Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters - Court Reporting, Legal Videos, and Videoconferencing

For everything you need to know on court reporting, legal video, and videoconferencing.

Court Reporting - "This Job Makes Six Figures, with No College Degree"

Court Reporting - "This Job Makes Six Figures, with No College Degree"

Excerpt:

 

"'There is going to be a demand, and a need, for at least 5,500 new positions over the next three to five coming years,' said Sarah Nageotte, president of the National Court Reporters Association. Fifteen percent of the industry is poised to retire. Nageotte said a lot of people are not even aware the career still exists. 

 

Court reporting not only exists, it's expanding.

 

Most new reporting jobs are outside the courtroom, doing depositions or closed captioning. There is a new federal initiative to provide captioning services to hearing-impaired students. The pay for those jobs can range from $35 an hour up into six figures. One current opening for a court reporter in San Francisco starts above $100,000, plus benefits."

 

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Article by Jane Wells of CNBC

 

 

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Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (6 of 7)

Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (6 of 7)

Electronic Transcripts

  

Have you ever asked your court reporter for an "E-Transcript," expecting an electronic version of the transcript, but were confused and frustrated when you received it and were unable to open it?  If so, then you are not alone. That is because an E-Transcript is just the newest (and very confusing) example of a genericized trademark.

 

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Just as Rollerblade, Xerox, and Kleenex became the genericized names for their industries, E-Transcripts have become the genericized name for electronic transcripts in the legal industry.  In the early 2000s, Thompson Reuters, the creators of WestLaw, LiveNote, and Case Notebook, created a proprietary software, Westlaw Case Notebook Portable E-Transcript or E-Transcript, that allowed attorneys to view and manage their transcripts on their computers.  It also allowed them to integrate their transcripts with other Thompson Reuters programs, such as Case Notebook.  

 

As you can infer, to view your E-Transcript, you need to download E-Transcript's free viewing software.  This is where the trouble begins.  Sometimes attorneys may not have access rights to install programs on their computers.  Sometimes they may not have internet access to download programs.  As a result, although it may be a fabulous tool, requesting an E-Transcript may not always be the best choice.

 

So what should you do if you do not want/need an E-Transcript?  Although it may depend on your court reporter, most court reporters should be able to provide you with a PDF version of your transcript that is word-searchable and not in an E-Transcript format.  They may also be able to provide you with a Microsoft Word version as well.

  

Benefits of PDF transcripts include:

  • Word-searchable
  • Hyper-linked indexes that take you directly to any word or exhibit
  • No downloads required
  • Works on almost any computer
  • Easily shared with other attorneys in your office and/or experts

 

Understanding what an E-Transcript is and when an attorney might require one will reduce confusion for all parties.  Often times a PDF version of the transcript will suffice or even work better than an E-Transcript.  When ordering your next transcript, discuss with your court reporter what electronic options they can provide.

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Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (5 of 7)

Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (5 of 7)

Synchronized Videotaped Depositions

 

Imagine yourself in the courtroom, you are cross-examining the plaintiff (or defendant), and he or she says something contradictory to his or her previously recorded deposition testimony.  Normally, you would attempt to impeach that individual by having her read back her inconsistent testimony from the deposition transcript and the jury would get the general picture.  But what if, instead, you were able to play back a video of the plaintiff making those same statements as if she had just said them?  Not only would the jury SEE the plaintiff making those conflicting statements, but they would also SEE the text from the transcript contradicting the words she just said.  With the advent of synchronized videotaped depositions ("synced videos"), this is now a possibility. 

 

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A synced videos is a transcript that has been synchronized to the videotaped deposition so that the videotaped deposition and the transcript can be played back simultaneously together.  As many attorneys know,  pinpointing a specific word or phrase in a video for play back can be difficult. Fast-forwarding and rewinding can be time consuming and frustrating.  Stopping a video at the wrong moment can be devastating.  Synchronizing a transcript to the videotaped deposition eliminates all of that.  Plus, it provides the attorney with several other beneficial tools for viewing and playing your videotaped deposition.

 

Benefits of synced videos include:

  • Instantly search your video for a particular word or phrase
  • Highlight key portions of the transcript/video for easy review and recall
  • Annotate key portions the transcript/video for easy review and recall
  • Easily create clips to impeach a witness or to show to the jury
  • Create and share still images from the video
  • Show text and video at the same time to help provide clarity to a witness's testimony

 

Synced videos are the ultimate addition to an attorney's arsenal.  They provide attorneys with the ability to instantly search and locate important portions of the videotaped deposition, which is pivotal when presenting at trial.   Synced videos allow attorneys to show and play the testimony for the judge and jury, increasing retention and recall.  Synced videos can also be uploaded to Sanction, TrialDirector, and LiveNote, providing attorneys with even more ways to use them.  Contact your court reporter or court reporting firm to find out more about compatibility and formatting options.

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