Tag: Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting

Will Georgia Be The Next State to Hand Out Virtual Justice?

On Monday, Texas became the first state in the nation to present a trial before a virtual jury. The groundbreaking legal move follows Emory Law School’s jury trial class, which allowed its students to take its final exam via Zoom on April 17. Many Georgia counties have been using videoconferencing for their hearings since April, when the coronavirus pandemic necessitated the closure of the courts, with the exception of certain hearings and bond motions.

Emory Law School found that the trial by Zoom, with real judges and facts from an actual case, had real benefits. Objections were handled in a more orderly manner by raising “objection paddles.” The attorneys and judges could see themselves, which made everyone more self-aware of facial expressions. Sequestration was a cinch as Zoom allows you to place participants in a virtual waiting room with the push of a button. The same can be said of the judge needing a break, to confer with the bailiff or attorneys — simply push a button and the jurors are in the virtual waiting room.

Texas had more than 24 potential jurors log in, who were then guided on selection by two judges. Decades of potential jurors going to the courthouse were turned on its head as the courthouse virtually came to the jurors. As with depositions handled by Zoom, basic instructions were given about background noise and the need for privacy from the rest of the household.

In neither instance did videoconferencing have a negative effect on the proceedings. No technical hiccup was noted. In fact, Zoom capabilities gave all parties the convenience of doing their civic duty from home, without having to deal with morning traffic, the headaches of parking and the general stress and frustration of reporting to the courthouse.

While teleconferencing and videoconferences have been used for various proceedings, no Georgia court has yet announced plans for a jury trial by Zoom as of this date. However, we are clearly on track to follow Texas’ lead, at least with regard to its non-binding jury verdict.

To view a portion of Texas’ virtual jury trial, see this YouTube link.

For EGCR’s tutorial on Zoom meetings, see this YouTube link.

For tips on keeping your caseloads moving during COVID-19, see this article.

Making Your Remote Office a Success

With the unique challenge of working and keeping businesses going during COVID-19, having a remote office has become our new normal but it can still be an unknown, possibly even stressful, factor amid these disruptive and uncertain times.

It’s more important now than ever to keep your mental and emotional well-being in check, as well as that of your employees and staff.


Keeping a regular, and realistic, schedule is vital. Plan your day as if you were in the office with a start time, lunch time and quitting time. Make sure you allow technology-free time to pamper yourself, whether that’s reading a book, working on a jigsaw puzzle or a soothing bath.


You don’t need a room specifically for your home office but find space that is to be your work area during work hours. This can be a corner in your bedroom, living room or on your kitchen table. Tell your family this is your work area during your scheduled work times. After hours, it can go back to its intended use.


Working from home doesn’t (and shouldn’t) mean parking yourself at your desk 24-7. Your mind and body need breaks throughout the day so be sure to take them, preferably every 30 to 60 minutes. It may be getting up to stretch for a few minutes or getting a glass of water. On phone calls, get in the habit of standing rather than sitting to keep that blood flowing.


Working from home can be wonderful (saving on gas and travel time with no commute and hey, you don’t even have to wear shoes!) but being at home can lend to a host of distractions. Don’t let your laundry, that Harry Potter marathon or social media impact your productivity.


That said, social media is a wonderful way to keep in touch, not only with family but also co-workers. The office is not only a place to work but also a method to combat loneliness and isolation. Working from home, especially for extroverts, can create anxiety. So check in with your co-workers, not just to discuss work-related matters but also fun things, like sharing recipes and family and pet photos.


Fresh air and sunshine are a necessity. With fewer people driving, and warmer weather upon most of us, getting away from your desk, out the door and into the environment is fundamental. Not only will it invigorate you but will keep your immune system healthy.


If your workload is lighter than normal, it’s the perfect time to investigate some online courses that will improve your skills, raise the value of your expertise and give you continuing education credit. As a bonus, it also takes your mind off economic worries.


If you’re in management, it’s imperative not to neglect your employees. Understand that they might be feeling anxious, overworked and even isolated. Make yourself available to address any issues they might have. Have regular meetings by video or phone to keep everyone up to date. Let your staff know the best way to reach you with questions or emergencies. Find out if your health plan offers support for insureds who may need it and pass that information along.


