Thirty ways to give back to the profession

10 ways Infographic_logo_2015Giving back to the profession does not require a significant investment of time or money. You might pen a simple post to your Facebook page telling the world what you love about your job or make a short presentation at your child’s school on career day. Take the opportunity where it presents itself. A friendly chat with a neighbor over the backyard fence or at a cocktail party could showcase our unique profession and perhaps become a life-altering encounter for a man or woman whose curiosity you’ve piqued.

Here are thirty ways that anyone can do to give back to the profession. Acting on just one or two is bound to create a lasting impression that will benefit our profession and all of us in it.

  1. Tell someone new what you do for a living. Be enthusiastic! Court reporters, captioners, and legal videographers do interesting stuff. It’s great cocktail party conversation.
  2. Point out the TV captions in a public place, say at your gym, a bar, a hotel lobby. Ask your friends, do you know how those captions get there? They won’t know – but they’ll be curious to find out!
  3. Write to your city council or town government, thanking them for having transcripts of public meetings. (And if they don’t provide that public service, ask them why not.)
  4. Tell the attorney you’re working with why a court reporter’s impartiality matters. It’s part of what makes us special.
  5. While you’re at it, tell the nice attorney how realtime services can help him or her.
  6. Sponsor a student member in your state or national association.
  7. Give a Career Day presentation at your local high school. Bring your steno machine and write to an iPad.
  8. Mentor a court reporting student.
  9. Offer to talk to a court reporting class about what life after school looks like. Give them good advice. Alert them to some just-out-of-school pitfalls to avoid. Be encouraging.
  10. Thank your Congressional representatives for supporting legislation that supports realtime, court reporting, and captioning.
  11. Talk to a class of law school students about the nuts and bolts of making the record. (Nobody else is going to tell them!) NCRF has materials to help you with this outreach.
  12. Thank the attorneys for hiring you, a certified court reporter, and tell them why certification matters, for court reporters as well as legal videographers. Certified means professional.
  13. Team up with a court reporter friend or two and put together a short primer of do’s and don’ts of making the record. Your local bar association will be grateful to you for the educational opportunity. Maybe your favorite law firm would like you to come in and address their young associates. Get bonus points for offering CLEs!
  14. Transcribe an interview with a veteran for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. You can earn PDCs. And it is a very satisfying thing to do.
  15. Host a Veterans History Project event for veterans in your area. Do it at a court reporting firm or court reporting school. Get your community involved! People like to honor our veterans.
  16. Get involved with students on the NCRA Student Facebook page or other student networking sites. They’ll love it! An excellent way to motivate students.
  17. Sponsor a student’s attendance at an NCRA event.
  18. Write an article for the local ABA newsletter about what to look for in a court reporter. Or write a letter to a local community organization about the importance of accessibility for all citizens, especially our fellow citizens who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  19. Pass along your experience. Write an article for your state association newsletter or the JCR about a valuable lesson learned. Your readers will appreciate the heads up.
  20. Volunteer your services (or find volunteers) for your neighbors who are deaf or hard of hearing. They might love to have CART for church or local meetings.
  21. Volunteer for a state association or NCRA committee. A great way to meet people!
  22. Attend a TRAIN event, upgrade your realtime skills — and then help others do the same.
  23. Share your expertise with your peers; put on a seminar at a court reporting event. Sound scary? Okay, sign up to learn something new yourself!
  24. Send NCRA membership forms to court reporters you know who are not members, and tell them why they should be. Size matters. There’s power in numbers!
  25. Send a testimonial (written or video) to NCRA to support NCRA’s efforts to inform people about the benefits of court reporting as a career.
  26. Write an op-ed for your local newspaper advocating for the use of stenographic court reporters in the courts; explain the value of captioning at community events.
  27. Become involved with your state CSR board. They need your expertise. And you’ll be surprised how much you will learn!
  28. Pay it forward. Remember to thank the people who’ve helped you along the way.
  29. Donate to the National Court Reporters Foundation, which will put your money to good use.
  30. Social media — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn — are great venues to tell people what you love about your job. No need to vent about rush transcripts and fast-talking lawyers. Create some positive buzz! Celebrate your profession, your career, the unique job you do where you are the expert. Be proud of your role as a court reporter, legal videographer, captioner, or CART provider. You are part of a long and proud history of service to the bench, the bar, and the public at large.

TRAIN Task Force announces handbook for state associations

TRAIN logoNCRA TRAIN Task Force chair Lisa Knight, RMR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from Littleton, Colo., announced the launch of a new handbook designed to assist state associations and their members start TRAIN groups. The handbook launched during a presentation at the National Committee of State Associations meeting held July 30 at the NCRA 2015 Convention & Expo in New York City. TRAIN, which stands for Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide, was launched by NCRA in 2012 based on feedback from a membership-wide survey calling for an initiative to help court reporters alleviate the fears that are associated with writing realtime.

