By Jill Parker Landsman
The COVID-19 crisis has led court reporting and captioning professionals to quickly change the way they work. Many NCRA vendors have stepped up to support our members with special offers.
According to Dan Richmond, the CEO of Live Litigation: “The need for our services has gone up dramatically over these nine years. Just recently, our trainings have gone up 400 to 500 percent.” His team provides the legal industry with local and cloud-based remote deposition, trial, mediation, and arbitration software, as well as electronic exhibits, Web-based video conferencing, non-discoverable chat, and toll-free conferencing solutions.
The company recently offered a discount to NCRA members through June 30. Richmond said: “We look forward to helping the reporters during these crazy times.” He and his associates know that this new method has a steep learning curve, but he sees this time as an opportunity for many court reporters.
“We are willing to provide [the LiveLitigation training for] free,” he said, “We have a wiki page on our website which provides other options they can do themselves: tutorials. We can help with the remote part. We are trying to educate everybody about how to do this while courthouses are shut down.”
Zafe Mustafa, founder of Final Exhibits, is the owner of Doneby5. His company’s mission is to create software applications and clever widgets that help litigation professionals work efficiently and accurately. Final Exhibits is offering a 25 percent discount to NCRA members through July 10.
“It has been a heartwarming privilege to extend courtesy discounts to professional groups such as the National Court Reporters Association,” said Mustafa. “The motivating force behind my software has always been to make the job of legal professionals a bit easier. My hope is that this offering will make their lives a bit easier as well and remind all of us that communities, be they professional or personal, are important in getting us through uncertain times.”
To quote Anir Dutta, president of Stenograph, from the company’s web page: “Due to the critical nature of our business, and in order to do everything possible to minimize any impact to [our clients’] productivity, our team is working around the clock. Our assembly and service teams have been provided personal protective equipment while they continue working at our manufacturing facility to fulfill orders and service writers. Our sales, customer service, and technical support teams are working remotely and taking calls to provide [clients] with information.
“Our sales and marketing teams are rolling out online training courses for customers that could help them work remotely and be more productive and efficient during this time of crisis. We are also putting together special product bundles and deferred payment offers on key products, such as professional writers, CaseViewNet, and Cloud Session Codes to help stenographers work remotely.
“We understand that our customer base is facing unprecedented closures and work shortages during this crisis,” Dutta said. “We are working hard to help ease that pain.”
“As we continue to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, [Advantage Software] remains committed to providing you with industry-leading products and services as well as 24/7/365 tech support,” said Greg Seely, president of Advantage Software. The company recently presented a free webinar on working remotely with Eclipse and educating clients.
Realtime is often requested when court reporters work remotely. Bridge Mobile allows practitioners to provide unlimited realtime services over the Internet without incurring additional fees. Advantage Software is offering a free 30-day trial of Bridge Mobile, which is compatible with most versions of CAT software, according to Seely.
With the vast majority of Americans under stay-at-home mandates, Seely invites reporters to “pass some time by honing your skills. Everyone with an active Eclipse support contract is invited to view our library of previously recorded webinars free through May 31. Much more exciting than another Game of Thrones re-run,” he pointed out.
“We’re all in this together,” said Viki McCrary, StenoCAT’s manager of sales and customer relations. “We know that a better time will return, and we wish to support any customer who needs a bit of help between now and then.”
The StenoCAT support and sales are working remotely, she noted. “There is no change to our ability to provide needed service to clients,” McCrary said, “We have experienced an unusually heavy call volume due to the unforeseen needs of reporters learning new tools and adjusting to work from home. Providing specialized webinars to help customers navigate the requirements of using third-party tools with StenoCAT and TrialBook Realtime Streaming, we had over 100 people sign up for one of our webinars within hours of announcing its availability.”
Remote work demands have increased, she explained. “Many courts and agencies have selected a teleconferencing application and have requested that their reporters work remotely,” McCrary said. “Concerns over privacy and security are always in the forefront of a reporter’s consciousness.”
StenoCAT does not specifically endorse any third-party product.
According to Emily Barnhill, marketing manager for Remote Counsel, “The demand for remote depositions is unprecedented in our 20-year history, and our service team is working around the clock, day and night.”
The company provides the industry remote service and support to help its partners adapt to this new work-from-home approach. Remote Counsel created co-branded materials for their court reporter partners to send out to their clients to illustrate the work they can deliver despite current disruption.
Remote Counsel services include videoconferencing, text and video streaming, room rentals, and scheduling. These services are compatible with most CAT software.
The court reporting industry businesses stand ready to help you. In this highly unusual time, it is cheering to see how many people are rising to the occasion and finding ways to help.
Stenograph’s Anir Dutta said it simply but best: “We are in this together. The strength to emerge from this pandemic will come from us working together.”