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Court Reporting

Important Information You Should Know About Court Reporting Services

Posted By Augy Bartels

Not many people have an understanding of the court reporter’s role in the litigation processes of today. Most people view a court reporter as that quiet individual who sits in the background when testimonies are given. Court reporters have and always remain an official keeper of records. However, there is a lot more that legal professionals and lawyers should be aware of court reporting as well as the court reporters of today.

Here are a few important factors to consider:

•The knowledge and skills associated with technology and court reporters can assist you in either losing or winning a case.

•Court reporters have different skill sets.

•Not all the court reporters will have or use the very same resources.

•Certain court reports could have business relations with opposition.

Court Reporter Types

There are two main court reporting types in the U.S. The first are the court reporters who work for the courts and judges and are typically known as “official” court reporters. Many years ago, this was the sole type of reporter. Today, as the demands started to increase for officers of courts in offering reporting services which fall outside of a courtroom, “independent” court reporters started to emerge. Today the “official” and “independent” court reporters are both regarded as officers of a court.

Traditionally, official reporters were government employees that were employed within a court system where they worked. Today, various jurisdictions now rely on the “independent” court reporting companies to offer courts with a court reporter associated with a “contract” basis. Many jurisdictions have found that hiring a court reporter on a contract basis has resulted in a significant decrease in expenses. This particular scenario is very common in Florida. In this state, the “official” court reporter is an “independent” court reporter. The independent court reporters are not employees of a court, but still, the officer of a court which offers their court-reporting services.

Typically there are currently two categories in regards to the “independent” court reporters. The first is an independent court reporter who works on an individual basis known as a type of sole practitioner. In the role of sole practitioners, these court reporters will often work mainly with limited amounts of clients. These court reporter types are also common when it comes to the rural areas. The 2nd category of the independent court reporters is the type which is affiliated with either a single or numerous court reporting companies, where they will be an employee of a firm or an independent type contractor for more than one firm.

Court Reporting Types

There are various methods used for reporting. Most people when thinking about court reporting will relate to the “stenographic” method. Many years ago, the stenographer used for court reporting was in most cases a pen writer. This particular method is still in practice in limited sections across the U.S.

The next method that is commonly practiced in a variety of areas is known as the “mask” reporter. These reporters wear masks and practice a technique of repeating what they have heard to themselves, identifying the different speakers that are recorded onto an audiotape that they use to the transcript at a later stage. In certain jurisdictions, the court reporters use tape recorders. This method involves taping the proceedings, and the court reporter later interprets and transcribes these tapes.

It is important to know that not all of the court reporters use or have access to the “same” resources. At the same time, not all of the court reporting companies uses the “same” resources. Some court reporters that are available within a geographical area and some these reporters that have advanced experience levels and skill sets, along with the savvy and investment in regards to technology often result in variances that are significant when it comes to available resources.

Certifications And Qualifications

The court reporters of today have to obtain an education that is considerable as well as develop significant skill sets to successfully perform and work within the marketplace. Not many professionals at various levels will be required to hold an understanding that is as varied of grammar, language, and terminologies that are utilized by just about every type of profession that you can imagine. Court reporters have to have an understanding of the technical and specific conversations of engineers, lawyers, and doctors of every type while at the same time accommodating for the variations on the actual English language which the “world without borders” has made inevitable.

Over and above these skill sets, court reporters must also have an up to date knowledge in regards to technology as well as have an understanding of the potential application and impact in the litigation processes, especially when it applies to a recording, and then archiving or retrieval of these records.

According to the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association), the initial step involved in becoming a recognized court reporter that has a certification that is nationally recognized would be to pass the examination for the RPR (Registered Professional Reporter) Certification. To complete this task, the candidate has to be able to take diction in regards to the literary matter at a minimum of 180 wpm (words per minute), and jury charge based on 200 wpm, and questions-and-answers or testimony of 225 wpm. These candidates are allowed 3 and half hours in which to transcribe these notes and will need to achieve at least 95% accuracy to pass this entry level.

This is followed by taking and as well as passing a written skills and written knowledge test. Once the candidate has achieved the certification, they are required to participate in the NCRA’s education program (continuing) to stay certified.

The next level is known as the RMR (Registered Merit Reporter). Once the person has become an RPR and maintained this status for a minimum of 3 years, the candidate will be permitted to take the RMR exam. This examination involves various components that include the written knowledge testing.

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  • 7 months ago

Blog Intellectual Property

Problems to Avoid When It Comes to Your Intellectual Property

Posted By Augy Bartels

Almost every business has some intellectual property. Intellectual property can cause problems if not handled and protected in the right way. The best way to avoid causing or dealing with intellectual property problems is to have an expert advisor who can help you identify your intellectual property and help you protect it. Business owners may face these intellectual property problems:

Other people profiting from your property. It can happen that other businesses or individuals see how well your products are doing and find ways to profit from it. They could change small things to make it look a little different and make money from it. If they are clever, they will change it just enough so you cannot sue them.

Incomplete understanding of the laws. Many businesses or artists are not clued up with what exactly their intellectual property is and what laws pertain to it. They don’t know how to protect their property. On the other side of the coin, many people who use the Internet, think because images or other content are online, they can just use it and it is not illegal.

No legal advisor. Not having a legal advisor to help you identify and protect your intellectual property can cause you a lot of problems. If you don’t file the right paperwork or use the correct applications for copyrights or trademarks, you can cause yourself a lot of problems. An intellectual property lawyer will also be able to give you advice on which routes to follow when someone infringes on your rights or when you are accused of infringement.

People borrowing or stealing your property. With everything being online and easy to copy these days, people can very easily copy content, statistics, pictures, processes, etc. Some businesses make use of applications like Copyscape to see when someone is borrowing or stealing their content. It is very easy for people to just copy and paste and pass off your work as their own.

You can avoid these problems by educating yourself and getting advice from a lawyer. Your intellectual property is a very important part of your business and it should be well-protected.

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  • 7 months ago

Blog Intellectual Property

4 Most Common Errors that Businesses Make with Their Intellectual Property Rights

Posted By Augy Bartels

Your business most likely has intellectual property that you want to protect. You will also most likely at one point or another find that someone is using your property as their own. It is important to know your rights and know what you can and cannot do. If you are not informed and do not have a lawyer to advise you, you can easily make mistakes that can cost you. Look out for these common errors when it comes to your intellectual property rights.

1. Making yourself guilty of infringement – Whether it is deliberate or accidental, you should take precautions and be very careful to not make yourself guilty of using other people’s intellectual property. You will be fined for such actions.

2. You don’t specify ownership – Sometimes intellectual property belongs to a group or different parties. This is usually when they all had some contribution to the production of the property. It is very important to clearly decide and state who the intellectual property belongs to. This will make things easier when it comes to your rights and infringement issues.

3. You don’t use non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements – If you are inventing, creating, or improving any type of intellectual property, you should make sure that everyone involved agrees to and signs non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements. It is quite easy to bribe someone to share information. If you are protected, you should have fewer problems or at least be able to prosecute the guilty parties when something like that happens.

4. Late applications for patents – There are rules involved when you apply for patents. Make sure you know these rules and adhere to them to make sure you can protect your intellectual property. If don’t adhere to the rules, you can lose out on the edge your company has.

These are only a few mistakes that are commonly made. People also forget to secure their software and copyrights or they make the scope of their claim to broad or too narrow. We said it before, but we’ll say it again: get yourself an intellectual property legal expert.

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  • 7 months ago

Blog Intellectual Property

Famous Intellectual Property Cases Involving Well-Known Public Figures

Posted By Augy Bartels

Intellectual property can be anything from company procedures to paintings to tattoos to a book. Infringement of intellectual property rights does not only happen to unknown people but also to public figures like actors, movie houses, and inventors. Here are a few of the world’s most famous intellectual property cases.

Isaac Newton versus Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz got involved in a battle over who invented the study of calculus. Leibniz was the first to publish papers on the topic, but Newton had apparently done work in this field before Leibniz. Leibniz died before the issue could be resolved, but most people today accept that they both invented the field and that they came to their findings independently.

S. Victor Whitmille versus Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

S. Victor Whitmille is the tattoo artist who designed and has copyright on the tattoo on Mike Tyson’s face. A copy of this tattoo was used in the movie The Hangover 2 and Whitmill filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. claiming infringement of his copyright. The case was ended with an agreement between the two parties.

Lucasfilm Ltd. Versus High Frontier and Lucasfilm versus Committee for a Strong Peaceful America

This is a case involving interest groups, politicians, journalists and scientists. Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) is a term that was associated with the Star Wars movies produced by Lucasfilm. In the mid-1980s, politicians, journalists and scientists chose to name the Reagan administration SDI. This did not sit well with Lucasfilm as it would make the connotations to the term negative and would possibly influence the Star Wars franchise. So, Lucasfilm filed a lawsuit against High Frontier and the Committee for a Strong Peaceful America. The court ruled against Lucasfilm.
These three cases are just a handful of the famous cases. There have been intellectual property cases against Napster, against shoe companies, against record companies, and much more. It really is very easy to make yourself guilty of copyright infringement. Make sure you don’t make yourself guilty.

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  • 7 months ago

Court Reporting

Court Reporting 101: Understanding The Basic Duties Of A Court Reporter

Posted By Augy Bartels

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a court reporter? These legal professionals are tasked with the responsibility of typing out everything that is said by the lawyers, judge, and witnesses during a trial.

They sit up at the front of the courtroom where they can clearly hear everything that is happening. As words are spoken, they type them into a special shorthand machine known as a stenotype. Without this device, it would be impossible for them to type fast enough to keep up with what was being said. After all, people can talk much more quickly than anyone is capable of typing.

A court reporter’s duties don’t end there, however. They also have to be ready to read back portions of the transcript on request during the trial. For instance, one of the lawyers may ask them to go back to a certain time in the testimony to read what a particular witness said. This can help them point out contradictions or highlight specific parts of the testimony that they want the judge or jury to pay particular attention to.

Court reporters also are in charge of editing the transcript to remove any errors. That way, a clean copy that is free from typos can be delivered to the judge or jury. They can then use the transcript if they need to refer to it during deliberations. For instance, if they can’t quite remember exactly what a witness said, they can look it up in the transcript. This can be essential for helping them to render a fair and just verdict in the case.

Another duty that court reporters are tasked with is filing a copy of the transcript with the court. The transcript then becomes a part of the official record for the case and is appropriately cataloged according to whatever system the court has in place.

Hopefully, this introduction to court reporting gives you a better idea of exactly what a court reporter does. Accuracy is essential for court reporters. After all, the outcome of the case often relies on the jury being able to check the record to see what a particular witness said. That is why it is so important for court reporters to ensure that the transcripts they create are completely free from errors and that they accurately represent every single word that was said in the courtroom during the trial.

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Trial Technology

Hiring A Trial Hot Seat Operator

Posted By Augy Bartels

A trial hot seat operator is an important part of the courtroom because they handle tasks that make the transition smoother. Not just anyone can do that a hot seat operator does without some training. Think about the following tips before hiring a trial hot seat operator for your court cases.

It is a common misconception that all operators come with the same set of skills. Simply running a slide show program is something that anyone can do, but that’s not all it takes to work successfully in a trial. A hot seat operator must be able to use all kinds of hardware and software and be able to fix any problems that may come up. Pay close attention to an operators skills and make clear qualifications when hiring.

The trial hot seat operator will be working as part of the trial team, and their personality and work style will come into play. Some members of the team may be willing to work all night long, and others will quit as soon as court is over for the day. If you can find a hot seat operator who meshes well with your current team’s habits and mentality, don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money on them when hiring. Overall, the team will be more cohesive with this kind of hot seat operator, and the trial outcome will be better.

Give the potential operator a little test to see how they would handle things. Make a mock situation where the operator would have to do something stressful, like quickly editing a video or bringing up documents and see how they react. The operator has to work in tune with your demands and be able to see what’s coming next. They should also be able to handle a situation in multiple ways, just in case one solution doesn’t work out as intended.

A trial seat operator shouldn’t be considered if they don’t have any references to back them up. When hiring, think of them in the same way as someone that you are hiring for a full-time job. Don’t be fooled by flashy websites and graphics, because their work will speak for itself. A long list of clients isn’t always the whole story with references, because not every firm wants their work on display. A brief list of key references from top law firms and companies will paint a picture of how great an operator is in the court room.

The hot seat operator will come in hand and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Think carefully before hiring one, use the tips, and make sure they are up to your standards.

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Trial Technology

Trial Technologies Help You Win Cases For Your Clients

Posted By Augy Bartels

When you are in the business of practicing law, your overriding concern is winning cases for your clients. Even better yet is resolving situations before they even get to a courtroom. Being known as someone who wins is critical to your reputation, which eventually determines how many clients you draw and your monetary success in this career. When you know how to get things done, word spreads, and you can start raising your rates because hiring you is an investment in your win percentage and ability to get things done.

There are many facets to winning as a lawyer, ranging from knowledge of the law to sharp intellect and cunning wit, to having the right temperament, fortitude, and personal skills for the job. However, having access to the right trial technologies is something more and more firms are turning to in their quest to get a leg up on their competitors or the prosecution or attorneys they are battling or contending with at the time.

Many situations are prevented from every going to court because something is discovered or brought to light during discovery that is used to leverage a settlement or force someone to drop their case. Three decades ago, this involved tons and tons of paperwork with seemingly endless boxes of documents to sift through. That still happens a lot, but in a digital age, trial technologies mean having ways to sift through things like chat logs, photos, social media posts, and emails. Many legal situations were concluded thanks to one single email.

Trial technologies are also used in recording depositions. When recorded with the right caliber technology, these depositions are often admissible into court as solid evidence, given the quality of the recordings. One single moment of footage of someone admitting something, denying something obviously, or just dodging a question can be enough to tank the opposition’s case or make your own successful.

In the event a trial is going to happen, trial technologies take center stage in mock courtrooms. Lawyers, plaintiffs, defendants, and witnesses can participate in mock trials that involve video productions, lights, sound, and even a fake judge and jury. Law firms can field test various courtroom strategies to see how well they play with a prospective jury, and then know the odds of probable success each tactic has so they go into actual trial well-prepared.

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Intellectual Property

How Intellectual Property Laws Can Affect Small And Large Creators

Posted By Augy Bartels

When it comes to protecting our cars, homes, and personal property we’re all experts to some extent. We lock our doors, windows, cars, and gates at night, have insurance in case something goes wrong, and the police will lock the thieves up if they’re caught. On the other hand, when it comes to the things that we create and sell it’s not so easy. In the past, if you made a record it was almost impossible to copy, then came tape recorders. CDs were harder to copy, but now there are CD recorders too. Now, with the digital age, almost anything can be copied for almost zero cost and then resold to make a profit. Things that we create come in all shapes and sizes as do the ways that we have to protect them from being stolen and resold.

Intellectual Property Comes In Several Basic Forms

Most people don’t realize how much intellectual property there is all around them that they use each and every day, legally, of course. It involves nearly anything that a person creates in their mind like designs, music, movies, works of art, inventions, ideas, and even choreographic works as well.

When a person creates a property that they wish to protect from being stolen, used inappropriately, or used without compensation, they’ll copyright it. It can include things that they never published or that were published and sold. The copyrights will last for a definite period and then the original works are free for all to use. Many copyrights last until 70 years after the death of the author.

Other things that are not works of art or literacy need to be patented. These are usually processes, machines, biological discoveries, manufacturing designs and other things that are typically made from real matter like they can be touched, but not always. And then there are trade secrets and trademarks which are things that give a business an advantage in the marketplace or used in marketing. The Coca-Cola symbol is a trademark, and if you try and copy it, they’ll take you to court.

For Most Small Entrepreneurs Self-Protection Is All They Have

For many millions of creators that sell intellectual property online the only way they can protect their products is by being proactive online and shutting down the thieves. They have to keep tabs on who is trying to resell their products for cash or share them online for free and then take measures to block them. This can be a tedious endeavor and impossible to do at times, here are some tips on that.

The first thing you can do is try to copy protect all of your creations. So if you write an ebook then make sure that the PDF file that it comes in has copy protection installed. This will keep a huge number of small time thieves from freely sharing your work online and with friends. If your product is in certain niches, that’s probably all you have to do. If you sell on the computer, the internet, or online niche, you’ll have to do much more, however.

Then, you should set up a Google Alert with the name of your product and immediate email notification. Then if someone tries to copy and sell or share your product, Google will send you a notification immediately to your email. At that time, you’ll have to file a DCMA action to get Google to de-list the offending post, and if the file is shared online another DCMA complaint to the file sharing sites to get them to delete the files. This can be an ongoing process involving up to an hour per day of your time, but it could be well worth it depending on the value of your intellectual property. There are also companies that will do the work for you, they charge for their services, but that may well be worth it too.

If you’re selling software, the best way to stop the thieves is to have a good password system in place so that only buyers can open and use it. Another, more recent, development is to make the software cloud based which keeps any software hackers and crackers from stealing your software and unblocking the password protection.

Unfortunately, Many Countries Ignore Intellectual Property Law Violations

While many countries have signed the World Intellectual Property Organization  Convention, many of them do not enforce the laws at all. In most third world countries you can buy copied CDs, DVDs, artificial brand name goods, and almost any other item you want from sidewalk vendors or business to business peddlers. The police won’t waste their time arresting the sellers or their distributors because the District Attorneys won’t prosecute them.

Some countries are well-known copyright infringers and even sell their goods online and ship overseas, but since they are so big, they’re impossible to stop. Most of the countries in Asia fit this description, and there isn’t much that can be done about it.

There Are Intellectual Property Lawyers For Important Causes

Many companies will keep an Intellectual Property Lawyer on retainer for fighting those that steal their works without paying for them. Industries such as the movie and music distributors are well known for going after people that copy and share their works, and they have been successful in deterring future thieves from starting. There have been some well-publicized cases where even teenagers were taken to court and prosecuted for music theft or movie theft and ended up owing many millions of dollars in fines. These cases do deter many of the small time thieves, and their parents, so they do serve a purpose and are effective.

The other times that lawyers have made their mark is when patents, inventions, trademarks and corporate secrets are stolen, so it’s well worth retaining an attorney in those instances where the value of the property is worth the cost of the legal action.

If you are an intellectual property creator, you have to decide whether your time is better spent creating more content or defending the content already created. In some industries, it’s easy to decide while others, not. If you’re in doubt, you can make an appointment with a lawyer that specializes in defending copyrights and intellectual property to get a better idea of what you’re up against and weigh that against the costs of taking legal action.

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