CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS: How well do you know your rights? ANSWER KEY

Article I: Name. The name of the organization?
Article I: The name of this organization shall be National Court Reporters Association (the “Association”).
Article II: Purposes. There are 13 purposes of this Association. Can you name at least one?
Article II: Definition: in the context of this document, stenographic verbatim reporting refers to that reporting technology by the use of symbols, manually or by stenographic machine.
The purposes of this Association shall be:
1. To assume responsibility for leadership and enlightenment of verbatim stenographic reporters and of the public regarding the special competency, importance, and value of verbatim stenographic reporters, and to promote verbatim stenographic reporting technologies by the use of symbols, manually or by stenographic machine, over alternative reporting methods.
2. To promote a broader understanding and acceptance of the verbatim stenographic reporter as an integral part of the judicial process.
3. To apply the knowledge and experience of verbatim stenographic reporters, working in cooperation with the bench and bar, toward the upgrading and improvement of the criminal and civil justice system, in order that the public good may best be served, and to promote a broader understanding within the profession of the responsibility of a verbatim stenographic reporter to participate actively in the achievement of this objective.
4. To encourage, establish, and maintain high standards of professional education, competence, and performance of verbatim stenographic reporters.
5. To conduct and promote lawful and proper technical and business research to enhance the services of verbatim stenographic reporters.
6. To promote lawful and proper professional ethics, as well as compliance with all applicable laws, including antitrust laws, for verbatim stenographic reporters.
7. To stimulate and encourage the establishment and maintenance of appropriate training and educational facilities and programs for persons interested in the profession of verbatim stenographic reporting, and to promote verbatim stenographic reporting as a successful career.
8. To cooperate with federal, state, and local governments, their agencies, and other organized groups for the benefit of the public and the verbatim stenographic reporting profession.
9. To conduct educational seminars and conferences relating to verbatim stenographic reporting.
10. To further the exchange of professional knowledge and to disseminate, by all appropriate means, to the extent permitted by law, accurate knowledge and information with respect to the verbatim stenographic reporting profession.
11. To advance the interests and general welfare of the verbatim stenographic reporting profession.
12. To promote and encourage development of realtime reporting skills and ethics to provide communication access pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
13. To do any and all things that are lawful and appropriate in the furtherance of these purposes.
Article III: Membership. This Article describes the various classes of membership and privileges of membership. Can you name the six classes of membership?
Article III: Section 2 – Classes of Members
The Membership shall consist of six classes:
a) Participating Members
b) Registered Members
c) Student Members
d) Honorary Members
as e) Associate Members
f) Retired Lifetime Members
Article IV: Dues. Who approves the membership dues?
Article IV: Section 1 – Annual Dues
a) The annual dues for each class of Membership shall be payable in United States funds and shall be set by the Board of Directors. Any increase in the annual dues for any class of membership from that of the previous year shall be recommended by the Board of Directors and shall be approved by the Voting Members at the annual business meeting (as defi ned herein). The Executive Director shall give notice of such recommendation to all Members in the official
publication or by written notice, as the Board of Directors may determine, not less than thirty (30) days preceding the date of such annual business meeting. The annual dues of Associate Members shall not exceed sixty percent (60%) of
the dues of Participating or Registered Members. The annual dues of Student Members shall not exceed fi fty percent (50%) of the dues of Participating or Registered Members.
b) The annual dues for Participating, Registered, Student, and Associate Members are due and payable by January 1 of each year.
c) For Members who are non-residents of the United States, the annual dues shall not be more than fifty percent (50%) of the dues otherwise applicable to the respective classes of Membership (except for Associate Members and
Student Members).
Article V: Board of Directors. This Article describes the composition and eligibility of the Board, the duration of office, voting, vacancies, and removal. Can a director who has served a full 3-year term be eligible for reelection? If so, when?
Article V: Section 3–Duration of Office
a) The nine (9) members elected as Directors shall serve for a term of three (3) years or until their successors have been elected. The term of the Directors shall begin at the close of the annual convention at which they were elected.
b) The nine (9) Directors shall be divided into three (3) classes of three (3) Directors each, determined by the expiration of their terms of offi ce, one (1) class of Directors to be elected each year.
c) No Director who has served a full three-year term shall be eligible for reelection as a Director until at least one (1) year shall have elapsed.
d) A member of the Board of Directors may resign upon presenting a written resignation to the President, and the resignation shall become effective upon acceptance by the Board of Directors.
Article VI: Officers. This Article describes the titles of the offi cers, election, qualifications, term(s) of office, and removal. Who are the current officers of the Association and what elected position do they hold? Which officer may serve more than one full term?
Article VI: Section 1–Titles
The Officers of the Association shall be a President, a President-Elect, a Vice President, a Secretary-Treasurer, the Immediate Past President, and an Assistant Secretary-Treasurer (as defined in Section 8 herein).
Section 2–Election, Qualifications, and Term of Office
The Officers (except the President, the Immediate Past President, and the Assistant Secretary-Treasurer) shall be elected each year by the Voting Members. The term of each elected Offi cer shall begin at the close of the annual convention at which the Officer was elected and the Officer shall serve until the Officer’s successor is elected. No elected Officer shall serve for more than one full term in the same office except the Secretary-Treasurer, who may serve for no more than three (3) consecutive terms. The President-Elect shall automatically succeed to the office of President at the completion of the President’s term of office.
Section 8–Assistant Secretary-Treasurer
The Assistant Secretary-Treasurer (who shall be the Executive Director of the Association) shall act in the absence of the Secretary-Treasurer, and shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the Secretary-Treasurer, or the President, or the Board of Directors.

