New Professional Profile: Tatelyn Noda

Tatelyn Noda, RPR

My name is Tatelyn Noda, RPR, and I am an official court reporter for the First Judicial Circuit of Alabama. I graduated from Prince Institute in Montgomery, Ala., in 2014 and worked briefly in Alabama as a freelance reporter before moving to Miami, Fla. I continued in freelance until I accepted an officialship in August of 2018.

JCR | How did you hear about court reporting and what made you choose that career path?

TN | My mom had a friend who freelanced, and she mentioned it to me in the seventh grade. At the start of my eighth-grade year, my parents and I toured Prince Institute. I fell in love with the profession. I immediately started college after finishing high school and never looked back. I could never sufficiently repay my mom for guiding me in the right direction and for always being by my side through college, freelancing, and official reporting. 

JCR | What is your next career goal?

TN | I’m currently practicing daily for the RMR and CRR. After that, on to the RDR!

JCR | When you’re not behind your steno machine, what do you do with your free time?

TN | My husband, Carlos, and I spend all of our free time with our boys: Harrison, Everett, and Walker. We enjoy traveling, visiting family, and renovating our historical home.

JCR | How has being involved with state or national associations benefitted you?

TN | Being involved with your state and national association is key to creating long-lasting friendships within our industry. Being involved has kept me up to date on topics and advances surrounding our profession and has even helped me implement new techniques in the way that I write.

JCR | Tell us about your favorite depo and/or location you’ve worked.

TN | My favorite job was a deposition of a very well-known restaurateur. I had absolutely no idea who the deponent was until I scoped the file. Looking back, he was so humble and just an overall nice person. I will never forget that deposition. My favorite location? The Florida Keys! I would never turn down an opportunity to write in paradise! I’d always make sure to stop by and pick up a key lime pie before heading back to Miami.

JCR | After freelancing for a couple of years, what was something you had to get used to when working in your role as an official?

TN | I had to get used to the criminal testimony and domestic matters. Before becoming an official, I only dealt with civil matters. Going from white-collar disagreements to crime scene photos took a little getting used to.

JCR | Who is your mentor, and how have they helped you along the way?

TN | Renda Cornick is my steno hero. She’s a phenomenal writer, reporter, wife, mom, and friend. She never passes up an opportunity to cheer me on in my career and in my personal life. As a newer reporter, she has really been an inspiration to me.

Janet Russo has helped shape me into the reporter I am today. She took me under her wing and has taught me so much. She always made time for me when I had a question and would always look over any work I was unsure of. I am forever thankful — and grateful — for all of the time and knowledge she has shared with me.

Rhonda Hall-Breuwet, RDR, CRR, a freelancer in Lakeland, Fla., has always been there for me when it comes to all things reporting, especially Florida reporting and realtime. She really pushed me to get my certifications and has always helped me whenever needed. I dream of being on her realtime level. She is a phenomenal reporter!

JCR | Any advice for students?

TN | Strive for perfection, but please know that no one is perfect. Learn your software, retain a seasoned accountant, always be professional, and start testing for certifications as soon as possible. Be nice to everyone you meet and always wear a smile!

In NCRA member’s sixth mystery novel, legal secretary Jamie Winters is at it again

Jamie Winters, a legal secretary and amateur sleuth, is at it again in Death by Diamonds, the recent installment of a mystery series authored by NCRA member Kelly Nasuti, RMR, CRR, CRC. The latest installment, released Feb. 25, marks the sixth mystery by Nasuti, a full-time captioner who writes under the pen name Kelly Rey. The novel is published by Gemma Halliday Publishing.