Lastly, smile and breathe!

United States Supreme Court to Reconsider Auer Deference

The highest court in our land has agreed to add Kisor v. Wilkie to its docket of cases it will review during its session. According to Jurist.org, however, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will limit its review to the first question only that was presented by the petition for certiorari. The question asks the court to reconsider case precedent that directs courts to defer an agency’s reasonable interpretation of its own ambiguous regulation. The cases that establish this precedent include Auer v. Robbins and Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand.


Auer Deference


Auer v. Robbins is a SCOTUS case concerning the standard that the Court should apply when reviewing an executive department’s interpretation of regulations that were promulgated under federal legislation.The issue in Auer was whether or not sergeants and lieutenants who were working for the St. Louis Police Department should receive overtime pay. Overtime pay requirements were established by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and regulations determining whether an employee was covered by this requirement were issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Secretary of Labor issued an interpretation of the regulations and the court considered whether or not it should defer to this interpretation.The Court gave deference to the DOL’s interpretation because his interpretation was controlling unless plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation, which it found it was not.


The Case at Hand


Kisor, a Vietnam War veteran, reopened a claim for disability benefits based on newly found evidence supporting a diagnosis of PTSD. While the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) approved Kisor’s 2006claim for benefits, it refused to grant benefits going back to his initial claim in 1983. The VA’s reasoning ws that Kisor failed to provide relevant service records required for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals deferred to the VA’s interpretation of its own regulations finding in favor of the agency.


How much deference agencies should receive is a central issue in administrative law and, not surprisingly, conservatives – both justices and attorneys – have criticized Auer deference. In fact, the late Justice Scalia voiced concern on this very issue in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association. Auer deference expands Chevron deference, by giving an agency the highest level of deference. In Chevron, there was a two-step standard a court had to follow when reviewing an agency’s decision; Auer did not adopt this two-step process.


The  Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the Kisor case next year.


Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting Acquires Ancillary Legal Corporation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        October 19, 2018

Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting Acquires Ancillary Legal Corporation

With the new acquisition, Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting is offering more services, including
nationwide and international process serving.

ATLANTA – Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting continues to expand its services with its recent acquisition of Ancillary Legal Corporation. Ancillary is a reputable Atlanta-based litigation services company, which provides law firms from all over the world with full service legal support. Together, the two companies offer top-notch, start-to-finish litigation services.

“Our acquisition of Ancillary Legal Corporation will boost our services and create convenience for our clients,” said Elizabeth Gallo, Owner of Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting. “Now, law firms can find all of their litigation services housed under one roof.”

With the new acquisition, Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting’s clients have even more services to choose from, including nationwide and international service of process. Clients can also take advantage of extended services such as skip tracing, obtaining evidence abroad, intake services, court filing, legal videographers, video editing, videoconferencing, translation services, asset searches, investigative services, trial preparation, and trial presentation services. Litigators who need court reporting services can depend on Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting for a high level of performance at competitive prices.

Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting is ready and available to help law firms streamline their legal practice by quickly and professionally providing them with the services that they need. The company prepares precise and clean transcripts with a fast turnaround and provides exceptional customer service. Clients can take advantage of online scheduling and they are granted secure online access to files through the company’s portal.

Over the last several years, Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting has expanded to include additional legal services. Now, EGCR will offer even more services with the purchase of Ancillary. To schedule litigation services, visit https://www.georgiareporting.com/.

About Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting, LLC

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting has worked with law firms of every size and has produced accurate and timely transcripts with exceptional customer service. Since EGCR was founded in 2006, the company has handled relatively simple and extremely complex matters of litigation with a high level of performance. The team of qualified court reporters has worked on various cases including patent law, personal injury, medical malpractice, construction litigation, insurance disputes, business matters, contract disputes, employment law, family law, worker’s compensation, and more. Visit https://www.georgiareporting.com/about-us/ to learn how Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting is transforming the litigation services industry.