O’Brien & Bails announces partnership with Pohlman Reporting

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyIn a July 13 press release posted on its website, O’Brien & Bails announced its partnership with Pohlman Reporting Company. Dawn Houghton, RPR, CEO of O’Brien & Bails, said: “One of the driving factors behind O’Brien & Bails is my goal is to ensure we are the best resource we can be for our clients.”

“We believe that agencies built on integrity and ethics will continue to thrive. This partnership brings together two like-minded agencies with rich histories of providing stellar client-first services and positions us well for future growth,” said Deborah J. Walters, President and CEO of PohlmanUSA.

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Online registration for the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo closes July 21

Con collageTime is running out to register for the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo being held Aug. 10-13 in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Online registration closes on July 21. After July 21, you will have to wait to register on site, and fees increase by $150 in some categories.

With a keynote speaker who promises to reignite the magic in your fingertips, new and innovative sessions, networking events, and the opportunity to work toward earning nationally recognized professional certifications, this year’s Convention & Expo participants can expect to experience an NCRA conference like no other.

Whether you are an official court reporter, freelance reporter, broadcast or CART captioner, legal videographer, firm owner, educator, or student, there’s something magical in store for you at this year’s NCRA Convention & Expo.

New Mexico court reporting firm announces entire state coverage

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyIn a press release issued July 3, Trattel Court Reporting & Videography, Albuquerque, N.M., announced that the firm is now providing coverage across the state.

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Esquire launches a program to help law firms make the most of their pro bono budgets

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyIn a press release issued July 11, Esquire Deposition Solutions, Atlanta, Ga., announced it launched a new pro bono court reporting program that creates partnerships with law firms across the country to offer discounted court reporting services to allow more individuals equal access to justice.

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NextGen names new chief executive officer

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyIn a press release issued July 3, NextGen Reporting, Wayne, Pa., announced that Jonathan Hefler has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer.

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Minneapolis court reporting firm now offers trial consulting

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyDepo International, Minneapolis, Minn., announced in a press release issued June 30 that it has partnered with Digital Litigation Services to offer trial consulting to their clients.

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Imagine that

Imagine that
By Katherine Schilling

I shuffle awkwardly in my black pumps as the floors tick by one at a time – ding, ding. The stainless steel elevator doors make a poor mirror as I try to sneak a peek at my reflection to adjust those pesky fly-aways that the wind’s kicked up. Propping my sunglasses on my head instead, I try to imagine that they serve as a perfectly good headband.

“Do you solemnly swear — swear or affirm to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? No, no. Drop the whole God part.” I rehearse the line again and again in my head, imagining I’m delivering the affirmation while another part of my brain imagines unloading my equipment in the room: tripod, then machine, then laptop, then cables. Yup, cables definitely last.

When I walk up to the receptionist with my best “I totally know what I’m doing” smile, I imagine that I don’t have a run in my tights from grazing my roller case just minutes earlier. I imagine I’ve done this a million times before.

I’m pretty good at imagining. After all, it’s what I’ve done all through court reporting school. And now I’m finally here, about to take my first deposition.

Fake it until you make it. Visualization. Mind over matter. Call it what you want, but it’s one of the key reasons I got through school. Since before my first day of theory, I had a very specific image in my head of what I would look like after my school career: pencil skirt, black pumps, roller case in hand. There would be tall buildings, cool elevators, and beautiful cityscape views from the windows. I’d be poised and articulate, and I’d take down the record with ease. My writing would be clean; my schedule, full.

The Law of Attraction is the belief that focusing on positive or negative thoughts will bring about positive or negative experiences into your life. Visualizations power that Law of Attraction. Now, no one is saying that simply imagining something will magically make it come true. If you’re a student now or have been in the past, then you know that it takes practice, discipline, focus, and a whole lot of work to pass that final test.

However, maintaining a positive spirit by keeping one’s eyes fixed on the goal is what makes all that work worthwhile. The weeks, months, and even years spent in front of the machine practicing won’t do you a lick of good if you don’t eventually reach your goal; you won’t reach your goal without a positive attitude; you can’t maintain that positive attitude without visualizing your goal.

While there is no one answer to most students’ burning questions — How much should I practice? Should I shorten my writing or write everything out? What’s the fastest way to get through school? — the one constant among all successful graduates is that they had a goal and visualized it until it became a reality.

Demoralization is, above all, the greatest threat to one’s success in school. Visualizing yourself as the successful court reporter you want to be is that imaginary carrot on a stick to help you get through the tough times, something to remind yourself why you’re sitting in front of your machine for hours. It makes the days you dedicate to memorizing briefs and scrimping and saving for the state association conventions worth it. Without that shining light at the end of the tunnel, it is easy to grow to resent the grind of school days.

