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 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. 

 

2e1ax vintage entry Synchronized-Videotaped-Depositions

 

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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Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters Helps Videotape First Annual Veterans History Project

On November 7, 2014, John Thomas, CLVS, of Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters and Certified Legal Video, LLC partook in the first annual Veterans History Project at Des Moines Area Community College's ("DMACC") Newton Campus in Des Moines, Iowa.  He was one of 17 videographers and 16 court reporters who helped record the stories of 16 veterans, which will be archived at the Library of Congress, the Iowa Gold Star Museum, and in the DMACC Library collection.  Mr. Thomas had the great pleasure of recording the interview of veteran Wayne Shireman.  Mr. Shireman talked about his time in Korea and his life after serving his country.  Thanks to Mr. Thomas and the other individuals involved, we will forever know and remember the contributions these veterans made to the freedoms we enjoy today.

 

 

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Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (4 of 7)

Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (4 of 7)

Videotaped Depositions

 

Although videotaped depositions have been around for awhile, it is important to remember the tactical advantage they can provide an attorney in a case.   Advances in technology have only increased picture and sound quality, providing an even more powerful tool for trials and arbitrations.  Even the science shows videotaped depositions and other visual aids are more influential than just spoken words:

 

Video Camera

 

  • People forget about 2/3 of what they hear (The Wechsler Memory Scale - 1946).
  • "Trial attorneys unknowingly present arguments and issues that exceed jurors' capacity to understand . . . being confused or feeling intellectually inferior is psychologically uncomfortable, and jurors may respond with resentment and antagonism toward the presenting attorney."  Presenting information visually simplifies and reinforces your point (Enhancing Juror Comprehension and Memory Retention - 1989).
  • Those exposed to graphics are more persuaded to act than those who are not (The Persuasive Effect of Graphics in Computer-Mediated Communication - 1991).
  • Practicing attorneys and non-lawyers prefer to learn and communicate differently.  A majority of non-lawyers prefer visual communications.  A majority of attorneys prefer non-visual communications.  Thus, litigators should bridge the communication divide by using visual courtroom presentations (A2L's Communication Style Study - 2003).
  • Visual aids in courtroom presentations enhance juror attention and improve recall of key events (Visual Evidence - 2010).
  • An immersive use of graphics during courtroom presentations (as opposed to far and few between) yield the best result (Broda-Bahm Study - 2011).

 

Benefits of videotaped depositions include:

 

  • Expert Witnesses -  The cost of deposing an expert and then having that expert testify at trial can be cost prohibitive.  By videotaping your expert's deposition, you can simply play it back at trial for the jury and/or judge without incurring the cost of having the expert testify again.
  • Preservation - Witnesses are sometimes elderly, ill, or illusive, and may not be available for trial.  By videotaping their deposition, you ensure a visual representation of that witness's testimony for trial.
  • Visual Presentation -  Videotaping a witness's deposition also provides a visual representation of what the witness's demeanor and non-verbal cues were at a deposition.  When witnesses are aggressive or abrasive during a deposition, videotaping can get the witness to cooperate and answer your questions more freely.  If they do not, you are able to show that demeanor in court.
  • Day-In-The-Life Videos -  Visually capturing the physical nature of how your client was affected by the event in question can prove instrumental in obtaining a favorable verdict or settlement.  By laying out the background and facts, you are able to paint a picture in the light most favorable for your client.

 

Videotaped depositions provide an impactful and compelling story when presented at trial.  Not only do they keep the judge and jury focused on the case at hand, but they also increase the recall of the key events  that attorney wants them to remember.  Videotaped depositions also save attorneys and their clients money by not having to rehire an expert to come and testify at trial.

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Nationwide Court Reporting - Reduce Risk, Rely on Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters

Nationwide Court Reporting - Reduce Risk, Rely on Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters

Have you ever flown in for a high-stakes deposition only to discover a tiny conference room, unprepared reporter, inadequate IT support and no one to solve your problem?

 

When you travel for a multijurisdictional case, count on Thomas & Thomas to provide exemplary customer service from local partners of the NNRC.  These independently owned and operated firms are vetted to assure that they will deliver, across the United and around the world.

 

NNRC is the most prestigious and largest litigation support network in the country, covering 1500+ jobs per day, handling more than 10 million depositions since 1983.  The select partners of NNRC have been personally recommended and assessed as the most technologically advanced and dependable court reporting companies in the USA and worldwide.

