Some Grown-up Apps That Are Worth A Try

Apps aren’t just for kids anymore!  When is the last time you really shopped in the App Store?  There are some amazing productivity apps as well as storage and networking apps that are not to be overlooked by businessmen and women. Some have been out for a while and I wish I knew about them sooner. I hate when I’m late to the game… But better late than never!

 Check out the below apps and see if they can make your life easier:

LinkedIn

Networking!  Networking!  Networking!  We’ve all been told how important it is!  Here is a free opportunity to network. It is amazing how you can connect with target audiences and join networks. This has become a major source of staying connected with clients and even potential clients. Because it’s geared for business, it is comfortable and professional. Facebook is great, but sometimes a little too personal when it comes to what your clients are posting!  LinkedIn keeps it strictly business for the most part.

SignNow

For court reporters, unfortunately a signature is all we have in the hopes of getting paid. Most businesses deliver the service at the time of payment or even after. We, on the other hand, deliver the service and product and then pray we get paid. With SignNow, our reporters have no excuses not to get the signature of the ordering party. Once you load in your document, which is the order form in our case, anyone can sign on the dotted line with just their finger!  In addition, this app works with any PDF that you receive that needs to be signed!  No more running to a printer to finalize deals! 

PDF Max

The perfect PDF annotating app!  Fill out forms, take notes, and annotate any PDF document.  Not only can you make the changes from wherever you are, you can send the changes to all of your devices via iCloud.  The synchronization is amazing!  You can type changes or corrections or use finger commands including highlighting.  How about using the voice note feature if you aren’t in the position to type or write changes?  I say, genius!!  Lawyers, court reporters and proofreaders are loving this app. 

Expensify

Who doesn’t HATE preparing expense reports??  I feel pretty confident that no one actually LIKES it.  This app can help.  You can scan receipts, load time, record mileage from your GPS app, and sync it all with your credit cards and bank accounts.  You can email a PDF copy of your expense report wherever it needs to go virtually hassle-free!  Expensify can simplify!  Get on it! 

Dropbox

Love Dropbox!  Even those of us with the supercharged big-dog iPhone are conscious of our memory space… delete this video just in case it slows me down, delete these photos because my camera is taking too long to open.  Well, here is your answer!  You can automatically have your photos uploaded to Dropbox!  It just backs them up for you!  You can delete to free up space and not worry about losing pictures and videos that you would rather keep.  Not just that, but you can arrange files, say, by case name or project name or even each of your children can have a file within your box to save pics of those precious school projects that involve food or glitter and are screaming to be thrown out.  You can share the link to each file or document with whomever you would like… boss, assistant, or even granny.  Dropbox rocks! 

Hootsuite

This app is genius!  You can manage all of your social media accounts from one dashboard!  My company has Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, which can be impossible at times to check in with them all. For swift replies and updates, put all of your accounts into Hootsuite and manage them from the app icon on your iPhone or iPad.  All social media in one app…  a fist pump and a Hoot Hoot to that!

Vertical Response

This is a new one for me.  So you have your newsletter, you have your contacts…most of this is on your desktop, right?  Well, for me it is anyway.  This app allows me to easily update my contacts while on the road, even access the reports for the emails you may have sent out Friday, but would like to check on Sunday.  Making life easier one app at a time… love it! 

Westlaw Case Notebook

This one is pretty much for attorneys only, although some support staff may find it helpful, too.  Westlaw Case Notebook is your portable e-Transcript app.  Most court  reporters by now should be sending you e-Tran files of your transcripts by email.  (And if they aren’t I can recommend a good agency for you to try ASAP!)  So this is how you view all of your transcripts without schlepping all of that paper around… convenient and a back-saver!  Just a few of the cool features… word indexing, highlighting, annotating, search feature, and even share it with or without your notes.  This is huge!  We are definitely saving some trees with this one!



National Court Reporting and Captioning Week

The guardians of the record have been officially recognized by Congress! 

This week, February 17th through February 23rd, kicked off the first official National Court Reporting and Captioning Week, according to the NCRA. 

As the leading court reporting association in the nation, the NCRA has cited that this special week now acknowledges “the hard work of court reporters and broadcast captioners nationwide.”   It was even acknowledged in Congressional Record on February 14th by Congressman Ron Kind of Wisconsin. 