In this latest crime novel, Winters realizes that diamonds are not always a girl’s best friend when a dead body shows up on her boyfriend Curt’s patio … with a pocket full of diamonds! The dead woman was an old college friend of Curt’s, and the deeper Winter digs, the more it appears someone was out to get her. With the help of her teenage sidekick, Maizy, Winters tries to determine if Amber, the dead woman, was an innocent victim or a jewel thief. And as the case leads them to a shady pawnshop and its shadier staff, Winters realizes no one is whom they appear to be, and everyone is a suspect. Was it the wannabe-mobster owner, his long-suffering wife, his spoiled daughter, the gold-obsessed clerk, or the inscrutable security guard? Or possibly it was the owner’s hired muscle nicknamed the Disposer … who just may dispose of Winters and Maizy. One thing is for sure: The killer will stop at nothing to reclaim those diamonds, and if she isn’t careful, Winters could just be the next target in the way!

Nasuti said she has written stories ever since she could write. What keeps her motived is that writing has always been a constant for her and “a source of both absolute joy and teeth-gnashing frustration at various times. At this point, writing about Jamie and Maizy and company is like revisiting old eccentric friends. And while I have other projects lined up, I’m really fortunate to be able to keep dipping into their lives and relating their latest adventure.”

Motion for Murder, Nasuti’s first mystery novel released in 2014, introduced readers to Winters in a story laced with humor, wit, a dose of romance, and a murder. In Nasuti’s second novel, Motion for Malice, Winters solves the murder of Dorcas Beeber, a psychic medium who was found dead from an apparent blow to the head by her own crystal ball.

Winters tracks down clues to solve the murder of Kay Culverson, a low-budget cable talk show host who is found dead in her office in Motion for Madness, the third novel in the series. In Motion for Mischief, Nasuti’s fourth novel, Winters solves the murder of Oxnard Thorpe, the Adult Diaper King of New Jersey and one of her firm’s most important clients, after he is found dead in the swimming pool of his sprawling mansion on his wedding night.

In A Playboy in Peril,  Winters has never heard of Virtual Waste, a local New Jersey Pinelands area band, until their drummer is murdered backstage at a show and Winters’ teenaged sidekick, Maizy, sees the killer. While Winters’ landlord, Curt, fills in with the band, Winters and Maizy must deal with the victim’s disgruntled bandmates, discarded groupies, an ex-Marine bouncer, an unhinged Einstein look-alike, an emotionally overwrought agent, an ill-tempered giant, and even the Jersey Devil, as they track down the killer before Maizy becomes the next victim.

Nasuti, who is an official USA Today bestselling author, said she has no set number of books she plans to write in the series but plans to keep on writing as long as people are reading them.

Along with the Jamie Winters series, she’s also been co-authoring the Marty Hudson mysteries with New York Times bestselling author Gemma Halliday. The second Marty Hudson mystery, Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diva, was released in late 2018.

Nasuti, who has been a court reporter since 1983, operated as Regional Reporting Inc. until 2005 when she joined VITAC. Nasuti is also a member of Sisters in Crime, a group that promotes the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.

All of Nasuti’s books are available in e-book format for Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords. They are also available in paperback at Amazon.comCreateSpace.com, and other online retailers.

Do you love your job?

We recently asked followers of the NCRA Facebook page to tell us why they love their job, in honor of Court Reporting & Captioning Week. Here are some of the answers:

“I have an ongoing love affair with this career that affords me a closeup, frequently intimate portal into the personal and professional lives of so many others. I learn new life lessons from their different experiences and broad educational backgrounds nearly every single day. I have come to know and appreciate that we are respected and admired for our integrity and capabilities more than most of us realize or believe. Court reporting has given me a wonderful, full life through the years, albeit at times too full. I stand up for and promote this profession every chance I get. It’s been a lifelong passion of mine. Feeling blessed out here in Washington!”

Phyllis Craver-Lykken, RPR, a freelancer from Seattle, Wash.


“I love learning so much about so many different things. I love knowing that what I do truly makes a difference in people’s lives. I love knowing there’s not a lot of people capable of doing what I do. I love that I can solely financially support myself doing something I enjoy. I love every other Friday, a/k/a payday.”

Beverly Bleigh, RPR, an official reporter in Davenport, Iowa


“I love the life stories of others. I love getting a chance to meet others and learn from their experiences. I love getting the chance to strive for perfection in my writing. I love doing a job with so much variety that you never get bored.”

