Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters - Court Reporters, Remote Depositions, Trial Presentation Services

For everything you need to know on court reporters, remote depositions, and trial presentation services.

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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Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (3 of 7)

Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (3 of 7)

Mobile Videoconferencing

 

            So what happens if your witness or expert is in a remote location and does not have access to traditional videoconferencing?  What happens if the witness or expert does not want to travel?  Mobile videoconferencing provides an alternative to traditional videoconferencing, while still providing a quality, cost-effective way to depose or examine a witness or expert.  Mobile videoconferencing is also a great way of bringing videoconferencing to courtrooms that are not equipped with traditional videoconferencing systems.   

 

speaker - camera

 

            Although there are many ways to conduct a mobile videoconference, there are several important things to remember before doing so at your next deposition or trial:

 

  1. Skype is generally unreliable and unsecure - Skype is a great way to communicate with friends or family; however, it is not a recommended way of deposing or examining witnesses.  Skype is a modified peer-to-peer ("P2P") network application, meaning the Skype calls are transmitted through other computers until they ultimately reach their designated recipients (this is the same technology used by some free music and file-sharing software, such as Napster).  Not only does this mean the connections are highly unsecure, but it also means users are relying upon other computers for their connections.  Additionally, Skype has had countless software issues, resulting in their entire network crashing for several days.  This idiosyncrasy could cause costly delays and/or postponements of your deposition or trial.  What should attorneys use instead?  There are many other options for mobile videoconferencing, including programs that are free, charge a per-use fee, or require a monthly subscription.  Ultimately, it comes down to  an attorney's specific needs, frequency, and comfort when choosing a mobile videoconferencing platform.  Ask your court reporter or court reporting firm what options they have available.
  2. Upgrade your camera and speaker - Currently, most computers and tablets come with built-in cameras and speakers for things like Skype and FaceTime.  Yet, often times those items are of poor quality and/or do not provide an optimal experience.  Upgrading your camera to a high-definition camera allows individuals to view your end of the video feed with clarity.  Additionally, upgrading your speaker to a noise-cancelling speaker provides you with a crisp, clear sound that everyone is able to hear, reducing time spent on reasking questions and providing clarity of voice.
  3. Hardwire your internet connection - Although mobile videoconferences do not require as much bandwidth as traditional videoconferences, they do require a fairly significant amount.  Hardwiring your internet connection provides you with the fastest internet connection possible, as well as ensuring your internet signal will stay strong throughout the deposition or trial, which is important in government buildings or courthouses where there can be strong structural interference.
  4. Test your connection - Testing your mobile videoconference connection is pivotal in ensuring your connection will be a success.  Some locations, such as doctors' offices, government buildings, and courthouses, have firewalls that can be problematic.  Testing your mobile videoconference allows you to troubleshoot those issues before the deposition or trial.  Additionally, it allows other users who are not familiar with mobile videoconferencing to become accustomed to it prior to actual use.

 skype

webex

 

            Benefits of mobile videoconferencing include:

 

  • Similar cost and time savings as traditional videoconferencing
  • Less expensive than traditional videoconferencing
  • Performed on your desktop, laptop, or Mac
  • Available almost anywhere there is a high-speed internet connection

 

When traditional videoconferencing is not an option, mobile videoconferencing is a great alternative to examining witnesses or experts who are in remote locations or are cost-prohibitive to transport.  Utilizing this service can increase your bottom-line, while also saving your client money.  Make sure to ask your court reporter or court reporting firm about mobile videoconferencing before you schedule your next out-of-town deposition.

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Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (2 of 7)

Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (2 of 7)

Videoconferencing

 

            Once thought of as expensive and extravagant, videoconferencing is now thought of as efficient and economical thanks to modern advances in technology.  With high-definition cameras and TVs, attorneys can take depositions, examine experts, and attend trials and hearings without missing a beat.  Videoconferencing is perfect for cases that require litigation teams to travel out of town during the discovery process or depose experts in other locations.  In Nebraska alone, there are videoconferencing facilities in Omaha, Lincoln, Columbus, Grand Island, Hastings, North Platte, O'Neil , and Scottsbluff, to name a few.  Traveling to these locations for one-hour depositions or trials is a thing of the past.  Some court reporting firms even have their own videoconferencing systems and/or have access to vetted, trustworthy videoconferencing systems across the country.

