers train.

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