Laura Fulton, RPR, CRR, an official reporter in Mason City, Iowa


“Benefits! Paid vacations, holidays off, comp time, sick time, snow days, and a judge who’s dynamite to work for.”

Johanna Masse, RMR, CRR, an official in Williston, Vt.


“Trials! I love being in trial and facing new challenges. There’s always something more to learn to keep me engaged and new goals to work toward. I love court reporting!”

Dani Murray, RMR, CRR, an official in Olathe, Kan.


“My work is never dull. Different locations, interesting people, and varied subject matter. I learn something new every day.”

Lin Riffle, RDR, CRR, CRC, a freelance reporter in Columbus, Ohio


“I love being a stenographer because every day is different than the one before. I get to hear a little snippet of all walks of life, everything from serial killers to Super Bowl football players. It’s fascinating! Each day I’m able to challenge myself to write better, cleaner, faster, and more efficiently; so it never gets boring. Over the last 30 years, it has been a career that has served me through all phases of my life, from a young, hardworking professional to mother of young children, and now as a mom of college kiddos. I’m excited for the future of our profession!”

Amy Doman, RPR, CRR, a freelancer in Carmel, Ind.


“I’m an independent contractor. Been reporting for 22 years. Love having this career. Work when and how much I want, paid every Friday. Different stories heard every day, especially in Las Vegas. Sometimes make obscene money for not doing hardly anything.”

Gina DiLuzio, RPR, a freelancer from Las Vegas, Nev.


“I like to be a part of the show 🙂.”

Kathryn A. Thomas, RDR, CRR, CRC, a captioner from Caseyville, Ill.


“35 years. I would do it all over again.”

Tammie Foreman, RPR, CRR, a freelancer in Sherwood, Ark.

NCRA member Dianna L. Coleman passes away

The Greely Tribune reported on Jan. 29 that NCRA member Dianna Lynn (New) Coleman, RPR,  who worked in Texas, passed away on Jan. 9.  

Read more.

NCRA member highlighted in South Dakota story

SiouxFalls.Business highlighted NCRA member Pat Beck, RMR, and her daughter, Paige Franzen, in a Jan. 6 story about the shortage of court reporters in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Read more.

From accounting to court reporting in Alabama

Student Savannah Ray started out as an accounting student, but she changed paths to court reporting thanks to encouragement from her mother.

UTS | Can you talk a little about your background? Did you start the program straight out of high school, or did you have another career first?

SR | I’m an Alabama native, and I have lived in Gadsden for more than five years now.  I decided in my senior year of high school I would be going to Gadsden State to earn an accounting degree. I realized very quickly during my first semester that it wasn’t something that would make a fulfilling career for me because I didn’t really have as much interest in it as I thought.

UTS | How did you first get the idea of being a court reporter?

SR | Well, after I decided accounting wasn’t the path I wanted to take, I mentioned to my mom how I felt lost and was unsure of what to do anymore. She had taken the court reporting program for a brief period before and told me it couldn’t hurt to look into it. I did some research and fell in love with the profession. It kind of lit a fire in me and reignited my excitement for college. I started the program in August 2018 and haven’t looked back since!

UTS | What skill sets do you think would be helpful for a court reporter to possess?

SR | Time management and good concentration have been crucial for me through school. Our instructors hold us to the same standard we’ll have in the working world, so you have to learn to manage your workload in a timely manner and to focus on writing and editing for hours at a time if that’s what is needed.

UTS | What kinds of challenges have you faced during your court reporting program?

SR | The biggest challenge for me was accepting that sometimes you’ll fail. In the path to becoming a court reporter, you’re faced with the hard truth that you won’t always be able to pass every speed the first time you take it. Sometimes you’ll get stuck. There were times I’d really beat myself up over that, but that only held me back even more. Now I try to see not passing in a more positive light, it’s an experience I learned from that’ll help me improve in my future work.

UTS | Have you had a mentor help you out while in school? If yes, how has that helped? If no…how could a mentor help you?

