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The Court Reporter Fall 2014
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For Professionals in Electronic / Digital Court Technology
The Court Reporter           

Editor: Gail Malm Armstrong, CER, CET                    Volume 19, Number 4 - Fall Edition
Editor: Dena Page, CET


In This Issue

President's Message

Executive Corner

AAERT Champions Digital Reporting at AJA

Working from Home

Shortcuts Corner

English Word Origins

Life in Ireland

Mentoring-Final Series

The AAERT Continuing Education Process

The BUZZ - Tech Devices

The Nature of Words

Punctuation is POWERFUL!

Mystery Words-Take the Challenge

Newly Certified Members

Welcome New Members

Member Benefit Discounts

Shortcuts Corner
by SpeedTypeTM

Would you like to be able to categorize your shortcuts or brief forms for a particular transcript, case history, or deposition?
Check out some keystroke-saving techniques

Congratulations to our Newly Certified Members:

Please note: AAERT is in the process of trademarking our Certification Designations CER & CET. AAERT will no longer use the CERT designation as a "combined" designation after the member's name. See the examples below with our newly certified members.

Beth Roots, CET
Washington, DC

A Warm Welcome to our New Individual Members:

Justin Abbott

Hannah Marie Allen
New York

Dawn Augustine

Marian R. Bednar

Katherine K. Bosque

Tabitha Brooks

Terri Brown

Tanya Congo

Evelyn Espinoza

Dani Gordon

Kira Gross

Gustina Hogue, CET

Janira M. Irizarry
Puerto Rico

Leslie Kujawa
North Carolina

Juliana Link

Michael McDonner

Daniel Michon
Washington, DC

Frances Moehle

Brittany Moore
North Carolina

Jeanne Oliva

Andrea Pritchett
New Jersey

Adrienne Rodriguez

Martha Rodriguez

Cameron Sharp
Washington, DC

Missy Sikora

Constance Smith

Janell Denise Snell

Tracy Vergollo
New Jersey

Courtney Wiggins

Meghan Willis

Lindsay Yates

New Corporate Members:

Bay Area Court Reporting
Tammy Komori

AAERT Committees and Chairs

Ray Vetter, CER

Geoffrey Hunt

  • Website:
    Geoffrey Hunt
  • Social Media:
    Gail Malm Armstrong, CER, CET
  • Newsletter:
    Gail Malm Armstrong, CER, CET

Conference Education:
Margaret Morgan, CER, CET

Tonie Wallace

Government Relations:
Rick Russell

Steve Townsend

AAERT Online Certified Exams, Recertification and CEUs

In January of 2014 AAERT implemented a new process for our exams for CER & CET designation titles. We are pleased to announce that our new Online Certification process is going smoothly, and we continue to improve the exam procedures and content as we move forward. You can view our Exam Calendar on our website under the Fees and Deadlines Tab.

Along with our Online Certification, we have incorporated a Recertification process for our CER and CET designations. This process is not something new to a certification process, but it is new to AAERT. Recertification allows our members to continue to raise the bar on their professionalism through continued education and community and association involvement.

Anyone holding a CER, CET, or a combination of both, and tested prior to January 1, 2013, will be required to be recertified with 2.0 CEU credits or take a one and a half hour class offered at our 2014 and 2015 conference prior to their 2015 membership renewal date.

Anyone holding a CER, CET or a combination of both, and tested after January 1, 2013, will be required to be recertified with 3.0 CEU credits before the expiration date on their Certification Certificate.

Further information can be found on the AAERT website on the Recertification Tab, or you may contact the AAERT Office.

AAERT will continue to update and improve our list of ways to earn CEUs, and members will be notified via email of these changes.




Tech Devices You Can't Live Without

Safe Storage
Boogie Boards for Digital Notes.
Scrap the spiral notebook. Boogie Boards let you create page after page of notes and drawings with a stylus.


Cloud Cover
No more monthly fees for preserving data.
Western Digital's My Cloud is your own personal storage locker. $150 for 2TB

Got Your Ears On?
What kind of listening do you prefer?
Bose offers QuietComfort 2Oi
Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones with full noise reduction or select the "aware mode" to hear both your work and the work outside.

AAERT Member Benefits

Below is a reminder of the various Member Benefit Discounts we have for our AAERT members. For a complete listing and more information, check out our AAERT Members Benefits Page on our website.

American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers, Inc.

