December 2012Christmas in the City
The holidays are just around the corner and we hear about the hardships many families are facing. In lieu of giving gifts of appreciation to clients, we decided our gift to them would be to donate to a special, local charity in need.
A few years back we were introduced to Christmas in the City. It’s a wonderful non-profit organization run by Kennedy Brothers Physical Therapy here in Boston. Their idea was to collect gifts for homeless children whose mothers have been abused and have sought shelter. This organization provides a bit of cheer to those families by hosting a huge winter wonderland gathering full of fun games, great food, and, of course, Santa.
For the second straight year, Doris O. Wong Associates,Inc., has requested names of children that we can sponsor. The mother writes down three wishes for her child and we purchase a gift. Gift wrapped with festive ribbons and bows, Santa presents to each child their special something during this party. What a wonderful way to provide a bright spot in the eyes of a child.
What started out as a party for 165 children and mothers at the State House has now grown into a party for over 3,000 children and parents. It’s simply amazing that this is run 100% by volunteers.
For more information about this wonderful organization, visit http://christmasinthecity.org/.
Happy Holidays from the reporters and staff at Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc.
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HONORING OUR VETERANS - NCRF'S VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT
In 2013 the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) will celebrate its 10th anniversary in partnership with the Library of Congress on the Veterans History Project. Reporters from around the country have volunteered to preserve the verbal histories of veterans by transcribing their memories of the conflicts in which they served. So far over 2,600 veterans’ histories have been preserved and submitted to the Library of Congress where they will remain in perpetuity for the education and benefit of future generations. The Foundation’s goal is to reach 3,000 submissions by Memorial Day of 2013.
The National Court Reporters Association is honored to play such an important role in the preservation of these invaluable first-hand accounts given by our living heroes to whom we all owe so much.
We pay homage to all our veterans, past and presently serving, on this Veterans Day and thank them for their service and sacrifice.
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September 2012THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERPRETERS AT DEPOSITIONS
From the court reporter’s standpoint, when a potential witness does not speak English as his first language or when he is difficult to understand, it would be wise to consider having an interpreter present at his deposition.
When an interpreter does his job correctly, the deposition will proceed smoothly, unimpeded, and the final transcript will be readable, understandable, and useful.
Regardless of the reporter’s technical skills, more often than not she will enter the deposition room with no prior knowledge of the matter at hand. If the reporter has to struggle to understand what the witness is saying, and having no history of the case as a frame of reference, it will be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to decipher the answers being given. This is a scenario that can lead to misinterpretation and error.
The skills required of an interpreter at a deposition involve more than just language fluency. He must interpret accurately and completely, switching gears from one language to the other with ease, interpreting in a verbatim manner the question to the witness, the answer to the questioner, and any colloquy. This means speaking in the first person, not the third person, avoiding language such as “he’s asking you” or “she said.” The interpreter must act professionally, remain impartial, avoid any conflict of interest, and of course he must hold his duties in strict confidence. An interpreter who specializes in legal proceedings knows all of this and is prepared to meet your standards.
Please call Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., when you need a qualified interpreter. We can refer you to experienced interpreters in all languages who will make your experience a positive one.
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One of the greatest challenges facing court reporters, novice and veteran alike, is fast-talking witnesses and lawyers. Speed instantly ratchets up the level of difficulty. Believe it or not, reporting the testimony of a slow-speaking neurosurgeon can be easier than that of a fast-speaking lay witness.
When one speaks at breakneck speed, clarity suffers. Words can be misheard. “September” sounds like “December.” Little words such as “in” or “and” are difficult to hear. Tenses become unclear. It is hard to distinguish between “said” and “says,” “can” and “can’t,” and “did” and “didn’t,” especially when those words appear at the beginning of a question. “Didn’t she say she killed her husband?” has a different meaning than “Did she say she killed her husband?” Reporters also punctuate on the fly which becomes more difficult when the speaker is speaking so fast that his sentences seem to run together.
But speed is just one element. If a speaker’s voice barely registers above a whisper, if he has an accent, if the testimony is technical in nature, or if there are other competing background noises, such as a noisy air conditioner or ongoing construction, the reporter will have a difficult time.
Reporters ask lawyers and witnesses to slow down all the time, but it is difficult for a speaker to change his natural speaking pattern. Some will make an earnest effort but will be unable to keep it up for long.