 

Get the value and quality you expect from professional court reporting agencies with local knowledge, anywhere in the world:

  • Benefit from local expertise to select the best equipped reporter

  • Depend on customized services from a locally-owned agency

  • Expect quality video and transcripts delivered on-time

  • Simplify arrangements and follow-up with one point of contact

  • Secure on-line access to transcripts, exhibits, invoices and calendar

  • Rely on fully equipped conference facilities with video capabilitiesWhen you have a high-stakes deposition, rely on court reporting experts who have the best reputation in that territory by allowing Thomas & Thomas to handle all of your reporting needs locally, nationwide and around the world.

 

Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters has lead the way in court reporting technology and we welcome the opportunity to assist you with any court reporting issues you may have.  Please call our office to schedule a personal meeting where we can show you the benefits of the newest court reporting technologies. We look forward to making your life easier.

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Videotaped Depositions - An Attorney's Best Friend

Videotaped Depositions - An Attorney's Best Friend

Videotaped Depositions

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Video-Camera.jpg

 

Imagine yourself in the courtroom, you are cross-examining the plaintiff (or defendant), and he or she says something contradictory to her previously recorded deposition testimony. Normally, you would attempt to impeach that individual by having him or her read back his or 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 he or she had just said them? Not only would the jury SEE the text from the transcript contradicting the words she just said, they would also SEE the plaintiff making those conflicting statements right in front of them.

 

This is only one of many examples where video depositions can make or break a case, and although video depositions do not eliminate the need for a transcribed record, it does enhance it. Below are several other benefits to having your next deposition videotaped:

 

  • EXPERT WITNESSES: The cost of deposing an expert and then having that expert testify at trial can be cost prohibitive. By videotaping your expert witness's deposition, you can simply play it back at trial for the jury and/or judge without incurring additional costs.
  • PRESERVATION: Witnesses are sometimes elderly, ill, or illusive and may not be available for trial. By videotaping their depositions, you ensure a visual representation of that witness's testimony for trial.
  • VISUAL REPRESENTATION: Videotaping a witness's depositionalso provides a visual representation of what the witness's demeanor and non-verbal cues were at a deposition. When witnesses are aggressive or abrasive during a deposition, videotaping can get the witness to cooperate and answer your questions more freely. If they do not, you are able to show that demeanor in court.
  • DAY-IN-THE-LIFE: Visually capturing how your client was affected by the event in question can prove instrumental in obtaining a favorable verdict or settlement. By laying out the background and facts, you are able to paint the picture in the light most favorable for your client.

 

Visual Aids

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Visual-Aids.jpg

 

Whether you are impeaching a witness with a synchronized deposition or appealing to the emotional nature of jurors by showing a day-in-the-life video, the science shows that visual aids are more influential than just spoken words.

 

  • People forget about 2/3 of what they hear (The Wechsler Memory Scale - 1946).
  • "Trial attorneys unknowingly present arguments and issues that exceed jurors' capacity to understand . . . being confused or feeling intellectually inferior is psychologically uncomfortable, and jurors may respond with resentment and antagonism toward the presenting attorney." Presenting information visually simplifies and reinforces your point (Enhancing Juror Comprehension and Memory Retention - 1989).
  • Those exposed to graphics are more persuaded to act than those who are not (The Persuasive Effect of Graphics in Computer-Mediated Communication - 1991).
  • Practicing attorneys and non-lawyers prefer to learn and communicate differently. A majority of non-lawyers prefer visual communications. A majority of attorneys prefer non-visual communications. Thus, litigators should bridge the communication divide by using visual courtroom presentations (A2L's Communication Style Study - 2003).
  • Visual aids in courtroom presentations enhance juror attention and improve recall of key events (Visual Evidence - 2010).
  • An immersive use of graphics during courtroom presentations (as opposed to far and few between) yield the best result (Broda-Bahm Study - 2011).

 

Synchronized Videotaped Depositions

 

Whether your videotaped deposition is 10 minutes or 10 hours long, pinpointing a specific word or phrase can be difficult. Fast-forwarding and rewinding can be time consuming and frustrating. Synchronizing a transcript to the videotaped deposition eliminates all of that. Plus, it provides you with several other beneficial tools for viewing and playing your videotaped deposition.

