If you are thinking of donating to a worthy cause this year, please join us in supporting Christmas In The City. This is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization that helps homeless families in our neighborhoods deal with the daily struggles they face that are even more pronounced during the holiday season. This charity was started by the owners of Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy which is located right across the street from us at 45 Franklin Street in Downtown Crossing. Not only do they host a spectacular Christmas party for 3,000 families and provide gifts and toys to an additional 2,000 families, but their mission has been expanded to include events and services throughout the year.
The New Hampshire Court Reporters Association held its fall seminar the weekend of October 14-16, 2011. Its theme was “Heroes Among and Within Us – a 9/11 Tribute.”
When fellow court reporter Julie Brandau was killed in an Atlanta courtroom in 2005, Jan Garnett Lopez, RPR, decided to honor her memory by forming the Julie Brandau Community Service Memorial Project in partnership with the Search Dog Foundation. The Search Dog Foundation rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to assist in search-and-rescue missions whenever a disaster occurs at home or around the globe. Those in attendance were fortunate enough to watch a live demonstration of these dogs in action by Lt. Chet Clark and his dog, Elvis, from Oklahoma and Lt. Patti Krafft and her dog, Hula, from Dallas.
It costs $10,000 to train a dog to become one of the elite few, from rescue to evaluation to rigorous training and eventually FEMA certification. NCRA members, through their generous donations, have given over $63,000, enough to sponsor six dogs, in Julie’s memory. One of the dogs sponsored by NCRA, Pearl, was named ASPCA’s 2010 Dog of the Year.
A new facility is being planned that will house these rescued dogs and give them the medical care and rigorous training they need to prepare them for any circumstance they may encounter in the field.
Other seminar speakers included Danny Deters and his involvement with the New York Says Thank You Foundation; JoAnne Schottler, Care Package Coordinator for Pease Greeters; Meg Heckman, author of We Went to War; Camille Palladino-Duffy, LCR, RPR, who spoke about the history of the American flag; and Bianca Monroe from the American Red Cross who spoke about emergency preparedness.
In Business for Almost 45 Years - How things have changed
"I am amazed at how the field of stenographic court reporting has changed in the 44 years of my firm's existence. Before the late 1970s, court reporters either typed or dictated from our steno notes. Now, in the 21st century, we are offering same day transcripts along with a myriad of litigation support products such as condensed transcripts in various formats (ASCII or PDF), electronic files, and scanned exhibits, all of which can be and are sent over the Internet.'
"In addition, we offer videotaped depositions and have equipped our three conference rooms with state-of-the-art video conferencing equipment.'
"Technology has greatly impacted the way our clients do business. I am proud to say that my office has kept up with each and every iteration, and we are able to provide whatever services our clients need.'
"We are proudly looking forward to celebrating our 45th year as Boston's foremost court reporting agency. "
Court reporters are a unique bunch. Who else would spend six hours on a Saturday learning about using a comma versus a semicolon, a dash or an ellipsis, or whether there are one or two spaces after a period? And who else but court reporters would actually voice strong opinions either way in heated debate?
About 100 court reporters did just that when the Massachusetts Court Reporters Association held its Fall Punctuation Workshop on October 1, 2011, at the Westford Regency Inn & Conference Center. Margie Wakeman Wells, punctuation expert and author of Court Reporting: Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation, taught all in attendance the basic punctuation rules and how to apply them to the various complicated sentence structures that court reporters come across when transcribing.
Ms. Wells said, “We are in the business of unbelievable precision,” meaning all decisions we make when transcribing must follow specific predetermined rules of punctuation. A transcript must not only be readable, but it must accurately reflect the intent of the speakers. Here is just one example of the importance of comma placement: “I’d like to thank my parents, Anne Smith and God.”
Ms. Wells gave examples of the many times she has had to call news stations, newspapers, or teachers to bring errors to their attention. She urged all of us to be vigilant in our duties not only as keepers of the record but also in our daily lives as consumers. We need to safeguard the proper use of the English language. If not us, then who?
All those in attendance were lucky enough to receive a copy of her book for future reference.
Linda Fifield will be heading to Savannah, GA, for The Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting's annual meeting on October 12, 2011. Newly nominated for a three-year term on its Board of Directors, Linda has been a proud member of STAR since its inception in 1993. STAR encourages all court reporter professionals to learn and incorporate the best that technology has to offer for themselves and for the legal community.
INSIST ON TODAY’S TECH-SAVVY COURT REPORTER THAT USES REALTIME
Court reporters have been ahead of the rest of the legal system in applying digital technology in the workplace. Reporter-based technologies such as realtime enhance the functioning of the judicial system in both headline trials and everyday depositions. Embracing technology that supports and enhances the efficient operations of the courts is one thing; naïve dependence on technology and the elimination of human judgment and wisdom is quite another. Put simply, employing the services of a realtime court reporter in a well-managed courtroom ensures a complete, accurate, secure and instant record of what was said for immediate use by attorneys and judges. Digital audio or video cannot make that guarantee. The importance of the judicial record and the public need for its accuracy demand the presence of an unbiased, impartial, professional keeper of the record – rather than an uncomprehending machine and transcribers who have no firsthand knowledge of the proceedings under review.
Livescribe - A digital and audio pen that allows you to save your handwritten notes, exhibit drawings/sketches and audio files digitally for review at the close of a deposition. Innovative and easy to use. PDF files can be sent to you iPad, computer and is even compatible with a MAC.
Saw the Livescribe pen in action and loved it. Perfect at depositions where witnesses have to sketch or make notes which are then marked for identification. Also useful for counsel who take copious notes. Save the notes and transfer/e-mail in PDF format with the digital audio for further review.