As reporters, our main goal is to make a verbatim record and to be as unobtrusive as possible, but there are times when an interruption is necessary. If the reporter does not understand you because of excessive speaking speed, chances are the judge and jury won’t understand you either. So when a reporter asks for your cooperation in making a clear record, be assured that there’s a good reason.
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Free iCVNet App is HERE!!! Interactive Realtime Made for an iPad!
Are you an iPad lover who is tired of using a laptop for interactive realtime during your depositions or hearings? The iCVNet App is here. It's a free App developed by Stenograph Corporation that works just like CaseViewNet, LiveNote, and other interactive realtime software only you can use it on your iPad. You receive the feed via a WiFi connection supplied by the court reporter. The feed is password protected, encrypted and fully secure. iCVNet allows you to view, mark, search and email the transcript.
Simply download the free App at the APP Store.
Linda Fifield is a member of the Liaison Committee with the Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting (STAR) and Stenograph, and she has witnessed the development of iCVNet over the past year. Its long-awaited release will be showcased at the National Court Reporters Association convention in Philadelphia this week.
When scheduling your next interactive realtime deposition with Doris O. Wong Associates, bring along your iPad and try out the new App. You'll love it.
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June 2012Webex Video ConferenceDoris O. Wong Associates, Inc.,
has been providing video conferencing since 2004. We have wired three conference rooms for dedicated HD video conferences so that clients can enjoy the HD quality video and audio that the Polycom system provides.
The other day we received a last-minute call from a client who wanted to do a video conference. They couldn’t use the Polycom system because many of their satellite offices did not have the necessary equipment or a convenient location from which the additional parties could participate. The question was whether it could be done via Webex or GoToMeeting. Of course we said yes.
We placed a dedicated notebook with WiFi in our conference room and downloaded the Webex software. Then we plugged the external HD camera (for better resolution) into the notebook and then plugged the notebook into our large 55” HD TV for better viewing. Now the five participants in our conference room were able to see the other parties from around the world also sitting in on the seminar.<
It was a successful five-hour event.
The next time you need to conduct a meeting with multiple locations over video conference, call Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc. We can save you time, money, and travel fees.
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Calling All Law Students and Young Associates
The reporters from Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc. have sat through enough depositions to know a good lawyer when we see one. Asking pointed questions and analyzing the answers takes great skill, but that is only part of the equation. For an attorney to build his case, he must be mindful of the record that is being made. A great case can come up short if the record doesn't accurately and completely reflect what transpired that day. A compromised record can also reflect poorly on you.
But we can help! We have a great tutorial that can help you avoid numerous pitfalls and make the most useful and accurate transcript possible. Please call us today for a free copy.
All of us at Doris O. Wong Associates wish you the best in your endeavors, and we stand ready to help you with all of your court reporting needs.
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Kleenex vs. Tissue E-Transcript vs. Electronic Transcript
Like Kleenex is a trademark and represents a brand name for tissue, e-transcript is RealLegal’s trademarked name for their electronic transcript. However, in the court reporting business, “e-transcript” or “e-tran” can mean many different things. There is a bit of confusion in the marketplace about what an “e-transcript” means to you.
An “electronic transcript” is a transcript in digital format that can be sent over the Internet, attached to an e-mail, put in Dropbox or delivered by any other means except paper. It could mean a compressed transcript in digital form, an ASCII and/or a PDF file.
Types of electronic transcripts:
Standard PDF – looks just like a paper transcript but can be read on the computer using Adobe Reader and Acrobat. The PDF is viewable, searchable, printable, you can copy and paste key testimony, highlight, and you can read it off a computer, iPad, reader and Smartphone. Also, because it uses Adobe, you have access to all the advanced searching and digesting features that Adobe products have to offer.
Min-U-Script® - a PDF version of a transcript where you can view the transcript as four pages of testimony on one screen or full page. The MUS PDF also has an interactive word index. The word index wheel shows the page and line number for each occurrence of a word. Click on the page and line number and it will take you to that word. Additionally, if you would like the exhibits scanned and linked, MUS PDF supports it. It can do all the things that a standard PDF can do and much more.
E-transcript– made by RealLegal, this product is similar to a Min-U-Script PDF with one major difference. You need an e-transcript viewer downloaded onto your notebook to open the PTX file. Like the Adobe PDF files, you can view, search, and print full-sized transcripts, condensed transcripts and word indexes. E-transcript files are Windows-based only.