P.O. Box 9826
Wilmington, DE 19809


Hello @@first_name@@ - We hope you enjoy this issue of The Court Reporter. Don't forget that you can submit an article and earn CEU credits if the article is published. Please send your articles, comments regarding this publication or format suggestions to Gail at

President's Message

by Buck Ewing

I hope my message finds you well and happy. Here in New England autumn is in the air, the leaves are turning, and the temperature is getting crisp.

Good things are happening in our Association and within our industry—we have much to be thankful for.

Since our annual meeting, AAERT is proud to announce two important events. The first is historic. Using new collaborative software, FTR Falcon, AAERT recently demonstrated that E-Reporting can deliver “near real-time” transcripts from transcribers in remote locations.

Two years ago, ....

Read the Full Article

Executive Corner

by Michael F. Tannen, CSEP

Leadership is a challenging task and rarely easy. Most would agree. It is my belief that AAERT has done an impressive job of finding talented and self-sacrificing volunteers and leaders. Some of these among us have advanced on to important positions of leadership within AAERT and eventually occupying the seat as President. A quote that comes to my mind from Dale Carnegie is, “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” I would have to reflect that one of the hardest jobs arose at the birth of AAERT. At that time a devoted Board of Directors and a small band of volunteer members worked together to guide and direct our association to where it stands tall today, respected and with a strong, clarion voice. Having said this, I see many more challenging tasks ahead, but I am very confident that AAERT will succeed and rise to even greater heights.

One of the board members that I became acquainted with when I became your Executive Director some four years ago was Jim Bowen, CER. Jim, who recently resigned from a Director position on our Board and is our current Immediate-Past President, was one of those trailblazers who helped propel AAERT to the credible position it holds today. Jim was a selfless volunteer and energetic Board member, the type of person any Executive Director would love to work with and have in a leadership position in any association. Jim recently resigned to devote more time and effort to his business and home life. No one can question that decision, and I applaud his years of devotion to AAERT. My hope is that every member will at some point personally thank him for his skilled direction and years of unstintingly giving of his energy and time. I am confident that Jim will continue to exert himself on behalf of AAERT and this industry.

Winston Churchill once said, “It’s always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see." With Jim’s experience on the board and the groundwork that he and many others have laid, AAERT will continue to look forward. When we continue to cultivate leaders within AAERT, when we continue to build stronger member involvement, and when we continue to look ahead to the bright future for this industry, our vision as an association will be strong and clear. There are giants among us.

AAERT Champions Digital Reporting
as the American Judges Association Watches

by Margaret Morgan, CER, CET

(L/R: Kurt Maddox, FTR; Michael Tannen, AAERT; Buck Ewing, AAERT;
SueLynn Morgan, FTR; Margaret Morgan, AAERT & Tony Douglass, FTR)

On Monday October 6, 2014 AAERT partnered with FTR to demonstrate an impressive display of digital reporting and transcription technology at the 54th Annual Conference of the American Judges Association in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a collaboration of the various e-reporting and transcription professionals, including transcribers, transcription company managers, computer technicians, the AAERT Executive Committee and Board of Directors, as well as the good folks at FTR. Because of the dedication of everyone involved, the project was a great success.


Professor Fredric Lederer's presentation on courtroom technology was digitally recorded using ....

Read the Full Article


Working from Home: It was Easier when the Kids were Young

by Penina Wolicki, CET

I have five sons, but that's an article for a different day. I just thought that would help set the stage.

By the time my fourth son was born seventeen years ago, I had been building up a small, at-home typing and translating business. I decided to make it official at that point and opened up a home office. I retained a very part-time job outside of the house that took up nine hours of my week.

Sometime after my fifth son was born, almost two years later, I came to a mutual arrangement with my employer that anything they needed me to do I could do from home, and I would work for them on a purely contractual basis, a win-win for us all.

Over the years, many people have commented that it must be difficult to work at home. I've always disagreed.

Read the Full Article

English Word Origins: Their Romantic Stories 
by Christine Jackman, CET

My 23 years of experience as a verbatim court reporter within a successful and targeted business career of 40 years has its roots in my early childhood.

One of my first childhood memories is at the age of four with my father. He took me to the Boise Public Library in Boise, Idaho to get my very first, my very own library card. You see, my father read me a story before bed every night for the first four years of my life.

In 1960, when I was four years old, I could read to my father. He continued to read to me those bedtime stories until I was nine only because I asked him to. Reading is the most precious gift my father ever gave to me.

When he ....

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Life in Ireland... and how it made me a better transcriber

by Dena Page, CET

I lived in Ireland for about 4-1/2 years, from 2002 until 2006. I moved there with my family "for the craic" (fun). At the time, I was a behavior specialist (well, a behaviour specialist, actually) for young children with autism. I had no idea my future would ultimately lead me to a career in transcription. At the time, all I knew was that I was going on an adventure, living in Ireland.

