It is a period of ever-changing technology! Court reporters, in the courtroom and deposition setting, are winning with tools and gadgets to help them work smarter and provide their important clients with the technology to assist them in their cases.
Okay, I’m a technology/gadgets geek – I admit it. So excited that the new Star Wars film opened this past December!
Here are some awesome quotes from the Star Wars series that are totally relatable to court reporters using gadgets and technology to help them provide great realtime output for their clients.
The first quote is from Yoda, that wise master: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
“Do” embrace the realtime technology. Use it to be more productive and provide your clients with a service that they crave for. If you “do not,” they may look to other reporters or other technology.
Some reasons that have been cited for “do not” include:
- writing is not good enough
- do not want anyone to see my mistakes
- hookups are intimidating
- overlapping voices can be distracting
- no control over the environment
Here are some ways to overcome those fears and hesitancy and be more confident to “do.”
- improve by practice — write at least 15 minutes a day
- analyze your writing and keep a journal
- build your dictionary
- keep current with technology
- offer realtime to a client you are comfortable with
- let your software work for you
- relax and breathe
- stay positive
“In my experience there is no such thing as luck.” ~ Obi-Wan Kenobi
In order to be realtime-proficient and keep your feed topnotch, all reporters should practice for speed and accuracy on a regular basis. Practicing and speedbuilding takes time and hard work (it’s not just luck), but the benefits are enormous! In addition, be prepared for each and every job, whether it’s realtime or not, and there will be less editing time at the computer later.
Some things to do prior to each job include:
- create a job dictionary with brief forms, if possible, for all attorneys, participants, proper names, witnesses, case-specific terminology, and technical words
- practice new briefs prior to the job
- create a “cheat” sheet for the briefs during the job as a reminder
“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.” ~ Yoda
As I said previously, we need to educate ourselves as much as possible about the case-specific terminology for a realtime session and add brief forms to our dictionary in order to have our feed be topnotch! Our CAT software can help us too. I love my BriefIt on my Case Catalyst software. During a recent fast-paced deposition, this brief form saved my butt: AO*EUK (independent contractor). Embrace and learn more about your specific CAT software and let it do some of the heavy lifting.
“It’s a trap!” ~Admiral Ackbar
Don’t get caught off guard. Be prepared for every realtime job by bringing your cables, power cords, router, iPads, netbooks, et cetera. This past month, I was scheduled for a daily copy trial in a rural town several miles from my home base that required me to stay overnight. In addition to my Luminex, laptop, and realtime software, I also packed up a mobile office of sorts. Included were things such as the following:
- extra writer
- extra laptop with CAT software loaded
- router for realtime feed (just in case they changed their mind)
- portable scanner
- Dymo labeler for exhibit stickers
- office supplies (stapler, paperclips, binder clips, etc.)
“May the Force be with you!”
So, that’s my wrap-up for Star Wars quotes.
Remember that Luke was not a youngling when he learned the Jedi ways. Reporters do not need to be younglings, either, to provide realtime. I am always striving to pick up better ways to write and tips and tricks from my colleagues (even after 30 years in this amazing profession). My colleagues are a valuable resource for me. All one needs to take that leap into realtime is the belief in yourself and your abilities, a strong desire, hard work, and the focus to get there.
Hope everyone had an awesome time seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And, oh . . . “May the Force (a/k/a/ realtime) be with you!”
The opinions expressed are my own and I receive no compensation for any of the products or services mentioned in this blog post.