ASCII – an electronic file that can be imported into Word or other litigation support software such as CaseViewNet (free), Summation and LiveNote. These software packages allow you to print, search, annotate and add issue codes to a transcript.
The next time you order an electronic transcript from the court reporter, be sure to specify which of the formats described above you would like to receive.
Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., can help you select the product that best suits your needs. Our firm is your technology solution.
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Three Reasons to Use a Court Reporter from Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc.
Our reporters hone their reporting skills on a daily basis to meet any challenge. No other method of capturing the spoken word has proven superior to the live reporter. We can proudly say that ALL of our reporters are certified by our state and/or national organizations.
Our reporters take part in continuing education programs to keep abreast of the latest trends in our profession and the newest technologies for your benefit and convenience; and they continually strive, through rigorous testing, to earn our profession’s most coveted credentials.
Our reporters have a combined total of over 300 years’ experience in reporting all types of proceedings in numerous settings. We have had the privilege of reporting the testimony of thousands of witnesses, and we take great pride in playing a vital role in the judicial process.
Call Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., when expertise, education, and experience matter.
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Linda Fifield, VP, Now Serving on the STAR Board of Directors
Linda Fifield is currently serving a three-year term on the Board for Directors for STAR, the Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting. She was sworn in at its annual meeting in Las Vegas. In addition to this new position, Linda will continue to serve on STAR's Liaison/Technology Committee. Linda has been a member of STAR since its inception and was also one of the first members of its predecessor, the Baron Users Group, back in the early 1980s.
STAR is an organization comprised of court reporters and key technology vendors, such as Stenograph, whose common goal is to advance the field of court reporting through the development of state-of-the-art technology. Both groups meet twice a year to exchange information and ideas that will enhance the way court reporters perform their jobs and improve the products they offer. Members of the Liaison/Technology Committee meet with Stenograph Corporation with their wish lists and suggestions that they hope will be incorporated into future Case CATalsyt, CaseViewNet and Diamante software updates. Most of the innovations made in the field of court reporting are a direct result of the efforts and ideas initiated by this group.
Linda has presented seminars at many STAR conventions and will co-chair the next STAR convention in October 2012 in New Orleans. She has also been a contributor to their magazine, STARdotSTAR.
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May 2012Reporters to be Recognized for 25 Years of Service
We are pleased to announce that Ken DiFraia and Laura Antoniotti are celebrating 25 years of service with our firm! A celebratory dinner at the Union Oyster House will be held in June in their honor. We are so fortunate to have had these talented, loyal, and dedicated professionals on our team for all these years. The pride they take in their work and their attention to detail is evident in every transcript they produce.
They join Anne Bohan, Carol Kusinitz, Jane Williamson, Linda Fifield, and Connie Psaros who have each been with Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., for over 30 years. Ralph Simpson has been with our firm for the majority of his court reporting career, for over 40 years!
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May 2012WiFi, MiFi and Connectify – Why am I mysti-Fi-ed?
The CaseViewNet (CVNet) APP is in development and close to being released. Stenograph has also reduced the software license for CVNet from $595 to $295 so entry into the wireless realtime market for reporters is more affordable. Additionally, STAR member receive a discount. If you have upgraded to e-key, the license is now tied to the e-key and not the computer. Now I’m getting really excited.
Years ago when Stenograph first offered CVNet, a software license came with a Linksys or Cradlepoint WiFi router. This allowed you to send realtime wirelessly in a secured, controlled WiFi environment. The biggest benefit to offering CVNet wirelessly versus a serial connection is that it gave you RapidRefresh. For example, say you’ve been writing for a half hour and you finally get a spelling for something that happened on Page 5. Make the correction in CaseCatalyst and counsel will get the benefit of that change on his computer. Another benefit is if counsel arrives to the deposition late, he can hook up and receive the entire transcript as soon as he makes a connection. In addition, you are no longer reliant on an Internet connection at counsel’s office and you have no unsightly wires crisscrossing the table like you would with traditional serial connections. Carrying the router is additional equipment but at least you know you’ll always be able to make a CVNet connection. Plus it’s simple and easy to use.
Of course, if a law firm has WiFi/network that you can log onto, you have the same functionality as mentioned above.
As time has passed, advancements have been made in wireless technology. We can now connect to counsel using Connectify. When using Connectify, your computer is now a virtual router or “hotspot.” No more carrying around the router. You need Windows 7 and a specific WiFi card chipset in your computer to make it work. To find out if you have it or not, download the FREE version of Connectify and give it a try. If you don’t have it, a simple purchase of an Intellinet® Wireless 150N USB mini adapter is needed.
