Although their work sometimes goes unnoticed or gets overlooked, court reporters do highly important work in the American justice system. They ensure the accurate and factual transcription of legal proceedings such as trials and hearings without bias or prejudice toward one side or the other. In addition to these official duties, court reporting in America also includes legal support services that court reporting companies can offer to law firms and attorneys to assist them as they prepare for trial or make their cases in court. Many court reporters across the nation work with litigious lawyers, helping them build strong cases for lawsuits.
Court reporters in California “protect the public by ensuring the integrity of the judicial record,” according to the Court Reporters Board of California, a Board established by the state in 1951. The Board sets professional standards for court reporters in the state and provides oversight of the court reporting profession in the Golden State. To become a licensed certified shorthand reporter (CSR) in California, one must pass a three-part licensing exam, typically after attending a court reporting school, approved by the state.
Court reporting firms across the country assist lawyers and law firms with a broad range of support services. These include remote deposition services for lawyers who need to record testimony of witnesses for use as evidence in trials or lawsuits. These services also include legal videography, the production of trial presentation media such as computer animation, PowerPoint presentations and printed trial boards. Court reporting firms also perform transcription services and, in some cases, translation services for legal clients. Court reporters can help lawyers overcome language barriers with witnesses and potential clients.
While court reporters who work for the courts ensure the integrity and accuracy of the judicial record, those who work in the private sector work for the advancement of justice.
In difficult economic times such as these, leaders and forward thinkers in many industries, including the court reporting industry, have to innovate to stay ahead of the competition. Lawyers have had to find new ways to attract clients and communicate with them in recent years, with some turning to social media to pitch their services and find new clients. Similarly, court reporting companies across the country have found new ways to market themselves to attorneys and lawyers and communicate with these legal professionals, helping them to prepare for their cases and win in court. As the trend toward remote interactions between lawyers and their clients has become more pronounced, leading Columbus court reporters have increased the availability of remote services for legal professionals such as remote depositions and videoconferencing.
Remote court reporting services make a lot of sense in large states where population centers are spread out, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas. Lawyers can save time and money by hiring professional court reporting businesses to assist them with depositions of witnesses across large geographic divides. Legal professionals can use firms that perform court reporting in Ohio to connect with people in cities like Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo. Likewise, court reporters in Pennsylvania can help lawyers in Philadelphia communicate with witnesses in Pittsburgh, a drive of more than 300 miles.
Along with remote services, the top companies in the industry offer the standard legal support services that court reporting companies have become known for. They perform transcription services of court cases, court hearings and other legal proceedings. Many of the best firms offer legal videography services. Many court reporting businesses across the country offer conference rooms that lawyers and/or law firms can rent. They perform services like producing PowerPoint Presentations, trial boards and other forms of media to help lawyers make strong cases in court.
Hanson Renaissance Court Reporters & Video is one of the oldest independent court reporting companies in the United States. Based in Detroit, Michigan since 1963, Hanson offers its premium court reporting, conference hosting and legal videography services across Michigan.
Recently the editors of Court Reporters.co spoke with Gerald Hanson, the President of Hanson Renaissance Court Reporters & Video. Below is a transcript of our interview that was conducted via email.
CO: Court reporting is a family trade for you. When did you know you wanted to follow that path?
Gerald Hanson: I’ve always had an interest in business and seeing the success of my father I decided I wanted to be a part of the family business.
CO: How long have you been with Hanson Renaissance?
GH: Since 1991. 31 years.
CO: At what point did you decide you might want to run the firm as opposed to working as a standard employee?
GH: As the firm grew, I saw that my dad needed help and I gradually took on more responsibilities. I learned the business from my dad and with technology it continues to evolve every year. I enjoy the responsibility of running the firm and am very involved in the day-to-day operations.
CO: What is it that the firm does differently from other court reporting firms?
GH: We are a family owned business and provide the best service in the industry. As the owner I am available 24/7 to work directly with clients. We are based in Michigan and take pride in being able to help clients in last minute emergencies or scheduling situations.
CO: How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed how the firm operates?
GH: Our transition during the pandemic was seamless. We opened our first video conference room in 1985 and have been scheduling remote virtual depositions for the past six years so we were ahead of most companies. Virtual depositions continue to be the preference; however, we continue to see an increase in scheduling in person depositions. Our firm has been a leader in videoconferencing for years and our team of video technicians are on every virtual deposition as a resource. Lastly, our court reporters and employees continued to operate very efficient during the pandemic and our state-of-the-art technology and unmatched client service have helped us to set the highest standards in servicing court reporting needs.
