Ask the Techie: Transcript Formatting

The NCRA Technology Committee is taking your questions on topics surrounding realtime and technology. Send the questions you want the Technology Committee members to tackle to jcrfeedback@ncra.org.

Dear Techie:

I’m always trying to learn new, faster, and shorter ways to get my transcripts out the door. Embracing realtime is a priority for me, as I know that will be one of the biggest timesavers, and I’m doing great with utilizing lots of brief forms. Writing short!

Anyway, the next hurdle to conquer is getting as much formatting incorporated into my writing at the time of the job; for example, the setup of the examinations and so forth.

Can you give me a boost to get my dictionary jump-started with those type of brief forms?

Jumping Into Realtime

Dear Jumping,

Congratulations on your journey with realtime!

Kevin Hunt, a member of the Tech Committee, has the following advice and brief forms to get you jump-started to a more perfect transcript at the time of your job.

Single Strokes for designations:

/STPHAO-BGS for EXAMINATION blurb and the Q., similarly:

/SKWRAO-BGS

/KP-EUFPLT

KP-EURBGS

Also for Court/Hearing/Arbitrations:

/TKREBGT (Direct)

/TKR*EBGT(Redirect)

/TPR*EBGT (FurtherRedirect)

/KROS (Cross)

/KRO*S (Recross)

/TPRO*S (FurtherRecross)

And then paired with a speaker designation:

/TKREBGT/STPHAO generates the DIRECT EXAMINATION BY SPEAKER 01: AND the following Q.

Finally, when more than four speakers, the base designation plus alliteration of speaker’s name.

Mr. McCarthy = /STPHAO-PL

Mr. Peterson = SKWRAO-P, etc., on both sides …

My journey to captioning

By Shawn Condon

Shawn Condon

”My journey has taken me through the initial desire for a new career, the well-documented highs and lows of completing a rigorous court reporting program, and the uncharted waters of seeking employment in an area that was related — but in many ways foreign — to what I had been preparing for in school.”

The prospect of working as a captioner stayed tucked in the back of my mind throughout my time in the court reporting program at Atlantic Technical College in Coconut Creek, Fla. As I took in the legal terminology and procedures, tenets of courtroom professionalism, real-world stories of my instructors’ time in the field, and of course constantly pushing my speed, it seemed that there was actually no time to even explore the possibility of captioning! The weight of the court reporter’s responsibility loomed large, so on the back burner it stayed.

When the time to acquire an internship came, I felt for the first time in a while that the opportunity to become a captioner could be explored. I must admit I felt a bit unsure of what steps to take next. My entire training and preparation had all led up to a career in court reporting. The only step I could think to take in an alternative direction was to contact a working professional in the field. I searched online for captioning firms in Florida and eventually found one.

I sent a cold email to the administrator address listed on their site with a quick recap of my experience in my program and a request for some basic information on where to start once I graduated.  I soon received a reply from the firm owner expressing interest in answering all of my questions and more! I gave her a quick breakdown of my school experience up until that point and of my aspirations to work in captioning rather than the courthouse.

I was informed that while some remote captioning and video transcription work was occasionally available, the real shortage was in providing CART for both the classroom setting and various situations such as graduations, HOA meetings, and even live sporting events! Admittedly I had never anticipated working as a CART writer, but the opportunity was there, and I was willing to explore any avenue into a new career.

Since graduating,  I have been providing realtime transcription at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in a variety of situations that are specific to the needs of the client. Some are able to participate on their own and only require my transcript for future reference and some with more severe or complete hearing loss rely entirely on my writing on a moment-to-moment basis for the duration of the class. Having my notes streamed in real time to the client’s computer and accessed in a mutual web browser is also an option and allows me to position myself in a more discreet section of the classroom. In addition to working at Nova, I have provided CART for monthly HOA meetings, the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Palm Beach chapter, as well as  some remote video transcription.

My journey has taken me through the initial desire for a new career, the well-documented highs and lows of completing a rigorous court reporting program, and the uncharted waters of seeking employment in an area that was related — but in many ways foreign — to what I had been preparing for in school. However, the thread that runs through my journey is no different than that of anyone reading this now, whether you are a CART provider, a working reporter, or a student in your own program: obtaining the ability to do what we do is hard work. Getting through the schooling to do so is one of the hardest things you ever have or will ever accomplish. Get after what you want and get in contact with the professionals in our field. They’ve been where you are and can’t wait to help!