 

Sync your next videotaped deposition and you will be able to:

 

  • Instantly search a video for a particular word or phrase
  • Easily create clips to impeach witnesses or to show to the jury
  • Easily create still images from the video
  • Show text and video at the same time to help provide clarity to a witness's testimony

 

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Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters has lead the way in court reporting technology and we welcome the opportunity to assist you with any court reporting issues you may have.  Please call our office to schedule a personal meeting where we can show you the benefits of a wide array of court reporting technologies.  We look forward to making your life easier.

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Why Does One Become A Court Reporter?

It's Court Reporting & Captioning week, and today Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters and Certified Legal Video, LLC would like to share why John and Gretchen Thomas became a court reporters.  Although their stories are very different, it was court reporting that ultimately brought them together.

 

Why John Thomas became a court reporter:

 

"I was 100 percent influenced to becoming a court reporter by my court reporter brother, Roger. I admired roger and wanted a life in the courtroom like him. This desire gave me the dedication to make it through the rigors of reporting school and to obtain a job anywhere. Thats why I moved to Omaha not knowing anything about Nebraska. My brother changed my life."

 

Why Gretchen Thomas became a court reporter:

 

"I wish that I had a 'romantic' story to tell as to why I became a court reporter: You know, like someone who inspired me, a life-long dream, child prodigy ...
But no. I became a court reporter because I lived in a small town in Wisconsin, attended a very small high school, and had absolutely no idea what I was going to do after graduation. So at the suggestion of my English teacher and guidance counselor, I made a different kind of a list, the list of 'Jobs I do not want to have when I grow up.' I remember that it was an extensive list, but I only remember now that doctor, lawyer, teacher, nurse, fireman, clown, and unwed mother were part of the list. I don't know why.

 

Then one day during my senior year my dad told me about a friend of his who was a court reporter, Dale Braden. I checked out court reporting. It sounded very interesting. And it wasn't on my list! So I packed my small-town bags, followed in the footsteps of Mary Tyler Moore (after all, it was 1974), and moved to Minneapolis to attend Northern Technical School of Business, where I met my future husband and business partner. We both became court reporters, got married, raised three sons, lived happily ever after. I have LOVED my unexpected career. It has been stimulating and exciting and has afforded wonderful opportunities for our family, and I can see now that I had the romantic ending instead."

 

 

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2014 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week - February 16-22

2014 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week - February 16-22

February 16-22 recognized as National Court Reporting and Captioning Week

          Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters and Certified Legal Video, LLC has join second annual nationwide effort to recognize professionals, career opportunities in stenographic court reporting and captioning

 

The National Court Reporters Association, the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters and broadcast captioners, has announced that Feb. 16-22 has been deemed National Court Reporting and Captioning Week. The awareness week pulls together a nationwide effort to highlight the contributions of stenographic court reporters and captioners to society and to showcase the career opportunities that exist in the court reporting and captioning fields.

 

Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters is planning to get involved with National Court Reporting and Captioning Week in Omaha, Nebraska by joining the grassroots efforts to promote the profession and educate local communities about the value stenographic skills bring to today’s marketplace. John and Gretchen Thomas have been a stenographic court reporters for 37 years and are graduates of North Technical School of Business in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They joined the NCRA shortly thereafter and have earned nationally recognized credentials, including Registered Professional Reporter ("PRP"), Certified Realtime Reporter ("CRR"), and Certified Legal Video Specialist ("CLVS").

 

National Court Reporting and Captioning Week lets us celebrate what makes our field unique. Stenographic court reporters have been around for a hundred years, and we’ve embraced technology which has allowed us to expand into captioning for television and for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.  Court reporting and captioning is a great example of traditional skills employing the latest in high-tech to provide cutting-edge services in the litigation arena and in captioning. Our profession is a great career choice because skilled court reporters and captioners are in high demand. National Court Reporting and Captioning Week will be marked with promotional events and marketing nationwide, including a grassroots social media campaign, presentations at high schools across the country about court reporting and captioning career opportunities and community demonstrations such as producing transcripts of veterans’ oral histories. Stenographic skills translate to a multitude of career options—including court reporting, live-event captioning for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, captioning for broadcast and specialized videography—and the strong marketplace demand means court reporting offers an abundance of long-term career opportunities. Court reporting is consistently ranked as one of the top career options as it offers both flexibility and significant income potential. Court reporters and captioners are able to begin a career without a traditional four-year college degree, and these highly trained professionals experience the continuous professional growth associated with an in-demand career.

 

For more information, visit NCRA.org. Career information about the court reporting profession—one of the leading career options that do not require a traditional four-year degree—can be found at CareersInCourtReporting.com. 

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