CO: How has the industry changed since you first started?
GH: The court reporting industry has evolved over the years with innovation and technology. Everything from scheduling depositions to taking depositions virtually has evolved. We continue to be leaders in innovation providing the best service in the court reporting industry.
CO: What do you think it takes to be a good court reporter?
GH: To be a good court reporter it takes many skills including, concentration, organization, good grammar, punctuation, and proofreading. Court reporters must be punctual and have great time management skills. As real time court reporting continues to grow reporters must be detail oriented and become familiar with legal and medical terminology.
CO: What are your hopes for Hanson Renaissance for the near and long-term future?
GH: My hopes for Hanson Renaissance for the remainder of the year are to continue to work closely with clients and provide the best client service in the industry. We will continue to be the best firm for both in person and virtual depositions. Our court reporters are professional, and we deliver timely transcripts and take pride in our work.
CO: What would you tell someone who wants to get into the court reporting industry in today:
GH: Court reporting is a challenging career that comes with tremendous benefits. Successful court reporters are ultimately in charge of their own earnings potential and there is an opportunity for a high income with flexibility. A good court reporter is highly valued and there is always a demand as court reporters can’t be replaced. We award a scholarship in honor of my father and our founder Gerald Hanson. We welcome any students looking to go into the court reporting field in the state of Michigan to apply for our scholarship. We mentor students attending court reporting school and attend high school recruitment events to drive interest in the court reporting industry. Students can apply for the scholarship here.
South Florida is one of the fastest growing regions in the United States. People from across the world travel south to indulge in the sunny weather, the sandy beaches, the food, and the fashion.
This especially rings true in Miami-Dade County. 2.7 million people– just about 12% of the state’s total population– live in this region alone. Miami has become one of Florida’s cultural meccas. People are drawn to this area in search of the night life, the art scene, the water sports, and so much more.
With such a vast scope of industries making Miami the hustling, bustling city we all know it to be, the legal industry has to be just as busy. Maritime law, copyright law, personal injury– if you can think of an area practice, chances are that there is Miami attorney who is busy with the Miami course of law.
In most of these busy attorney’s cases, in order to provide clients the support they need, they need quality litigation support themselves. It’s not enough to work with just any court reporting firm. Their court reporting firm of choice needs to offer full-service litigation support. It has to employ the fastest, most accurate, and most reliable Miami court reporting professionals. They have to provide the best customer service out there so that attorneys can be confident if anything goes wrong, their firm of choice will be there to help.
In Miami, Florida, practiced attorneys know there is only one firm that can deliver on each and every one of their needs. Laws Reporting is the tried and true example of superior litigation support. Since 1976, Laws Reporting has existed to provide attorneys the most crucial thing they need: Service tailored to their needs. Firm founder, Paula Laws, noticed that many court reporting firms at the time did not live up to the standards of their clients. Perhaps they didn’t provide enough services. Perhaps their technology was out of date. Perhaps their service was poor.
Laws took note of each of these misgivings and created a court reporting firm attorneys can always rely on. Laws Reporting operates as a big-city court reporting firm with all the bells and whistles clients need while still offering clients individualized service. They use the latest technology to ensure every service runs as smoothly as possible. Their Miami court reporters are proud of their education and continue to protect their skills long after their initial certification.
“There have been many times where my law firm needed a court reporter, often the night before a big hearing,” one attorney says. “We would reach out to multiple reporters and would find Laws Reporting as the company that would always pull through. Now our firm ONLY uses Laws Reporting for our court reporting needs due to their professionalism, diligence, and ability to cater to our needs often at the 11th hour! We are very happy and fortunate to have found Laws Reporting!”
It is this attention to each running part of business that garnered the attention of the National Network Reporting Company (NNRC). The NNRC is an international court reporting database. In order to achieve this, they partner with only the best and brightest court reporting firms in the industry. These firms go through an intense vetting process that assures the firm’s speed, accuracy, and level of customer service. This means that, no matter where in the world an attorney is, they can book a service with the NNRC confident they will deliver on each and every one of their needs.
With satellite offices across South Florida, legal professionals from Miami to West Palm Beach can work with Laws Reporting without having to combat the Miami traffic. This saves attorneys crucial time that could be spent on their casework. Providing clients the support they need to work efficiently and effectively is just a part of a day’s work for the staff at Laws.
For more information on the firm and their services, call (954) 581-4010, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their offices.