Earlier in the week, the TRAIN Task Force announced the new handbook via an email blast to state leaders that also included the book as an attachment as well as links to the TRAIN website for more information. The handbook, which is also available on the TRAIN website, was compiled by Task Force member Debra A. Levinson,  RMR, CRR, CMRS, CRI, a freelance reporter from White Plains, N.Y.

“I am so excited about the new TRAIN handbook. The TRAIN Task Force receives questions like, ‘How do I form a TRAIN group? Where do I start?’ This short-and-sweet handbook will make it even easier for the state leaders to continue to assist every reporter become realtime proficient by starting TRAIN groups in their state,” said Knight.

“Some states already have very active TRAIN or Realtime Committees. These state committees play a vital role in assisting reporters becoming more realtime proficient,” she added.

For more information on how to start a TRAIN group in your state or local area, or to access valuable free realtime information, please visit NCRA.org/TRAIN.

TRAIN tip: Sign up and test

By Michelle Gudex

My best advice to improve your realtime is to sign up for certification tests and practice as hard as you can to prepare for them. I have a very fast-speaking judge, and up until a few years ago I thought realtime would be impossible at that pace. Then I started to practice for the CRR again. I spent three months preparing. I surprised myself by how much I improved during that time. I would sit down during the lunch hour telling myself to practice for ten minutes, and it would always be 45 minutes by the time I was done. It was just a matter of getting started.

Also, Realtime Coach offers a free trial period every fall and spring normally before testing time, and I was able to qualify for a free month a couple of times, which was great to have all of that new material for my ears to hear and to be able to only focus on the mistakes I was making since it corrects the transcript for you.

Every day, I scan through all of my untranslates to make new entries in my dictionary or see how I need to improve. I have also been constantly trying to shorten my writing. When I create a new brief, I always create briefs for all of the different endings that could be associated with that word so that they are all similar. In addition, I have been using the asterisk to add the -ed ending to many words so that I don’t have to come back for it in a second stroke.

I have offered realtime to my judge twice now, and he has turned me down. However, after seeing it at the judicial conference, he said he might be interested. I am still terrified to provide it given how fast he talks and how he likes everything to be perfect, but I keep making improvements every day to boost my confidence. I know providing realtime is the next necessary step in my career. One thing I did was enter all of the police officers, social workers, probation agents, local attorneys, counselors, common doctors, and anything else I have jotted down over the years into my dictionary. I know that dictionary building will be a constant process.

In the past year and a half, I have obtained my CRR, CBC, and CCP. You can too if you work hard and put the time in! Failure isn’t not passing a test; it is not trying at all! You cannot succeed if you don’t try!

A thread on NCRA’s Realtime TRAIN Facebook page listed all kinds of court reporting groups on Facebook. Becoming part of these groups can really help you with briefs, technology, software, and procedures. Here’s a sample:

  • Advantage Software
  • Anthony D. Frisolone, Case CATalyst Trainer
  • A BRIEF a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
  • The Brief Exchange
  • Captioners – NCRA Facebook group
  • CART Providers – NCRA Facebook group
  • Case CATalyst Reporters and Users
  • Case CATalyst Training by Jill Suttenberg
  • Court Reporter & Scopist Macintosh User Group
  • Court Reporter Technology
  • Court Reporters of Facebook
  • Court Reporting Q & A
  • Deposition Reporters Association
  • Diamante Writer Users Group
  • Encouraging Court Reporting Students
  • Freelance Court Reporters – NCRA Facebook group
  • Guardians of the Record
  • Jim Barker’s Court Reporters Forum
  • Mac and Case CATalyst
  • NCRA’s Realtime TRAIN – NCRA Facebook group
  • Official Reporters – NCRA Facebook group
  • One Word, Two Words, Apostrophe, Hyphen – OH MY!
  • Punctuation for Court Reporters
  • Realtime – Learn and Share
  • Steno Briefs for Court Reporters
  • StenoCAT Users Network
  • Stenovations Digitalcat Lightspeed Users Group
  • Tidbits for Court Reporters
  • Tutor4Computers
  • USCRA, for federal reporters

Michelle M. Gudex, RMR, CRR, CBC, CCP, has been an official in Sheboygan County, Wis., for 10 years. She can be reached at michellegudex@gmail.com.

 

Can you hear the train a ‘comin’?

