Court Reporters

Understanding Court Reporting

If you are in need of a court reporter to meet your litigation needs, it is important to understand the field of stenography in order to choose the right one for your specific situation. Below is some basic information about stenography and tips on how to choose one that will provide the best service for you, according to an article published by Harlem World Magazine.

History of Stenography
In simple terms, stenography is a technique that uses shorthand in order to allow the typist to record quick-moving conversations as fast and accurately as possible. The use of shorthand is an age-old method of recording that differs significantly from, and is more organized than, what is used in SMS (think of lmao, btw, brb, etc.). Unlike SMS, shorthand is an extremely reputable way of reporting. The roots of shorthand can be traced back well into history, as far as 4th century BC, when the Ancient Greeks used shorthand to communicate through phonetic symbols on marble slabs, which was a resource available in limited quantities at the time. Not surprisingly, shorthand’s usage and structure has evolved significantly since the time of the Greeks.

Understanding Shorthand
In order to pick the right court reporter for your particular needs, it is best to understand the art of shorthand — at least the basics. A short and simple definition of shorthand is that the artform is a preset writing structure that significantly increases the typing speed of the person recording the conversation. While shorthand can be completely incomprehensible to the average person, the typist can quickly and easily decode the terms. Just as important, unlike abbreviations that are typically used and accepted across social media platforms, shorthand has a specific and strict set of rules dating back several decades. Moreover, in order to properly learn and use shorthand a person must take a deep study into the artform and also take several stringent skill tests to become a successful stenographer. Stenography can be a demanding industry, and the best are able to work in the field in courtrooms and high-end private enterprises.

We Can Provide Your Transcription Needs
If you need a court reporter, contact Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting today. Our team has vast experience with in -person and remote proceedings. We will help support your litigation needs with excellent service. We can ensure high quality, accurate, and fast transcription services and can provide all the assistance you may need for success.

We can also assist with service of process, both locally and internationally. Please contact Ancillary Legal today to learn more.

Staying Positive in Stressful Times

With the recent pandemic, insecurities over the economy and job security, and other world events, it’s more important than ever to remain positive, both professionally and personally.

It’s easy to read those words but how do you incorporate daily positivity into stressful, sometimes negative environments?

Shift Your Energy

Roy T. Bennett says in The Light in the Heart “instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”

Don’t immerse yourself in the worry and pessimism that is prevalent during taxing times. Put your energy elsewhere. Limit your time on social media and watching the news. Don’t react to others’ anger and frustration; instead, step away.

Choose to have a positive attitude. As Mr. Bennett says in The Light in the Heart, “attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”

Stay in Touch

For many people, a natural reaction to a negative situation is to withdraw and isolate. While temporarily it may soothe it can lead to feelings of separation and detachment.

As Daniel H. Pink says in Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, “human beings have an innate inner drive to be . . . connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”

Stressful times can be the best times to reconnect with your friends, family and co-workers. Even if you can’t chat in person, a telephone call or Zoom conference can lift your spirits and remind you what’s important.

Be Helpful

The quickest way to let go of fear and change your mindset is to help others.

Have a favorite charity? Donate — and can be not just money but also supplies and your time — and share that charity’s information with friends.

Offer to help your neighbors with tasks like grocery shopping and yardwork.

Brighten up your house, as well as your neighbors’ views, with a colorful positive message in your windows. If you have kids, let them furnish the artwork or use sidewalk chalk to put the artwork on your driveway.

Foster or adopt an animal from a local rescue/shelter. You’re giving a needy animal a home and that pet will give you unconditional love and positive energy.

Have Compassion For Yourself

Doing for yourself is not selfish, it’s necessary. In times of stress it’s even more important to do the little things that make your heart sing. Practicing yoga, soaking in a hot bath, curling up with a good book or old movie, enjoying a pot of delicious tea — all these things can ground us and recharge us. While isolation is not good, some alone time is beneficial to practice mindfulness and uplift your spirits.

Remember Everything is Temporary

Optimism is a great thing to embrace, even if it’s uncomfortable at first.

As Deepak Chopra says an optimist is “someone who is very aware and mindful of all the setbacks and roadblocks and less-than-ideal things that happen in their life. The caveat is they are just aware that those things are temporary and they have the ability to overcome them.” It’s okay to accept that things may not be ideal at this moment but there are setbacks and roadblocks that can be overcome.

If Nothing Else, Just Laugh

Gretchen Rubin in The Happiness Project says, “laughter is more than just a pleasurable activity . . when people laugh together, they tend to talk and touch more and to make eye contact more frequently.”