7805 S.W. 6th Court, Suite 51, Plantation, FL 33324
For over 40 years, the NNRC has served attorneys and other legal professionals across the world. Before, the standards for litigation support varied wildly from firm to firm. Attorneys could never anticipate whether or not a firm could live up to their expectations. This was unacceptable to the firms that founded the NNRC. Together, they set a new standard of speed, accuracy, efficiency, and customer service. In order to be accepted as an NNRC partner, clients must undergo a strict vetting process to ensure they live up to these high standards.
This allows attorneys, no matter where in the world they are, to schedule a litigation support service with the utmost confidence. Whether booking a court reporter in California or a legal video professional in Missouri, there is a partner with the NNRC who can help.
To learn more about the NNRC, call (866) 337-6672, email email@example.com, or visit their offices.
Once a upon a time, all court reporting firms offered was just that: court reporting. Attorneys turned to these professionals for reliable, fast, and accurate reporting, and that was it.
The video above illustrates just how wildly the industry has changed. What was once a series of dots and dashes similar to Morse Code has grown into a system of shorthand reliable, computer-aided transcription machines. Reporters often work alongside videographers to produce a video with a transcript, and they can even deliver their transcripts to clients in real time.
But as the years have gone by and technology has come to be more advanced, attorneys have come to expect these diverse litigation support services throughout their cases. No one wants to have to hop between business to business to find the support they need.
From Lisa Migliore Black and NCRA STRONG: "Advances in technology are wonderful, but embracing technology before it is road-tested, perfected, and proven effective can come with dangers and ethical questions to ponder."https://t.co/NjN8LlhM4Zpic.twitter.com/yapNmL9DGR
Competitive court reporting firms don’t want their clients to have to do that either. They understand not only how much of the client’s time that search wastes, but how that search could be bad for their own business. If a client finds a different court reporting firm that offers all the services they need, chances are that they will lose that client. As a result, many firms have gone on to add the litigation support services that attorneys require.
As the one-stop-shop for all things litigation support, many court reporting firms go above and beyond to take that title further and provide additional legal resources. These resources are often designed to save an attorney’s time by answering any questions they might have before they are asked. For professionals in the legal sphere, any saved time is precious.
In a city like Las Vegas, this rings especially true. In a location like that, the legal scene is a bustling one. Attorneys often work on a plethora of diverse cases that require every ounce of their attention. They don’t have time to scour the internet in search of firms that can deliver upon their legal needs.
One of the leading firms in the area, Envision Legal, has set up their website with that in mind. In just two clicks, clients can see exactly which services the full-service litigation support firm offers. From there, turning to the site’s subheadings answers any questions clients might have about the specific service—from an F.A.Q about court reporters, information about realtime reporting, trial presentation, and more.
Under the “resources” heading, attorneys can find a broader scope of help. Whether in need of tips on ensuring a quality deposition or Nevada legal resources, all of that can be found in this section. When a client clicks through the site, it is abundantly clear that it is designed with client needs in mind.
“It was important to make things easy to navigate, and easy to digest,” firm president, Monice Campbell, says. “Attorneys don’t want to spend time reading thousands of words about a service. They want to know what the firm offers is of the highest quality from the get-go.”
It’s common knowledge that many attorneys work far past the hours of an average workday. According to a 2018 Legal Trends report, 75% of lawyers often work outside regular business hours, with 39% of them reporting that it negatively effects their personal lives. This is especially the case for those who live in larger cities. Between billable hour requirements, the catch-up cycle, and other client services attorneys often work long and hard hours.
This is one of the many reasons why court reporting firms do what they can to provide attorneys fast, reliable services every time. Both attorneys and their staff don’t have time to ho and hum over decisions. They need a firm that boasts a reputation of timeliness, as well as full-service litigation support.
On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow addresses just how important attorneys are to the court room on a specific case. “The court reporter in that case has been asked to do absolutely heroic work.”
Quality court reporting firms are chalk-full of professionals who make that happen. Whether working on a small interpersonal case or a case with a major organization, court reporters should do all they can to get attorneys what they need, exactly when they need it. That dedication should ripple down to each and every staff member. Successful, full service litigation support firms should offer:
Legal videographers who utilize the best technology in the business for the clearest, crispest audio and visuals possible
Diverse trial support options to fulfill anything attorneys need
Remote deposition services that connect teams over a secure server no matter where in the world they are
Realtime reporting professionals who are the fastest and most accurate in the business
Speed and accuracy have always been driving factors of court reporting firms, and they will forever continue to be. By providing attorneys with the legal resources they need to perform properly, court reporters make a world of difference in one’s case. Quality transcripts get attorneys the results they need. Firms should make every step of that journey easier. With simple booking and a plethora of information to review, court reporters make the lives and work of their clients far more simple.