Article VII: Executive Committee. What authority is specifically taken away from the Executive Committee?
Article VII: Section 1–General
The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Immediate Past President. The Executive Director (or designee from the professional staff) shall serve as a nonvoting, ex officio member of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall have and may exercise all the authority and powers of the Board of Directors during the interim periods between meetings of the Board of Directors. The Executive Committee shall inform the Board of Directors of any actions taken by the Executive Committee during such interim periods. In no event shall the Executive Committee have the authority to modify or rescind any action taken
by the Board of Directors.
Article VIII: Nomination and Election of Officers and Directors. How does a candidate get on the ballot?
Article VIII:
Section 2–Duties of Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee shall meet at least ninety (90) days prior to the next annual convention of the Association and shall nominate one or more nominees for offices to be filled and report the committee’s nominations to the President and the Executive Director.
Section 3–Preparation of the Slate of Nominees
a) The Executive Director shall inform the Members of the slate of nominees for offices to be filled as presented by the Nominating Committee, together with pertinent biographical information for each nominee, at least sixty (60) days
prior to the annual convention.
b) In the event a nominee becomes unable or unwilling to serve, the Nominating Committee shall select an alternate candidate and transmit to the Membership its amended report as soon as feasible, but in no case later than a time
immediately prior to the annual business meeting. Members of the Nominating Committee may participate in any meeting by conference call or mail and such participation shall constitute presence in person at such meeting.
c) Any one hundred (100) Voting Members, no more than twenty-five (25) of whom are located in any one state, shall have the privilege of nominating a candidate for each of the offices to be filled by preparing and forwarding
to the Executive Director a written nomination received within 60 days after publication of the Nominating Committee slate, together with pertinent biographical information and a signed letter from each nominee confirming
their willingness to serve. Director nominations submitted under this provision shall specify which of the nominees proposed by the Nominating Committee is being opposed. Candidates nominated by petition who were not previously
considered by the Nominating Committee shall be required to complete the same application materials required of candidates who were considered by the Nominating Committee.
d) Following the closing of nominations, and in the event of a contested election, a ballot shall be prepared listing the names, by lot, of all nominees under the office for which they have been nominated both by the Nominating
Committee and by written petition of the Voting Members. The ballot shall be posted in the registration area at the annual convention meeting site.
e) No individual shall be a candidate for more than one (1) office.
f) In the event an office shall become vacant during the course of the annual convention and following the close of nominations, or in the event a nominee under subparagraph b) above becomes unable or unwilling to serve, the presiding
Officer shall entertain nominations for that office from the floor, and theVoting Members shall elect a candidate to fill said vacancy.
Article IX: Meeting and Voting. Who has a right to vote at the Annual Business Meeting?
Article IX: Section 3–Voting
a) Only Voting Members as defined in Article III shall have the right to vote.
b) Voting by proxy shall not be permitted.
c) All voting shall be conducted at the annual business meeting except that voting for contested elections (as provided in Article VIII, Section 4) and amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws (as provided in Article XVIII, Section 2) shall also include voting by electronic mail or other means of electronic transmission as shall be authorized and determined by the Board of Directors.
d) Members voting by electronic mail and other authorized means of electronic transmission for contested elections and amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws will have 12 hours to vote once the online polling process opens.
[Article III, Section 9(b) … Only Participating Members who are verbatim stenographic reporters and Registered Members who are verbatim stenographic reporters, as well as Retired Lifetime Members and Honorary Members who
have been verbatim stenographic reporters, shall be eligible to vote and/or make or second motions at such meetings or to vote by electronic mail or other means of electronic transmission as specifically authorized under Article IX
(“Voting Members”).]
Article X: Academy of Professional Reporters and Council of Academy of Professional Reporters. A candidate for Fellow includes performance in at least three areas. What are some of those areas of performance?
Article X: Section 2–Fellows
a) Election as a Fellow is a professional distinction that shall be conferred only by the Board of Directors upon a person of extraordinary qualifications and exemplary professional practice who serves as a credit to the profession of
verbatim stenographic reporting. A candidate for Fellow shall be a Registered Member with at least ten (10) years of experience and shall have attained distinction as measured by performance. Such performance shall include three
(3) or more of the following:
i) Publication of important papers, articles, books, or other written material
dealing with verbatim stenographic reporting, professional, or related subjects.
ii) Creative contributions to the welfare of the profession of verbatim stenographic
reporting.
iii) Significant and distinguished service to the profession as an active participant
on boards or committees of any association of verbatim stenographic reporters.
iv) Contributions in such areas as teaching, editing of publications, other board
or committee service, or education of the general public that have served to
enhance or promote the verbatim stenographic reporting profession.
v) Attainment of the Association’s Registered Merit Reporter, Registered Diplomate
Reporter or Speed or Realtime Contest Certificate.
Article XI: Council on Approved Student Education. What is the responsibility of the CASE?
Article XI:
Section 1–Council on Approved Student Education
There shall be a Council on Approved Student Education (“CASE”), which shall consist of at least five (5) members, including at least two (2) Registered Reporters, and at least three (3) reporting educators from NCRA-approved programs representing both public and private institutions. CASE shall be responsible for the approval and development of court reporter student training and education programs. The members of CASE shall be appointed by the President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, to serve three-year staggered terms.
Article XII: Structure. What committee is responsible for enforcing the Code of Professional Ethics?
Article XII:
Section 2–Committees, Councils and Task Forces
a) With the approval of the Board of Directors, the President may create and shall appoint members and chairs of such committees, councils and task forces as necessary, who shall serve for a term of one (1) year, unless otherwise specified.
b) Committee on Professional Ethics: There shall be a committee consisting of five (5) members, at least three (3) of whom shall be Registered Members and, when feasible, one (1) of whom shall be a Past President, appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors. The members of this Committee shall be appointed to serve for staggered three-year terms. The Committee shall be responsible for developing, interpreting, and enforcing the
Code of Professional Ethics in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws. The Committee shall function in accordance with operating rules and procedures that are subject to approval by the Board of Directors.
c) Constitution and Bylaws Committee: This committee shall consist of a minimum of three (3) members appointed by the President with the approval of the Board. The committee shall perform the duties assigned in this Constitution and
Bylaws for amending the Constitution and Bylaws, reviewing the Constitution and Bylaws from time to time, and making recommendations to the Board of Directors and the Membership.
d) Distinguished Service Award Committee: This committee shall consist of five (5) members, who may be past recipients of the Distinguished Service Award.
Committee members shall be appointed for a term of three (3) years on a rotating basis or for the unexpired portion of a term. This committee shall submit to the Board, not later than March 1 of each year, a list of candidates for the
Award, together with all available information about the candidates, and with their recommendation for selection. The Board may accept or reject each or all of the committee’s candidates or recommendations. The Board may not independently select its own recipient for this award.
Article XIII: Executive Staff. Who selects the Executive Director as employed by the Association?
Article XIII:
Section 1–Employment of Executive Director
There shall be an Executive Director who shall be selected by the Board of Directors and employed by the Association.
Article XIV: Fiscal and Legal Procedures. How often are the financial records of the Association audited?
Article XIV:
Section 15: The Board of Directors may appoint legal counsel to act as general counsel and to advise in the legal affairs of the Association.
Section 16: The Board of Directors shall appoint an independent certified public accountant to audit the financial records of the Association and submit an annual audit report.
Article XV: Indemnification and Insurance. Who may authorize the purchase of insurance on behalf of directors, officers, employees, and volunteers?
Article XV:
Section 2–Insurance and Funding
The Board of Directors may authorize the purchase of insurance on the behalf of any of its Directors, Offi cers, employees, and volunteers, against any liability asserted against or incurred by any such person which arises out of such person’s status as a Director, Officer, employee, or volunteer or out of acts taken in such capacity, whether or not the Association would have the power to indemnify and hold harmless such Director, Offi cer, employee, or volunteer against that liability under law. Such indemnification shall be limited to the proceeds of any such insurance policy that may be purchased and an additional Association funds that may be available for such purposes.
Article XVI: Affiliated Units. What is NCSA?
Article XVI:
Section 3–Definitions
a) The term “unit” and or “units” shall be synonymous with the term “association.”
b) A “state” shall be defined as a state or territory of the United States or foreign nation which is approved for membership in the National Committee of State Associations (“NCSA”) by the Board of Directors.
c) Only one affiliated unit may be recognized from any one state, with the exception of states wherein the number of NCRA members exceeds ten percent (10%) of total NCRA membership.
Section 5–National Committee of State Associations
A National Committee of State Associations (“NCSA”) shall be convened annually. NCSA shall be composed of two (2) representatives from each affiliated unit and two (2) alternates, who shall not be entitled to represent more than
one affi liated unit as a delegate, each of whom shall be appointed by such person’s respective affi liated unit. Each affi liated unit shall have no more than two (2) votes. In addition, delegates-at-large, with a voice but no vote, may be appointed by the President to serve on NCSA, representing states that are not affiliated. The President shall appoint a chair and vice chair to conduct the business of NCSA. The Board of Directors shall establish policies and procedures for the conduct and operation of NCSA.
Article XVII: Distribution of Assets. The funds of the Association are used only to accomplish what?
Article XVII: Distribution of Assets
The Association shall use its funds only to accomplish the purposes specified in the Constitution and Bylaws, and no part of such funds shall inure or be distributed to the Members. On dissolution of the Association, any funds remaining shall be distributed to one or more recognized charitable, educational, scientific, or philanthropic organizations to be selected by the Board of Directors.
Article XVIII: Amendments. Who may propose an amendment to the Constitution and Bylaws?
Article XVIII:
Section 1–Originating Proposed Amendments
The Board of Directors, the Constitution and Bylaws Committee or any three (3) Voting Members may propose an amendment to this Constitution and Bylaws.
Such amendment shall be submitted to the Executive Director and to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, as set forth in Section 2 of this Article.
Section 2–Procedure and Action on Proposed Amendments
This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Voting Members who are present and voting at the annual business meeting as well as the Voting Members who are voting by electronic mail or other authorized means of electronic transmission. Notice of such amendment with the text thereof must be fi led with the Executive Director and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee not less than ninety (90) days before the date of the annual business meeting at which the said proposed amendment is to be considered.
The Executive Director shall give notice of such proposed amendment to all Members in the official publication or by written notice, as the Board of Directors may determine, not less than thirty (30) days preceding the date of such
annual business meeting.
Article XIX: Miscellaneous. Can a committee advise in the setting of rates or charges for the profession?
Article XIX:
Section 1–Interpretation of Constitution and Bylaws
a) The Board of Directors shall be the fi nal authority on the interpretation of the Constitution and Bylaws.
b) Nothing in any article of this Constitution and Bylaws, or in any provision of the Code of Professional Ethics, shall be construed to require or permit the Association or any of its committees, councils or task forces to participate or advise in any way, formal or informal, in the setting of rates or charges for the profession, except for rates established by statute, rule, or order of court.