SR | Yes, I recently got a mentor! She’s been lovely and very supportive. Any time I post about my progress she always sends me encouragement, and she’s even helped me to be able to go to my first conference this month which I’m really excited about.

 UTS | Where do you see yourself in five years?

SR | My dream job is to become an official so hopefully in five years I’ll have been able to achieve that.

UTS | What is the best advice you’ve been given so far?

SR | My instructor Michelle once told us to remember that this is our own race to run and it’s not about when you cross the finish line, it’s just about getting across it. That’s really motivated me in the moments when I’m feeling stuck because even if it takes time, I’ll get through those rough spots and make it to my finish line.

UTS | If you were to go to a high school career fair to recruit students, what would you say to them about a career in court reporting and captioning?

SR | I’d tell them about how, with a lot of hard work, you’ll be able to have a skill that not a lot of other people can say they have, writing at 225 words per minute with 95 percent accuracy is an amazing thing to be able to do. There’s also a large amount of job opportunities in the field right now with a potential to earn a nice income.

UTS | Where do you see the profession of court reporting and captioning 10 years from now? Do you think technology will help or hurt the profession?

SR | I feel like advances in technology can be a big help to reporters if we put in the time to learn and master it. Students now can do things that years ago weren’t possible. If we can continue to adapt technology to be an aide to us and work to raise awareness about the profession to younger people, our profession can thrive for years to come.

Savannah Ray is a student at Gadsden State Community College in Gadsden, Ala.

Angel profile: Mary Bader

Mary Bader, FAPR, RPR

The JCR Weekly regularly highlights one of the more than 100 Angels who support the National Court Reporters Foundation. This month, we profile Mary Bader, FAPR, RPR, an official court reporter from Battle Creek, Mich. Bader will soon be retiring from her court position and from the NRCF Board of Trustees.

“The NCRF Board of Trustees would like to thank Mary Bader for serving as a Trustee,” said NCRF Board of Trustees Chair Tami Keenan, FAPR, RPR, CPE, a retired court reporter from Battle Creek, Mich. “She has been an integral part of the Board, and we will miss her very much as she looks forward to retirement in the near future. She plans to enjoy spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. However, she also plans on continuing her dedication to our profession. Thank you, Mary!”

Currently serving as an official court reporter for the Eau Claire County Branch 2, Bader began her career in 1990. She has held membership in NCRA since 1988 and served as chair of the National Committee of State Associations from 2015-2017. She is also a member of the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association, where she served on its board of directors from 2003 through 2013 and as its president from 2009 to 2011.

JCR | How long have you been an Angel?

MB | I really cannot tell you how many years I have been an Angel. I know it’s more than 10 because I have the pin and the beautiful clock to prove it. 

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

MB | Being an Angel is a fabulous way to give back to the profession that has been so good to me. Serving on NCRA committees and task forces is so important to moving our profession forward but being an Angel and being part of the Foundation is the best way I can think of to give back. 

JCR | What is your favorite NCRF program?

MB | The Foundation’s programs are wide and diverse. Our programs promote students and new professionals. Our legal education program provides useful information for law schools, state bar associations, law firms, and other legal professionals on how to make the best record. NCRF’s Veterans History Project is our way of contributing to preserving our nation’s history, and perhaps more importantly it is an avenue for veterans to tell their stories, so they are assured their sacrifices are not forgotten. 

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

Why I love court reporting: Jamie Booker

Jamie Booker

Jamie Booker, RPR, a freelance reporter in Tacoma, Wash., recently posted the following in the Facebook group Encouraging Court Reporting Students:

Why is court reporting an amazing profession? Maybe you’ll see yourself in my story. I started court reporting school at 20 years old with a one-year-old baby. I had to do something to better our lives, and I’m thankful every day I found court reporting.

I started school full time. While in school, I had two more babies so I finished school part-time at night while working and raising small children. It took me four years to finally finish, but I’m so, so glad I did. It was not easy. I practiced with toddlers at my feet and infants crying and with not nearly enough hours in the day.

