New online automated booking platform gains popularity

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyIn a press release issued Feb. 13, eCourt Reporters announced that its automated online scheduling platform is growing in use. The software was launched seven months ago.

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Let the festivities begin in Las Vegas

More than 1,300 court reporters, captioners, legal videographers, educators, students, and other legal professionals joined together to kick off the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo today at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. The event runs through Sunday, Aug. 13, and is the largest gathering of professionals in the court reporting and captioning professions.

Festivities began with the Opening Reception held in the Expo Hall where dozens of vendors are displaying new products and services. In addition, a number of day-long pre-Convention intensive CAT vendor workshops were also offered.

Other highlights of the day included the Annual Business Meeting, the National Committee of State Associations Meeting, and the National Realtime Contest where contestants in the sold-out competition battled for top honors. First-time Convention goers also enjoyed an “Only New Once” networking reception.

Experience the magic of new products and services on the 2017 Expo floor

Arial view of a crowd in the Expo HallDozens of vendors will showcase the latest in new products and services specifically for the court reporting and captioning professions at the 2017 NCRA Convention & Expo, Aug. 10-13 in Las Vegas, Nev., at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Vendors will offer products that include software, equipment, support services, and more. Several new products are also scheduled for debut.

Visitors to Alderson Reporting at Booth #228, for example, can learn more about the reporting opportunities the firm has to offer as well as enjoy the sweet giveaways that will be on hand, according to Amy Derr, the firm’s resource development division director.

Stop by Booth #223 to learn more about Caption First’s customized realtime training and find out how it can expand your work options into stimulating and lucrative new areas, said Karen Rudd, CRI, the company’s representative. “Whether you’re an experienced writer or are just setting your sights on certification, find out how this one-on-one guidance will impact your career,” said Ruud.

Julie Lessa invites Expo participants to visit her at Booth #5-1 to see the latest in personal protection. Lessa is a retired official court reporter and independent Damsel in Defense director. “I was passionate about my court reporting career, and now I’m just as passionate about my Damsel mission: to equip, empower, and educate women on safety,” she said. Visitors to the booth can also register to win a free stun gun.

Take a chance on winning an iPad Mini with a stop at Booth #106. Once there, visitors can find out more about the many exciting national and international opportunities DTI has to offer. The firm is a legal-process outsourcing company that serves law firms, corporations, and government entities around the globe.

Caroline S. Lloyd, cofounder of Expert Depos, will be at Booth #127 to answer questions about how freelance reporters can generate revenue by selling past deposition transcript copies. “We are not a deposition repository, and our service is complimentary to court reporters,” said Lloyd. “We will be raffling off great prizes like bottles of wine and Fitbits.” Lloyd will also be presenting at the Convention.

A steno machine company rep sits one-on-one with a woman to try out a new machine

Trying out a new machine

At Booth #224, representatives from Henderson Legal Services will be sharing chocolate along with information about the many opportunities the firm has for court reporters nationally and internationally.

Find out what’s new at Dictionary Jumpstart/LearnToCaption, the one stop for all things realtime, said Missy Richeal, a company representative. Visitors to Booth #129 will be eligible to win a module of the company’s Dictionary Jumpstart software valued at $279 as well as a copy of each book written by broadcast captioner Anissa Nierenberger, RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI.

Representatives from MacCormac College will be at Booth #T-4 with information about the school’s new push to recruit faculty and educators for both on-campus and online courses. MacCormac College is the nation’s third oldest nonprofit college offering the longest-standing court reporting program.

Attendees should be sure to check their registration packets for Pengad’s scratch-off card and bring it to Booth #123 to receive a free prize. The company will also be offering Convention-only special pricing on all of its products and be displaying its newest microphones and the ChargeHub Supercharger.

PohlmanUSA Reporting Company, a recognized national provider of technology-driven court reporting and litigation services, will be at Booth #220. Visitors will learn more about the firm’s products and services. Named a Top Workplace by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for three consecutive years, the firm is always seeking skilled reporters nationwide.

Expo attendees can also see the newest features of the Xpression writer and Winner 2017 software at ProCAT, located at Booth #108. In addition, ProCAT representatives will be highlighting the benefits and positive income potential of Case.Pad. Visitors to the booth can also register to win prizes in celebration of 35 years serving the court reporting profession.

Representatives from My Realtime Coach, located at Booth #105, will be on hand to show reporters, firms, and schools how to P.A.S.S.: Prepare for Accuracy, Speed, and Success. This year, the program aims to unlock higher levels, earn achievements, and share success on social media while schools can use the platform to find, test, and reward the best students and reporters.