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

State of the CART

By Jen Schuck
CART captioning has come a long way in the past 10 years. Gone are the days of sitting next to the client with cables strewn all over the place, and it does not take ong to figure out that fewer cords are better when providing any kind of captioning services. Still, power outlets seem to be a commodity today as everyone has an electronic device of some sort. Ever try to charge a device at an airport? Below are just a few of the many areas in which CART captioning has changed over the past decade.

THE STENO MACHINE

Every CART captioner has a steno machine and these machines have gotten significantly smaller over the years. The most lightweight machine on the market today is the LightSpeed, weighing in at only 2.6 pounds, but there are many options on the market weighing less than five pounds. This is a welcome change, as weight and size are a big consideration when providing CART captioning on a campus or in any setting where being mobile is imperative. Today’s most up-to-date machines also offer wireless connectivity to CAT software, which eliminates tethering CART captioners to their laptops. In addition, the battery life on today’s machines has also greatly improved.

THE LAPTOP

There is an array of laptops to choose from these days. While everyone has a brand preference, the number of USB hubs on a machine is still one of the major factors to consider, followed by size and weight. Manufacturers now offer immense power in a thin, lightweight machine. If the consumer is going to be using the CART captioner’s laptop to view the text, a larger screen may be preferable. Luckily, this does not mean that the laptop has to weigh you down. There are nice thin laptops with large screens on the market with some brands even offering up to seven hours of battery life – again, one less cord and no need for that elusive power outlet.

DELIVERING CART CAPTIONING

Once you have the basic needs covered, next comes the question of how your consumer is going to receive his or her CART captions. There are so many more options in 2014 than there were in 2004. For example, personal devices are the smallest and lightest way to go, but there’s also the option of outputting to a tablet, which will require Internet access or a LAN connection. Advantage Software offers BridgeMobile as a platform to view text on any computer with Internet access, and Stenograph offers CaseViewNet. These are great options to transmit text to a consumer, either on-site or remotely. Contact the vendors for more information.
If Internet access is not available at the location of the job, access can be supplied by a hotspot, something a lot of cell phones have the ability to do now. Contact your cell service provider for further details. If you have to connect to the Internet via a LAN, today’s routers are even smaller and more convenient to carry than they have been in the past. Check with your CAT software vendor to see if a specific brand is recommended.
If Internet access is not going to be available in any form, Stenocast offers products to output to netbooks or other computers via Bluetooth technology. They offer products to connect steno machines to laptops as well as to connect the CART captioner’s laptop to the consumer’s laptop. Check out stenocast.com for more information.
For those CART captioners who caption large conferences, Text on Top is a great choice to eliminate the need for projectors and extra screens. This is a wireless device that allows a CART captioner to place captions onto a screen that is also displaying a PowerPoint or other type of presentation. The output of the CART captions look like closed captioning through an encoder, but it only uses two USB devices: one on the CART captioner’s computer and one on the computer displaying the PowerPoint. For more information, check out text-on-top.com.
With technology moving so fast, I can only imagine what the next decade will bring. Making CART captioning more mobile may possibly be the next frontier. It’s been done, but requests to make it more readily available are occurring more often. Devices like Google Glass may allow walking CART captioning (see “A Glimpse of the Future“) to be more commonplace in the future.
CART captioning is definitely a growing field. With all of this emerging technology and equipment becoming lighter and smaller, the possibilities to positively change our consumers’ lives are endless.
Jen Schuck, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, is a CART provider in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the chair of NCRA’s CART Community of Interest. She can be reached at jen@jsreporting.com.