When I arrived, there were so many things I just didn't understand. I had heard the saying "two countries separated by a common language," but I did NOT appreciate how true that was until I found myself constantly confused. It started early on with the tour of the kitchen of our new apartment: "Here's your cooker." Who knew that you cook on a cooker, not a stove. Every day, we were learning new things. New words, new pronunciations for old words, new sayings, new mannerisms.

Read the Full Article



Mentoring - Motivation, Momentum, and Teamwork

by Gail Malm Armstrong, CER, CET

"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."
Benjamin Franklin


Mentor: An experienced person who helps someone who has less experience, especially in their job to fully function, navigate, and become independent.

Enabler: An experienced person who makes it possible for someone who has less experience to remain dependent and who performs work that the learner could do for himself.

Read the Full Article


The AAERT Continuing Education Process
Keep Your Skills Fresh

Once you have earned your CER or CET designation, AAERT requires you to recertify every three (3) years and be a member in good standing during the 3 years to maintain your designation. CEU credits required every three (3) years are 3.0 CEU credits, along with your Recertification Fee.

CEU classes / courses are a reminder of things you may have forgotten, and if you've developed bad habits along the way in your career, they will help get you back on track.

Numbered certificates are granted under two headings:
CERSM (certified electronic court reporter)
CETSM (certified electronic transcriber)

Any CER or CET who fails to recertify by the deadline assigned to their certification will lose their CER or CET status and will be removed from our certified member list.


AAERT Annual Conference Attendance - .75 CEU for one day;
1.50 CEU for a full conference

College courses, Grade "C" or above, restrictions apply - 1.0 CEU (Online College Courses will be considered a College Course if your Online Course would hold the same value of College Credits as if you were attending the course in person at the college.) Correspondence courses, AAERT Approved Company Training classes and Industry Webinars .50 CEU

AAERT One Day Business Forum Attendance (Corporate Members Only) - .75 CEU

Speak or Present at an AAERT or Industry Meeting - .25 CEU

Writing an Article for AAERT (For use in The Court Reporter or for social media.) - .25 CEU

Actively holding an AAERT Committee position - .25 CEU, per year

Approved Industry Conferences (NCRA, NVRA) - 1.50 CEU for a full conference

Adult education classes, not taken for college credit - .10 CEU

CPR and First Aid Courses - .10 CEU

CER or CET Emeritus Status

Emeritus Status

Any current CER or CET who reaches the age of 59 years of age AND has held a CER or CET in good standing for a minimum of 6 years may apply for an EMERITUS STATUS with AAERT.

To apply, the member must submit an essay (200 - 400 words) describing how your certification designation has helped you in your professional life and why you believe it's important to maintain the designation(s). The essay must be submitted before your recertification due date.

Proper payment must be submitted along with the essay. Once approved, the applicant will receive a new CER and / or CET Certificate with no expiration date assigned.

All of the above information, along with other important information, can be found on AAERT's website at the "Certification Online Info" tab. The forms, as well as more information regarding recertification can be found at the "Recertification" link on the right-hand side of the page.

The Nature of Words
by Laurel Stoddard, CET

In the lingering still-hot-in-Texas summer days of September, when I come home in the evening, I divest myself of office clothing in favor of shorts and a light top.


The root of this verb, vest, which first did apply to clothing oneself, came into usage around the end of the 16th century, from the Medieval Latin vestire, to dress, and the Latin investire, to clothe.

A noun related to this but 300 years older is

Read the Full Article

Punctuation is Powerful!

by Antoinette Franks, CET

Run-On Sentences: The Comma Splice

A run-on sentence, everyone has heard the term and generally has a firm grasp of what that is. However, the term "comma splice" is not readily used. What is a comma splice? A comma splice is, quite simply, a .....


Read the Full Article

Mystery Words - Take the Challenge
Don't Read Mysteries? Look What You're Missing:

____ 1. asperity

a. noxious, pestilential
____ 2. titivate

b. reproach
____ 3. mephitic
c. arrogance
____ 4. opprobrium
d. clandestine publishing system
____ 5. mumpsimus
e. exaggerated or excessive
____ 6. mendacious
f. acrimony
____ 7. hubris
g. emigration to escape
____ 8. hegira
h. spruce up
____ 9. samizdat
i. adherence to erroneous belief
____ 10. overweening
j. untruthful



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