But what about Internet access? If I am using a router, Cradlepoint or Connectify, do I automatically have access to the Internet? The answer is no! In order to have access to the Internet, you need an Internet source. If you are in a location that has an Ethernet cable and you are allowed to plug the Ethernet cable into your router or Cradlepoint or even your computer, you and your clients have access to the Internet.
Another solution is MiFi a/k/a “My WiFi.” MiFi is a personal network that gives you access to the Internet and allows you to share it with other people. It’s about the size of a credit card that combines functions of a modem, router, and access point. The MiFi is sold with a monthly service contract from your telephone provider.
Why use MiFi? Say that you’re at a client’s office and they don’t have Internet access. Hook up your MiFi. How is this secure? As with the Linksys and Cradlepoint routers, you need to name your MiFi network and create a password. Only those with your password have access to your MiFi. By sharing the connection, you are giving counsel access to the Internet and making it possible for them to connect with CVNet.
STAR is going to have a seminar on this technology at its October 4-6 convention in New Orleans. Learn more about CaseCatalyst and court reporter technology/marketing and earn CEU credits at the same time.
Special thanks to Vickie Main from Stenograph for her patience with me in explaining this technology.
Published in StarDotStar, Vol. 17, No.2 Spring 2012 edition
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iPads in the Deposition Setting
The Apple iPad is changing the way attorneys conduct a deposition. Here are a few observances that we’ve seen and suggestions on how to best maximize this technology.
Go green! With PDF files, you no longer need to cart around reams of paper.
Written interrogatories – Instead of carrying paper, convert your files into PDF.
Certified transcripts from your certified court reporters can be downloaded onto your computer and read in PDF format.
Traditional PDF or Condensed Min-U-Script with interactive word concordance, your options are limitless.
Scanned Exhibits – Instead of carrying paper exhibits for reference purposes only, scan the exhibits to PDF and store them on your iPad. No more lugging heavy boxes from site to site. At the conclusion of the deposition/hearing, Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., is happy to scan your marked exhibits and place them in a repository for future reference.
PDF files – Files are searchable making finding information easy. Copy, paste and print your files. Whether it’s a deposition transcript, exhibits or supporting case files, PDF files give you the ability and flexibility to carry multiple files in one easy location.
Adobe Reader – if you’re interested reading the PDF files, this is a free APP.
iAnnotate or GoodReader APPS - Write notes and make annotations to your PDF file.
Dropbox – Easy file transfer from your iPad to your networked computer so that your files are wherever you are.
E-mail – set up your iPad to receive your office and home e-mail.
Access Legal Dictionaries and Law Libraries – By adding Black’s Law dictionary, ABA Journal, Lawyers.com, etc., to your iPad you can conduct legal research from virtually anywhere.
Access to Realtime Transcripts – CaseViewNet is coming out with a new free APP that will allow you to get interactive realtime directly from the reporter’s notebook. At the conclusion of the deposition the transcript and your notes are saved on the iPad for future reference. Of course, the certified transcript will replace the uncertified rough draft upon completion.
Video conferencing – with the iPad’s camera, you can hold impromptu face-to-face conferences and chats. This by no means should replace a true video conference with secured IP lines, cameras and digital microphones.
Are you a Kindle lover? All books purchased on the Kindle can be shared to your iPad. Simply download the Kindle APP and you’re ready to go. If you have a large law library of reference books, this is a great way to always have your books on hand.
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Realtime Court Reporters tips on making wireless realtime work for you
Are you sick of cables being strewn across the conference table? Serial connections are becoming a thing of the past. As technology progresses and operating systems change, technological advancements are giving realtime court reporters another alternative to providing interactive realtime services.
Wireless interactive realtime is a collaborative event. In order to have a successful experience with wireless realtime, we suggest you follow these tips.
#1) Preparation before the proceedings – for both attorneys and reporters
What interactive realtime software is counsel using? Depending on the limitations of the software will determine what hardware and software the reporter will need to make a good connection.
- CaseViewNet – used in conjunction with LexisNexis – Allows Rapid Refresh so that every change a court reporter makes within the file, counsel gets the benefit of that change. Arrive late, you get the entire file. Files are transferred via WiFi.
- StenoCast – Wireless feed using a “serial” thumb drive which is compatible with all interactive realtime software. Drivers must be loaded on the receiving notebook for the thumb drive to work. Does not allow Rapid Refresh.