 

video

 

Benefits of videoconferencing include:

  • Reduced travel costs (flight, hotel, car, meals, etc.)
  • Access to remote areas
  • Reduction in non-billable hours
  • Reduced expenses for deposing expert witnesses
  • Ability to split videoconferencing costs with other non-traveling parties

 

The Nebraska Legislature recognized the benefits of videoconferencing, with the introduction of LB 103 and Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-177(3).  Specifically, LB 103 provides that, among other things, "the judge, in his or her discretion, may in any proceeding authorized by the provisions of this section [Section 24-734 of the Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska] not involving testimony of witnesses by oral examination, use telephonic, videoconferencing, or similar methods to conduct such proceedings."  LB 103 also goes on to add under Section 43-278 of the Revised Statutes Cumulative Supplement, 2012, that "all communications, notices, orders, authorizations, and requests authorized or required in the Nebraska Juvenile Code; all nonevidentiary hearings; and any evidentiary hearings approved by the court and by stipulation of all parties may be heard by the court telephonically or by videoconferencing in a manner that ensures the preservation of an accurate record."  Such modifications allow for attorneys and judges to take full advantage of videoconferencing at hearings and trials.  These opportunities are already being taken advantage of by courts across the state, including the Douglas County Courthouse, which has successfully installed wireless internet throughout the courtrooms, allowing attorneys to examine witnesses from remote locations. 

 

As discussed above, there have also been changes to Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-177(3), which now provides that "all nonevidentiary hearings, and any evidentiary hearings approved by the compensation court and by stipulation of the parties, may be heard by the court telephonically or by videoconferencing or similar equipment at any location within the state as ordered by the court."  This change will benefit those Nebraska workers who live out of state, or workers who were injured in Nebraska and moved out of state, as they will not have to incur the cost of travel or take time off from work to attend hearings or trials.

 

Additional features, such as document cameras and the ability to share a computer's desktop with others, only enhance the videoconferencing experience.  Document cameras allow attorneys and witnesses to work seamlessly with exhibits, limiting downtime and confusion.  The ability to share desktops allow attorneys and witnesses to share files and presentations as if they were viewing them in person.  However, even without these additional features, videoconferencing is simply the most cost-effective way to conduct depositions or trials remotely.

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Court Reporting Technology: From Cicero to the iPad (1 of 7)

Court Reporting Technology:  From Cicero to the iPad (1 of 7)

            The concept of court reporting is thousands of years old, and can be traced back to 63 B.C., when Marcus Tullius Tiro, a slave, was given the task of taking dictation for Cicero.  In an effort to keep up with Cicero, Marcus Tullius Tiro developed a system of symbols and abbreviations (i.e. shorthand).  He also omitted short or common words that he could add later by memory or context.  Over time, Marcus Tullius Tiro expanded his shorthand system to include over 4,000 signs, including the familiar ampersand ("&"), which is still widely used today.

 

In 1877, Miles Bartholomew invented the first successful shorthand writer, which consisted of ten keys that could be depressed, one at a time or in combination, to create a series of dots and dashes, much like Morse code.  In 1964, IBM and the court reporting industry partnered to developed the first computer aided transcription ("CAT") system.  This system produced electrical impulses at the stroke of each lever with an incremental magnetic tape to record and produce a digital recording simultaneously with the written notes on the standard paper tape.  Since then, the court reporting industry has seen additional changes, such as the introduction of realtime (1992) and paperless shorthand writers (2001).

 

Throughout the years, technology has revolutionized the way court reporters keep the official record.  Technology has also revolutionized the services court reporters provide to attorneys and judges.  From realtime to videoconferencing, court reporters can now offer a wide range of cutting-edge services that enhance the legal experience.  Below are several services that can save attorneys time, money, and effort, or even help them win their next big case.

 

Realtime

 

Untitled

 

            "Realtime" is the term for transcription by court reporters using real-time technologies to deliver text to a device (i.e. screen, laptop, iPad) within seconds of the words being spoken.  Think of realtime as closed captioning for attorneys.  At a deposition, realtime allows attorneys to view the deponent's responses in written words so that they can focus their time on pinpointing their questions, rather than trying to remember what the deponent said.  Realtime also allows attorneys to take notes directly in the text and highlight portions for future reference. 