Shawn Condon is a recent graduate of Atlantic Technical College, Atlanta, Ga..

TechLinks: Standing desks – Are they right for court reporters?

By Lynette Mueller

Court reporters are always looking for ways to be more productive on the job and at the desk when completing their transcripts. Recently, I shared a link of the best standing desks of 2019 on my Facebook business page and received some great feedback and sharing from it! As the chair of the Technology Committee, I thought our members would love to learn more about the benefits of using a standing desk, as well as some top picks to choose from. 

According to healthline.com: “A standing desk, also called a stand-up desk, is basically a desk that allows you to stand up comfortably while working. Many modern versions are adjustable, so that you can change the height of the desk and alternate between sitting and standing.”

Several peer-reviewed studies suggest that sitting for prolonged periods of time may reduce life expectancy. There is much speculation and not much good data at this time to suggest that using a standing desk will combat the ill effects of sitting. While there is nothing to prove a good outcome from using a standing desk, there may be some benefits for court reporters.

Healthline.com also mentions these benefits when using a standing desk:

  • Lowers your risk of weight gain and obesity
  • May lower blood sugar levels
  • May lower your risk of heart disease
  • Appears to reduce back pain
  • Helps improve mood and energy levels
  • May even boost productivity
  • May help you live longer

If court reporters do decide to make the plunge and purchase a standing desk, they should keep in mind that standing desks may also have some “side effects.” Some of the reporters’ comments on my Facebook post had a few suggestions to help with the transition.

  • Purchase an anti-fatigue mat for your desk
  • Purchase a drafting chair so that you can move freely from standing to sitting

Wirecutter.com writes about these suggestions for the best anti-fatigue mats. The posters on my shared Facebook link specifically mentioned the FlexiSpot and Varidesk as their personal favorites. According to the Wirecutter article: “The Varidesk ProDesk 60 Electric is more stable in each direction than the Uplift or Jarvis, and a little bit quieter than those desks in raising and lowering (minus an occasional thudding sound when starting). It also comes with built-in cable management and was the easiest desk we’ve ever built. But it has no wood or bamboo desktop options, just five colors of laminate, which our testers disliked.”

Ready to consider getting a standing desk? Wirecutter.com also offered their picks for the best standing desks of 2019. Forbes.com also published an article with their best standing desk picks. Those are two great places to start your research.

Lynette Mueller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, is chair of NCRA’s Technology Committee. She can be reached at lynette@omegareporting.com.

Ask the Techie: iPads and realtime setup

Dear Techie:

I’m taking the plunge and am going to offer realtime to some select clients — not just for myself. My realtime setup will include iPads for the attorneys to view the transcript. I will be using an iPad that I use for personal use as well. What tips can the Tech Committee provide to ensure that my data on my personal device won’t be accessed by a client?

Thanks!

Realtime Adventurer

Dear Adventurer:

Alan Peacock, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, of Mobile, Ala., and a member of NCRA’s Technology Committee, has the following settings recommendations to use when setting up a new iPad that will be used for a court reporter’s realtime setup.

  • Bluetooth: Off
  • Do Not Disturb: On
  • Display & Brightness: Auto Lock = Never; Auto Brightness = Off
  • Sounds: None for All
  • Messages: Off
  • Passcode: Off
  • iCloud (Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, etc.): Off
  • iTunes and App Store: Auto Download for Apps and Updates
  • Mail/Accounts/Fetch New Data: Off

Lynette Mueller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, of Memphis, Tenn., and chair of NCRA’s Technology Committee, has a few more recommendations for the iPad when writing realtime for attorneys.

  • Turn off keyboard clicks
  • Turn off Siri
  • Turn off Automatic Updates and Software Updates
  • Disable Auto Lock
  • Use Guided Access: Guided Access limits your device to a single app and lets you control which features are available.

Set Up Guided Access

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access.
  2. Turn on Guided Access.
  3. Tap Passcode Settings, then tap Set Guided Access Passcode.
  4. Enter a passcode, then reenter it. From here, you can also turn on Face ID or Touch ID as a way to end a Guided Access session.