The last page: What’s the word?

The Dude

Q. Okay. Let me go ahead and do something with you I do with a lot of folks who make estimates like that. I’m going to time out 10 seconds on my watch. And you can tell me if you think that’s a good estimate or if it’s a lot more than that or whatever.

A. I might tell you now: I have no idea how long that was. Okay?

Q. Okay. And the reason I ask is this —

A. This thing you’re doing here is —

Q. Well, it’s more important than you think, apparently.

A. It’s not very scientific, dude.

*****

Q. Have you ever run a marathon?

A. Yeah, quite a few.

Q. Have you done Houston?

A. Yeah. My best time was in Houston.

Q. What was that?

A. 2:59, dude.

Alan Turboff, RPR

Houston, Texas

 

People to know

Q. You say in the email to Mr. Smith, “I have erased this from my hard drive. With the help of Mr. Daniels, I will erase it from my personal hard drive.” Right?

A. That’s what I wrote.

Q. Who is Mr. Daniels?

A. He’s a man from Tennessee who makes Tennessee whiskey.

Q. Other than Jack, do you know any other Mr. Daniels?

A. He is the only Mr. Daniels I know.

Q. In this email, I want to be clear that Mr. Daniels is Jack Daniels; correct?

A. It is.

Q. And that your personal hard drive resides in the space above your neck?

A. It does.

Q. When you say, “I’ve erased this from my hard drive,” do you recall what you were talking about?

A. I don’t recall what I was talking about, and I think that might have to do with Mr. Daniels.

MR. JONES: For the record, I would like to note that this email was sent at 3:37 p.m., Tuesday afternoon.

Camille Macomber, RPR

Walpole, Mass.

 

Will they ever learn?

Q. Make sure that I finish my question before you start giving your answer so that it makes it easy on our court reporter. Make sure you give an audible answer instead of nodding your head or shaking your head —

A. Okay.

Q. — from side to side, all right?

A. (Nods head affirmatively.)

Marcia Arberman, RPR

Lilburn, Ga.

 

One way to make a door

Q. Okay. Number four you said was installed in the winter of 2004. Can you describe that door for me?

A. It’s a six-foot wide door. It’s two swinging doors.

Q. Okay. What did they have to do, cut a hole in the building and put it in or what?

A. I hit a patch of ice with the snowplow and made a hole; I drove my tractor through it.

Merissa Racine, RDR

Cheyenne, Wyo.

 

What can be said

Q. Tell me what was said between you.

A. I just asked him how he was, and he said he was doing okay, and, you know, I was kind of, you know, kind of relieved, you know, that he’s alive and — and that he — you know, just thankful that he was alive. I just — you know, I was praising God the whole time.

Q. And he was able to speak with you, correct?

A. Uh-huh.

Dana Mann-Chipkin

Yuma, Ariz.

 

Before my time

Q. And I gather, from your testimony, you signed the agreements at the warehouse?

MR. SMITH: Objection. Compound.

MR. JONES: Okay.

MR. SMITH: I objected a little early.

MR. JONES: Premature objection, Your Honor.

MR. SMITH: Exactly.

THE COURT: Well, we don’t want that, do we?

MR. JONES: Not if I can help it.

Dianne Coughlin, RDR, CRR, CMRS

Sacramento, Calif.

 

No introduction needed

MR. SMITH: We’re here on a notice of deposition, which is dated Feb. 20, 2014, and the deposition is occurring at the offices of Peter E. Quinny, who is counsel to Ms. Lord, and the only other individual present aside from Ms. Lord and Mr. Quinny is myself.

Donna L. Linton, RMR

Ashburn, Va.

 

Wedded bliss

A. Because I was cleaning. Because we were going to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Some friends were coming to the house, and I was cleaning; that why I don’t forget it.

Q. So you were having friends over to celebrate your wedding anniversary?

A. Yes.

Q. Is that something that you always do?

A. Almost always. It’s been 35 years —

Q. Congratulations.

A. — carrying this cross.

Lisa Selby-Brood, RPR

St. Petersburg, Fla.

 

Location unknown

Q. This person, Mary, do you remember her last name?

A. I don’t right offhand.

Q. Does she still work there?

A. No, she’s dead now.

Q. That would be absolutely no.

Christine Phipps, RPR

West Palm Beach, Fla.

 

The small print

Q. The $5 million check, who was that made payable to?

A. It was made payable to the clients and ABC Law Firm.

Q. So they literally typed 22 names plus ABC Law Firm on there?

A. Yes.

Q. Did it look like one of those Wheel of Fortune checks?

A. No. They’re used to it. They didn’t have any problem with it.

Elsa Jorgensen

Birmingham, Mich.

 

If you’d like to contribute, please send your funny transcript excerpts to JCR Editor Jacqueline Schmidt at jschmidt@ncra.org.

 

Student’s Corner: Gotta love that Latin!

By Lisa Selby-Brood

If you start to study Latin, you will learn the words – like any other language — and you’ll learn lots of legal terminology as well. Best of all, you won’t get so thrown by Latin terms. Here are a few goodies, plus some regular English words that I just have to throw in because I think they’re really funny!

Nunc pro tunc. It sounds pretty much just how it looks. I love this one! Kind of rolls right off your tongue. Fun to write, too! Anyway, the Latin is “Now, for then,” and basically it is a judgment or order by a court correcting usually a clerical rather than a judicial error. It applies retroactively to an earlier ruling.