Congressman Kind’s wife is a court reporter…  He must know firsthand the dedication the profession commands.  Poor Congressman Kind has probably had many dinner cancellations, many weekends interrupted, and many nights ruined by last minute call-ins, daily copies and unbearable witnesses!

Thank you for the recognition, Folks…. it’s not easy!



Does Your Court Reporting Agency Offer You Free Videoconferencing?

The latest technology in court reporting is here and you should capitalize on it! Videoconferencing is a great way to get the testimony you need from out-of- state or even out-of-country witnesses without leaving the city.

Videoconferencing suites at your court reporting agency should be fully accessible to valued clients at no charge. For example, Ace Reporters, Inc. offers not only the complimentary suite, but also any necessary amenities such as, copying service, couriers, breakfast and / or lunch, free Wi-Fi, etc.

Here are three good reasons why you should be using videoconferencing:

  • Videoconferencing will save you money. There may be a charge at the remote location, but the fees are far less than traveling expenses.
  • Videoconferencing will save you time. It’s convenient to stay nearby and take the deposition in a familiar and comfortable setting.
  • Videoconferencing cuts out the unknown. No more hiring reporters that you don’t know! Remain confident with an agency you know and trust taking your important notes of testimony.


How a Difficult Witness Affects Your Transcript

A difficult witness not only affects counsel, but also the court reporter, and in turn, your transcript!

Here are some tips to preserve an accurate record:

Get the court reporter involved.

While we are normally sitting quietly in our positions, when it comes to witnesses cutting off questions or grunting or hand gestures, court reporters don’t mind jumping in and helping out. Most times the witness is mad at the attorney who is slinging the questions, but they also usually feel bad to hurt us with their antics. This situation can usually be remedied by the court reporter with a polite request and brief explanation to the witness regarding how hard our job is. In turn, this will help keep your transcript clean and accurate.

Mark questions.

Experience shows there is something magical in the words “can you mark that question, please.” The everyday witness seems to believe that is code for “I really have him now.” They seem to straighten right up become cooperative instantly!

Don’t forget to put it on the record.

Describe the witness’s behavior for the record. We don’t have a parenthetical for “Witness looks annoyed” or “Witness is pounding his fists on the conference table.” So be sure to spell it out so the record reflects the behavior accurately.



Five Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Court Reporter

Every attorney has their own style when it comes to taking depositions. Mostly all are equally effective in soliciting the information needed to argue their case, however, few are court reporter friendly.

To get the most out of your court reporter, we recommend the following:

1. Upon scheduling the deposition, provide all pertinent information, including a full case caption. The fastidious reporter will have this loaded into their document files and ready to go as soon as they boot up their laptop. In essence, a well prepared reporter is an effective reporter.

2. Provide any names that may be tricky or even products, brands or companies that may come up and that could cause interference of your flow. Trust us, we HATE to interrupt during your deposition, but it is our duty to have full and accurate information and spellings. This is especially important with realtime. The job where “Shores, Inc.” constantly translated as SURE/STINK was a real concentration-breaker for all parties involved!

3. Never skip instructions to the witness! Yes, we know it gets monotonous for you to say them day in and day out; and yes, the witness said he was deposed before; and yes, you want to get to the meat of the examination, but please, please, please give full instructions anyway! Again, our goal — at least here at Ace Reporters, Inc. — is to be seen and not heard. We DREAD interrupting!

4. Please note that your turnaround requests are paramount for reporters. Please let them know as soon as possible if you need a daily copy or even expedited. Reserving this upon scheduling is ideal. Anything other than normal turnaround time (which should never be more than 10 business days) affects the court reporter’s whole world! Oftentimes, they will need to be taken off the schedule for the next day, line up their scopists and proofreaders and even cancel dinner plans!

5. And last, but positively not least, don’t forget that we can’t do ANYTHING with our hands while you are talking, unless it is off the record of course! This includes marking exhibits, reading back and even eating lunch! We are trained to be fast in the bathroom, eat on the go and be as silent as possible, but following these tips will keep us proficient and loving our jobs, so thank you in advance!