Court stenographers: Are they on their way out?

The Claremont Port Side posted an editorial on June 22 that examines whether improving technology will replace live court reporters. The article concludes: “Technology at present, while useful, is still widely unreliable, and inaccuracies can be detrimental to any court proceeding.”

Read more.

Ask the Techie: CART captioning brief forms

Dear Techie,

I will be transitioning into CART captioning and need some great briefs. I’m hopeful someone on your Tech Committee can provide a few brief forms to get me started that I can add to my dictionary.

Captivated with Captioning

Dear Captivated,

Writing short is the way to go for every court reporter! We think you’ll love the following brief forms from some of the CART captioners on our Tech Committee. Good luck with your transition!

CART captioner and freelance court reporter Amy Yarbrough, Atlantic Beach, Fla., has the following brief forms she recommends and uses daily:

Briefs for words ending in -ly:

basically = B*L

exactly = KP*L

completely = KPH*L or KPH*T

previously: PRAO*EL

ultimately: U*LT

constantly: KA*UNL

really: R*EL

not really: N*EL

obviously: O*BL

absolutely: SLAOULT

Classroom parentheticals:

Phone/phone: <Parenthetical>(Cell phone interruption)

Span/Span: <Parenthetical>(Speaking Spanish)

Lang/Lang: <Parenthetical>(Speaking another language)

Check/check: (^^Captioner will verify spelling later^^)

PO*U/PO*U: <Parenthetical>(Reading from PowerPoint)

In small classes or club meetings, if you can learn names, use the first letter of the name plus the answer bank to define a person’s name. It is helpful to have an ID for yourself in case you need to write a message or respond to the professor. Additionally, have a generic stroke for guest speakers. 

A + Answer Bank: <Colloquy>>>AMY:

C + Answer Bank: <Colloquy>>>CAPTIONER:

G + Answer Bank: <Colloquy>>>GUEST SPEAKER:

Teresa Russ, CRI, Bellflower, Calif., another CART captioner and freelance court reporter on the Technology Committee, offered a few of her favorites to add to your list: 

finish – TPOEURB

homework – HOERBG

admonition – TPNEURB

coefficient – TPOERB

classroom –  KHRAOPL

Bringing captions to Coachella

Stan Sakai and Isaiah Roberts

By Heidi Renner

When Isaiah Roberts, RPR, Magnolia, Ill., thought he wrote the word lemon while captioning Ariana Grande’s performance at Coachella, he was a little concerned. Did she really say lemon? It turns out he was captioning the moment when someone in the crowd threw a lemon and hit Grande, which became a well-known moment at the music festival.

“I remembered writing lemon during Ariana’s performance and definitely thinking I misheard something,” he posted on Facebook. “Then my cab driver in LA today asked if I saw her get hit by the lemon, and instantly I felt a relief knowing why I did, in fact, write lemon followed by a bunch of expletives.”

Roberts and Stan Sakai, CRC, New York, N.Y., had the unique experience of captioning Coachella, an annual music festival in Indio, Calif. It is one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Then the next weekend they captioned Stagecoach, another music festival held in the same location. Roberts posted a video from Coachella that has been widely shared.

Roberts had looked at the ADA section of Coachella’s website and noticed it told people to reach out if they needed ASL or closed captioning. He sent an email asking if they offered captioning and who provided it? Coachella responded on a Monday saying they wanted to have a meeting to talk about it on Friday. Roberts called his friend Sakai, and they prepared for the meeting. Sakai had already built a website that allowed captioning to be accessed through an app. Sakai worked on making changes to his program to make it work with Coachella. Roberts said the two worked late into the night every night that week. They gave a demonstration Friday to the Coachella representatives over a video call.

“They were blown away,” Roberts said. The representatives recorded what they were seeing on the screen and then showed it to the festival directors. “We were on cloud nine,” Roberts said.

Sakai described it this way on Facebook: “After hundreds of hours of work, the Coachella and Stagecoach captioning systems are online and (nearly) ready to go! A five-server monstrosity spread across New York and California able to serve at peak 29,000 connections per minute, averaging 2,000 connections served per minute at saturation. This will be woven into their existing web and mobile platforms available to their 130,000 attendees, who will all be able to access the live captioning of mainstage performances right from their phones. As a team, Isaiah and I will be tag-teaming, between feeding out pre-scripted lyrics and live stenoing, handing off the baton depending on what’s thrown at us. And when people ask if technology will replace us, my answer to that is: no, we harness technology to keep us going!”