 

            Benefits of realtime include:

  • Read, hear, and see questions and answers as they happen
  • Quickly create and modify annotations right on the transcript
  • Highlight important text for future reference
  • Scrolling text that you can start and stop at will for pinpoint questioning
  • Easily search the transcript for specific words or phrases

 

An additional benefit of realtime is the ability to stream the deposition testimony to another location.  Text streaming allows attorneys to monitor or participate in a “live” deposition using a computer or mobile device from a remote site.  Any attorney can participate in the deposition process no matter where he or she is physically located, again saving time, money, and energy.  In large cases, it may be difficult to  coordinate all of the participating attorneys’ schedules.  However, if the deposition is in realtime, attorneys can participate remotely, negating the need to coordinate travel schedules, as well as avoiding the costs and delays thereof. 

 

Having the ability to send a realtime feed of every word that is said at a deposition or trial is the ultimate tool.  However, it should be noted that not all court reporters can provide realtime.  Being able to provide realtime requires experience testing, and ultimately, a designation of Certified Realtime Reporter ("CRR").  Make sure to ask your court reporter or court reporting firm for a Certified Realtime Reporter when scheduling your realtime depositions.

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Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters Provides Trial Presentation Services for Two-Week Patent Case in Federal Court

Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters Provides Trial Presentation Services for Two-Week Patent Case in Federal Court

Last month, during a two-week patent case in the United States District Court of Nebraska – Omaha, Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters provided trial presentation services for a local Omaha law firm and their New York co-counsel, in a matter heard before the Honorable Lyle E. Strom, and Jury.  The case demanded long days, late nights, and the precise presentation of electronic exhibits, demonstrative, and videotaped deposition testimony.  Thomas & Thomas's certified Trial Presentation Professional, Geoffrey S. Thomas, J.D., T.P.P., was in the hot-seat each day during direct and cross-examinations, and seamlessly assisted in presenting the plaintiff’s case using a combination of TrialDirector and PowerPoint softwares.  Each night Mr. Thomas assisted attorneys and paralegals with testimony outlines and PowerPoint presentations as they prepared for the next day's witnesses and exhibits.

 

Thomas & Thomas is Nebraska and Iowa's leader in trial presentation services.  Whether you are in Omaha, Lincoln, Council Bluffs, Des Moines or beyond, as with our court reporting services, we can now also support your growing trial practice with our Trial Services Department.  From mediations to the courtroom, Thomas & Thomas can give you the technical support and courtroom expertise you need to win your next case.  We provide our clients with everything they need to create a visually persuasive presentation for any environment, including professional audio/visual equipment, video editing, synchronized videotaped deposition clips, and trial presentation software.  We also design digital timelines, as well as opening and closing presentations, to help you prove your case to the trier of fact.

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Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters Realtimes Nebraska State Bar Association's Practical Ethics CLE

realtimecourtreporting1

 

This year, Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters was fortunate enough to realtime the Nebraska State Bar Association's ("NSBA") Practical Ethics CLE at the Annual Meeting on October 9th.  There were 300 attorneys from various areas of law practice in attendance, and the second hour consisted of a Q&A session with the 2014 Nebraska Attorney General candidates, Doug Peterson and Janet Stewart.  The Practical Ethics CLE was one of many CLEs held during the 3-day event at the Embassy Suites in La Vista, Nebraska.  

 

After the CLE, several attorneys came up to our booth and asked where they could find the dictation software we used.  Needless to say, they were impressed to learn that it was not software, but one of our Certified Realtime Reporters ("CRR") creating the text.

 

"Realtime" is the general term for transcription by court reporters using real-time technologies to deliver computer text screens within a few seconds of the words being spoken.  Think of realtime as closed captioning for attorneys.

 

realtimecourtreporting2

 

realtimecourtreporting3

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Local Attorney Earns National Certificate

Local Attorney Earns National Certificate

VIENNA, Va., May 22, 2014—The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters and captioners, has announced that attorney Geoffrey S. Thomas has earned the nationally recognized Trial Presentation Professional certificate, acknowledging his high level of knowledge and understanding of the use of electronics in trial presentation software to present evidence in court. 

 

“As new technologies emerge, IT professionals, courtroom personnel, and trial presenters often have a wide range of equipment available to them in each new situation,” says Jim Cudahy, CEO and executive director of NCRA. “Trial Presentation Professionals are well versed in recognizing new technology and equipment and in determining which types are best suited to present evidence for the courtroom situation to in question.”

 

Thomas, from Omaha, Nebraska, is a member of NCRA and has worked in the court reporting industry since 2012. Thomas is currently employed at Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters and Certified Legal Video, LLC.

