2012 was the year of the hot spot, new streaming software options, and briefing.
Briefing: I was at the Mark Kislingbury seminar on “writing short” at the February Deposition Reporters Association of California convention and learned that my writing style is in many ways a waste of energy. I am a Certified Realtime Reporter and can write clean and fast, but by the end of the day, my body and brain are tired. I have a lot of three and four-stroke common words and phrases that I am still writing out. For the last six months my total focus is to find “smart” briefs, families of briefs, and use them. For example, settlement agreement was five strokes. Now, I write SAOE*MT. I was writing out settlement (three strokes) and agreement (two strokes).
Hot Spot: Having my Verizon hot spot is excellent for getting out roughs at the end of a deposition, researching during a deposition for spellings/names, and making friends with the attorneys by sharing the internet. Many deposition locations give out access to the internet, but many do not. Plus if one is streaming text, you can’t rely on even a phone call to a location prior to the deposition because you might get an answer, “Yes, we will supply you a connection to the internet,” but when you get there, they can’t! Wrong or right, the attorneys don’t care about “excuses” why it is not working.
New Streaming Software Options: Because text/video streaming has become more mainstream with products like LiveDeposition, Cameo, WebEx (and so many more), a court reporter has the opportunity to become even more important at a deposition. And streaming realtime text is becoming very popular as a service to offer clients. From working with quite a few of these products, the key is to practice at least once the day before (at home). Most of the products are very intuitive and easy. The different streaming software can be used with a “server” separate computer or the reporter’s laptop in many cases.
My comment: Don’t be scared if you are asked to stream. It is typically easy with a little practice on the setup. The hard part will be getting a consistent internet connection (thus the hot spot). Show off your court reporting skills and technological brilliance.
Happy New Year! 2013 is going to be amazing.