Because the captions were available through the festival app, they were available to everyone. All audience members were required to download the app to activate their wrist bands.

Isaiah Roberts

Roberts saw it as an opportunity to spread the word about court reporting and captioning.

“This is the thing I’m most excited about,” he said. “In trying to grow the profession, I speak to students, but does it really make the profession look appealing? Being at the major music festival really meant something.”

Rachel Meireis from Placentia, Calif., appreciated the captions. She had requested captioning at Stagecoach.

“I am late deafened,” Meireis said. “I lost my hearing in my 20s and wear bilateral cochlear implants to help me hear. But it can be iffy and makes it quite hard to know what’s going on at times. That situation gets complicated because I can sign but I am not fluent in ASL at all. Having access at the concert was amazing. I could keep up with what the performer said between songs and understand lyrics I have been hearing wrong on the radio. Having the captions stream to my phone was great too. It made me able to leave the ADA riser freely and move about the concert but still follow along. Stanley and Isaiah were so helpful and friendly though the whole process. I am very grateful they were able to make this work.”

Roberts said he had wondered who would be benefiting, and he was happy to meet Meireis. During Coachella there were 500 unique visitors viewing the captions. At Stagecoach, there were 400 on the first day. By the end of the weekend they had reached about 1,000 people.

“Hands down the best part was meeting Rachel and getting to meet a consumer of [the captioning],” Roberts said.

For the actual captioning, Roberts and Sakai would usually get a set list so they would look up lyrics ahead of time when possible. They had headphones directly hooked to the singer’s microphone. Sometimes the performer would start talking about other performers or the other people on stage with them, so Roberts and Sakai tried to prepare ahead of time for those things as much as they could. They worked together, captioning on both of their machines at the same time. Sometimes one person would write and the other would look up lyrics.

“It was as cool as I wanted it to be,” Roberts said. “I don’t know what could have gone better.”

Roberts urges other court reporters and captioners to make more of these opportunities happen. Coachella didn’t offer captioning until Roberts reached out to them.

“My takeaway is whatever event you are into, realize that under the ADA they need to offer this service,” Roberts said. “Advocate for yourself.”

Sakai and Roberts are hoping this is a beginning, and there will be more music festival work for them.

Sakai summarized the experience on Facebook: “COACHELLA RECAP: Between shoddy internet connections, knocked-over equipment from dudes getting tackled backstage, my laptop getting nailed by a flying rogue water bottle, or minor software issues, providing live captioning at Coachella was a resounding SUCCESS. Isaiah and I powered through and got the app online on all the monitors at the ADA platforms and on the official Coachella mobile app, captioned Spanish-language performers, and even spared a few moments to visit our friends. I’m still gobsmacked and star-struck by the weekend but can’t help to think that this is the beginning of something huge. We all worked hard but we’re both forever grateful for having had the opportunity to pioneer live-event captioning on this scale. A HUGE thank you to Isaiah for making this all possible, and as I’ve said before, I remain humbled and excited for what’s to come.”

Ask a Techie: Using Tablets for Proofing

Dear Techie:

I’d like to explore editing/proofreading on a tablet-style device with a stylus. Questions on forums and to friends have given me a mishmash of information, mostly related to iPads that they no longer use. People are all over the place. 

I want to open a transcript, edit with a stylus, search if I need to within the doc, but not specifically edit as one would in CAT software. I want to hold it as if it is a piece of paper and mark on it with the stylus as if a red pen.  

Prepped for Proofing

Dear Prepped,

First, some definitions of “edit” and “redlining” from our Technology Committee member Kevin Hunt, Buffalo, N. Y. 

“Edit” is making a change directly in the original file, with the original text/format changed to something new. The “edit” can be done in a tablet running Windows as described above, just not very efficiently.

“Redlining” is highlighting in some manner a change to be made but the original text is currently unchanged. The “redlining” can be done by converting the text to a PDF and then use an annotation app to redline the PDF text.  That is then used as a reference to correct the actual transcript in the CAT software.

