To help celebrate National Court Reporting & Captioning Week 2018, we asked to hear your favorite industry stories – funny tales, inspiring anecdotes, moving moments. Thanks to everyone who submitted stories! Here are a few:
I remember being 20 years old and graduating from court reporting school. At that time I knew I was looking for a job, but I sure didn’t know I was starting a career. I had interviews with a couple freelance firms, but I had thought I would always work in my local courthouse. I set up an appointment to tour the courthouse and perhaps speak to some official reporters to find out what to do to prepare myself for court work. To my surprise, and because back then I really didn’t know anthing about court reporting — I just knew my Mom said it would be a job I might like, which was always enough advice to get me headed in the right direction — I found out that the court administration had just that year replaced the live court reporting function with tape recorders. I was politely told by the director there that I was young, I should just go back to school and learn something different, because this job wouldn’t be around in the near future. That experience was 38 years ago this May and I’m happy to say I’ve learned the best lessons from it: 1) always listen to your Mom; 2) never talk to strangers who might steer you in the wrong direction; and 3) be proud of your job and give it your all and you will have the rewards of a life-long career in a wonderful profession that is still going strong!
On 9/23/17, my dear friend and fellow CSR Merry Gesner suffered a massive heart attack and was put on life support. For nearly a week, several of the Sacramento Veritexters supported Merry and her family from out of state by visiting at the hospital and intervening on Merry’s behalf whenever needed. Sadly, Merry’s heart could not regain functionality, and she passed away on 9/29/17. The Sacramento Veritext family was in action immediately. Lisa Richardson, CSR, coordinated not only assisting multiple scopists and reporters to get Merry’s transcripts prepared, certified and submitted for production, but Lisa held a touching and intimate memorial at her home. At the memorial, Lisa launched a fundraiser for four scholarships to be given in Merry’s honor. Three were for the local court reporting school students and one for Merry’s alma mater’s cross country program. Over the course of a few short weeks, Lisa raised $1,500. Lisa coordinated an essay contest with the local court reporting school, Argonaut. Lisa and two other reporters, Beth Lewis and myself, reviewed the essays and chose the recipients of the scholarships. We were then invited to Argonaut’s graduation held on 11/29 where we each spoke words of experience and encouragement to future CSRs and presented the recipients with their scholarships. Lisa went above and beyond to honor the memory of a long-time fellow court reporter who will be dearly missed! Lisa is an amazing court reporter, and our profession is so lucky to have her!
I began court reporting school when I was 17 years old. A part of me didn’t think I was going to take it serious, as I had other dreams, like becoming an actress. One day my machine broke and I thought that was the end of my court reporting career. I thought that maybe it was a sign that I have to pick a new career. I dropped out of school for a few months and spent those days being very unproductive. Luckily, I have the best boyfriend in the world who was able to hold me down with money for a brand new machine. I thought that I was going to be on the right path again, but then my school made an announcement that changed my life forever. The announcement was that they were re-locating to another building in a completely different city. Many students were unhappy with this, and it also meant we had to work extra hard to make sure we graduated before they made the move. The move was in April, which meant that I had one semester and roughly 10 weeks to pass 7 speed tests. I spent every day and night practicing until my fingers bled, and the day I passed my final 225 test, I knew I was destined to be a court reporter. I’ve been a court reporter for a few months now, and it’s changed my life in a way that I would have never imagined. I bring home a bigger paycheck than my parents, which is mind blowing when I think about the days when I dropped out, and didn’t even have enough money to pay attention. I was able to pay my boyfriend back every penny that I borrowed for the new machine, and even gave him an extra $1000 for believing in me. It’s incredible to think how far I’ve come in life, and I thank God every day that court reporting worked out for me.
I did an arb in NYC. It was RT. Out of 23 days, I took 15 days. It was about biomass plant in Hawaii with German witnesses, very technical. They never used the interpreter. Very difficult case, probably hardest I ever took. The 3 arbitrators, 4 attorneys and all the witnesses in room gave me a standing ovation at the end, they really appreciated all the hard work.
The funniest deposition I ever took was of a dominatrix. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to tell the whole story here because of the salacious content. The questioning attorney had quite the sense of humor and was asking our witness questions that would lead to hilarious responses. It’s the first time I ever had to go off the record because I just couldn’t keep it together.