Say for example there’s a divorce. For some unknown reason, the final divorce decree never got filed, so therefore, the divorce is technically not final. This could bring us some huge problems, for instance, if one of the parties decided to remarry.

A nunc pro tunc order would be issued by the court making the divorce final, retroactive to the earlier date.

Res ipsa loquitur. This one pretty much sounds the same as well, but don’t ask me for a brief on this one. I don’t hear it come up much, but I remember this from when I was in school. The Latin means “The thing speaks for itself.” The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur states that the elements of duty of care can sometimes be inferred due to the very nature of an accident, even without direct evidence. An example would be getting hit by a rock that flew off a passing dump truck.

Ipso facto. I like this one, too. Latin for “By the fact itself.” An example would be an alien, ipso facto, has no right to a U.S. passport.

Corpus delicti. All right, class, we all better know that “Corpus” means “body.”

Corpus delicti means “body of crime.” It doesn’t refer to an actual body, as one person I knew made the mistake of saying, “They can’t find him guilty of the murder, because there’s no corpus delicti.” (I loved this person dearly, so I didn’t have the heart to correct her. She was referring to the fact that the body was never found in a murder.)

It refers to the fact that it must be proven that a crime has occurred before a person can actually be convicted of committing same. In other words, corpus delicti would be the body of evidence, so to speak. For example, you can’t charge somebody with larceny if you can’t prove something was taken.

In the case of murder, I’m sure there’s plenty of people sitting on death row right now who got convicted of a murder saying to themselves, “How could they convict me if they didn’t find the body?” Answer: Good circumstantial evidence.

Okay. Enough Latin.

Here are some words that are just plain funny to me! They don’t sound (well, maybe one does) anything like what they look like, and they’re in my dictionary exactly the way they sound.

Segue. (Sounds like SEG-way) It means a smooth transition from one thing to another. This case or this doctrine or this line of questioning or whatever segues into my next point. Something along those lines.

Hyperbole. (Sounds like high-PURbowl-lee) This one has to be my favorite. Hyperbole is a figure of speech, kind of like a simile but not quite. Saying “this thing weighs a ton” when it doesn’t weigh anything near that, or saying “we knew each other about 100 years ago” are examples of hyperbole. This one, believe it or not, is in my dictionary as Hyper-bowl. I’m sorry, I can’t do it any other way.

Bailiwick. (Sounds like BALE-ewick.) My boss loves this one, because she uses it a lot! Originally it referred to an area of jurisdiction of a bailiff. Today it usually means a sphere of authority or expertise. The first time I heard it from her was when I had some question about something going on in the criminal arena and she said, (in an email, of course) “Not my bailiwick. Ask Sandi!”

Students, study language! The more familiar you are with it, the better you will be at your job.

Lisa Selby-Brood, RPR, is a freelance court reporter in Palm Harbor, Fla. She can be reached at lspiggy@tampabay.rr.com and through NCRA’s Virtual Mentors Program.

 

Reporting: Family law acronyms and slang for court reporters

By Michael Mattice

If you have been assigned to a family law or domestic relations or juvenile court, get ready for a whole new language! Lawyers and judges in these courts routinely use dozens of acronyms to save time in their conversations and space in their documents. Unfamiliarity with these “acronyzed” terms and other family law slang may, for the unprepared court reporter (hereinafter, “CSR”), cause stress that more than offsets the economy in keystrokes.

The problem is two-fold for CSRs. There is a wide variety of terms, and there are no uniform rules of pronunciation. Whereas some acronyms are spelled out, so that “CSR” for example is pronounced “see əss ar,” others are pronounced in ways that resemble a fourth grader’s first venture into reading a foreign language. Thus we have FLAR PL’s (“flar’ pəls”), UIFSA (“ew if ’ sə”), and QDRO ’s (“kwa’ droz”). (Pop quiz: How do you say FUSFSPA? Or UIEDVPOA?)

The following is a list of the acronyms most commonly used on the record in family law courts and a bit of slang. Pronunciations are offered when the acronym is not simply spelled out.

Regrettably for CSRs, this list only addresses some of the slang heard during the average family law calendar because of localized dialect in this legal field and also because practitioners tend to make nouns or verbs at will out of case names. We’ll hear, for example, of pensions that are either Verner-ized1 or Gillmore-ed,2 or both, and unmarried couples who Marvin-ize.3 When spousal support is being discussed, get ready for “Gavron4 orders,” and “Zlatnik, 5 anti-Vomacka6 language.”

Enjoy!

 

AB assembly bill

ADR alternative dispute resolution

AP account payable

AP alternate payee (of pension benefits)

AR account receivable

ATRO automatic temporary restraining order (or “ah’ tro¯ ” [pl. “ah’ tro¯ z”])

AVD alternate (or alternative) valuation date

B&P Business and Professions (Code)

BF biological father (or “bio-dad”)

BF boyfriend (sometimes also “bio-dad”)

BFP bona fi de purchaser

BIA Bureau of Indian Affairs

Bifo bifurcation (“by’ fo¯ h”)

BK bankruptcy

BM birth mother (or “bio-mom”)

C child (sometimes, C1 and/or C2, etc.)

CASDI California state disability insurance (or “kaz’ di”)

CASIT California state income tax (or “kah’ sit”)

CCE child care expense

CCP Code of Civil Procedure

Cert certiorari (or “sərt”)

CMC case management conference

COBRA Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (or “ko¯ ’ brə”)

COLA cost of living allowance (or “ko¯ ’ lə”)

CP custodial parent (see also NCP, below)

CP community property

CPA certifi ed public accountant

CPS Child Protective Services

CRC California Rules of Court (usually mentioned by the judge)

CS child support

DCSS Department of Child Support Services

Depub depublished (or “di pub’d”)

Disso dissolution (of marriage)

DOB date of birth

Docs documents (“dahks”)

DOG date of grant (of stock options, distinguished from “you dog!”)