NCRA’s TRAIN (Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide) Task Force raised the gate on Nov. 1 and officially rolled out the launch of a nationwide effort designed to encourage the development of TRAIN programs in every state.

As part of the effort, Task Force members have been reaching out to state leadership over the past several months to learn about the types of realtime training activities and groups that already exist, and if not, to identify the roadblocks hindering their development.

Other efforts by Task Force members have included updating resources available online, supplying every state leader with more than 20 realtime-related articles for use in membership newsletters, and upgrading the TRAIN website to make it more accessible and easier to navigate and printable.

“We want to see TRAIN reach every state; we want to see TRAIN reach every courthouse and every freelance firm,” said Lisa A. Knight, RMR, CRR, TRAIN Task Force chair and a freelance court reporter from Littleton, Colo. “TRAIN is working hand in hand on a state level, working with the state leadership as well as the state TRAINers — court reporters who have passed realtime certification tests — to help get TRAIN state committees formed, as well as working to implement state TRAIN groups nationwide.”

In August, Knight and NCRA Director Sue A. Terry, RPR, CRR, a court reporter from Springfield, Ohio, addressed the National Committee of State Associations delegation at NCRA’s Convention & Expo in San Francisco and explained the Task Force’s charges and what state leaders should expect in coming months. Knight and Terry also fielded questions from the delegates about the importance of learning to write realtime.

The TRAIN Task Force was established in 2011 by NCRA’s Board of Directors after completing Writing Our Future, an initiative which established a number of priorities for the court reporting profession, including instilling within court reporters the absolute importance of being realtime capable.

The goal of the TRAIN initiative is not to teach realtime but to show reporters that writing it isn’t scary or difficult and to encourage them to just do it. Other goals of the initiative include increasing the number of court reporters capable of writing realtime nationwide by offering information about necessary equipment, hands-on training on setup and troubleshooting, writing tips, and overall encouragement.

“Realtime is what most notably distinguishes court reporters from electronic or digital reporting,” said Knight. “The entire TRAIN effort is really just reporters helping reporters … that’s what it’s all about.”

TRAIN groups and future vision highlight National Committee of State Associations meeting

NCRA members Lisa Knight, RMR, CRR, and Sue Terry, RPR, CRR, encouraged attendees at the National Committee of State Associations (NCSA) meeting during NCRA’s 2014 Convention & Expo, being held July 31 – Aug. 3 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, to create a TRAIN (Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide) Committee in each of their states. Knight, a freelance reporter from Littleton, Colo., serves as co-chair of NCRA’s TRAIN Task Force, and Terry, a freelance reporter from Springfield, Ohio, serves as a committee member and as a member of NCRA’s Board of Directors.

During their presentation, Knight and Terry provided tips to assist state TRAIN Committees to establish groups, including suggestions about where groups could meet, how often they should meet, information they could share, and they provided several resources including information about materials housed on Dropbox, NCRA’s TRAIN webpage, and NCRA’s YouTube channel.

Terry suggested that groups could meet in a courthouse, an agency conference room, a court reporting school classroom, a coffee shop, a library, or in someone’s home.

“Groups can be fun as members work together to find solutions, improve their skills, share gadgets, develop camaraderie, and be as simple as meeting at someone’s home for a potluck,” Terry said.

“The ability to offer realtime sets up apart. It differentiates us,” she added.

The meeting, which drew representatives from 39 NCRA affiliates as well as 80 delegates and alternates, also included presentations by Jim Cudahy, NCRA CEO, about the vision for NCSA in the future, an overview of the industry outlook report set for release on Friday, Aug. 1 at a special Convention session, an update on NCRA testing, the status of the Interstate Oath Act, and breakout sessions.