Painting a magnificent picture of your future can also have the added benefit of tricking yourself into success. In my later speeds when I hit plateaus, I would get frustrated, and then I would get imaginative. I pretended that I’d already passed that test and that the ten minutes of dictation were merely a warm-up. Sometimes it worked. Like imagining a plateful of delicious food to stave off my rumbling belly, that imagined confidence shrugged off nerves and left my apprehension at the classroom door so that I could tune out the negative self-talk and just write.

Now, nearly a year and a half after I left school, has all my visualizing paid off? Well, I got my pencil skirt and pumps, but they’ll sometimes show runs in my tights or get scuffed. On the job, I’m sometimes poised and articulate; other times, I forget my own name. Sometimes my schedule is full, and sometimes it’s emptied by a rash of “cancellitis.” But that doesn’t stop me from still imagining. I’m always making new goals and focusing on them, looking forward to what I can accomplish next.

Whatever your goals are, bring them to life with powerful visualizations. Get creative and don’t skimp on the details. The more vivid the image, the more potent it will be. These self-affirming visualizations will keep your head high when things get tough, they can help you relax during tests, and they will remind you what all your hard work is for.

And just imagine what will come next.

Katherine Schilling, RPR, is a freelancer based in Richmond, Va. She can be reached at katherineschillingcr@gmail.com.

 

PROOFREADING TIPS: A fresh and tasty baker’s dozen

By Brenda Rogers-Fiscus, Deborah Smolinske, and Beverly Thomas

Proofreading is the last step in the finalization of your transcript. The proofreader’s eyes are the last ones to review the final product. It’s important to set the stage and do the most thorough job possible in order to produce the best transcript. We offer the following tips to make the task more efficient, more thorough, and more foolproof.

  1. Scoping and proofreading are not the same function. For the best results, scoping should be done by someone else and at a different time than when you proofread.
  2. Create a comfortable environment with good lighting and seating. Minimize distractions and interruptions. Try to ensure you are fed and well rested prior to starting your proofing session.
  3. Determine which method works best for you: in the software on your computer; using an app on a tablet device; printed on paper.
  4. Make sure to allot a sufficient amount of time to do the job thoroughly. Slow and steady wins the race every time over fast and sloppy.
  5. Take breaks – don’t try to read 400 pages all at one go.
  6. All research should be completed prior to commencing proofreading. You will lose the flow necessary for contextual reading if you’re stopping every half page to double-check a spelling or perform an online search for a term.
  7. Choose a reputable primary dictionary to follow (Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, Oxford) when making decisions on spellings, hyphenation, and one word/two words rather than stand-alone books that may be outdated or unsupported by references.
  8. If you encounter a word/term with which you are unfamiliar, be wary of accepting the first word that pops up in a Google search that seems to fit your phonetic. Be sure to check the definition in a reputable dictionary, and make sure it fits the context.
  9. While spot-checking the audio can be helpful, listening to continuous audio is not recommended. It is difficult to read for context, pay attention to punctuation, and listen to audio at the same time.
  10. Be aware of your weaknesses. If you habitually misstroke things like “they’re/there/their” or “it’s/its,” pay special attention to occurrences of those words. Also watch for incorrect small words like “as/at,” “it/is,” and missing words like “a” and “the.”
  11. Keep in mind the common words that are often transposed (I did/did I) and words that are only one letter different (formal/former, contact/contract), and pay special attention when they occur.
  12. If you’ve used more than one scopist to get the job done, pay special attention to consistency in capitalization, hyphenation, and other potential differing styles among scopists.
  13. Don’t forget to run a final spell-check in your software after you’ve finished proofreading. Spell-check is very good at catching double words such as “the the” and “that that,” which are easily missed while reading. Consider running the finished document through Word’s spell-check and grammar checker. While Word does have some unusual ideas about grammar (and should never be taken as gospel), it is very helpful in identifying missing prepositions, “form” for “from” and the like, as well as other small things that can otherwise be missed during proofreading.
  14. After you’ve finished your initial proofreading, go back and double-check bylines and speaker identifications as well as consistency with any special terms you’ve become aware of during the job. It’s easy to read right past such errors when you’re focused on reading for context.

    The final proofreading of a transcript is your last chance to ensure you are producing your most complete and accurate product. Don’t shortchange yourself or your clients by glossing over the small details or thinking just a quick pass will be sufficient. As you continue to produce beautiful, error-free transcripts, your reputation among your clients and your peers will flourish. The effort is well worth the reward!