- File transfer for both “wireless” feeds are secure and password protected.
Have the software and drivers downloaded on counsel’s notebook before the proceeding. Most CR agencies will be happy to visit with IT personnel at counsel’s site beforehand to test the connection and drivers. Trying to set up the day of the deposition can be stressful, especially if you are new to wireless realtime.
Reporters should always keep the most updated software and drivers on a thumb drive in case there is no Internet connection onsite.
Counsel should provide the court reporter with as much terminology beforehand so that he/she can add it to the dictionary. The more information the reporter has, the cleaner the first pass transcript and be better experience for counsel.
Everyone should arrive early the day of the deposition to set up. You may have to troubleshoot the connection so allow sufficient time for this to take place. If the equipment fails, court reporters should bring throw down netbooks, notebooks or iPads (CaseViewNet APP coming soon) to ensure all counsel get the realtime feed they requested. You know your equipment will work.
#2) Accepting the realtime feed
As the certified reporter is writing the testimony, counsel’s computer will see exactly what is being written on his computer. The interactive software will allow you to mark testimony, make notes and annotations, copy and paste, and even print. Some packages even have an interactive concordance that builds as the testimony continues.
#3) At the end of the day
At the conclusion of the deposition, you have the option of saving the testimony on your notebook for future reference. Since it is an uncertified rough draft, the file will be replaced with the certified transcript upon completion. Note that all notes and annotations made to the uncertified rough transcript will be transferred to the final transcript.
As you can see, Step #1 is the key to making a successful connection. We are available to assist you in any way necessary to ensure a successful connection.
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April 2012Why Interruptions Are Sometimes Necessary When Making The Record
The court reporter is also known as the “silent partner” because he records testimony quietly and unobtrusively.
But there are times when a reporter must interrupt the proceedings. Reporters are reluctant to do so, but sometimes it is necessary to preserve the record. Certified court reporters are trained to capture every word, and that is their goal on every assignment.
The following are the most common reasons a reporter will interrupt:
*He cannot hear. A soft-spoken witness, a noisy air conditioning system, or a passing ambulance can make for an impossible situation. A reporter doesn’t have a chance if he can’t hear.
*Speed. When people speak at breakneck speeds, or when speakers overlap, it is difficult for the reporter to process the words to write them down. Speed increases the chances that the reporter’s notes will not be as clean, which is particularly unfortunate if an attorney is requesting realtime and wants to view the testimony on his laptop as soon as it is spoken.
*Clarification. “September” sounds like “December” or “October-nineteen-ninety-eight” could mean October 1998 or October 19, ’98. Gestures and nonverbal answers need clarification. Some witnesses have accents. And many times words at the beginning or end of a sentence can be “swallowed up”, and “I don’t think so” could sound like “as far as I know.”
*Technical subject matter. Reporters are familiar with technical terminology to a certain extent, but they cannot be expected to be familiar with every term or subject that an expert testifies to. Interrupting an expert regarding an unfamiliar term will ensure that the reporter writes it down correctly for the entirety of the deposition from that point forward.
*Procedural matters. If there are questions regarding the marking of exhibits, designations of confidentiality, reading and signing concerns, it is the reporter’s responsibility to make sure counsel are on the same page regarding same.
*Understanding. Unlike a tape or digital recorder, which just records noise and sounds, a reporter is trying to understand the proceedings at hand, how the parties relate to each other, and the reason for the lawsuit. Reporters come in “cold,” so to speak; whereas, counsel have been working on the case at hand for months, sometimes years. So when a reporter hears something that doesn’t make sense from his limited knowledge of the case, he may need to interrupt.
In closing, a good reporter will not interrupt without good cause. Reporters believe that it is better to have a polite and intelligent interruption rather than have an inaccurate and useless record, and we think most counsel would agree.
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April 2012DORIS O. WONG ASSOCIATES, INC., CELEBRATES ITS 45th ANNIVERSARY AND UNVEILS ITS NEW LOGO
We are pleased to announce that we are celebrating our 45th
anniversary this month! We are very proud of all that we have accomplished since we first opened our doors, both for the legal community and for our profession.
