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The Court Reporter Conference 2010
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For Professionals in Electronic / Digital Court Technology

Volume 15, Number 2 — Pre-Conference 2010 . . .



This brand is your brand . . . 


President's Message 

News and opinions . . .

The Nature of Words 

Your Association

 Notice of Annual Business Meeting 

Board nominees / Proxy form link 

Committees and governance 

2010 Reporter of the Year Award winner 

2010 Transcriber of the Year Award winner 

Newly certified members 

Welcome, new members  

Membership benefits — reminders 




I have observed, firsthand, digital reporters (DRs) in Florida who are using their laptop's internal microphone to record hearings and depositions.  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 the keys.  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 equipment.

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 cheaper product?

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.

Jared Sandel, CER**D




President's Message

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 (Minnesota),
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
AAERT President





OMG!  The 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 world.
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.

Mauritius Information

New York State Senator Onorato criticizes the Workers' Compensation Board
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.


Transcription outsourcing
— an emerging trend in law enforcement, according to Police Chief Magazine:




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 Dictionaryreprisal 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 1710.

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 have diverged.
The Nature of Words
Other examples:

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)




AAERT logo 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
(New Jersey)

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




Current AAERT logo Committees and Governance

For further information, see     or     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

Janet Harris
Lynn Gilstrap


James Bowen, Chair

Gillian Lawrence

Conference 2010

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

Christopher Boone
Tina Schaeffer

Mentoring Task Force

Tina Schaeffer
Gail Malm Armstrong
Karen Bergstrom
Christopher Boone
Kenneth Kelemen
Randel Raison

Planning Task Force

Janet Harris, Chair

Stacie Jergensen
Gillian Lawrence
John Tomasi

Government Relations

James Bowen


Karen Bergstrom, Chair

Gail Malm Armstrong

Board Nominations

Margaret Morgan, Chair

Christopher Boone




Stacie Jergenson

Stacie Jergenson is AAERT's Electronic Court Reporter of the Year 2010.

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

Janet Pryce is AAERT's Electronic Court Transcriber of the Year 2010.

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 Oregon.




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
H.F., 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
— Florida
— New Mexico
— Arizona
— Arizona
— Arizona
— Arizona
— Florida
— Arizona
— Florida
— Florida
— Arizona
— Arizona
— Florida
— California
— Florida
— Arizona
— Florida
— Washington
— California

A general discussion of the program and a current schedule is at Certification Testing.

Tina Schaeffer,  CERT
     Certification Chair




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 here
Award Ribbon

Corporate Member

Anissa Nierenberger
Dictionary Jumpstart, Inc.
Lowell, Michigan   •


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
R.D., Florida
Cory M.S. Davis, Ohio
Gabrielle V. DeCrescenzoPennsylvania
Janet S. Dickens, Pennsylvania
Marlene Rice Enders, Louisiana
K.F., Ohio
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
G.L., Florida
Jean M. Lindvig, North Dakota
Jacqueline F. Madison, Arizona
Clarel Manresa, Florida
Lisa Robin Miskanic, Florida
Lindsay Alice Orange, Florida
B.R., California
Reid Bryce Robbins, Minnesota
Jane Julissa Rodriguez, Florida
K.S., Florida
Wanda G. Sprague, Colorado
Cheryl Ann Temple, Florida
Carolyn Diane WilsonLouisiana




A reminder:   AAERT Membership Benefits 

Review the details of these offers in the Members Area of our website:  Login Page
or click on these company logos:

    office supplies

    court reporting equipment and supplies

    professional liability and disability insurance at




AAERT logo

Contact the Editor:

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

AAERT   /   P.O. Box 9826   /   Wilmington, Delaware  19809-9826





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