Brenda Rogers-Fiscus, Deborah Smolinske, and Beverly Thomas are the primary team members of Perfect Partners Transcript Brigade, which was established in 2014. Learn more at transcriptbrigade.wordpress.com.

STARTING OUT: Imagine that

By Katherine Schilling

I shuffle awkwardly in my black pumps as the floors tick by one at a time – ding, ding. The stainless steel elevator doors make a poor mirror as I try to sneak a peek at my reflection to adjust those pesky fly-aways that the wind’s kicked up. Propping my sunglasses on my head instead, I try to imagine that they serve as a perfectly good headband.

“Do you solemnly swear — swear or affirm to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? No, no. Drop the whole God part.” I rehearse the line again and again in my head, imagining I’m delivering the affirmation while another part of my brain imagines unloading my equipment in the room: tripod, then machine, then laptop, then cables. Yup, cables definitely last.

When I walk up to the receptionist with my best “I totally know what I’m doing” smile, I imagine that I don’t have a run in my tights from grazing my roller case just minutes earlier. I imagine I’ve done this a million times before.

I’m pretty good at imagining. After all, it’s what I’ve done all through court reporting school. And now I’m finally here, about to take my first deposition.

Fake it until you make it. Visualization. Mind over matter. Call it what you want, but it’s one of the key reasons I got through school. Since before my first day of theory, I had a very specific image in my head of what I would look like after my school career: pencil skirt, black pumps, roller case in hand. There would be tall buildings, cool elevators, and beautiful cityscape views from the windows. I’d be poised and articulate, and I’d take down the record with ease. My writing would be clean; my schedule, full.

The Law of Attraction is the belief that focusing on positive or negative thoughts will bring about positive or negative experiences into your life. Visualizations power that Law of Attraction. Now, no one is saying that simply imagining something will magically make it come true. If you’re a student now or have been in the past, then you know that it takes practice, discipline, focus, and a whole lot of work to pass that final test.

However, maintaining a positive spirit by keeping one’s eyes fixed on the goal is what makes all that work worthwhile. The weeks, months, and even years spent in front of the machine practicing won’t do you a lick of good if you don’t eventually reach your goal; you won’t reach your goal without a positive attitude; you can’t maintain that positive attitude without visualizing your goal.

While there is no one answer to most students’ burning questions — How much should I practice? Should I shorten my writing or write everything out? What’s the fastest way to get through school? — the one constant among all successful graduates is that they had a goal and visualized it until it became a reality.

Demoralization is, above all, the greatest threat to one’s success in school. Visualizing yourself as the successful court reporter you want to be is that imaginary carrot on a stick to help you get through the tough times, something to remind yourself why you’re sitting in front of your machine for hours. It makes the days you dedicate to memorizing briefs and scrimping and saving for the state association conventions worth it. Without that shining light at the end of the tunnel, it is easy to grow to resent the grind of school days.

Painting a magnificent picture of your future can also have the added benefit of tricking yourself into success. In my later speeds when I hit plateaus, I would get frustrated, and then I would get imaginative. I pretended that I’d already passed that test and that the ten minutes of dictation were merely a warm-up. Sometimes it worked. Like imagining a plateful of delicious food to stave off my rumbling belly, that imagined confidence shrugged off nerves and left my apprehension at the classroom door so that I could tune out the negative self-talk and just write.

Now, nearly a year and a half after I left school, has all my visualizing paid off? Well, I got my pencil skirt and pumps, but they’ll sometimes show runs in my tights or get scuffed. On the job, I’m sometimes poised and articulate; other times, I forget my own name. Sometimes my schedule is full, and sometimes it’s emptied by a rash of “cancellitis.” But that doesn’t stop me from still imagining. I’m always making new goals and focusing on them, looking forward to what I can accomplish next.

Whatever your goals are, bring them to life with powerful visualizations. Get creative and don’t skimp on the details. The more vivid the image, the more potent it will be. These self-affirming visualizations will keep your head high when things get tough, they can help you relax during tests, and they will remind you what all your hard work is for.

And just imagine what will come next.

Katherine Schilling, RPR, is a freelancer based in Richmond, Va. She can be reached at katherineschillingcr@gmail.com.

 

Chicago court reporting firm expands state coverage

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyIn a press release issued June 29, Depo International — a company with offices in Las Vegas, Nev., Minneapolis, Minn., and Chicago, Ill. — announced it is now featuring court reporting capability across the state of Illinois.

Read more.