Roberts has prize-winning photo for NCRA contest

Maxine Roberts, RDR

Maxine Roberts, RDR, an official in Akron, Ohio, is the winner of the NCRA Marketing Photo Contest. She told the JCR Weekly a little about the photo and how she feels about winning.

JCR | What gave you the idea to have pictures taken with your steno machine? 

MR | I’ve been a court reporter for more than 30 years and have never captured or seen a photo of myself while on the job. Of course, I’ve seen very brief snippets of myself from coverage of different cases on the local news stations, but I wanted to do something fun with it to create a memory for myself as I near retirement.

JCR | Do you have plans on how you want to use the photos?

MR | I will probably print and frame it for myself.

JCR | Why did you decide to enter this profession?

MR | I knew nothing about the court reporting profession when I decided to embark upon it. At the time I was working at a local hospital on a part-time basis while attending the university. Knowing neither was what I wanted to do, I took to the ads in the local paper and ran across an advertisement for the Academy of Court Reporting and decided to try my hand, or hands should I say. I’ve now been at it 35 years, and here I am today.

JCR | What did you think when you heard you won our contest? 

MR | I was completely surprised. Who knew a last-minute decision would produce a winning photo?

JCR | Anything else you would like to add?  

MR | I want to thank NCRA for choosing my photo and thank my photographer, Lonnie Griffin Photography, for taking care of me at the last minute.

NOTE: Roberts will also be featured as the NCRA member profiled in the October JCR.

NCRA Director in the news

The Loveland Reporter-Herald reported on Sept. 16 that Jason Meadors, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, a freelance court reporter and firm owner in Fort Collins, Colo., was elected last month to serve a three-year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Court Reporters Association.

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Pet peeves and favorite words: An interview with Joe Aurelio

Retired court reporter Santo (Joe) Aurelio, FAPR, RDR (Ret.), Arlington, Mass., is one of the presenters who will be leading sessions during the new NCRA Connect Virtual 2020 conference. His session, “What Every Reporter Should Know About Punctuation to Transcribe Correctly,” is sure to offer many tips and tricks for how to finish your transcripts both quickly and accurately.

The JCR asked Aurelio to share a little about his interests in language and the upcoming session.

JCR | How did you become interested in grammar and punctuation?

SJA | I became interested in grammar and punctuation at an early age. I know that I was playing around with words (as, it’s/its; faint/feint) as early as age 12. I have always read a lot, even as a child. (Actually, I mispronounced many big words because I had never heard them pronounced previously.) And, yes, I was always fascinated by words and how they could be combined to explain exactly what one thought and felt.

JCR | What is the biggest grammar pet peeve you have?

SJA | Although the No. 1 error in the United States is the it’s/its conundrum, my biggest grammar pet peeve is the affect/effect bugaboo. It’s so common that I even once received an email with that error from the President of Harvard University — and it was corrected circa two hours later (and not by me).

Admittedly, affect and effect are difficult to use correctly. Why? Well, each is a noun and a verb — and even when affect is used correctly as a noun, it is commonly mispronounced. Plus, some people think­ that effect sounds better than affect when used as a verb.

JCR | Do you have a favorite word? What is it? Do you have a reason that it’s your favorite word?

SJA | I don’t have a favorite word, but I have lots of words that I like to use frequently. For instance, Lucullan, as in “She presided over a Lucullan feast” (after Lucullus, the Roman general and epicure who was noted for holding many fabulous feasts with a rich bounty of food). I use that word when I want to denote a really great meal.

Another word that I like to use is lilliputian when I mean something that is extremely small.

Those two words are rich in meaning for me, and that’s why I like to use them.

JCR | Why is good punctuation so important in a transcript?

SJA | Good punctuation is critically important in the preparation of transcripts. All of the marks of punctuation are important, and they should be used correctly at all times. Take, for instance, whether commas should be used in the following two sentences:

Don’t shoot Bill until I tell you to.

Or:

Don’t shoot, Bill, until I tell you to.

Which is it? Mistranscribing that sentence would be dangerous. If the reporter is not absolutely sure whether commas are needed in certain areas in that sentence, then he or she should interrupt immediately and find out the correct way to punctuate that sentence. 

A famous writer of many books used the semicolon incorrectly each and every time throughout his last published book. And, of course, spelling is important, too. Consider this example: Should the spelling be palate/palette/pallet/pallid?

The job of a reporter is twofold: To take down every word spoken and to transcribe each of those words with correct punctuation.

JCR | Thanks for presenting at NCRA Connect Virtual 2020! We’re looking forward to it being a great event. Can you tell our readers a little about what they should expect?

SJA | The upcoming NCRA Connect Virtual 2020 will be very exciting. Attendees will be able to see and listen to many fine presentations about the latest technological advances that relate to court reporting. Other presentations will embrace captioning, CART, virtual depositions, and other related and informative subjects. And, of course, I’d love for many of you to join me for my session on punctuation. I hope to see you there.

Find out more about the NCRA Connect Virtual 2020.

Owner of Alaris to be recognized for diversity and inclusion efforts

According to a July 7 press release, NCRA member Debbie Weaver, owner and CEO of Alaris, will be honored at the Missouri Lawyers Media Diversity & Inclusion Awards for her efforts in educating legal professionals on the importance of supporting diversity and inclusion.

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NCRA President-elect and other members showcased for entrepreneurship

Times of Entrepreneurship posted an article about women entrepreneurs that quotes NCRA President-elect Christine Phipps, RPR, North Palm Beach, Fla., and NCRA members and freelance court reporters Lauren Lawrence, RPR, and Meghan Minnick, RPR, both from Kansas City, Mo.

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Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association names new president

The Central Penn Business Journal reported on May 20 that NCRA member Linda C. Larson, RPR, CRI, a court reporter and owner of Premier Reporting in Harrisburg and Carlisle, Pa., has been named president of the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association.

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NCRA member recognized for mask-making efforts

NCRA member Early Langley, RPR, a freelance court reporter from Danville, Calif., was recently recognized in a story posted by Forward Motion Sports.

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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.

NCRA member’s legal tech startup earns Fountain Innovation Fund’s second investment

Startland News posted an article on Jan. 8 about NCRA member Lauren Lawrence, RPR, Kansas City, Mo., founder of Stenovate, being selected as the second startup to earn support from the Fountain Innovation Fund.

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NCRA member shares wellness tips

NCRA member Donna Linton, RMR, a freelance court reporter from Ashburn, Va., shared her self-care tips in a wellness piece posted by The Washington Post on Dec. 30.

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