TRAIN: Q&A Session

What’s the difference between the software CaseViewNet and having a CaseViewNet license?
CaseViewNet is a free realtime-viewing software created by Stenograph. You can write to CaseViewNet from Case CATalyst and all other CAT software via serial cables, StenoCast, and the Live Deposition router (without Rapid Refresh functionality). Exception: You currently cannot write to CaseViewNet from Case CATalyst with a traditional router without purchasing the CaseViewNet license (further details provided below).
What is Rapid Refresh?
Rapid Refresh is breakthrough technology that updates your client’s computer screen with all the editing changes you make to the transcript instantaneously. This is available only to Case CATalyst users by purchasing a CaseViewNet license to unlock this functionality.
Note: CaseViewNet has full refresh features when sending realtime via the traditional router and the LiveDeposition router (with a purchased license from Stenograph).
Does other realtime-viewing software have the refresh functionality?
CAT systems outputting to the Bridge protocol can take advantage of refresh features, however, it is not quite the same as Stenograph’s Rapid Refresh. The Bridge refresh features physically rewrite the entire transcript to refl ect the changes made instead of instantly making the change (as with Rapid Refresh). Therefore, it can be a slow process (if you are currently writing to page 205 but making changes on page 10). Because of this fact, some reporters choose to use the refresh feature only during breaks.
Do I have to purchase a license from Stenograph to use CaseViewNet?
No, you do not have to purchase a license from Stenograph to use the CaseViewNet software. Without purchasing the yearly license, CaseViewNet will function as it normally would, without any of your edits being refl ected on the realtime transcript viewed by counsel. Purchasing the CaseViewNet license unlocks the functionality of Rapid Refresh and allows you to output your realtime feed wirelessly to PCs via a traditional router. It also unlocks the ability to output your realtime feed to iPads.
Do I have to purchase realtime-viewing software manufactured by my CAT vendor?
No, you do not have to purchase the realtime-viewing software manufactured by your CAT vendor. There are many choices out there, and it can be overwhelming! The free realtime-viewing software (CaseViewNet and Bridge) will work with all CAT systems (outputting to CaseViewNet protocol or Bridge protocol). All CAT software will output to LiveNote or Summation. Some courtrooms have specifi c requirements that make it diffi cult to use your first selection in realtime-viewing software. Maybe you don’t have the additional funds to purchase additional software (or functionality) at this time. Maybe you’re just looking for all the good free stuff for the time being.
However, if you have the choice of what realtime-viewing software to use, you may want to consider staying with the software your CAT vendor manufactures: for Stenograph, that means CaseViewNet; for Eclipse, Bridge; for StenoCat, TrialBook; and for ProCAT, Denoto. Your CAT vendor has specifically created this realtime-viewing software for you and your setup, and you may want to take that into consideration.
What is the difference between a traditional router and a router that has special firmware loaded on it?
As discussed in a previous article, a traditional router is a piece of hardware that allows you to create a Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN). You can purchase a router from your CAT vendor or any electronic store right off the shelf. When you create a LAN, you do not have Internet access; when you create a WAN, you do have Internet access. The router allows computers to communicate with each other wirelessly using a LAN or a WAN.
LiveDeposition has a router called LocalNet. The physical router is similar to what you would purchase from your CAT vendor or electronic store right off the shelf. However, LiveDeposition’s router has special fi rmware (or software) preloaded onto its router that allows it to function like a traditional router but also allows it to complete other special tasks. Specifi cally, LiveDeposition’s LocalNet router allows you to output your realtime feed to CaseViewNet or Bridge wirelessly (through a LAN or WAN) without purchasing a special license from your specifi c CAT vendor and without having to update your software. LiveDeposition charges $199 for a yearly license fee to use its particular router.

TRAIN: Your next realtime stop

By Lisa Knight
With so many different options regarding realtime-viewing software, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of choices! Perhaps you’ve been meaning to keep your CAT software up to date but just haven’t. You’re not making excuses — it’s just the facts. What options do you have for outputting your realtime feed? How will you be able to output your realtime feed to a computer using CaseViewNet? LiveNote? Bridge? TrialBook? Summation? How much will it cost? Can you ditch the cables and go wireless without upgrading your software? Will you be outputting to computers? PCs or Macs? iPads? Kindles? Droids?

In my previous article (TRAIN: Ways to hook up in the January 2014 JCR), we talked about the different hardware you might use to output your realtime feed: cables, Stenocast, and wirelessly through a router. The additional questions you may be asking yourself might include: Which realtime software works best with my current CAT software? Which is the most economical choice for my realtime setup? Where do I start?

First, let’s get a better understanding of some terms that will be used in the article as well as answer some tricky questions that might be a little confusing to understand at first.

WEB BROWSER

A software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. Examples are: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox.

URL

A uniform resource locator, also known as Web address, particularly when used with HTTP, is a specific haracter string that constitutes a reference to a resource (e.g., http:/www.ncra.org/TRAIN).

ADDRESS BAR

An address bar (also location bar or URL bar) is a feature in a Web browser that shows the current URL and accepts a typed URL that navigates the user to a chosen website. (It’s the physical place where you type in a URL or web address.)

IP [INTERNET PROTOCOL] ADDRESS

A unique string of numbers separated by periods that identifi es each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network (e.g., 192.161.1.1). This number is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer, router) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.

For example: Your home or office has an address containing a number, a street name, a city, and a state. Your computer’s IP address is similar to your home address — it tells other computers where your computer “lives.”