DOH date of hire

DOM date of marriage

DOR date of retirement

DOS or DOMS date of (marital) separation

DOS date of strike (of stock options, sometimes, “strike date”)

DP domestic partner (see also, RDP)

DRO domestic relations order (or “dro¯ ”; these usually relate to pensions)

DRTRA Domestic Relations Tax Reform Act (or “der’ trə”)

DV domestic violence

DVPA Domestic Violence Protection Act

DVRO domestic violence restraining order

EC evidence code (also usually mentioned by the judge)

EPO’s emergency protective orders, or ex parte orders

ERISA Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ə ris’ ə”)

ESOP employee stock option (or ownership) plan (“ee’ sop”)

Eval evaluation (usual usages: “vo¯ c eval”; “custody eval”)

FCCR family centered case resolution

FCCRP family centered case resolution plan

FCS Family Court Services

FDD final declaration of disclosure

FERS Federal Employees Retirement System

FICA Federal Insurance Contributions Act (“fy’ kə”)

FIFO first in, fi rst out (“fy’ fo¯ ”; see also LIFO, below)

FIT federal income tax

FLARPL family law attorneys’ real property lien (“fl ar’ pəl”)

FMV fair market value

FPKPA Federal Parental Kidnapping Protection Act

FRV fair rental value

FTB Franchise Tax Board

FUSFSPA Federal Uniformed Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act (“fuf’ spə”)

GF girlfriend (sometimes aka “BM” or “bio-mom”)

GM grandmother

H husband (sometimes, H1 and/or H2 etc., sometimes formerly known as“BF”)

HEW health, education, and welfare

HH-MLA head of household, married living apart

I&E Income and Expense Declaration (sometimes “IED” or “FL-150”)

ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ice”)

ICWA Indian Child Welfare Act (“ick’ wə”)

INS Immigration and Naturalization Service

IRA individual retirement account (“eye’ rə”)

IRC Internal Revenue Code

IRMO in re-marriage of (“er’ mo¯ ”)

IRS Internal Revenue Service

JT joint tenancy

K thousand (typical usage: “This house has $35K of equity in it.”)

LIFO last in, fi rst out (“ly’ fo¯ ”; see also FIFO, above)

LLC limited-liability company

LTA living together (or long term) arrangement

M million

M marriage

M mother

Mmmm This cake tastes good. Whose birthday is it?

MFJ married filing jointly

MFS married filing separately

MOD modification (“mahd”)

MSA Marital Settlement Agreement

MSC mandatory settlement conference

MSOL marital standard of living

NCP non-custodial parent

Nonpub non-published

NP natural parent

OT overtime

OPM Office of Personnel Management (federal)

OSC order to show cause

P&A Points and Authorities (sometimes “peez ‘n ayz”)

PAS parental alienation syndrome

PAS preliminary alcohol screening (“pahz”)

PC penal code

PDD preliminary declaration of disclosure

PERS Public Employee Retirement System (“purz”, sometimes “Cal-PERS”)

PI personal injury

PI private investigator

PKPA Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act

POPS Parental Opportunity Program statement (or declaration; usually: “pahps dek”)

Prenup prenuptial

Psych psychological (“syke testing” or “do we need a psych?” or “you need a psych!”)

QCP quasi-community property

QDRO qualified domestic relations order (“kwa’ dro¯ ”)

QJSA qualified joint survivor annuity

QMCSO qualified medical child support order (“kwam’ sko¯ ”)

QPSA qualified pre-retirement survivor annuity (“kwip’ sə”)

QRI qualified residence interest

Quit Can we quit this quazy stuff and go get a beer?

RDP registered domestic partner

REA Retirement Equity Act (“ri’ ə”)

Recomp recomputation (“ree cahmp”)

Refi refinance (“ree fy”)

RFA request for admissions

RFO request for order

RO restraining order

RURESA Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (“rər ee’ sə”)

S & L savings and loan

S & M (Don’t ask)

SB Senate bill

SC status conference

SCRA Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act

S/E self-employed (compare “1099 earner” and “W-2 employee”)

SH shareholders

SL or SOL statute of limitations

SIDS sudden infant death syndrome (“sids”)

SLAPP strategic lawsuits against public participation (“slap,” sometimes “antislap”)

SLC sole legal custody

SM subject matter jurisdiction

SOD statement of decision

SP separate property

SPC sole physical custody

SS spousal support

SSI supplemental security income

Stip stipulation

STRS State Teachers Retirement System (“stərz”)

T trustee (sometimes “’tee”)

TCT trial court

TS time-share (either child time-sharing between parents, or a condo in Hawaii)

TANF Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (“tan’ əf”)

TILA or TLA Truth in Lending Act (“tee’ lə”)

TIN taxpayer identification number

TMC trial management conference

TPR termination of parental rights

TRDP termination of registered domestic partnership

TRO temporary restraining order

TSC trial setting conference

TSOD tentative statement of decision

UCCJA Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act

UCCJEA Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act

UFTA Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act

UIEDVPOA Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act

UIFSA Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (“ew if’ sa”)

Unpub unpublished (or “ən pub’d”)

UPA Uniform Parentage Act

UPAA Uniform Premarital Agreement Act

URESA Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (“ər ee’ sə”)

USC United States Code (distinguished from “fight on, fight on, for USC!”)

USCA United States Code, Annotated

USSCT United States Supreme Court (sometimes “SCOTUS” or “sko¯ ’ təs”)

VAWA Violence Against Women Act (“va’ wə”)

VTC vocational training counselor

W wife (sometimes, W1 and/or W2 etc., sometimes formerly known as “GF”)

W-2 IRS form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement (tax records for “W-2 employees”)

W&I Welfare and Institutions (Code, sometimes “WIC”)

WD withdrawal

WCAB Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board

WHA withholding allowance

WIP work in progress

1. Verner v. Verner (1978) 77 Cal.App.3d 718 [143 Cal.Rptr. 826]

2. In re Marriage of Gillmore (1981) 29 Cal.3d 418 [174 Cal.Rptr. 493; 629 P.2d 1]

3. Marvin v. Marvin (1976) 18 Cal.3d 660 [134 Cal.Rptr. 815; 557 P.2d 106]

4. In re Marriage of Gavron (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 705 [250 Cal.Rptr. 148]

5. In re Marriage of Zlatnik (1988) 197 Cal.App.3d 1284 [243 Cal.Rptr. 454]

6. In re Marriage of Vomacka (1984) 36 Cal.3d 459, 204 Cal.Rptr. 568, 683 P.2d 248

 

Please note: A few of these entries are unique to California, e.g. CASIT – California State Income Tax (or “ka’ sit”). However, most are heard throughout the United States. Also, lawyers and judges in other states have used analogous acronization techniques, e.g., Massachusetts State Income Tax is known as “MASIT” (“ma’ sit”).

 

The Hon. Michael Mattice has been a California Superior Court judge since 2003, and has had supervising family law, all-purpose felony, all-purpose civil, and appellate division assignments.