Kevin provides these suggested options to consider for editing on a tablet:

  1. I have a MS Surface Pro with the detachable screen that can serve as a tablet. I can run Case CATalyst on that “tablet” when detached because it is still a PC running Windows, which is what is required to run Case CATalyst (as well as just about any other CAT software I’m aware of).
    1. In tablet mode with the MS Surface Stylus, I can do just about anything the software allows, since key combination commands are also mimicked via menu options. However, having to use menus for everything, such as even the most basic commands of Replacing or Defining something, etc., is not an efficient process.
    2. I created macros that allowed me to (after highlighting the text) tap a button that brought up the Replace or Define dialog, but I then have to bring up the virtual keyboard overlay on the screen to complete the process — again not very efficient.

Kevin also offers this advice: At the current state of technology, I’d stick with the universally readable PDF file format and programs such as iAnnotate and PDFExpert to “redline” an image of the page of transcript that can then be easily sent back to the reporter for corrections.

Kimberly Greiner, RDR, CRR, CRC, Lenexa, Kan., another member of the Technology Committee, recommends an annotation app called Readdle. She says it works great with the Apple devices and stylus and is user-friendly. Kim mentions that if court reporters wish to use a Windows application for proofreading a transcript, Xodo has a great product and is user-friendly.

Here are links for annotation apps to consider proofreading your transcripts:

Apple Devices

Android Devices

Windows

Then, for stylus options, check out these links:

Best Stylus for Android

Best Stylus for Apple

Ask the techie: Quotation marks

Dear Techie:

I keep struggling with finding an easy way to brief those darn quotation marks, especially when following says or said. Do you have any great suggestions that can lighten my load?

Questioning the quotation mark

Dear Questioning:

Technology Committee member Merilee S. Johnson, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, suggests the following brief forms when dealing with quotes:

I have most of the following strokes defined as:  , “<Cap next>

SA*EUD               defined as           said, “<Cap Next>

SA*EUS                defined as           says, “<Cap Next>

SA*EUG               defined as           saying, “<Cap Next>

RA*EDZ              defined as           reads, “<Cap Next>

TAO*EULGTS     defined as           titled, “<Cap Next>

WR*EU                 defined as           write, “<Cap Next>

WR*EUS              defined as           writes, “<Cap Next>

WRO*ET              defined as           wrote, “<Cap Next>

KWOERBGS        defined as           ,”

KWOEFPLT          defined as           .”

Hope this helps lighten your load and cuts down your transcript editing time!

News from STARtech 19

By Lynette Mueller

Certified trainers Rosalynn DiBartolo and Merilee Johnson, RDR, CRR, CRC

As I reflect on my professional educational journey, it seems I have a habit of attending the same conferences and seminars each year. I wanted to do something new and different. I heard some buzz about computer software user groups and decided I should take a deeper dive by attending STARtech 19 in Nashville, Tenn. I definitely had high hopes for an amazing experience, and I was not disappointed. The in-depth CAT software training was topnotch, and there were free 30-minute one-on-one sessions with certified trainers! I totally took advantage of that huge perk. In the interest of keeping everyone up to date on the latest tech news, I also took the opportunity to interview Cindi Lynch, Stenograph’s trainer extraordinaire; James Kuta from Stenograph; and Lauren Lawrence from Stenovate.

Case CATalyst – RealTeam


The Stenograph team

Cindi Lynch from Stenograph gave me the rundown on this new feature for Case CATalyst.

LM | Give us an overview of the new feature of Case CATalyst — RealTeam.

CL | RealTeam is Stenograph’s simultaneous editing feature. It enables sharing of text, audio, and globals in real time. All of the RealTeam participants have access to all text, audio, and globals. For example, a reporter can be writing and translating in realtime while one or more scopists edit and/or proofreaders proof the same file; or, outside of realtime, two or more scopists and/or proofreaders can work simultaneously on the same file. This feature can significantly speed up the process of transcript production by enabling multiple parties to edit the same file during realtime or post-translation. Also, if the realtime is being output to CaseViewNet or a CARTView display, any party receiving a realtime text display also gets the benefit of more accurate translation.

LM | How is this a game-changer for aspiring realtime court reporters?