Note: Even though IP address has the word Internet in its name, you do not need to have Internet access to be able to use this functionality on computers, phones, or tablets. If your device has a Web browser, then you are able to work with IP addresses by simply typing it (192.168.1.1) into the address bar.

The IP address has many computer functionalities that have nothing to do with the Internet. For example, the IP address is where you program your new router (renaming your router and adding WPA/WPA2 security). By typing in 192.168.1.1 (which is typically the default IP address with all routers), you will have access to your router’s settings and be able to make the necessary changes.

CASEVIEW PROTOCOL

The CAT software outputs information in CaseView “language.”

Think of it this way: If you are speaking Chinese to someone who only speaks French, it will be very difficult (next to impossible) to communicate.

It’s the same with your computer. Your computer “speaks” a specifi c language. If your software is “speaking” (or outputting) realtime CaseView protocol, another computer that doesn’t understand the language of CaseView will not be able to communicate with your realtime feed. The good news here is CaseView protocol is universal to all CAT software (meaning all CAT systems output in the CaseView protocol).

BRIDGE PROTOCOL

The software outputs information in Bridge “language.” (See language explanation in CaseView protocol above.)

INTERNET STREAMING

Our realtime feed is being transmitted over the Internet to anywhere in the world. Internet streaming may also include the transmission of video and audio (Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP) in conjunction with your realtime feed.

EASY DOES IT

You don’t have to run out and spend $1,000 on a couple of iPads and a router right out of the chute. You probably already have what you need to offer realtime (with your old CAT computer acting as the realtime-viewing computer) at your next deposition or other proceeding.

If you’re like me, you may update your computer system every two to three years. For me, personally, after that period of time, the operating system software (XP, Vista, Windows 7) is outdated and is most likely making my computer programs (specifi cally my CAT software) and ancillary functions run slower, which can make my whole computer system less stable. The last thing I want to have happen in a realtime deposition is the dreaded Blue Screen of Death or my computer system continually hanging.

Having had the good fortune to report way more patent cases than I care to admit, there’s one thing I learned: Manufacturers of computers (and most everything else electronic) have something called planned obsolescence. What does that mean? They want/ need you to update your electronic devices, whether it’s your smartphone, your microwave, or your computer. I think it’s an evil plot on behalf of Corporate America to make me part with my hard-earned money, but at the end of the day, it is my reality if I want to be a successful realtime reporter — not to mention that technology is changing faster than you can boot up an old XP computer!

How many of you still drive the same car you did 10 years ago? How many of you are using the same smartphone you did five years ago? How many of you are wearing the same clothes you wore seven years ago? The thing is, whether you realize it or not, we are constantly updating lots of things in our lives. Sure, a new blouse may be cheaper than a new iPad, but is that new suit cheaper? Maybe not. You wear those (sometimes expensive) business suits because you want to be treated like the skillful and competent court reporter you are. You invest in your professional appearance because you realize it does make a difference in how counsel perceives you. Your computer, your writer, and your software are integral to your professional appearance, so it’s important to stay current.

The last thing you want to do is to be hired to report a (lucrative) realtime job where your realtime feed won’t work properly because your drivers fail to load properly, or a myriad of other issues, because you’re still using the Windows XP operating system. Just “because it always works” may not be a good enough reason to stick with an antiquated system. Dial-up Internet was a deal breaker in its day. How many people still use it? Is it even still around?

Technology and software change at breakneck speed — and although you don’t have to have a Ph.D. in “All Things Computer,” you can be part of the realtime surge that will not only allow you to increase your income but also help secure a future for you and secure the future of the court reporting profession. Although attending a Realtime Systems Administrator class will give you many more details on specific software as well as how to accomplish specific setups, you can also get an amazing amount of realtime information by joining or starting a TRAIN (Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide) group in your area. You can already get a lot of your realtime questions answered and view informative YouTube videos by visiting ncra.org/TRAIN and clicking on Turbo TRAIN: You will find a treasure trove of phenomenal information the TRAIN Committee has compiled just for you!

Although there are many ways to output your realtime feed to computers, tablets, and smartphones, here’s a little more in-depth description of what is currently available in the marketplace. Remember, the realtime landscape is ever changing. The software developers are trying to make our jobs easier all the time! We have many more choices than we did five years ago! When you stay informed, you’re able to make better decisions on when and where to spend your money.