First and foremost, we are industry leaders in embracing new technology. For years all a court reporter needed was a Stenograph machine and a typewriter to produce transcripts. When computer-aided transcription first became available in the late 1970s, we were the first court reporting agency in Boston, and one of the first in the country, to get on board. Since that time, we have grown with each exciting development to the point where our reporters are now capable of providing instantaneous translation directly to counsel’s laptops, even wirelessly. As a profession, we have seen over a half dozen iterations of the Stenograph machine make their way into the marketplace. These ergonomically designed machines are incredible workhorses and engineering marvels that allow reporters to keep on top of their game.
Of course there is more to the field of court reporting today than producing hard copy transcripts. The Internet has created many opportunities to better serve our clients. Today transcripts can be sent in multiple formats and can be easily accessed even if counsel are away from their desks. The popularity of the iPad and other portable electronic devices will lead to the development of new applications in the legal arena that will bring counsel even more flexibility in their practice. Mobile video conferencing is another service we will soon be providing. This will allow attorneys to attend depositions regardless of whether a video conference unit is available on either side of the call.
So much has changed in 45 years. More changes will undoubtedly follow, all of which require a huge commitment of time and expense, as well as a steep learning curve, but the rewards and benefits to our clients make our efforts worthwhile.
As we unveil our new logo, we renew our commitment to provide the legal community with the best products and the most reliable service all at competitive prices.
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GIFT-GIVING IN THE NEWS
Some court reporting companies, and most notably national conglomerates, are heavily promoting giveaways to increase their business. Whether they include coveted sports tickets, $25 gift cards, iPad, or sky miles, the effect is still the same: It cheapens the profession and degrades the achievements of the thousands of reporters who have worked hard for their credentials and continue to invest, at their own expense, in the state-of-the-art technology that allows them to continue to provide their indispensable services to the judicial system.
Not only does this practice fly in the face of the National Court Reporters Association Code of Professional Responsibility, but there are other concerns as well. According to the Internal Revenue Service, such incentives that are received by lawyers’ secretaries or assistants for bookings are in effect the property of the client of that law firm and are to be disclosed to said client.
Since court reporters are to remain neutral and impartial and are to avoid even the appearance of any impropriety, NCRA has found it necessary to state in their Code of Professional Responsibility that token gifts are not to exceed $100 annually to any one person or client.
Deposition Reporters Association of California, Inc., which is located in Santa Clara, has filed suit against US Legal after they refused to pay a fine imposed by the California Court Reporters Board for violating its regulation on kick-backs and gift-giving. The complaint alleges that US Legal provides a $200 gift card to lawyers when they book their first deposition with them.
We encourage law firms to hire court reporters based on their skills and professionalism without regard to the gifts they will receive. And shame on those reporting companies that are selling this great profession down the river and probably on the backs of the reporters they employ.
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WHICH IS BETTER: DIGITAL RECORDING OR DIGITAL REPORTER?
It seems that many courtrooms across the country are replacing the stenographic court reporter with digital recording systems in an effort to save money and to move “forward” in these technologically advanced times.
Their intentions may be good, but they may not be receiving the desired result.
Digital recording systems record all ambient noise in a courtroom, such as passing ambulances, coughs, paper rustling, and noisy air conditioning units, which makes it very difficult, sometimes impossible, for a transcriptionist to prepare a verbatim record. Conversely, a soft-spoken witness or a quiet objection from counsel may not be picked up by the recording system. As is very often the case, the person monitoring the equipment is not the one who actually transcribes the recording. And sometimes there is no monitor at all! Furthermore, many times the equipment fails and the failure does not become apparent until a later time, resulting in lost testimony, mistrials and unnecessary cost, not to mention the egregious impact this has on litigants and, by extension, the legal system at large.
Certified court reporters who are present at trial are well-versed in digital technology. They have invested, at their expense, in the leading-edge equipment and software that allow them to provide INSTANTANEOUS voice-to-text translation that can be transmitted to the judge and counsel’s laptops or electronic devices for their review. Unlike an audio recording, they can filter out unwanted noise and can interrupt the proceedings if something needs clarification. The final transcript can be delivered in multiple digital formats to suit counsel’s needs.
Studies have shown that the error rate in transcription is higher when a certified court reporter is not used. Court reporters who belong to the National Court Reporters Association undergo rigorous testing to improve their skills and prepare them for whatever testimony they may encounter. Reporters who have earned NCRA’s highest credentials have proven records of capturing live testimony with at least 95 percent accuracy on test material. Using a live court reporter is the most efficient, accurate, and cost-effective way to receive a timely verbatim transcript.