A stop at Booth #211 will offer a tour of the court reporting management software developed by RepAgencyWorks. The firm’s software handles calendars, production schedules, document storage, invoicing, payroll tasks, and more, no matter the size of the firm.

Three smiling women in funny hats

Having fun at the Opening Reception in the Expo Hall

Located at Booth #2, Reporter Suite, the app for managing reports, invoices, payees, expenses, and time tracking, will be launching version three. Version three features in-app invoice payment processing along with an expansion for freelance, state, proofreader, and scopist support. “We are very proud to announce our partnership with Stenograph, enabling Reporter Suite invoice integration within the ‘Finish Em’ workflow within CATalyst,” said the company’s representative Robyn Ellan. “This is a landmark release culminating from hundreds of requested features and performance enhancements.”

Stenograph, located at Booth #111, plans to show off its stylish and fun new bags and accessories, and promises attendees a few other big surprises. According to Star Levandowski, the company’s director of marketing, visitors can also expect some amazing deals.

Meet the two new models Stenovations will be introducing in its Zenith line of writers. Located at Booth #116, company representatives will demonstrate software that links to a foot pedal, which facilitates toggling between multiple keyboard layouts, including a QWERTY option, to simplify writing numbers or fingerspelling.

Kerry Brunner of StenoWorks invites visitors to stop by Booth #213 and shop the largest variety of court reporting products at the Convention. “Products include steno machines both new and refurbished at great prices, ergo chairs, ergo and mini keyboards, writer accessories, keypads, microphones, exhibit stickers, Zuca writer cases, and lots of other steno products,” he said. Visitors can also drop off their business card for a chance to win a free writer overhaul and cleaning.

Visitors to Thomson Reuters/RealLegal, located at Booth #126, will learn how the firm provides clients the confidence that their transcripts are tamperproof and secure. The firm is also giving away a free security gift to each visitor as well as the opportunity to register to win a grand prize of an HD wireless security camera system.

Making its debut is Transcript Manager, a new app created by a court reporter. Located at Booth #5-2, visitors can expect to see how the new product can help manage their workloads, meet deadlines, and still have time for life.

Since 2005, Translation by Design has been providing translation and interpretation support to legal professional, including depositions, arbitrations, med-legals, trials, etc. Stop by Booth #104 and learn how Translation by Design can help avoid costly events such as late or unqualified interpreters at depositions.

According to Brian Clune, CLVS, attendees who stop by YesLaw at Booth #124 will get to see the company’s new HTML-interface update to its online repository as well as new features to its PDF transcript production tool. In addition, every visitor to the booth will receive a free 8-gig flash drive.

Below is the complete list of the vendors that will be on this year’s Expo floor:

  • Advantage Software, Booth #130 and 131
  • Alderson Reporting, Booth #228
  • Alpha Innovation, Booth #226
  • Caption First, Booth #223
  • CRC Salomon, Booth #4
  • Damsel in Defense, Booth #5-1
  • DTI, Booth #106
  • eCourt Reporters, Booth #219
  • Esquire Deposition Solutions, Booth #3
  • Expert Depos, Booth #127
  • Expo Enterprise, Booth #221
  • FirstLease, Booth #107
  • Hardeman School of Court Reporting & Realtime, Booth #102
  • Henderson Legal Services, Booth #224
  • Learn to Caption, Booth #129
  • Litigation Services, Booth #206
  • LitUp, Booth #122
  • MaCormac College, Booth #T-4
  • Mercer Consumer, Booth #218
  • My Realtime Coach, Booth #105
  • Pengad , Booth #123
  • PohlmanUSA, Booth #220
  • ProCAT, Booth #108
  • Remote Counsel, Booth #125
  • RepAgencyWorks, Booth #211
  • Reporter Suite , Booth #2
  • StenEd , Booth #1
  • Stenograph, Booth #111
  • Stenovations, Booth #116
  • StenoWorks, Booth #213
  • StreamText, Booth #225
  • Thomson Reuters, RealLegal, Booth #126
  • TK Design, Booth #205
  • Transcript Manager App, Booth #5-2
  • Translation by Design, Booth #104
  • TransPerfect Legal Solutions, Booth #207
  • The Varallo Group, Booth #222
  • Visual Discovery, Booth #128
  • YesLaw, Booth #124
  • Nevada Court Reporting Association, T-2
  • Florida Court Reporting Association, T-3

Another Convention & Expo highlight will be a Premier Session featuring keynote presenter and Las Vegas icon Steve Wyrick, known as the Daredevil Magician, who will motivate the audience as he shares personal insights to his success sprinkled with a touch of magic. In addition, NCRA’s 2017-2018 Board of Directors will be installed, the 2018 Distinguished Service Award winner will be honored, and the results of the National Speed and Realtime Contests will be announced. And don’t forget the array of top-notch speakers addressing the topics and issues relevant to today’s court reporters, captioners, legal videographers, students, and school officials.