Litigation support has grown into a diverse world for legal professionals to peruse. It is rare that attorneys simply require a court reporting or trial support service—more often than not, they need several services for their upcoming case. Court reporting firms have learned that the best way to keep in business is to listen to client needs and include the services they really need in their lineup.
For the longest time, court reporting firms did just that: court reporting. The world of law has become more complex and demanding for attorneys, so naturally, some of that demand shifts to court reporting firms. On top of court reporting, firms now offer anything from transcription, to interpreters, to mediation to keep up with the ever-changing needs of clients.
The best firms, however, incorporate the latest technology into their services. As technology grows more important, legal videography has practically become a right-hand-man to court reporting. These days, court reporting firms that don’t offer legal videography fall short. But what is legal videography, and why is it so important?
A legal videographer is a professional who is responsible for recording legal proceedings with high-quality audio and video equipment. They can be utilized to record a trial, legal deposition, the signing of legal documents, or even to record evidence for trials like damaged property. To work with a firm that officers legal videography, prospective videographers should get their Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS) certification from the NCRA. This ensures the professional’s understanding of the field and level of skill. Legal videographers should have a quality video camera, audio mixer, microphones, headphones, and even backdrops at their disposal so a client can get the most out of their service.
There are a number of specificities that legal videographers must keep in mind as they move forward with a case. They must know the differences in the operation of legal videography on a state-by-state basis. It is up to the legal videographer to know those rules and receive the proper certifications and meet the correct industry standards that clients look for. The legal videographer knows what state rules and what federal rules take priority on a job.
The world is full of jargon the average attorney might not know the answer to when it comes to their legal video service, and it isn’t their job. Their legal videographer takes care of the industry specific videos so the attorney has nothing to worry about. For a crash course on becoming a deposition videographer, watch the video below.
Legal videographers are another fantastic resource to have on top of one’s court reporter. By capturing the audio and visuals of a deposition, attorneys can craft a stronger narrative for the courtroom. Some court reporting firms work with an additional legal videography firm or a freelance professional, while others employ in-house professionals. In-house legal videographers are especially valuable, as it gives client the comfort of knowing the standard they expect from their court reporters transfers to their legal videographers.
“In-house legal videography sweetens the deal for many attorneys,” Marti Sutherland-Vidal, Chief Operating Officer of Laws Reporting, says. “When a client knows they can trust your firm, they don’t want to hop around to others and hope they get the same level of support because you don’t offer all the services they need. Offering legal videography in the same place they get their court reporters is a game-changer.”
Sutherland-Vidal’s Miami court reporters at Laws Reporting have offered a variety of litigation services essentially since the firm’s conception. It is what has kept the firm in business for almost 50 years. Given how court reporters and legal videographers work in-tandem on such a high number of cases, it only made sense to add legal videography in Miami to their services.
While clearly helpful in nature, it becomes abundantly clear just how useful video synchronization is once one takes a closer look. Attorneys can use their synchronized video during their reviewal process as they prepare for the next step, as it makes clip retrieval far easier (and faster). When used during a trial, this service is especially pertinent for the hard of hearing. It allows them to digest what was said during a deposition or other legal proceeding just as easily as everyone else.
Despite how closely court reporters and legal videographers work, Certified Legal Video Specialists still don’t have an active role in within the National Court Reporters Association. Given the importance of a quality professional in this area of practice, it is shocking to know that they are often left out of decisions the association makes.
Legal video specialists are making a grand push for their voices to be heard. A vote will be held at the NCRA’s July conference that determines a more active inclusion throughout the organization.
From the CLVS Council: Allowing CLVS Associate members to become Participating members does not hinder the goals of the Association. It would strengthen the 35+ year partnership and demonstrate the cooperation with verbatim stenographic reporters. pic.twitter.com/JvLYb9pfGr
“The CLVS program has been around for 30 years and for us to not have a voice by now, and we’ve been such a team partner of the court reporters… is frustrating.”
Considering how Certified Legal Video Specialists have been practically essential to the world of law for the past several decades, it is only a matter of time before they receive the representation they deserve. Court reporters who work alongside these professionals have long-since been aware of their worth, and the rest of the world would be apt to follow suit.
Hanna & Hanna Reporting is pleased to announce their videoconferencing services. For decades, attorneys and paralegals in the Houston area have come to Hanna & Hanna for their sterling reputation of accuracy and timeliness in court reporting. Now, attorneys in need of a quality videoconferencing service can come to Hanna Reporting and receive that exact same quality of service. Hanna Reporting’s staff uses the latest equipment in the industry so that audio and video are as crisp and clear as possible. In a time where gathering in larger groups is still frowned upon, videoconferencing is a great option.
