Start the year right

It is that time of year to remember to:

1. Start new paper calendars for the office and the courtroom if your court still requires paper.

2. Change the year on any steno machines and computers that do not automatically change dates.

3. Change invoice numbers for the new year. Example: 20140001.

4. Synchronize the steno machine and computer clocks with the clock in the courtroom.

5. Write fast, sell lots of copies.

Jerry Kelley, RPR, CRR, is an official reporter in McKinney, Texas. He is also a member of Technology Review Committee.

My “secret” for better realtime

When I am preparing for a trial, I do a number of things to make my realtime better.

  1. I go to the law firms’ websites and copy and paste photos of the litigators, along with their bios. This helps me build my speaker ID in advance. The judge always appreciates it when I provide that information to him, together with a seating chart I create for both of us before he enters the courtroom.
  2. Next, I input into my job dictionary spellings from the witness lists, CVs and reports of experts, exhibits lists, citations found in motions, briefs, rulings, etc.
  3. I create a core list from those spellings, which, of course, alphabetizes the entries.
  4. I adjust the font size to a nice large size, and then print out the list.
  5. I keep that alphabetized “cheat sheet” on my work station in front of me during the proceedings. I cannot tell you how much it enhances my realtime output when I have inputted multisyllabic words as one- or two-stroke briefs and have the core list in front of me as experts are testifying in rapid-fire Q&A.

Using these preparation techniques together with Brief-It, I can provide amazing realtime, at least by my own reckoning.