Registration is available on-site at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, 3667 Las Vegas Blvd., South, Las Vegas, Nev.

Dictionary Jumpstart releases new book

JCR logoAnissa R. Nierenberger, RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI, owner and founder of Dictionary Jumpstart, Grand Rapids, Mich., has released a brand new book titled, Simpler Syllables, according to a press release issued April 29.

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Realtime resource guide

By Merilee Johnson and Lisa Knight

Congratulations! You have worked hard at improving your writing. Your translation rate gets better with every job you take. You are finally ready to make the next step and start offering your realtime feed for others to view and use. Time to celebrate!

No! Wait! Panic sets in!

Does my CAT vendor offer realtime software for me to use? How much does that cost? Can I write to other realtime software with my current CAT system? Do I want to write to other realtime software? Do I want to use cables or StenoCast or do it all wirelessly with a router? Do I need a tablet, or should I use a laptop?

NCRA’s TRAIN Subcommittee has you covered. We have been working with CAT vendors to gather this valuable information to help you make a decision, and we have compiled it into a handy guide for reporters to quickly and easily determine their options and take their next steps.

An investment into a realtime future can add up fast, but it doesn’t have to. This is not about taking out a second mortgage to purchase all the realtime accoutrements at one time. Many realtime reporters don’t run out and purchase six iPads at their nearest Apple store. Most are methodical (that’s why we are so good at what we do). They may choose to purchase one refurbished tablet or computer and discover what works best for them. One by one, they add to their realtime stock.

Many people have an old computer (or two or three). Reporters can easily turn that into a realtime computer for counsel without paying anything to make that happen. Providing realtime (and getting paid for it) does not have to cost reporters an arm and a leg. Often, one realtime job will typically pay for that new or refurbished tablet the first time it’s used. By the second realtime job, reporters are increasing their margin of profit. Many reporters are losing money by not writing realtime, plain and simple.

Ready to get started? Use this guide to help determine the next realtime step. Is your current software and hardware compatible with cables or StenoCast using your old computer? Can you write to your computer wirelessly using a router without purchasing a license from your CAT vendor? Is your equipment and software license set up to provide a wireless stream out of the conference room to the other side of the world? The answers to these questions and more are here in this realtime guide.

Merilee Johnson, RMR, CRR, CRC, and Lisa Knight, RDR, CRR, are co-chairs of NCRA’s TRAIN Subcommittee.

The TRAIN subcommittee wishes to thank the vendors who participated in gathering this information. Their time devoted to this guide was extremely valuable.

  • Advantage Software
  • ProCAT
  • AristoCAT
  • Stenograph
  • Gigatron
  • Stenovations

Discounted hotel rates extended for NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference

2016 FirmOwners_Puerto Rico_smNCRA has announced that the deadline for the discounted rates for hotel accommodations at the Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico, the site of the 2016 NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference being held April 17-19, has been extended to April 1.

In addition to ample networking sessions, informative presentations, and a backdrop of beautiful ocean views, attendees at this year’s event will also have the opportunity to meet face to face with some of the leading vendors in the industry.

Sponsors and vendors that will be represented at this year’s event include:

  • Allen, Maxwell & Silver, Inc., which offers commercial collections and recovery, accounts receivable management, and third-party debt collecting services;
  • Courtroom Connect, which offers technology solutions and online platforms for legal and financial professionals. The company also owns the Courtroom View Network and Remote Counsel brands;
  • DepositionsConferencing.com, which provides the legal court reporting industry with services such as audio conferencing that can be recorded to create a legal record of depositions, and more;
  • Pengad, Inc., which manufactures and provides legal supplies to the business community;
  • Realtime Learning Systems/Realtime Coach, which combines the latest technologies to deliver a comprehensive learning experience for court reporting, captioning, and CART;
  • Repagencyworks Court Reporting Software, which offers a complete Web-based application designed especially for the management of court reporting agencies;
  • Thomson Reuters, which offers an array of legal solutions that integrate content, expertise, and technologies for court reporting firms;
  • Visual Discovery, Inc., which offers an array of legal videography and trial presentation services; and
  • YesLaw, which provides an array of legal services including legal videography and transcription services.

Other highlights on this year’s schedule include an opening networking reception followed by a two-part keynote speech, the first of which is presented by Jane Southren, a former commercial litigator turned coach from Toronto, Ontario, on Monday morning. Southren will share insights with attendees about recognizing and cultivating the relationships firm owners need to fuel their business successes. Southern will also explore the differences between transactional relationships versus loyal relationships, how to identify them, and how to build more loyal relationships.