Stenograph has two free realtime-viewing software programs: CaseViewNet (CVN) and iCVNet. CaseViewNet uses the industry standard CaseView protocol, which means if your CAT software can output to CaseView, you can use CaseViewNet. The CaseViewNet software is used with Windows-based computers, netbooks, and Windows Surface Pro tablets. This realtime-viewing software can be used on all CAT systems with output through serial cables, STenocast, and wirelessly through LiveDeposition’s LocalNet.

iCVNet is a free app that is compatible with iPads that requires a wireless (LAN or WAN) connection. However, a CaseViewNet license is required for purchase from Stenograph in order to allow you to send your realtime feed to iCVNet as well as take advantage of the Rapid Refresh functionality.

Go to Stenograph.com and click on the Software tab to download the free CaseViewNet software. To download the free iPad app (iCVNet), visit the App Store on the iPad and search for iCVNet. If you purchase the CaseViewNet license from Stenograph ($295 the fi rst year, $175 for each additional year), you are able to open up the Rapid Refresh functionality of the software so all the changes/corrections you make in your Case CATalyst transcript are instantly made on any CVN or iCVNet feed. No extra buttons to push or commands to execute — the CVN and iCVNet fi le automatically mirrors what is on your screen, word for word.

On a personal note, I use iCVN to iPads with the Rapid Refresh all the time! It makes me look (and feel) like a court reporting rock star when everything on counsel’s screen is squeaky clean and practically perfect — especially in an interpreted deposition when the translator is depending upon my (immaculate) feed for every single question.

Without purchasing the CaseViewNet license from Stenograph, you are still able to use the CaseViewNet realtime-viewing software. The means of connection is only using serial cables, Stenocast, and the LiveDeposition LocalNet router. You cannot connect wirelessly using a traditional router, which you may purchase through your CAT manufacturer, Best Buy, or other electronic store.

At this point, you are probably shaking your head in complete confusion. “Did I read that right? Is that a typo? Did she just say I can connect using a router and then say I cannot connect using a router?” You did read that right, and you do not have to go out and buy another pair of reading glasses! Let me try to explain the difference because there is an important distinction to understand here.

Comparing the traditional router and the LiveDeposition LocalNet router is like comparing apples to oranges. Yes, they are both fruit, but that’s where the comparisons stop. The traditional router and the LiveDeposition LocalNet router are both pieces of hardware that allow you to create LANs and WANs. However, the LiveDeposition LocalNet router has special firmware loaded onto its router that allows you to do things you cannot do with a traditional router.

Think of it like a valet car key and your regular car key. Your regular car key unlocks the doors, the trunk, and the glove compartment, and it starts the engine. The valet car key only unlocks the doors and starts the engine; it does not unlock the trunk or glove compartment. This is so you can safely store items in these areas without fear of them being stolen while having someone else park your car. Sure, they look like identical keys, but you definitely don’t want to be using your valet car key when you need to get into your locked glove compartment to retrieve your iPhone. You can try and try and try. It will never work. It’s the same with these two routers.They look identical, but they are defi nitely not the same!

Note: The CaseViewNet and iCVNet software are free. You can write to CaseViewNet from any modern CAT software using the serial connection mode (serial cables, StenoCast, and LiveDeposition Local Net Router). The CaseViewNet license is available to all Case CATalyst users. You will have the Rapid Refresh functionality once
you purchase this license from Stenograph as well as the ability to use iCVN and iPads.

Stenograph also offers a cloud-streaming product specifically for the Case CATalyst user with their CVN or iCVNet products. Plans and pricing differ.

For best results, those reporters on Case CATalyst who are looking for a free realtime-viewing software that is designed specifically for their software might consider staying with their CAT vendor and using CaseViewNet and iCVN for their realtime-viewing software.

Eclipse has a free realtime-viewing software program named Bridge. This software program uses the Bridge protocol output as well as the CaseView protocol output, so if your software can output to Bridge or CaseView, you can use the Bridge software. Bridge is a software program that is used strictly on Windows-based computers with a connection means of serial cables, Stenocast, or wireless (LAN or WAN). The free Bridge realtime-viewing software has a refresh feature functionality as well (not Rapid Refresh).
Visit eclipsecat.com/content/bridge for a link to download the free Bridge software for your PC.

Eclipse also offers for-pay realtime-viewing software called Bridge Mobile that outputs realtime feed to tablets. It is designed to work on any mobile device. It does this by using Web browser technology.

Remember, that does not mean it requires Internet access. At the time of publication, pricing for Bridge Mobile has yet to be determined. It is anticipated that Bridge Mobile will be available two different ways: an app installed from the App Store and the browser version.

If you want the feed to be broadcast remotely (to off-site participants), you would obviously need to have Internet access, or create a Wide Area Network, in order to access the Eclipse server.

