Litigation Support, Realtime Reporting, Technology, Uncategorized

IT’S COURT REPORTING & CAPTIONING WEEK!!!

Yes, we face challenges, but court reporting is still a thriving profession

This is the week set aside each year to inform the public about the important role we play in the judicial system.  It’s also the perfect opportunity to spread the word about our profession to encourage others to join our ranks, especially since we are currently facing critical shortages nationwide.

Because of this, some may think that court reporting is a dying profession.  Far from it.  We are not antiquated; we are cutting edge.  There is no other method that can produce an almost flawless transcript in realtime, basically on the fly.  That is why our unique skills are in high demand, and that translates into commensurate compensation.

Court reporters are the same as every other professional with specialized skills.  For example, if you have dangerous electrical code violations in your home and you are not a licensed electrician, you need to hire one who can rectify the problem.  It’s worth every penny to get the product and service you need that only a certified and experienced professional can provide.

The real problem is the fact that many of our members are aging out.  The average age of court reporters is 55.  It is estimated that there will be a shortage of 5,500 court reporters nationwide come 2020.  This means even more opportunities for court reporters in the broadcast and CART captioning areas and its mainstay:  deposition and official reporting.   It is a shame that just when our profession is at its zenith it cannot be sustained by our meager nationwide membership.  There are an estimated 32,000 reporters in the marketplace, only 11,500 of which are NCRA members.

Court reporters are needed now more than ever, and the need for our services will only increase in the future.  With only 31 NCRA-approved schools, NCRA’s A to Z program is aiming to fast-track students through training and into the workforce, but its full effects won’t be felt immediately.  It will take a while for the newly minted reporters to gain the experience and top-notch skills that those who have been in the field for many years possess.  The question is:  Can our profession survive this gap in reporter availability, or will we be replaced with inferior methods in the meantime?

Court reporting is in truth a thriving profession!  Why?

  • Graduates are guaranteed employment and an excellent starting salary
  • There is always room for growth and professional development for motivated individuals
  • Reporters at the top of their game earn six-figure incomes
  • NCRA and its state associations, as well as organizations like STAR, offer continual support, education, and networking opportunities
  • Our profession is technology-driven.  Lawyers need our expertise to provide the specialized services they need.
  • Tape recorders and voice recognition are inferior substitutes.
  • Reporters may choose to work as freelancers, officials, CART providers, broadcast captioners, even as Congressional reporters.  Many work in several capacities in their careers.
  • Our profession offers other related services such as videography, video conferencing, audio transcription, exhibit synching and linking, etc.
  • Reporters play a vital role in the judicial system.  They are respected by members of the bar for their role in preserving the all-important record so attorneys can represent their clients to the best of their ability.

Court reporting has undergone many revolutionary changes just in the relatively recent past.  Reporters have gone from writing on manual machines to paper and typing their own notes, to dictating into dictaphones for typists, and finally to computer-aided transcription.  There have been eight different Stenograph writing machines since the 1980s.  The investment in hardware, software, and technology over the years has been significant.  So has the learning curve among our members.  But in the end we are in a niche business that provides a service no one else can:  realtime, rough drafts, and expedited delivery.

The court reporting profession may be facing challenges, but hopefully they can be overcome.  Our judicial system depends on an accurate record to protect all litigants.  Court Reporting & Captioning Week is the perfect opportunity to highlight our talent and value.  Recommend court reporting to your friends and family.  Be a positive ambassador of the profession.  If this career has been good to you, it’s time to return the favor.

#CourtReporters #CourtReporting #STARchatter

Litigation Support, Realtime Reporting, Software, Technology, Uncategorized

Kick your case into high gear! Hire a Certified Realtime Reporter!!

When the stakes are high and quick turnaround is critical, insist on a Certified Realtime Reporter (CCR) to report the testimony. CRRs can provide interactive realtime by sending the testimony to your electronic device or over the cloud for others on your team to view remotely, and they can produce an uncertified rough draft at the conclusion of the deposition.

Not all court reporters are capable of providing these services, so be sure to request a CRR when you make your scheduling arrangements.  Less than 8% of court reporters hold the CRR designation. Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., has several CRRs on its staff.

Recommended Software: CaseView is the industry standard for interactive realtime software, and it’s FREE.  There is a CaseViewNet download for Windows and an iCVNet app for your digital devices.  The realtime feed is sent over Wi-Fi or the Internet for remote locations.  No more cables or driver issues.

InteractiveRealtime-WongAssociates

What you should understand about realtime using any smart device:

  1. You should expect a “useable” realtime transcript with limited untranslates. A Certified Realtime Reporter has been tested to write a minimum of 96% accuracy on first pass.
  2. Easily mark text, make annotations, and read along with the testimony.
  3. Don’t be alarmed if you see some stenographic outlines or misspellings. The reporter will make corrections when proofreading.
  4. At the conclusion of the deposition, the reporter will do a quick scan to remove the steno and provide an uncertified rough draft.
  5. Upon completion of the final edit, a certified transcript will be delivered to replace the rough draft.

Helpful hint:  In most instances, this is the first time the reporter will hear the subject matter.  Provide keywords, a caption, and as much information as possible for the reporter to review.  The more information provided ahead of time, the cleaner your realtime feed will be.

Realtime is a powerful tool for litigators.  Put it to work for you!