Following the keynote, attendees will participate in a panel discussion about the findings of NCRA’s latest State of the Industry Survey report, led by NCRA President Steve Zinone, RPR; Kim Neeson, RPR, CRR, CRC, Chair of the Association’s Firm Owners Committee; and Mike Nelson, CAE, CEO & Executive Director of NCRA. The day will wrap up with another networking session in the afternoon, followed by special reception at El Livin, a unique restaurant located in the heart of the historic Luis Muñoz Rivera Park. The networking reception is being hosted by Verbatim Reporting, based in San Juan.

Tuesday’s schedule includes another two-part presentation by a second keynote speaker Ann Gomez, a productivity consultant and founder of Clear Concept Inc., in Toronto, Ontario. Gomez will address how business owners can improve time management by controlling chaos in their lives, planning priorities, and understanding how to own their time. She will also introduce attendees to the key work habits needed to thrive in today’s busy environment and enable achieving more with less effort.

Following Gomez’s presentation will be a two-part session led by Jeanne Leonard, CAE, NCRA’s Senior Director of Marketing, Membership & Communications, which will include a scavenger hunt.

A final closing reception will provide attendees with yet another networking opportunity to secure new connections and catch up with old friends.

This year’s event marks the first time NCRA is traveling to the Caribbean, as well as the first time the schedule will feature two keynote speakers who will address the tough issues of relationship-building and time management.

The 2016 NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference, which is designed exclusively for owners and managers of court reporting and captioning firms, is considered the Association’s most prestigious event.

Hotel registration is available online at NCRA.org/forsv; by phone at 787-721-0303, ext. 2156, or 800-468-8585; or by email at reservations.caribe@hilton.com. If booking via phone or email, please refer to group code NCRA16 to secure the discounted rate. This special rate expires April 1. Please be advised that a credit card is required to guarantee room reservations.

For more information, the full schedule, and registration information for the 2016 Firm Owners Executive Conference, visit NCRA.org/FirmOwners.

LiveDeposition to speak at STARtech conference

In a press release issued March 9, LiveDeposition, a provider of local and remote litigation event technology, announced that Vice President of Sales Jason Richmond will be speaking on the New Video & Exhibits Technology panel during the STARtech16 conference being co-hosted by the Illinois Court Reporters Association, March 11-13 in Chicago, Ill. Richmond will discuss new technologies in the video and paperless exhibit arenas, including picture-in-picture video conferencing, the newest paperless exhibit products, and how these technologies interact.

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Stenograph updates iCVNet to 2.0; new version adds adjustable font sizes

Stenograph, Elmhurst, Ill., announced updates to its iCVNet realtime viewing software for the Apple iPad that allow for adjustable font sizes, in a press release issued Nov. 2. According to the release, users can now “pinch” their screens to adjust the size of the fonts or select the font size from the menu button that appears across the top of the screen.

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1CapApp announces maintenance release

1CapApp announces a maintenance release that includes two minor enhancements and fixes five known issues for 1Connect. The enhancements include putting a hard stop value that is displayed at the bottom left of the 1Connect display and a clear screen macro, which moves blank lines to the streaming text window and moves any text up and off the display. The fixes include making it easier to get to chat and notes on Android tablets and phones; updating a schedule import process; updating the transcript download function, so that the viewer must log in to viewer dashboard in order to see the transcript icon; and others.

The company’s press release reminds users to refresh the browser’s cache once the release is downloaded.

E-seminar review: Syllables: Count on it!

The informative vendor e-seminar Syllables: Count on it! teaches court reporting students and instructors how to accurately count syllables to help with dictation. The e-seminar is presented by Janice Plomp, who, after 28 years as an official court reporter and CART provider, became a full-time instructor at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Plomp presents a software product called Syllables, which was created by Plomp and her brother. Their website states that Syllables provides a fast and simple method of creating accurate dictation materials.

At the beginning of the e-seminar, Plomp discusses how different sentences can be. For example, there could be the same number of words in two sentences but completely different number of syllables, which makes a huge impact in the world of court reporting. She then reviews syllabic density, the Syllables product, and the advantages and features offered. Plomp says, “It’s eye-opening to students to see how many syllables and repetitive words there are in a document. [With Syllables,] you can add syllabic breaks that you can save, and you can adjust the ease or difficulty of your document.”

Plomp spends time showing how Syllables works and ways court reporting students can benefit when practicing by using its functionality available in the library. Plomp states, “I got started [developing Syllables] because I thought there has to be a better way to count syllables. I can’t imagine my teaching career without it.”

This e-seminar is now available here.