Let Us Help You

To continue to remain positive, both professionally and personally, do not hesitate to contact  Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting for your court reporter and deposition needs.

Medical Debt Collection Lawsuits Continue Amid COVID-19

It was a Sunday night and 39-year-old breast-cancer survivor Blanche Jordan was just sitting down to do a puzzle in her living room when she heard a knock on her door. Following social distancing guidelines because she is high-risk, she put a mask on before opening the door and was greeted by a process server who handed her papers and said “You’ve been served.” To Jordan’s dismay, the hospital that she had just recently paid off a debt weeks prior for a surgery not covered by her health insurance was suing her for $7,150 for unrelated medical services.

A lawsuit was the last thing she expected during the Coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, Jordan is not the only one facing a lawsuit during a global pandemic.

A Rising Trend

Wisconsin, like the rest of the nation and most of the world, has been significantly changed over the past few weeks due to the Coronavirus outbreak. On March 12, Wisconsin declared a public health emergency. Nonetheless, law firms representing health systems in Wisconsin continue to sue patients over past-due medical debt. According to a report published by Wisconsin Watch, of The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, hospitals in the state have filed at least 104 lawsuits in small claims courts since March 12th against patients who have medical debt. At least six other health systems have sued patients in the midst of COVID-19.

Jordan’s lawsuit is just one of at least 46 lawsuits filed by Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital. While the hospital’s spokesman advised that it has suspended filing small claims lawsuits as of March 18 in response to the pandemic, court records showed at least 18 new lawsuits filed between then and March 31. All 18 of those lawsuits were subsequently dismissed.

Suspension of Suits, Maybe

While many of the health systems responded to news reports by stating legal actions on debt collections have been suspended, in rare cases the lawsuit will be pursued. The reason is to preserve the health system’s rights to pursue the debt, particularly if the debt is old and the statute of limitations on filing suit is about to expire. While this time is difficult, legal actions need to move forward — at least in order to preserve a party’s right under the law so that the action is not barred as a result of the expiration of a contractual or statute of limitations.

 

What Litigators Must Do During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic that has hit the globe is causing all of us to adjust how we live, work, and play. Lawyers are no exception to this. In order to continue to live up to the calling that requires attorneys — particularly litigators — to be custodians of our society’s ideals, there are a few things that should be done during this world-wide pandemic.

You Must Resolve Your Cases

Attorneys are called on to resolve disputes, which can be difficult during normal times. The best thing for a litigator to do is to put on his or her “closer” hat. More than ever, clients are losing income. It does not matter if you represent a plaintiff or a defendant — the downturn in the
economy affects everyone, and it is not known when the economy will bounce back from this pandemic. Clients are also in shock and disoriented. Defendants may be wanting to solely focus on business operations and not deal with lawsuits. Plaintiffs may want their lawsuit resolved sooner rather than later because of their current circumstances. Attorneys must be aware of these issues, while still balancing zealous advocacy and not selling the client short. Getting opposing counsel to come to the table is critical during this difficult time. Likewise, court dockets — which are backed up and trials delayed — will appreciate the civility employed by litigators to resolve cases.

You Must be Efficient

While the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us all to be more aware of personal hygiene, it has also forced businesses to become more efficient. The legal field, in many ways, is also a business. Law firms across the nation have transitioned to remote work for attorneys and staff alike. Attorneys — just like remote workers across the nation — are having to juggle work, family time, and schooling children. Legal work requires writing, editing, re-writing, analyzing, and researching, among other skills. While silence is key to these tasks, it is likely not available in prolonged periods right now. Using your time effectively is more critical than ever. Whether this means early mornings while the house is quiet or late evenings when everyone is in bed, squeezing in work and keeping clients up-to-date needs to happen.

Keep Using Discovery

The courts need not be involved in the discovery phase of a lawsuit — unless there is a need for motion practice or hearings due to disputes that cannot be resolved without court intervention.   Use of requests for admissions (RFAs), requests for production (RFPs), interrogatories (Rogs), and depositions are ideal ways to move your case forward during this time. While depositions may be difficult due to social distancing requirements, these can be done via video conference — although, admittedly, they are not the same as in-person depositions. That being said, litigators must be patient with opposing counsel because this time requires this type of civility.

The Case Must Go On

While it is true that the global pandemic has placed us all in an unprecedented position, attorneys must continue to practice zealously for their clients while employing additional patience for those on the other side of the case. In doing so, we can maintain our obligation to our industry while still properly representing our clients.