I passed my second 225 on a Thursday night, and I was working in court that following Monday as an official. I worked in an extremely busy courthouse in Philadelphia, but they had a great training program for new reporters. Even though Pennsylvania is not a certification state, I got my RPR anyway. Because I was certified, doors I never thought possible opened for me.

After 10 years in Philly, I wanted to try something new. Because I was a court reporter, I could! I quit my job and moved across the country to Tacoma without even looking for a job first. As soon as I had feet on the ground in Washington, there was no shortage of freelance work. It was seamless. I could be brave, try something new, and I had an amazing career that allowed it. Six months later, I was back in court in another official position.

Here I am, more than eight years later. My youngest is turning 18, and I can look to a new chapter. I’m leaving my job as an official and am heading into the freelance arena. I just wasn’t happy in court anymore. And unlike 99 percent of Americans, I will never be stuck where I don’t want to be. With reporting, we have options. We can be brave. We can try new things, and we don’t have to sacrifice an income to do it.

As a student, your sacrifices are now. They are many. They are not fun. School is the hardest part of your whole career. But we have opportunities that will make your friends and families green with envy. STICK IT OUT! Your pain now will be so much gain later.

NCRA member passes away

The Ocala News reported on Jan. 16 that NCRA member Susan Mary Dow, RMR, CRR, passed away on Jan. 12 at her home in Ocala, Fla.

Read more.

Presenting at the NCRA Conference for the first time

Penny Wile

By Penny Wile, RPR, RMR, CRR

When I was asked to speak on a panel at the 2019 NCRA Conference & Expo in Denver, Colo., I was honored and immediately accepted. I never imagined I would be asked to present at a national convention. I will admit, I am a newbie at speaking to my court reporting peers. I was asked to be on a panel with three very talented professionals and speak on how we promote the profession. We had a couple of conference calls before the convention and only met one another briefly before we spoke on the panel.

Being a newbie and not knowing what to expect, before I left home to attend the conference, I typed up what I planned to speak about and arrived in Denver with my notes. My fear was how am I going to speak for a solid 10 minutes with the few notes I had compiled. It seemed like 10 minutes of content.

While in Denver my son and I spent time sightseeing in Boulder, Nederland, and Morrison. We drove up the rocks and took in the amazing views and visited some of the Colorado attractions.

Fast forward to Saturday, the day I was scheduled to present. When I returned to my room at lunchtime, I found that in my haste to keep our room tidy I had thrown away my notes. After grabbing some food to-go, I returned to my room and sat down to quickly type up what I could remember from the notes I had thrown away. I typed the notes on my iPad and ate, all the while wondering if this would be sufficient.

When I arrived at the meeting hall, I will admit I was nervous. I knew very little about my fellow panelists and didn’t really know what to expect. One by one the panelists entered, and I was immediately at ease. They were friendly, knowledgeable about the topic we would be presenting on, and all-around impressive court reporting professionals.

Each of us on the panel brought something different to the table. We spoke of promoting the profession through our presentations at the middle and high school levels, community college level, job fairs, and volunteer opportunities. We discussed resources that can be used to promote our profession and how to obtain them.

In hindsight, I feel I could have done better with my presentation. When it was my turn to speak, I began with too much of my background. I kept thinking 10 minutes was a long time to speak. But before I knew it, I had run out of time. I didn’t even use the notes I had retyped. I was appreciative of the questions asked by our audience because it gave me an opportunity to address the topic in more detail.

After attending the NCRA Conference & Expo, I came away empowered by all of the speakers from their topic content and the effortless way they presented.

I hope I will be invited again to be a speaker so I can use what I have learned from my first experience – be concise and informative! It was an honor to be asked by NCRA to be part of the conference agenda, and I truly appreciated the opportunity to speak and network with my peers and the NCRA staff who work so hard for us. Always remember, like our panel topic demonstrated, promote the profession!

Penny Wile, RMR, CRR, is a freelance court reporter and owner of Penny Wile Court Reporting. She resides in Norfolk, Va. She can be contacted at pawile@cox.net.

Click to find out how to apply to present at the 2020 NCRA Conference & Expo.