Notes not clear? Click on the audio link and hear what was said while the notes were being taken. Ingenious technology.
“TEAMWORK DIVIDES THE TASK AND MULTIPLIES THE SUCCESS” – Unknown
When you partner with Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., you can rest assured that we will handle the preparation of your transcript with the utmost care, leaving you to concentrate on building your case.
Let our uniquely talented reporters, with a combined total of over 300 years’ experience, do what they do best: deliver your verbatim transcripts when you need them. In addition, we also provide a wide assortment of the most progressive litigation support products available to assist you in your analysis and strategy. And even if you are away from your office, you can keep up on your caseload and maximize your efficiency by importing your transcripts onto your mobile device.
When your timetable is critical, take advantage of our expedited service and interactive realtime, which allows you to view live testimony instantaneously on your laptop, and receive a clean rough at the end of the day.
And should you lose or misplace a transcript and need it right away, don’t worry. We archive all transcripts, along with their respective exhibits, for your peace of mind.
Put Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., on your litigation team. We will help you succeed!
Every year court reporters from around the country get together at their annual convention to network, attend workshops and seminars, meet vendors, and to elect their officers and directors for the upcoming year. This year’s convention will be at the Bally’s Hotel from July 28th to July 31st.
The emphasis continues to be on the latest technology available to reporters in helping them make the record. There is always much to learn and evaluate as far as the types of steno machines, software, and hardware that are on the market today. The convention setting allows for a comprehensive review and analysis of everything a reporter needs to be at the top of his or her game.
But technology alone does not a good reporter make. Solid theory and exacting writing skills continue to be the foundation to continued success. This is why court reporters continue to sharpen their skills and test for ever higher designations that will earn them the respect and recognition of their colleagues and prepare them for whatever testimony comes their way.
Two special events at every annual convention are the speed contests. The national speed contest consists of three, five-minute legs of literary at 220 words per minute, legal opinion at 230 words per minute, and testimony at 280 words per minute. To qualify, one must have a minimum accuracy rate of 95%. The reporter with the best combined score wins.
The other contest is the realtime competition, which consists of two, five-minute legs of straight matter at 220 words per minute and two-voice dictation at 225 words per minute. To quality, one must have a minimum accurate rate of 95% WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF EDITING. The reporter with the best combined score wins.
Needless to say, only the most elite reporters are allowed to compete for these titles. The winners of these two contests have their legacy sealed in NCRA’s history.
Lastly, the annual convention is also a time to reflect on the great strides reporters have made in the past and contemplate the challenges that face the profession in the years to come.
Did you know that the court reporters from Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., work exclusively for this agency? This is not generally the case. Many reporters work for several different agencies as independent contractors.
We have all heard stories of lawyers who cannot locate a reporter to obtain a transcript. When you use Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., you can rest assured that your transcript will be prepared and delivered in a timely manner by a certified reporter who is affiliated only with this office. And since all transcripts are archived, we can always find the transcript you need even after several years have gone by.
So instead of wasting your time hunting down your transcripts and putting your case in jeopardy due to lost testimony, call Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., and put our highly skilled, courteous, and professional court reporters to work for you at your next deposition or hearing.
There's a new book called "iPad in One Hour" by Tom Mighell which helps attorneys learn the ins and outs of the iPad in one hour. Recently written up in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, the book provides counsel guidelines to set up the iPad with work in mind.
Just returned from a Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting (STAR) conference in Reno, Nevada. The technological advancements in court reporting software over these many years is staggering.
Interactive realtime and CaseViewNet should be the realtime software of choice. Not only is the CVNet integration with TextMap amazingly easy to use, TextMap is part of the LexisNexis CaseMap suite. Having sat in the seminar, I can’t imagine a more powerful litigation tool for counsel.
Another pleasant surprise was learning the Min-U-Script is now working closely with LexisNexis and is now being incorporated into the CaseMap suite. All .pdf files from Min-U-Script, with or with exhibit linking, can now be imported into CaseMap seamlessly.
Catastrophic incidents seem to be a daily occurrence on the news. Just turn on your computer or open a newspaper and you can read about the devastation from earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, mudslides, and deadly fires. What happens to your electronic files when such a disaster occurs?
Just last year Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., started using Cloud Computing for file storage and sharing. Its implementation was simple and provided the firm with peace of mind. By having the files backed up in-house and stored “in the Cloud,” we’re assured that your transcripts are secure and easily accessible.
In addition, by using Cloud Computing, we can send encrypted digital transcript and exhibit files to you and your associates with just a click of the mouse. Regardless of where you might be – your office, home or around the world – you’ll have access to your files 24/7.
Digital files are predominantly in .PDF format. So, whether you’re working on a computer, iPad, iPhone, Droid, or any other electronic device, chances are there’s an APP for you for file retrieval and viewing.<
REALTIME: The Gold Standard of Stenographic Court Reporting
Did you know that only 16% of the 2,400 members of the National Court Reporters Association hold the coveted Certified Realtime Reporter designation?
To earn this designation, a reporter must transcribe for five minutes from professionally recorded literary material read at 180 words per minute, achieving 96% accuracy without benefit of editing. The reporters from this office who have reached this level of excellence each have almost 30 years of experience and hone their writing skills on a daily basis.
Call Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., when your next deposition requires a realtime feed direct to your laptop. Our certified professionals will provide instantaneous access to testimony as well as a clean draft at the end of the day. Join the scores of clients for whom this service has become an indispensable tool in their practice.