CART-Wise: You are only as good as your dictionary

By Jennifer Porto
How many times have you been on a job and thought, “Why don’t I have that word in my dictionary?” For every easy job, there is that one job that humbles us when we quickly realize that we will never have enough words in our dictionary, nor will we ever write fast enough.
My story begins on the first day of a new semester. With my first glance — or whiff — of the professor, I knew this was not going to be a typical Bio 211 lecture class. The lanky professor kicked off his worn Birkenstocks as he unpacked his satchel of textbooks. Staring, I willed myself to look away.
Why does it smell like cinnamon and sweaty socks? I couldn’t take my eyes off of the brown cotton socks with snags where the buckles from his Birkenstocks rest. His frayed, multistained Levi’s made me wonder if he had worn these jeans while foraging for wild mushrooms. His hair mimicked a shorter version of Einstein’s.
The student whom I was writing for and I made our introductions. The professor asked if I had ever captioned a biology class. “Of course; no problem,” I told him.Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, I thought. Math, biology, chemistry, and the like are my favorite classes to caption.
I had done everything in my power to prepare, just as I do for all of the classes I am assigned. I create what seems like never-ending lists of words before each class. I knew that most of the words would be multisyllabic, so it would not be enough to merely put the words in my dictionary just once. I would stroke out each phonetic syllable over and over, creating new prefixes and suffixes.
I was 100 percent confident in my dictionary — until the professor began the PowerPoint presentation on the subjects to be covered during the semester.
The first time he said, “synapomorphy,” my fingers froze. I thought, Syn-nappy-what? I sat up straighter. I was repeating the syllables in my head as I cleanly stroked SEUPB/AP/PHOR/TPAOE, scolding myself, “Why don’t I have a brief for ‘morphy’? What did he say?” Words and syllables that I’ve never heard were whizzing past my ears like bullets in a combat zone. “Symplesiomorphy,” SIPL/PHRAEUZ-what? “Autapomorphy,” AUTwhat-PHOR/TPAOE. I knew I had to drop, but he was speaking so quickly that there was not a clean place to pick it up again. This is about when my self-talk got the best of me. He’s talking so fast! “Clades.” I write KLAEUD/Z, Thankfully, I knew that word would come up. “Cladogram,” Okay, I can get this word to come up too. Concentrating, I stroke, KHRAEUD/O/TKPWRAPL. “Cladogram.” Ugh, that’ll have to be good enough. I’m no longer rhythmically writing; rather, I’m pounding because my fingers feel like they have weights attached to them. I’m suddenly aware of the horrible acoustics in the auditorium. Is that the acoustics or is he mumbling? He’s mumbling. My thoughts were frantic now. Why is he walking around in holey socks? Stop mumbling.
When the professor finally spoke the words, “Okay. See you next week,” I inhaled deeply. I must have been holding my breath for what felt like the entire two-hour class. My legs were aching from pushing my feet hard into the floor to help me channel my concentration. Saving the transcript and turning off my computer, I thought about the tiresome task of editing the notes for the student. I knew I would be Googling every other word. There was only one positive thing I could be certain of: I was going to have a stellar dictionary at the end of the semester.
Briefs, unfortunately, were mostly of no use in this case except for a few. Synapomorphy came up often, so I used SAEUP. Most of the terminology changed weekly as the class progressed through the textbook; unfortunately, the only constant was the stinky, shoeless professor and his holey socks.
I am not the first reporter to be blown away by the terminology on a job. When we arrive at our jobs, while we will never know if we have a chair to sit in or if the environment around us will be a distraction, one thing we can be in control of is how well our dictionary is prepped. How do you make your dictionary better? To me, editing my transcripts and working on my dictionary are a priority. The better your dictionary is, the better you write because the words will, hopefully, come up on the first attempt; ultimately, your concentration will be better, and the job becomes less stressful. Prepping may be tedious, but having an idea of the terminology allows me to think less because I’m not struggling to write every word. I write faster and easier.
There are many things I do to find new words to build my dictionary. One of my rules is to look up every word before putting it in my dictionary to make sure I have the correct spelling, capitalization, whether it needs a hyphen, and so on. What good is a word in your dictionary if it is not correct? When you read the morning paper, novels, recipes — these are all resources to finding new words that are not in your dictionary. There are also a variety of lexicons that can be useful to finding terminology on specific topics. For
example, I had a job once that was discussing the Harry Potter books as they relate to Greek mythology. Do you have Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape in your dictionary? I didn’t.
For me, hearing the words as I realtime is the most efficient way. How many times have you phonetically entered a word by sight, and then realized the word is pronounced differently than the way you phonetically stroked it? It happens to me all the time when I’m inputting words from the lecture’s PowerPoint. I use websites such as Khan Academy, YouTube, and TED Talks for dictionary-building resources. You can search almost any topic and listen to lectures and speeches to help you practice writing the words.
While in school, we are so focused on building our speed that we don’t spend a lot of time building our dictionaries. I believe it is our duty to provide the best realtime possible for our students and/or clients. One of the greatest aspects of our job is that it is different every day. There are always a multitude of situations where we must be flexible and solve problems on the fly, but you are in control of your dictionary before you walk through that door. Ask yourself: Aside from editing, how much time do I spend researching words? Can I watch the news and know that every word said is in my dictionary, if just for one minute? Try it.
Jennifer Porto is a CART provider in the Southern California area. She can be reached at jenn0644@gmail.com.

To brief or not to brief, that is the question: A satirical Shakespearian perspective

Friends, students, and reporters, lend me your ears. Shakespeare, legendary man of words, measured and used wisely what he wrote. As steno writers today know all too well, we must stroke wisely and waste not. A brief may be brief, but it may also take too long to recall or be too taxing to create quickly and/or too difficult to write accurately. To quote the Bard: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.” If it is not brief within one’s mind and hand connection, then it is not a brief; it becomes a misnomer. Alas, what is inferred with a “brief” may lead us also to lengths from which we cannot recover. It is our quandary. To brief or not to brief, that is the question.

It is true, “Nothing can come from nothing.” This is why we are left with three perspectives. Real speed gains, while in school, necessitate the use of briefs in higher speed levels. Nonetheless, while reporting, to lighten our day’s load, briefs become most essential. Through my years of interaction with other reporters around the country, I learned to embrace new ways to write, especially while at the dawn of the computer-aided transcription era. Reporters with their new Baron stenowriters would cry out, “A brief, a brief, my kingdom for a brief!”Our theories went right out the proverbial window. Thereafter, as a teacher of the very first realtime steno theory, proving to the new generation that one must stick to this or else . . . credibility was flying out that same window. It behooves a teacher to stabilize the information, ingrain the process.