Attorneys can keep their legal teams and witnesses safe at home all the way to the deposition stage. Hanna & Hanna Reporting is proud to offer their clients remote deposition services. The firm utilizes the best technology in the business to connect attorneys to their staff and certified court reporters over a secure server with crisp audio and visuals.
Over the past several decades Hanna & Hanna Reporting has made a name for itself as one of the best litigation firms in the area. These Houston court reporters are well known for their dedication to the craft and their responsive customer service. They work tirelessly to ensure their client’s needs are met the first time. Their membership with the National Network Reporting Company (NNRC), a court reporting agency that assures the quality of court reporters with their strict vetting process, only solidifies their reputation of timeliness, efficiency, and accuracy.
In the state of Ohio, Cleveland is a legal hub. As one of the largest cities in the state, it’s no wonder it’s home to some of the best, most reliable professionals in the business. When in need of an attorney, clients can find one who fights for their rights no matter the area of practice. When that attorney then goes on to build a legal team, they have the best Cleveland, Ohio court reporters to choose from.
While these legal professionals are well-known for the support they provide their clients, they can’t operate without support of their own. In Cleveland, that place is the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. The bar association has over 135 years of history under its belt. What once served as two separate bar associations– the Cleveland Bar, serving the city, and the Cuyahoga County Bar Association, serving the county– combined to become the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. It is now the primary resource for research in the area, perfect for students and professionals alike.
The nonprofit is dedicated to supporting the needs of those in the surrounding Cleveland area. With attorneys, judges, students, court reporters, and other business professionals as members, any legal professional can find the resources they require to provide their clients the best results possible. The organization promotes unparalleled professional and ethical standards in hopes of creating an honest legal community.
The association is nationally recognized for their public outreach and pro bono legal services. Lawyers Giving Back is a program designed to support the Cleveland community through hundreds of volunteer lawyers collaborating with other business professionals and community partners. Together, they work to help students continue their education and provide people access to justice who otherwise may not be able to afford it.
The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association was designed to help people. Legal professionals can turn to the association for any resources or educational purposes they desire. Other citizens of Cleveland can turn to the association for whatever legal assistance they need.
It has long since been a fact that the digital age heavily impacts our lives. Never was this fact more true, however, before the global pandemic struck in 2020. Suddenly, those who may not have been as attached to technology were forced to learn how to better incorporate it into their lives.
This impacted people not just on an interpersonal level, but a business level. Companies that previously operated mostly on a face-to-face basis were forced to transition to a virtual way of keeping in business.
West Palm Beach attorney, Mark Shalloway, is among the professionals who had to make this change. His elder law firm, Shalloway & Shalloway, has served South Florida’s senior citizens and their families for 30 years now, and they weren’t about to let a pandemic get in the way of that service. In a time where an area of law such as elder law is so important, it was crucial that Shalloway keep their doors open, even if that meant in a virtual setting.
To keep people safe and healthy at home, Shalloway & Shalloway offered their services over phone or video call. Though working from home, everyone is available during regular business hours to discuss one’s estate planning, asset protection, or any other elder law needs. Florida documents can even be notarized using audio-video technology during this time– ensuring every step can be made from the comfort and safety of one’s home.
Always a proponent for educating the masses, Shalloway hosts free, elder law seminars where audience members can learn about anything from wills and trusts to Medicaid planning. For years, these seminars occurred across Palm Beach County, open to any who wanted to learn more about the world of law. When meeting in large quantities became dangerous, Shalloway didn’t let those seminars day. He adapted. Now, anyone in the world can attend Shalloway’s free, virtual seminars every month via Zoom. Clients should reserve their spots by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 561-686-6200 to get the most out of the experience.
As things change, so have Shalloway’s services. The offices are open again, but extra precautions are taken for the benefit of clients and employees alike. Everyone is required to wear masks and keep six feet in distance. Plastic dividers have been put up in offices and at reception to better separate everyone. Additional sanitization measures have been taken on top of the firm’s already existing cleaning system. At Shalloway’s offices, clients can be confident they are safe.
Whether more comfortable with a physical or virtual connection, Shalloway & Shalloway is there for their clients. Learn more by calling 561-686-6200, filling out this contact form, or visiting their office.
1400 Centrepark Blvd., Suite #600, West Palm Beach, FL 33401