If the realtime feed is only being used in the room you are working in, you do not need to have Internet access. You can create a LAN. The realtime feed does not need to interface with the Eclipse server to accomplish this. The local server sending the realtime feed is the Eclipse Connection Magic program operating on the reporter’s computer. Any device that has an Internet browser (even though not connected to the Internet) can access the realtime feed in this way using an IP address.

For best results, those reporters on Eclipse who are looking for free realtime-viewing software that is designed specifically for their software might consider staying with their CAT vendor and using Bridge for their realtime-viewing software.

StenoCAT offers a for-pay realtime-viewing and Internet streaming software called TrialBook that works specifically with its StenoCAT software. It is browser-based software, like Bridge Mobile. Because it uses a browser, you are able to output your realtime feed to any device that has a browser: iPhone, iPad, Android tablets, Android phones, Windows phones, Windows tablets, PCs, and Mac computers. The cost is $299 per year.

ProCAT offers a for-pay realtime-viewing software called Denoto that works specifically with its ProCAT software. It is browser-based software, like Bridge Mobile. Because it uses a browser, you are able to output your realtime feed to any device that has a browser: iPhone, iPad, Android tablets, Android phones, Windows phones, Windows tablets, PCs, and Mac computers. The cost is $295 per year.

LiveNote (aka Case Notebook) offers its LiveNote realtime-viewing software program. This software program uses both the CaseView protocol output and the Bridge protocol output, so any CAT software that can output to CaseView or Bridge will be able to use the LiveNote realtime software. The LiveNote software is used strictly on computers. An iPad app is in development with expected release sometime in 2014.

LiveNote offers Certified LiveNote Reporter classes and certifications around the country (usually around five classes per year). The cost of the 1.5-day class is $395. The first part is covered by Mark Kislingbury, who shares some of his secrets to speed and clean realtime writing. The second part of the class is learning about the technical aspects of a realtime connection — including how to connect to the LiveNote software through cables, StenoCast wireless, the Internet, and a LAN router wireless connection — with hands-on training and help. LiveNote offers CEUs for its certification class and has a written and hands-on connection test at the conclusion of the course. The pass rate is 95 percent and above.

When you pass the Certified LiveNote Reporter Exam, you are also given five loaner LiveNote licenses, which means five free versions of LiveNote to use on the realtime computers you loan to counsel for their use at the deposition or other setting.

The LiveNote software is a case analysis tool for law firms and is not a free software (unless you take and pass the CLR course/examination). For law firms, the LiveNote software is priced differently, depending on the lawyer and his or her individual needs.

LiveNote realtime-viewing software can be used with all CAT systems with output through serial cables, virtual serial cables (StenoCast), Internet, and wirelessly through a router.
If your CAT output is set to the Bridge protocol, Case Notebook (LiveNote) versions 3 and above will have the auto-refresh functionality in their realtime transcript.

LiveDeposition recently released a new realtime product called LocalNet. The cost is $199 per year. This includes the licensing fee to use its LocalNet software and a wireless router as well as 24/7 technical support and training. It also includes any updates or enhancements the company makes to the product.

Network routers contain built-in programmable logic called firmware. The firmware is embedded software that implements network and security protocols for that specific model of hardware device. LiveDeposition has modified the firmware on its router so it operates differently than an ordinary router you would purchase off the shelf. LiveDeposition’s router is specially designed to work with its particular setup.

Regarding realtime-viewing software, LiveDeposition supports and outputs to them all: CaseViewNet, Bridge, LiveNote, Denoto, TrialBook, Summation, everything.In addition to working on Windows and Mac computers, LiveDeposition has mobile apps for iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets, as well as the Kindle Fire, so you are able to output your realtime feed to those devices.

LiveDeposition has an app that supports its iPad functionality (go to the App Store and search for LiveDeposition) as well as a Droid app (go to Google Play and search for LiveDeposition). You can also output your realtime to the iPhone by downloading the iPhone app for LiveDeposition. I’m not sure I would ever recommend to a reporter or counsel to receive their realtime feed on the small screen of their smartphone, but it’s always nice to know your options!

When writing to the CaseViewNet protocol output, the LiveDeposition setup allows the Rapid Refresh functionality with a for-pay CVN license from Stenograph. When writing to the Bridge protocol output, the LiveDeposition setup allows the auto-refresh functionality for most realtime-viewing software.

LiveDeposition also has a Web-based streaming product that any reporter can use so long as he or she has the StenoDirectPlus software loaded on his or her computer. Plans and pricing differ. See LiveDeposition.com for more details.