Having been a student, reporter, and teacher, I came to realize there are different ideologies in the machinations to achieve goals. I wrestle with setting in stone another’s journey. There is constant vacillation between the role of cheerleader of every brief form and that of the devil’s advocate to minimize extra mental efforts and maximize nimble and accurate fingers. In order that “something can come of something,” we must get used to practicing briefs early on. Sticking to one’s theory is crucial for students, but they need to keep aware and be wary of “a feast of languages” that exists out in the field. Ultimately, the reporter’s mindset takes over that of a student or a teacher; a veteran’s advice and the real world will outweigh all else.

Here we are in the time when CAT is all a student knows. When theories have adjusted to the changing times, why change what we trailblazers have afforded you? Because there is always something new on the horizon, a new generation’s lexicon. Technology constantly adds new words and abbreviations in our daily lives. We cannot allow disruption of flow, so we adapt. We must seamlessly learn to incorporate new verbiage and lingo while it is at its inception, and that mindset must begin in the school setting. The ability to change for survival in our dynamic environment is at the core of every great student and reporter. While it is true that “all that glitters is not gold,” one must make sure to sift through every short form that comes his or her way, being open-minded to embrace a better way of getting the job done. Rigidity in principle does not promote flexibility in one’s present or future.

Our dictionaries are crucial to the future we build. A good dictionary is one that expands with time and experience. A great dictionary incorporates the notion that there are different ways of writing early on, allowing for both the expected and the unexpected scenarios. All reporters should be proud of their dictionaries. Doesn’t everyone want to make it better, and thus, life easier? We should never cease in our desire to make our dictionaries the best they can be – the inherent quality of a true professional. “Clutter” is a negative term used by some to reference a vast dictionary. Without growing, your career will stunt and go stale. As our profession thrives, “The world is [our] oyster.” Benefit from years of schooling, continuing education, wisdom of instructors, interactions with reporters – these combine to build great dictionaries.

What is meant by “the play is the thing” as it relates to reporters? We must write down all that is said without missing a word, as legibly as possible, to provide accurate steno for ourselves or our scopists to transcribe. That is all that truly matters. We must do a little of everything at all times, be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of one. It is of the utmost importance to stay up to the beat, have the ability to catch up, and be ahead of what is next. If a brief cannot be stroked within a blink of an eye, then it is a hindrance. If a brief is not within your dexterity, then it is worthless. If you expend resentment writing out, then you should have the courage to wrest free. Yes, remember, “The play is the thing.” We must invite creativity along with what we are taught in order to accomplish our roles.

At the end of the day, those of our ilk have a need to rise above and strive for betterment. Shakespeare’s quote of this quest: “Be not afraid of greatness.” The distinguished merit writers of our time, those more notable in the new millennium, have chosen wisely when, what, and how to brief. They are our eminent forefathers and mothers, our scholars. Learn from their mistakes; learn from their achievements. A student and a reporter spend their lives listening; this may promote a dearth or a harvest of briefs. “There is a method in the madness” with incorporation and practice of briefs. Each must judge his or her own situation, capabilities, strengths, and assess weaknesses. “Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie.” So without further ado, heed admonishment, whether student, teacher, or reporter: “Let every eye negotiate for itself.”

MEMBER PROFILE: Kathy Zebert, RPR

Kathy Zebert, RPRFreelance reporter & owner of Stenedge

Currently resides in Athens, Ga.

Member since: 2005

Graduated from: Austin Court Reporting Institute

Theory: StenEd

 

Favorite briefs:

As the author of Briefly Speaking, an e-book with more than 3,000 briefs and phrases, and a new e-book on the horizon called Medically Speaking, it’s difficult to pick just a few, but if I had to pick the most useful, they would probably be from these two families of phrases:

Take a look at this document = THREUD

Take a look at that document = THRAD

Do you recognize that document = TKAORBGD

Let me hand you what’s been marked = HRARBGD

Let me show you what’s been marked = HRORBGD

Any brief that turns six or seven strokes into one is my favorite.

 

Why did you decide to become a court reporter?

Prior to court reporting, I’d been in the insurance and health care industry in multiple jobs. My childhood dream of practicing law led me to court reporting. It was supposed to be a stepping stone, and it was, but the stone has lasted 20 years.

 

How did you learn about the career?

I grew up in a legal family. My dad was a lawyer and a sitting judge for 50 years, and he had the first realtime courtroom in Mississippi. His passion for the law and his work ethic led me to court reporting and ultimately to Stenedge, where I get to give back what I’ve learned in the process.

 

What has been your best work experience so far in your career?

Stenedge has been a godsend for me. It never occurred to me that others would love my briefs or want to hear what I had to say about how, when, and why to interrupt the record. I just wanted to be able to provide quality training materials at an affordable price point. As it turns out, people seem to need the message, and it thrills me that I can carry on the wonderful legacy left to me by my dad, who passed away just before Thanksgiving of 2013. I’ve just recently created a document called “The Court Reporter’s Guide to Making the Record” for attorneys and judges. The attorneys are responding well to it, and there’s been interest expressed about having me speak to judges about it, as well as using it in their training manuals. It’s free for every reporter to print, copy, and hand out under the “Downloads” tab at Stenedge.com.

 

What advice or tips would you offer to new reporters?

Number one in my book is this: Be kind and supportive and uplifting to others in this profession. If we want to be treated as professionals by other members of the legal team, we must treat each other as professionals.

Number two: Get involved, network, and educate yourself as well as others about this profession and the importance of what you do. Finding your voice as a trained, silent listener is difficult, but necessary in order to effect change.

Number three: Take care of your own bottom line: your body, your checkbook, and your values. Never undersell your talent and skill.

 

Have you accomplished something not related to your career that you would like to relate?

Other than raising two wonderful children, the one thing I’m proudest of is that I finished my undergraduate degree in 2011 at the age of 51, with a 3.94 GPA. I took the LSAT without studying for it, just to get a feel for the test. I scored high enough to get accepted into law school. It was a long and winding journey, but it was so worth it. Although I chose to stay in reporting and transition into educating court reporters, judges, and lawyers instead, the education alone was priceless.