Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
2016 Conference Recap Part 1
Share |


Burn, Baby, Burn!
AAERT 2016 Conference Recap, Part 1

by Gail Malm Armstrong, CER, CET

The heat was on at AAERT 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona from June 22 to 25. The temperature soared to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but it was a dry heat as some local resident AAERT Board members put it. I especially thank local member Susan Leong, CET, who gave of her time late in the day to take a few of us on a walking tour of downtown Phoenix, both calming and beautiful as the sun rays bathed the city in desert hues. New to me were the misters for cooling patrons off above the entrance of many establishments, similar to a human car wash. The soothing clang of the light rail's trolley bell could be heard periodically.

AAERT extends its deep gratitude to our sponsors: Justice AV Solutions, For The Record, Neal R. Gross & Company, International Institute for Transcribers and Court Reporters, Judicial Transcribers of Texas, CourtSmart, Hunt Reporting, and J&J Court Transcribers. This faithful group of sponsors smartly realizes that digital recording and reporting is a current reality and a powerful tool for technologically-advanced courtrooms. Anyone visiting our vendors’ booths was rewarded with learning about the state-of-the-art technology and also delighted to interact with these friendly and knowledgeable industry people.

The Thursday Executive Forum contained all-day sessions which allowed business owners to meet and brainstorm face to face as to the latest trends they note in our industry. Sessions included discussions about Cybersecurity by Brian Hill, Forensic Analyst, and issues arising for business owners such as the contractor versus employee status presented by Larry Schwartz, CPA and Jason Scronic, Attorney. Martin Gruen stimulated imaginations with a look-see into the future use of technology and what is right around the corner.


President Buck Ewing opened the morning session. Buck's calm demeanor and stentorian voice welcomed all attendees to AAERT's 23rd annual conference. As the President of AAERT and Captain of our ship, Buck's leadership and steady hand on the wheel have guided AAERT for the past two years.

"Future Trends in Courts: Looking Out Ten Years and Beyond" was presented by Phil Knox and Peter Keifer, Court Administrators from Maricopa County, Arizona. Identifying trends is only one step in preparing for the future. Court leadership needs to work with partners to leverage technology and sharing of information. Possible what-if scenarios were read by some attendees, and we voted by Smartphone as to which vision of the future we thought was most likely to occur. Then we watched on-screen moment by moment as the votes were registered and tallied. A virtual courthouse scenario was discussed along with e-filing, remote hearings, and even jurors serving and accessing trials remotely.

"Easiest Catch: Don't be Another Fish in the Dark 'Net" presented by Brian Hill gave everyone reason to shudder. Mr. Hill gave us a chilling look at the current threats that can affect individuals from the Dark Web, the Internet of Things, phishing, and Wi-Fi attacks. Courts, the legal community, and law enforcement are not immune to these attacks.

After lunch, Martin Gruen, Director of Audio and Video Technologies from William and Mary Law School, addressed the subject of "The Use of Technology in the Courts Increasing, but What Does That Mean to the Court Record?" It means that the use of digital evidence and case management systems are now common in most courts. The use of remote appearance of witnesses, foreign language interpretation, motion arguments, and even trials is growing at a speedy rate. Digital recording is an intrinsic part of this scenario as it produces a verbatim record of what was said, who said it, what tone of voice was used, and in what language the words were spoken. No other technology can make the same statement about their method of producing a record. Questions each one of us must consider include: What new skills do I need to acquire? What new equipment will be needed? How can a court or business budget for the unknown?

Most transcribers and reporters eventually develop pain or soreness in some part of their bodies or just wish to live a healthier life. How to do that? The Egoscue Method comes to the rescue. Maria gave practical and personal advice as to how to prevent chronic pain. How? By learning techniques and principles to keep your keyboarding, pointing, sitting, and clicking pain-free. Maria had us up on our feet, on our toes, sitting properly, leaning against the wall, arms back, elbows in position all using some of the Egoscue Methods to perform exercises that can be done at your desk to eliminate chronic hand, wrist, shoulder, back, neck, and foot pain. Additionally, we all received a handout showing how to do the exercises. After, we all stood a bit taller and felt more relaxed.

The AAERT Professional of the Year, Kelly Taylor, CET, of Baltimore, Maryland was honored with a memorial plaque, was photographed, and praised for her outstanding abilities as a CET and Administrative Manager.

AAERT's newly elected President, Geoff Hunt, set the tone for 2016 and 2017: “We have an aggressive agenda for the future of AAERT. I encourage all members to get involved. We need volunteers for our committees. It is a free education in your profession.” On the flight home, I seriously contemplated the meaning and depth of those words. Digital recording, reporting, and transcribing are in sync with the direction that all courts are headed in their use of technology. Only digital audio and video recording can recreate the verbatim record, how it sounded and took place as it happened, and in a manner that is accessible to all. Please join us.
"The future belongs to the curious, the ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out." – Anonymous 


Gail Malm Armstrong, CER, CET

Newsletter Editor-in-Chief 



Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal