Aptus court reporting adds new director of business development in the Los Angeles office

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyAptus Court Reporting, San Diego, Calif., announced in a press release issued Dec. 13 that Mary Gagne Caceres has joined the firm as director of business management in its Los Angeles office.

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California court reporter earns national certification

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Fresno Bee reported on Nov. 21 that NCRA member Sandy Edmonson, RDR, CRR, CRC, from Hanford, Calif., recently earned the Registered Diplomate Reporter certification. The article was generated by a press release issued on her behalf by NCRA.

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Aptus Court Reporting welcomes new business development executive

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyIn a press release issued Nov. 12, Aptus Court Reporting announced that the firm is expanding their presence in Southern California with the addition of Julie Long, who will focus on creating new business relationships while ensuring existing clients continue to receive quality service.

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Aptus Court Reporting expands Bay Area team with two new directors

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyIn a press release issued Nov. 5, Aptus Court Reporting announced the addition of industry veterans Brandon Wai and Marika Pickles as directors of business development for the company’s San Francisco, Calif., office.

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A freelancer’s new perspective of court: Lessons on deposition transcripts

Gavel on a folder filler with papers

Photo by: wp paarz

By Tricia Rosate

In California, freelancers often cover civil trials, and I’ve been reporting more trials lately. I consider myself a pretty good writer, but this pace is phenomenal. No shuffling through exhibits, no 10-minute lulls where the witness is taking their sweet time reading every page of a lengthy email exchange. This is theater.

More specifically, seeing deposition transcripts blown up on the big screen for the entire courtroom to see has really given me a new perspective. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s not necessary to capitalize things that don’t need to be (i.e., “I work in the Finance Department” vs. “I work in the finance department”). It’s distracting and looks strange. When in doubt and there’s no rule or reason to cap it, leave it alone.

Secondly, please use a proofreader. There were times in my career that I thought, “Who even reads this?” Well, one day it could be a judge, two counsel tables filled with attorneys, the clerk, bailiff, 14 jurors, the official (pro tem) reporter, and anyone observing.

On the subject of verbatim: When reporting video depositions, there is no need to include every single stutter, i.e., “It’s — it’s — it’s — it’s the third one down.” One set of dashes is just fine. All the dashes look so awful on the big screen and make it almost unreadable. I know we’re verbatim and the parties make their own record, but a little best judgment goes a long way. I guarantee that the jurors are not counting the stutters and thinking the reporter dropped the ball if they’re not all in there.

Then there’s another verbatim thing that I know has been a hot topic: the 2000s. The attorney says, “So it happened in two ten?” The reporter knows the attorney means 2010 but writes “2’10.” I’m not saying this is wrong. However, please picture it blown up on a screen in a courtroom during a trial, with 14 jurors looking at the transcript — and, yes, they do — and the attorney telling the jurors to please disregard the typo.

“But it’s not a typo! He said two ten, not 2010,” you might say. If someone doesn’t say two thousand and ten, it’s the reporter’s call on how to format it. But not one of these jurors understands or cares why the reporter formatted it that way. It looks weird and disjointed.

In somewhat the same vein, I recently Googled myself to see if there were any privacy concerns I should address, and I came across several excerpts of my transcripts posted online, which again goes to my point. People do read your transcripts! Sometimes many more people than you ever imagined!

Tricia Rosate, RDR, CRR, is a freelancer in San Diego, Calif. This article is revised from a post she wrote in the “Guardians of the Record” Facebook discussion group. Tricia Rosate can be reached at rosate.csr@gmail.com.

Court of Appeal reinstates class action despite mootness

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Metropolitan News-Enterprise, Los Angeles, Calif., reported on Oct. 26 that the Sixth District Court of Appeal has ordered reinstatement of a class action. The case challenges a policy of the Santa Cruz Superior Court to refund court reporter fees, paid in advance, when no court reporter was provided only if a written request is made. The superior court dismissed the contention that the appeal should be dismissed as moot because all refunds have now been made and the court no longer requires a request in writing.

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No one is recording what happens in family law court anymore

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Voice of San Diego (Calif.) reported on Oct. 9 that the city’s Superior Court is no longer providing court reporters for family law proceedings, which means there is no verbatim, written record of what happens in court. Family law attorneys say the move will disproportionately affect low- and middle-income families who have complaints before the court.

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San Diego Superior Court to stop providing court reporters for family law matters

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Chaffey Joint Union High School District launches court reporting career program

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyInlandEmpire.US, Ontario, Calif., reported on Oct. 2 that the Chaffey Joint Union High School District has launched a career pathway program for students and adults interested in becoming court reporters. The article cites the findings of the Industry Outlook Report commissioned by NCRA in 2014.

In addition, in an Oct. 3 post on Business Wire, U.S. Legal Support, Inc., announced they are in partnership with the Chaffey Joint Union High School District in this initiative. The articles quotes the Aug. 8 post on LinkedIn by Jim Connor, RPR, CRR, CLVS, entitled “Court reporter shortage: What this means for the industry and for reporters.”

Reporteras de la corte: Una profesión bien pagada, pero poco conocida/Court reporting: A well-paying but little-known profession

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyA Sept. 7 article in the Spanish publication La Opinión highlights NCRA members Alma Zapata, RPR; Camille Márquez; and Adriana Montañez, who are all officials in Southern California. The article, which is in Spanish, discusses how each of them came to reporting as well as the benefits of a career in reporting, including salary potential, flexibility, and the opportunity to learn something new every day. The article also suggests that being bilingual is an advantage to learning steno.

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San Diego Superior Court further decreases court reporter services

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Fallbrook & Bonsall Village News reported on Sept. 1 that the San Diego Superior Court is reducing staff and services for the second time in five years, including a further reduction in the services of court reporters provided at court expense in family court proceedings. These changes are, according to the article, due to a shrinking budget.

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San Diego Superior Court to stop providing court reporters for family law matters

No one is recording what happens in family law court anymore