Litigation Support, Software, Technology, Uncategorized

Want an Edge? GO DIGITAL

The legal profession has been touting the efficiencies of a paperless office.  There are case management software packages, apps, and articles written by the American Bar Association and legal tech gurus promoting all things digital.

Doris O. Wong Associates has been offering digital alternatives for years.  As you build your case, the digital resources available to you from the start are as versatile as they are extensive.

Digital transcript formats include:

  • Standard PDF
  • Compressed PDF transcripts with an interactive concordance
  • ASCII or TXT files
  • WORD files
  • PTX files compatible with TextMap

All of these file formats are printable, searchable, and can be securely stored on any electronic device you use, relieving you of the endless pieces of paper.  They can also be emailed to colleagues within your firm or saved in your private repository for further use.

The most popular digital document is the PDF.  A PDF file can be opened on any device across multiple platforms. The standard PDF from Wong is word searchable (for easy copy and paste) and printable.  For those who want more, the Min-U-Script, or compressed, PDF includes an interactive concordance for easy word searches.

Not to be overlooked is the text found within exhibits.  So you can utilize this information fully, all exhibits are scanned in a searchable PDF format.  Electronic document word searches are faster and more reliable than reading through hard copy documents.

An additional benefit to going digital is linked exhibits.  With one easy click, you can pull up an exhibit for viewing whenever it is mentioned in a transcript. The transcript and linked exhibits are delivered to you in one convenient file.

Whether you’re part of a large firm, mid-sized, or sole practitioner, we have the digital litigation support products that fit your budget and suit your needs.  Our goal at        Doris O. Wong Associates is to provide you with the best tools available that will help you organize, manage, and digest the facts presented in discovery so you can best serve your client and win your case.

Litigation Support, Software, Technology, Uncategorized

Leveling the Playing Field for the Hearing Impaired

Navigating through the legal process is hard enough, but imagine being a party to a case and being unable to hear well enough to know what’s being said.  If your client is deaf or suffering from significant hearing loss, this puts him — and you as his attorney — at a clear disadvantage. 

Court reporters can help!  Realtime technology is being requested these days not only in deposition settings but in classrooms, meetings, and interviews.  Did you know that closed captioning on TV is provided by a court reporter?


                     Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over                report some trouble hearing.  ~ NIH


Certified court reporters have the skills necessary to provide realtime for you and your client.  Having the testimony streaming live on an iPad for viewing is a game-changer.  It’s like having a personal interpreter on site.  Your client will no longer have to rely on lip reading or worry about positioning himself close to a speaker.  There will be fewer interruptions and less stress and fatigue for your client.  The court reporter will also provide a clean rough draft at the end of the day.

Give your client immediate digital access to the spoken word.  Let realtime technology in the hands of our gifted professionals take the guesswork out of the conversation, and let your client actively participate in the process with confidence and peace of mind.

Litigation Support, Technology, Uncategorized

The Positive Impact Realtime Can Have on Your Practice

More and more attorneys are relying on the benefits realtime can provide. Realtime is an instantaneous feed from a reporter’s laptop to an attorney’s laptop, iPad, or smart device.  Specialized software allows the attorney to make notes, mark text, and then download the file at the end of the day.  Attorneys can scrutinize the testimony as it is being given, and a draft provided by the court reporter at the end of the day can give them a head start on preparing for future depositions or briefs.


Realtime is our profession’s gold standard


Realtime has other uses you may not have thought of: 

  • Many participants find that visual access to realtime can help participants organize their thoughts
  • Realtime is a helpful tool for those who speak English as a second language. Oftentimes, non-native English speakers can read English better than they can speak it.  This service could ultimately help them understand the spoken word.
  • Those who are hearing impaired appreciate an opportunity to revew a question before answering. 

Preparation is key.

Although you may have been working on a case for many months, or perhaps years, the court reporter does not have the benefit of knowing what the case is about.  This is why reporters ask for word lists beforehand so they can input the subject matter, names, and terminology into their software. This preparation is key to minimizing any interruptions and to your receiving the cleanest realtime feed possible.

Insist on today’s tech-savvy court reporters who provide realtime. 

Litigation Support, Technology, Uncategorized

“What new technology does is create new opportunities to do a job customers want done.” Tim O’Reilly

Doris Wong, while President of the National Court Reporters Association from 1980 to 1981, took a bold move and embraced computer aided-transcription.  That decision dramatically changed the profession.  Where once court reporters manually typed their transcript, the newly developed software translated their steno notes into English.  As technology advanced, new products such as compressed transcripts with word index have become indispensable to our clients, and services like realtime have become our profession’s gold standard.

Going digital means better products and services with more versatility. Digital means interactive realtime and file formats which include ASCII TXT files, compressed transcripts with an interactive word index in PDF, standard PDF files, and PTX.

We research and invest in the latest technologies that make sense to the end user – our clients.  Always pushing the envelope, a few years back we were one of the first firms in the nation to utilize just-released software to provide iCVNet realtime services over the Cloud for a daily copy arbitration that involved over 40 counsel participating from all around the country.  Read More

 

StenotypeMachines

 

Steno machines have gone from a paper feed to electronic cassette, floppy disk, and then serial connections.  Today steno machines are connected to laptops and tablets via USB cables or wirelessly.

 

Litigation Support, Malware, Software, Technology, Uncategorized

Technology for Litigators

Tips, tricks, and information about client-focused litigation support services, technology, and issues you face on a day-to-day basis.

Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., was the first court reporting firm in Boston to embrace computer-aided transcription back in 1977.