Realtime chart

YOU’RE WORTH IT

So where do you want to spend your time and money? How much is your time worth?
Is it more important to get the cables off the tables and write wirelessly without worrying about the headache of setting up counsels’ computers and keeping your fi ngers crossed their computers have administrator rights that allow you (or them) to access their device manager to make the necessary changes so realtime will work?
Will you be able to create the realtime setting without Internet access? Will you have Internet access if the law firm or other setting does not offer it? How much will that cost?
Are you looking for an easier way to output your realtime feed without having to worry about loading drivers or software to counsels’ computers?
Do you want counsel to see all your mistranslates and untranslates, or do you want to make sure you are using a software/hardware combination that will reflect all your changes?
Will the quality of your realtime draft transcript as you are writing be a make-or-break deal for counsel and his or her ability to use, read, or understand your work product during the deposition or other proceedings?
Yes, I do appreciate all this information can be a bit overwhelming (and I know I’ve given you a lot to consider), but you’ve got to start somewhere! And remember, NCRA (through TRAIN and their many other committees) is here to help you! NCRA has YouTube videos that explain the device manager and how to use CaseViewNet or Bridge. There are so many different ways to deliver a quality realtime product to counsel. The choice is all yours!
Lisa Knight, RMR, CRR, is a freelancer in Littleton, Colo., and co-chair of the TRAIN Task Force.
She can be reached at lisa.knight@mac.com. For more information about TRAIN, visit NCRA.org/TRAIN.
See also: TRAIN’s Q&A Session

Realtime is our future

“When faced with being replaced by digital technology, I had to make a decision to face it head on, and once I did, I never looked back. What I learned is there’s no downside to providing realtime,” wrote Merilee Johnson, RPR, CCP, CBC, CRR, in a blog post on Paradigm Reporting’s website on April 1.

Johnson credits NCRA’s Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide with helping her overcome the fear of writing realtime. “Realtime is our future, but it’s also intimidating. For years I let that intimidation hold me back,” she wrote. “Being a better realtime writer presents better jobs, a quicker turnaround time, and a new appreciation for court reporters by attorneys and clients.”

Read more.

Huseby announces their support of NCRA’s TRAIN

Huseby Inc. Litigation Services announced its support of the NCRA Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide (TRAIN) program in a recent blog post. Huseby serves the legal community providing court reporting, trial services, and litigation support in the industry.

The TRAIN program aims to create an influx of realtime reporters to meet marketplace demand and to allow court reporters to differentiate themselves from other methods of making the record. One of the goals of the program is to provide hands-on training on setup and troubleshooting, writing tips, and encouragement through demonstrations at the local level. Huseby plans to host small-group training sessions and is currently looking for anyone interested in leading or participating in these sessions.

“We also support the NCRA’s goals of increasing the number of court reporters capable of providing realtime across the country,” said Paul Isom, author of the Huseby blog post.

Read the Huseby blog post

More information about TRAIN

Jump onboard with TRAIN: Taking Realtime Awareness and Innovation Nationwide

The 2013-2014 TRAIN Task Force has been actively updating materials and reaching out to state associations and members to promote the benefits of the TRAIN program. Task Force members report that they have seen an increased interest in the program through a rise in Facebook “likes” and activity, a growing number of volunteers nationwide, and more members using the available TRAIN resources such as Turbo TRAIN and the TRAIN app.

Launched in 2011, the TRAIN program was the direct result of Writing Our Future, an NCRA Board of Directors-driven initiative which established a number of priorities for the profession, including instilling within court reporters the absolute importance of being realtime capable. A major objective of the program is to increase the number of court reporters proficient in providing realtime across the country by offering an analysis of needed equipment, hands-on training on setup and troubleshooting, and writing tips.

“As a committee, we are very excited to see the increasing number of members who are embracing this program and the benefits it has to offer them professionally,”  said Lisa Knight, RMR, CRR, RSA, TRAIN Task Force co-chair. “TRAIN is designed to encourage court reporters to provide realtime services and to help them understand that having realtime skills is what most notably distinguishes them from electronic/digital reporting.”

The TRAIN Task Force is currently recruiting volunteers to help host training sessions which are designed for small-group settings at the local level. The TRAIN program relies on state associations and individual members to carry the message to reporters and to help them make the transition to realtime.

“The Task Force is charged with encouraging each state association to form a state-level TRAIN committee with a chair to serve as a liaison between NCRA’s TRAIN Task Force and that state,” said Regina Berenato-Tell, RMR, CRR, CCR, TRAIN Task Force co-chair. “Members of the task force are hoping these efforts will generate more TRAIN sessions and keep our original mission in mind of offering small, intimate one-on-one sessions to help reporters at various proficiency levels advance to higher levels.”

Whether you are looking to volunteer or interested in learning more about realtime, now is the time to jump onboard: