Return to Top
AAERT AAERT AAERT AAERT AAERT AAERT
For Professionals in
Electronic / Digital Court Technology
Volume 15, Number 2 — Pre-Conference 2010
. . .
AAERT At Sea, 2010 Conference:
I have observed, firsthand, digital reporters (DRs) in Florida who
are using their laptop's internal microphone to record hearings and
The internal microphone on a laptop
was not designed for this purpose. It was designed to pick up the
voice of the user for applications such as Skype. In addition, the
closest sound to an internal mic will always be the user's fingers hitting
In short, utilizing anything but a minimum of two mics connected to a
mixer capable of separating the audio captured by those mics represents
a voluntary resignation of quality.
Furthermore, a compromised audio file takes away a digital reporter's
greatest competitive advantage:
verbatim transcription. Would
it make any sense for Steve Jobs to suddenly abandon efforts to keep
Apple computers relatively virus-free? Of course not, because it is
a distinct advantage that Apple holds over its competitors. As
digital reporters, it is equally unfathomable to voluntarily forgo our
ability to produce a true verbatim transcript through the use of inferior
I think maybe pockets of the digital reporting community, having not been
at all well-received by our stenographic and voice counterparts, have
forgotten that we are still court reporters. I know some states
may not yet recognize us as court reporters by name, but we are providing
the same function, literally. All court reporters, digital or not,
take down the record and produce a transcript.
How, then, are we to distinguish ourselves as DR's? Well, we are
able to provide the same service at a lower price than stenographers,
so cost savings must be the answer. Wrong. This is a trap that
cheapens everything the AAERT and DR community stands for. Is cost
savings a good way to get our foot in the door? Yes. However,
the larger reality is that digital court reporters are part of the
court reporting community, and court reporting has long been a business
based on relationships.
In business, just as in personal interactions, meaningful relationships
tend to be dictated by an individual's sense of self. For example,
if I find my identity in being a loving parent to my children, then
thoughts of my kids will permeate every aspect of my life. My kids
will be the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning and the
last thing before I go to bed at night.
What, then, of our communal identity as digital court reporters? What
is our first thought after stepping foot in the office in the morning
and last thought before leaving? Does a deep desire to provide a
true verbatim transcript pervade everything we do throughout the day,
or are we primarily concerned with cutting costs to provide a
Whatever path we choose, we will be making a name
for ourselves. I hope it is the kind of name that will foster
long, meaningful, business relationships and an impeccable reputation that
we can all enjoy as part of the DR community.
On April 22, 2010, the Louisiana House Judiciary Committee approved
House Bill 429 by a vote of 11 "yes" to 4 "no." House Bill 429 amends
Louisiana Law "relative to court reporters; to provide for qualifications;
to provide for definitions; to provide for the appointment of court
reporters; and to provide for related matters." The Bill (now law)
also specifically says:
"A 'certified reporter' is a person certified to engage in the practice of
court reporting . . . or certified to engage in the
practice of electronic reporting by the American Association of Electronic
Reporters and Transcribers . . ."
We believe the strength of our membership will grow as Louisiana reporters
seek to obtain AAERT membership and certification, and we're looking forward
with enthusiasm as this new law is put into effect. Here is a link to
the full text of the Bill:
In just over a month, we will set sail for the AAERT at Sea
event onboard the Carnival INSPIRATION cruise ship! It is still
not too late for you to join us, so if you are considering attending our
Conference, now would be a good time to contact Shelley Carey, our
designated travel agent, toll-free at 1-800-433-8249.
Plenty of cabin space is still available.
We have a very exciting lineup of guest speakers, starting with
The Hon. Robert Coonin, a family court judge from Delaware,
followed by Lillian I. Morson, lecturer, educator, and author
of Morson's English Guide for Court Reporters, who will be followed
by Petti Redding, a licensed occupational therapist, who will
teach office ergonomics.
We will also have "tech time" with our vendors:
Veri-Core, FTR, JAVS, and VIQ Solutions, where
we can discuss the features of their products, and afterwards open the
floor for a question-and-answer session.
And, of course, the AAERT at Sea event would not be possible without the
generous support of our sponsors:
AudioScribe, AVTranz, APLST, FTR Limited,
JAVS, J&J Court Transcribers, Morris McGuire
Reporting, Pengad, SpeedType, Sugar Land Transcripts,
Veri-Core, and VIQ Solutions.
Be present at the Veri-Core "tech time" and you could walk away the winner
of a flat screen TV! Be present for Lillian Morson's presentation,
and you could win a copy of Morson's English Guide for Court
Reporters. Be present for VIQ's presentation and be eligible to
win one of two table-top USB conference microphones. Be present for
FTR's presentation, and you could be the winner of a "mystery gift."
There are a lot of reasons to attend AAERT at Sea, which will focus
primarily on continuing to educate our membership on the many aspects of
electronic reporting and transcribing. For our 2010 Conference,
we'll mix in some sun and fun on a cruise ship headed for Mexico!
And be sure to cast your vote for the four open Director positions on the
AAERT Board. Your vote counts, so if you cannot make it to the
Annual Conference, please vote by proxy.
On March 19, 2010, the Board of Directors hired T-TEAM Management to help
ease our growing pains and to focus on ways to advance the mission of
AAERT through professional management efforts.
Michael Tannen, principal of T-TEAM, will be attending
our 2010 Conference, and will briefly address the membership about how
his company intends to further enrich the AAERT membership.
Congratulations to 2010's AAERT Award winners
Reporter of the Year, Stacie Jergenson
and Transcriber of the Year,
Janet Pryce (Oregon)!
Our next newsletter will follow the 2010 Conference. Hope to see
you on board the Carnival Inspiration for AAERT at Sea 2010!
Randel Raison, CET**D
venerable Oxford English Dictionary
has a flaw.
An Australian scientist recently pointed out that for 99 years now,
the word siphon has been incorrectly defined
in this magisterial reference work, an icon throughout the English-speaking
Siphons do their siphoning NOT because of atmospheric pressure, as OED has
held since 1911.
Rather, they work by simple, old-fashioned gravity.
OED's editors say they will stop the presses and fix the offending entry
— other dictionaries will no doubt follow suit.
But no one has explained why a scientist was looking up the word siphon.
Republic of Mauritius,
an island nation in the southwest Indian Ocean
east of Madagascar, is already using digital court recording.
Its DCRS system is now used for recording of court proceedings in all courtrooms
at the Supreme Court.
It is important to have an authoritative audio record here because,
although English is the only official language, most Mauritians speak a
French-English Creole and most newspapers and television
broadcasts are in French.
New York State Senator Onorato criticizes the Workers'
for going forward with a Digital Audio Recording Pilot Program
in contested on-the-job injury cases.
One day, Albany may even catch up with Mauritius
— (read about Mauritius in prior block).
The costs of court
The court system in Washoe County, Nevada — Reno, to most of us
— hasn't escaped the budget cut chopping block, but technology is
helping to make some of those cuts possible.
The local station KOLO-TV reports:
The National Archives
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about digital audio and video records.
— an emerging trend in law enforcement, according to Police Chief
After reading a friend's comment that she was looking forward to the
reprisal [sic] of a play that a small theater group had done
a couple of years ago, I started thinking again about
words that sound similar and can be confused,
but mean very different things.
According to the Online Etymological Dictionary, reprisal
arose in 1419 as "seizing property or citizens of another nation in
retaliation for loss inflicted on one's own," from Anglo-French
reprisaille (1352), from Old French reprisaille, from early
Italian ripresaglia, from the past participle of riprendere,
"to take back," from the Latin reprendere, earlier
reprehendere. The general sense of retaliation is from
My friend meant to write reprise, used for a repeat performance of a
play or a return to the first theme in a musical piece. It arose
around 1350-1400; Middle English from Middle French, "a taking back,"
through Old French from the Latin reprehendere, "to reprehend."
In this case, the two words do share the same beginning, but their usages
The Nature of Words
A mendicant is a beggar, copied in late Middle English from the Latin
mendicant, from mendic(us), "beggarly," while
mendacious, "untruthful or dishonest," comes from the Middle French
mendacieux, by way of the Latin mendacium, "a lie," related to
menda, "fault, defect, carelessness in writing."
And why is tribute, a recognition or commendation, so different from
a tribulation, a trial or suffering? Tribute comes to us
by way of the Middle English tribut, from the Latin tributum,
"a levied payment," from the use of tribuere, "to assign,
allot." Tribulation arises through Middle English from the
Latin tribulation, "distress, trouble," from tribulare
"to press, squeeze," derived from tribulum, "a threshing sledge."
Those little things, a different letter here, a different letter there,
make all the difference — as is true with so much in life.
Laurel H. Stoddard, CET
On The Record Reporting & Transcription, Inc. (Austin, Texas)
2010 Annual Business Meeting and Board election
As our Bylaws require, notice is now given to all AAERT members that
the Association will hold its Annual Business Meeting during our
17th Annual Conference.
Four Board positions will be filled by election, and other Association
business may be conducted.
Time: Friday, June 25, 2010, 2:30 p.m.
Place: Carnival INSPIRATION
Nominees for Board of Directors are:
Jim Bowen, CER
Luis Gomez, CCV
Janet Harris, CERT
Mary Henry, CET
Stacie Jergenson, CERT
Ken Kelemen, CER
Janet Pryce, CET
If you cannot attend Conference, you may
Click here for a downloadable proxy form
in PDF format. It contains complete instructions.
Mail or fax your proxy so it arrives by
Wednesday, June 9, 2010, at:
Lynn Gilstrap, AAERT Secretary
10506 Ayr Court
New Port Richey, Florida 34654
fax (352) 754-4267
Click here to view nominees' photos and bios
Committees and Governance
For further information, see
click here for a print (PDF) version
Randel Raison, President
Karen Bergstrom, Vice-President
Lynn Gilstrap, Secretary
James Bowen, Treasurer
Michael Tannen, T-TEAM Management
Sherry Simmons, T-TEAM Management
Tina Schaeffer, Chair
James Bowen, Chair
Randel Raison, Co-Chair
Margaret Morgan, Co-Chair
Michael Tannen, T-TEAM Management
Sherry Simmons, T-TEAM Management
The Court Reporter
Gillian Lawrence, Chair
Randel Raison, Board Liaison
Kenneth Kelemen, Chair
Mentoring Task Force
Gail Malm Armstrong
Planning Task Force
Janet Harris, Chair
Karen Bergstrom, Chair
Gail Malm Armstrong
Margaret Morgan, Chair
Stacie Jergenson is AAERT's Electronic Court Reporter of the
She is an Official Court Reporter for The Honorable Steven Drange in the
Eighth Judicial District, Litchfield, Minnesota.
In 1998 Stacie participated in a committee of Electronic Court Reporters
that successfully petitioned for pay equalization of all Minnesota court
reporters, regardless of method used to capture the record. Since 2000
Stacie has represented Minnesota electronic / digital reporters in drafting
and negotiating their employment contract, and she has been a union steward
since 2002. Stacie advocates for electronic/digital reporters with
State Court Administration regarding employment conditions, salary, and
benefits. She routinely addresses topics that focus on preserving the
position of the court reporter, regardless of method.
While working on a digital reporting pilot project in her courthouse, Stacie
worked closely with the vendor. Additionally, during all of these
professional activities, she returned to school and earned her Master's
Degree in Public Safety Executive Leadership through the Criminal Justice
Department at St. Cloud State University.
Stacie's judge says, "With Stacie there is no such thing as an unsolvable
problem. With each technological change in our business, she jumps
at the chance to try new things or to make improvement of the old way of
doing things. She would be very deserving of the award."
Kari Sieme, Teamsters business agent for Minnesota official court reporters,
said during negotiations that Stacie wisely picked her battles
". . . and, when she speaks, has very substantive comments
to make, not to mention astute observations."
Additionally, Stacie has served as co-chair of the Statewide LMC
(Labor Management Committee) for the Judicial Branch for the past two
years, and has done a good job.
Janet Pryce is AAERT's Electronic Court Transcriber of the
Janet holds CET**D with AAERT. She has been working from home
transcribing for courts, law firms, and law enforcement agencies for over
15 years. Her interest in the legal field began when she was hired by
the local sheriff's department as a dispatcher while still a teenager.
During her legal career she has worked as a court clerk, legal secretary
and a paralegal specializing in criminal cases.
As her children grew older and became involved in sports, school, and church
activities, it was important to Janet to be an active participant in their
activities, yet, of course, still earn a living. When a local judge
suggested she consider transcribing for the court, a career as a freelance
transcriber began. In addition to legal transcribing, she has
transcribed psychological evaluations for psychologists and psychiatrists,
and done medical transcribing for physicians in her local area.
Janet's educational background includes an A.A. degree in law enforcement
and B.S. degrees in both psychology and philosophy.
In 2007 she learned of AAERT, and in November of that same year passed the
certification exam. Since then she says, "I have found the resources
of AAERT and its members to be invaluable. When I began my
transcribing career, I had only a few transcripts obtained from the local
courts to guide me, and didn't know anyone else working as a transcriber.
My hope is to be able to reach out to other transcribers, as well as
court and law enforcement staff, to share information and to foster the
mission of AAERT."
Janet is a single mother of two great kids and lives and works in Eastern
Newly Certified Members
at AAERT's examinations since the last issue of The Court Reporter:
Congratulations and our very best wishes to these candidates
who earned their initial or obtained upgraded certifications!
Geraldine Ashley, CET**D
Rosario M. Chavez, CET**D
Cinnamon N. Fuller, CET**D
William Joshua Garling, CET**D
Deborah Leah Gonzalez, CER**D
Shelly Owen Heatherdale, CET**D
Keisha Nadine Heflin, CET**D
Michelle Lee Hirt, CET**D
Loretta Lee, CET**D
Alexandra MacDonald, CET**D
Tami Sue Mayes, CET**D
Frankie M. McDonald, CERT*D
Kent J. Odell, CER
Carlos A. Rugel, CER**D
Elizabeth Stillman, CET**D
Cynthia C. Thierry, CET**D
Erica Leigh Van Ostrand, CERT*D
Arlene Theresa Williams, CET**D
— New Mexico
A general discussion of the program and a current schedule is at
Tina Schaeffer, CERT
A warm welcome to our new members
since the last issue of The Court Reporter
Members can go to the Association's on-line Directories by clicking
Those who do not wish to appear in on-line
listings are shown with initials only:
Danielle K. Auger, New Hampshire
Melinda A. Berrios, Florida
Ruth Brickner, Louisiana
Michael J. Butler, New Jersey
P.C., New York
Michael Connolly, California
Sherry Dawn Connolly, California
Cory M.S. Davis, Ohio
Gabrielle V. DeCrescenzo, Pennsylvania
Janet S. Dickens, Pennsylvania
Marlene Rice Enders, Louisiana
Lisa B. Ferguson, Florida
Lesley Fujarczyk, Colorado
Judy B. Gonsalves, Massachusetts
Janne R. Graham, California
Kristie Lynn Gross, Florida
Jessica Leigh Guyett, Florida
Anna Lee M. Halsig, Colorado
Frank R. James, Florida
Lisa Paulette Jones, Georgia
Niki L. Jones, Florida
Jean M. Lindvig, North Dakota
Jacqueline F. Madison, Arizona
Clarel Manresa, Florida
Lisa Robin Miskanic, Florida
Lindsay Alice Orange, Florida
Reid Bryce Robbins, Minnesota
Jane Julissa Rodriguez, Florida
Wanda G. Sprague, Colorado
Cheryl Ann Temple, Florida
Carolyn Diane Wilson, Louisiana
AAERT Membership Benefits
Review the details of these offers in the Members Area of our
or click on these company logos:
court reporting equipment and supplies
professional liability and disability insurance at
Contact the Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Court Reporter is published by
The American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers, Inc.,
which reserves all rights, whether in electronic or print modalities. © 2010.
Randel Raison, CET, President
P.O. Box 9826 /
Wilmington, Delaware 19809-9826
AAERT AAERT AAERT AAERT AAERT AAERT