CL | This is a game-changing feature for everyone involved in transcript production — reporters, scopists, and proofers — as it enables editing and proofing to be done far more quickly. A reporter with a reliable partner, or multiple partners, can count on those partners to assist in the accurate editing of the file. This means more accurate realtime translation display and the ability to deliver the finished product more quickly than ever before. For a reporter who is not yet providing realtime, having a trusted partner who can correct on the fly could mean the difference in quality of output that could mean being confident enough to be able to provide realtime translation services to the other participants in the proceedings (vs. not providing those services). They can compete with their colleagues and out-deliver competitors.

LM | What are the main requirements for a court reporter and a scopist as far as software to utilize this new feature?

CL | All members of the team must be using Case CATalyst Version 20 and have an internet connection.

LM | What do you feel are the top three benefits of this new feature?

CL | These are my top picks:

1. Speed of delivery. A good team can provide more accurate translation during realtime and a final transcript very quickly after the conclusion of the proceedings. Instead of taking weeks or days, the transcript can realistically be completed same day or next day. That makes the clients happy and impressed with the service provided (which is also good for the profession as a whole).

2. Better schedule coverage/opportunities to earn more. Instead of dedicating one or two days a week to write and the rest of the week to edit, a reporter and scoping/proofing team has time to take more jobs. Realistically, a reporter could write 4-5 days per week, earning the income from those additional jobs.

3. Quality of life. Reporters working alone typically devote 3-4 hours of editing for every hour that they write. With teamwork, the job can be completed in far less time. That means a significant increase in the amount of time available to each person who works on a job. A reporter no longer must assume his or her job may eat up the weekend as well as the week. A scopist no longer has to miss his or her kid’s soccer game or forgo dinner plans with the significant other because he or she has hundreds of pages to edit and return. Firm owners and office managers from firms will have less stress because the jobs they are responsible for getting to the client are available to them faster than ever before. Getting the job of transcripts edited and delivered faster means more time to enjoy life beyond work. Less stress means greater satisfaction with life and work, which in turn has positive effects on one’s health and happiness. RealTeam can be the ticket to all this!

LM | Do the changes appear on a client’s realtime screen immediately?

CL | To a client viewing a CARTView window – yes. To a client viewing via CaseViewNet Browser or iCVNet or CaseViewNet PC – yes, ifthe reporter has a CaseViewNet license and thus has access to the Rapid Refresh feature that ensures that editing changes display immediately. A client viewing output via some other viewer or the product of a reporter without a CaseViewNet license would not have the same capabilities.

CaseViewNet

James Kuta from Stenograph offered more details on CaseViewNet.

LM | What is CaseViewNet and who should use it?

JK | CaseViewNet is a software platform for the realtime delivery of text to clients. CaseViewNet is used by court reporters and captioners to provide the delivery of text to attorneys, judges, and CART customers in realtime. CaseViewNet is useful in any situation where a client wants to receive a realtime text feed from a court reporter or broadcast or CART captioner.

CaseViewNet is a software platform that allows for both local and remote delivery of text through a local area network or the internet. There are three CaseViewNet viewing software platforms available:

  • CaseViewNet for Windows is a fully featured viewing software that allows for both local and remote viewing. It has tools clients can use to mark, annotate, search, and create text reports.
  • CaseViewNet for iPad is a lighter-weight viewer that is available for the Apple iPad devices. It has tools clients can use to mark and search text.
  • CaseViewNet Browser Edition is a browser-based text viewer that is compatible with most any device that has internet capabilities. Text can be marked and searched.

LM | What are the three most important features of CaseViewNet?

JK | There are many, but if I had to choose, these are the three I’d pick:

  • CaseViewNet has a Rapid Refresh feature that updates the text on the CaseViewNet viewing software with all editing changes made by the court reporter or scoping team during the realtime connection.
  • CaseViewNet allows court reporters to wirelessly send realtime text to clients, both locally and remotely, either through a local area network or through an internet connection.
  • CaseViewNet allows attorneys and CART clients to search for text, connect late and still receive a full feed of all text from before they connected, and save a copy of the transcript (if court reporter allows) in common litigation software formats.

LM | Does a court reporter need additional equipment besides a writer and laptop to get started?

JK | It is possible a court reporter will need a WiFi router. It depends on their work environment. If the reporter works where there is already a WiFi router available for use or other means of internet connection, no addition equipment is needed.