 

The certificates are awarded to legal videographers, reporters, IT professionals, attorneys and paralegals who hold the knowledge and understanding of the use of electronic trial presentation software to present evidence in court. The certificate is awarded upon completion of a one-and-one-half day-long seminar and passage of a comprehensive written exam that focuses on presenting evidence at trial via multiple software platforms.

 

“I am excited to be able to offer our clients throughout Nebraska, Iowa and the Midwest professional trial presentation services.  Being able to competently and confidently provide assistance to attorneys in the courtroom will just add to the numerous services Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters already offers.  The future of courtroom advocacy is rooted in technology and we are eager to be at the forefront of that shift."

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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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Omaha Bar Association's Annual Wine & Cheese Event

 

Geoff Thomas, head of business and technology development at Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters, was spotted at The Omaha Bar Association's Annual Wine & Cheese Event at Brix Village Point.  Geoff was one of almost 300 lawyers, judges, law students, and their significant others who attended the February 21, 2014 event.  The event featured a variety of red and white wines, with knowledgeable servers explaining the subtleties of each.  Not only was the event a social success, but it was also a philanthropic success when the Omaha Bar Association presented Lynda Henningsen, publisher of The Daily Record, with a donation to Legal Aid of Nebraska.

Omaha Bar Associations Annual Wine  Cheese Event

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Meet Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters and Certified Legal Video, LLC

Meet Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters and Certified Legal Video, LLC

An oldie, but a goodie.

 

Excerpt:

Reporter: Here begins the interview of John and Gretchen Thomas, owners of Omaha-based Thomas & Thomas Court Reporters and
Certified Legal Video, LLC, a top court-reporting firm which specializes in depositions, legal videography and video conferencing. The time is 12:52 pm. Today's discussion about the growth of the couple's 35-year-old company and the evolution of the court reporting profession is taking place at the firm's new offices at 1321 Jones St. Let the record reflect that Mr. Thomas, who organized Omaha's massive Corporate Cup road race from 1982 - 2009, is a court reporter and certified legal video specialist (CLVS), and that Ms. Thomas, a registered professional reporter (RPR) and certified real-time reporter (CRR), until recently, balanced duties as an official court reporter at the Sarpy County Courthouse with her duties at Thomas & Thomas. Since April 2011, she's been focusing all of her energies on the family business.

 

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Article by DanMcCann, The Daily Record

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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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Lawyers To Take Action Over Lack Of Stenographers

Excerpt:

 

LAWYERS of the Criminal Bar Association intend to take legal action against Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson for the removal of stenographers from the Magistrate's Court.

This action comes nearly a month after calling a press conference to protest the removal of court reporters, leaving it to magistrates to take handwritten notes until digital recording comes on stream later this year.

Lawyers gathered yesterday at the steps of the Nassau and South Streets court complex, and indicated that they are taking the issue to the Supreme Court.

"Since then (February 14), there has been some discussion with the stakeholders and decision makers," lawyer Murrio Ducille told the media.

"The AG suggested that we may choose to bring our court reporter, but the problem is our court reporter's record would assist us, but it's not the official record of the proceedings in the trial, the magistrate's notes are," he added.

"Matters are being adjourned, but some magistrates are proceeding with trials despite the reasoned objections by defence counsel on instructions from their clients. This has created some disquiet among some magistrates who see our assertion of our client's right to a fair trial as a hindrance in what they are required to do... to make an accurate recording of the evidence and legal arguments in the proceeding... no more, no less."

"It is a no-brainer that one cannot record accurately or at all anything relevant and important if one does not write what is said as part of the trial process. As one client puts it, 'the magistrates do not go to jail, I do. I need to have my case properly recorded if I am convicted and have to appeal'."

 

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Article by Lamech Johnson of the Tribune Staff Reporter

 

 

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Superior Court of Fulton County Will Require All Court Reporters to be Certified as a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR)

Excerpt:

Superior Cour tof Fulton County: As of May 15, 2015, all court reporters will be required to be certified as a registered PRofessional Reporter (RPR).  And that's not all the news.  By May 15, 2015, those reporters in Fulton County will be required to prove that they have realtime capabilities.  REALTIME CAPABILITIES.  The ability to instantly send the spoken word to an end user to read.  Now that Fulton County is requiring a certain level of certification and proficiency, how much longer before other counties follow suite?  How many counties does it take before the entire state looks up and adjusts their standards and requirements?

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Article by the Georgia Certified Court Reporters Association

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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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