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Interesting factoids about litigation in FY2011
Taken from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly published February 13, 2012
- 456 - Number of jury verdicts in Superior Court civil cases in FY2011, lowest since 2007
- 578 - Number of criminal cases to go to trial in Superior Court in FY 2011, the lowest total since 2007
- 155,968 - Number of cases filed in Probate & Family Court in FY 2011, the lowest total since 2006
- 377,654 - Number of civil cases filed in all courts in FY2011, he lowest total since 2005
- 1,132,002 - Number of all cases filed in FY2011, the lowest total of the millennium
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February 2012WHAT SHOULD A LAWYER LOOK FOR IN A COURT REPORTER?
- A reporter who is a member of their state and national associations and abides by the National Court Reporters Association’s Code of Professional Responsibility regarding ethics
- A reporter who invests in their equipment and the latest technology and attends seminars to keep abreast of trends and developments in the industry
- A reporter who continues to obtain certifications such as the CSR (Certified Shorthand Reporter), RPR (Registered Professional Reporter), RMR (Registered Merit Reporter), RDR (Registered Diplomate Reporter), and CRR (Certified Realtime Reporter). These are hallmarks in the reporting profession and demonstrate their desire to continue to improve their reporting skills
- A reporter who is always on time. A good reporter is always early for his assignment. Clients should never wait for the late arrival of a reporter
- A reporter who is professionally attired. The reporter is a professional and should dress accordingly
- A reporter who is organized, asks the right questions with regard to obtaining information concerning the case, obtains information regarding the attorneys present, who they represent, and what their transcript and litigation support requirements are
- A reporter who has the skill sets that allow them to do their job quietly and unobtrusively
- A reporter who is willing to do whatever is necessary to meet a client’s needs; e.g., providing rough drafts and/or expedited delivery or staying late so counsel may finish a deposition
- A reporter who can treat each case with the utmost confidentiality
- A reporter who puts the time in, does the research necessary, and produces an excellent and timely transcript each and every time
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February 2012REBIRTH OF DOWNTOWN CROSSING AT THE OLD FILENE’S SITE
Doris O. Wong is currently serving a three-year term as a director of the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, also known as BID. BID is a nonprofit organization funded by property and business owners committed to revitalizing the area designated as Downtown Crossing, which includes the Theater, Ladder, and Financial Districts. Many cities across the country have utilized BIDs for this purpose with much success, such as Times Square in New York. Through outreach to businesses and the general public and collaboration with the Boston Police and other city departments, the BID hopes to create a safe and attractive environment for all who live, work, and shop in these areas, leading to less vacancies and more revenue for businesses.
The BID employs ambassadors who wear bright orange shirts and green jackets and have a visible presence on the streets. They are charged with maintaining public spaces, assisting visitors and pedestrians, and helping to create a friendly and welcoming environment.
With Millenium poised to take over construction of a new tower at the old Filene’s space in Downtown Crossing, this area will thrive and prosper once again.
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Are you really saving money using national conglomerates?
As an independently owned court reporting agency, we answer only to you, our valued clients. Unlike the Walmarts and Home Depots of today, we provide personalized service. We charge an honest page rate and furnish just those litigation support services you request. Every invoice is itemized. There are no hidden fees or bundled packages whereby you are billed for multiple litigation support services whether you need them or not.
All reporters at Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc., work exclusively for our firm. This enables us to maintain quality and standardization with each and every transcript that leaves this office. Hire us, your local professionals, who have a national reputation for excellence and yet maintain the personalized service you miss with the big-box conglomerates.
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As 2011 has come and gone, we want to take this opportunity to thank you, our clients, for entrusting us with all of your court reporting needs. It has truly been a pleasure being of service to you, and we hope to continue our relationship for many years to come.
We are looking forward to 2012 with great excitement, as we continue to investigate and invest in the latest cutting-edge products and services that can help you in your practice. Our commitment to produce the most timely, high quality transcripts remains as strong as ever. That, combined with our pledge for superior customer service, will continue to be the benchmark that distinguishes us from other court reporting firms.
2012 will also be noteworthy as we will be celebrating our 45th anniversary in April!
So Happy New Year to you all. We wish you the best of everything in 2012.
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50 Franklin Street, Boston, MA 02110617-426-2432 – 1-800-546-WONG (9664) – 617-482-7813 (f)www.doriswong.come-mail us at [email protected]Boston Court Reporters
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© 2015 Doris O. Wong Associates, Inc.