LM | Is your product user-friendly from a client perspective?

JK | We believe it is. The CaseViewNet for Windows and CaseViewNet for iPad viewing software are free to download and use. The CaseViewNet Browser Edition software does not even require download or installation. The client simply goes to caseviewnet.com. Connecting to a realtime feed is as simple as clicking connect and then selecting the court reporter in the connect dialog, in the case of a local area connection. For a remote internet connection, a client will be provided with a “session code” by the court reporter.

LM | What if a client wants access to realtime but they’re in a different location? Will CaseViewNet be a viable option?

JK | Absolutely. CaseViewNet has remote connection capabilities through an internet connection.

LM | Can a court reporter using different CAT software utilize CaseViewNet?

JK | Yes. Court reporters using CAT software other than Case CATalyst can still use CaseViewNet. There are two connection types available to reporters on other CAT software: a wired connection using serial cables or a wireless connection using the internet.

Stenovate

I spoke to Lauren Lawrence about Stenovate, a work management tool featured at STARtech19.

LM | What is Stenovate, and who should use it?

LL | Stenovate is a business admin and collaborative work management tool designed for the transcript community, a/k/a court reporters, scopists, transcriptionists, and proofreaders. Currently, we all have our own business “system.” We’re savvy enough to piece everything together and produce accurate verbatim records, but it’s so much more work than it has to be.

I’ve talked to countless transcript gurus and asked how they organize their work, find help, communicate with their team, transfer files, invoice, pay, and get paid. I listen to their “system,” and then I repeat it back to them to make sure I understand. “So you’re telling me you…” xyz, xyz, xyz. When I’m done repeating it back, they proudly say, “You’ve got it! That’s what I do!” as if I’ve cracked their code. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

We’re building Stenovate to give everyone a better system — one system. By doing this, we remove inefficiencies that have been slowing us down. Getting everyone on the same page (pun intended) will be a game-changer for this community.

LM | What problem does your product solve for court reporters and scopists?

LL | There’s plenty of fancy tools for when we’re on the record. Stenovate is for everything off the record. It’s for when you go home and need to prioritize, communicate who’s covering what, transfer files around, track invoices, etc. I’ve always said attorneys don’t realize that time on the record is only half the job. There’s a whole backlog of things to do from home, and that’s where Stenovate solves problems.

LM | If productivity is the ultimate goal, how much time will I save?

LL | Since we’re a brand-new technology solution in a space that’s never had a platform like this before, it’s hard to give you statistics without a history, but we can give you some really solid data from “Driving Strategic and Operational Agility with Modern Work Management” featuring research from Forrester, one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world.

The article explains that Collaborative Work Management (CWM) is a new way to organize, track, and manage work. It’s built to “encourage agility and clarity so everyone, regardless of their role, can successfully plan, manage, and deliver business-critical work.” The report claims that “companies that adopt a CWM solution” like Stenovate “realize significant positive impacts,” especially with increased productivity and improved cross-functional execution.

Even if you don’t have a bunch of employees and hold weekly meetings, you are running a business. Stenovate recognizes and respects your hustle. We’re really excited to be serving this incredible community, and we’re looking forward to saving you time, providing the opportunity to earn more, and helping grow your business.

LM | What tools that users currently use will be replaced with Stenovate?

LL | The right tool can give you the rocket fuel you need; however, a bundle of disconnected tools can hinder momentum. Here’s a list of what we’ve seen the community using to organize, communicate, transfer files, or create/track invoices:

Excel, Word, Google Calendar (or any calendar), Depobook, Trello, WhatsApp, Facebook (Messenger or Groups), LinkedIn, Scoof, Slack, Viber, We Transfer, Dropbox, Gmail (or any mail), Share File, PayPal, Freshbooks, Wave, Quickbooks, Reporter Suite, and/or Stenaura.

I’ll stop at 20. There are others, but I’m sure you can see why the current “system” can be a headache, especially if you’re collaborating with multiple people who use different tools.

LM | What’s the learning curve to use this software?

LL | We’ve worked with some amazing user-interface and user-experience designers to be sure that Stenovate is user-friendly for anyone, even those who are not “techie.” If you can use Facebook, you can use Stenovate.