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AAERT at AJA2014
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AAERT Champions Digital Reporting as The American Judges Association Watches
by Margaret Morgan, CER, CET (Digital Court Reporter - Olmsted County District Court)

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 FTR Falcon. Within seconds of being recorded, the audio was pushed to five transcribers in five minute segments. The transcribers worked remotely from Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, Maryland, and Virginia. Annotations created during the lecture were live-streamed to the transcribers with the audio. Once transcribed, the segment was forwarded to the editor/proofer, who began compiling and reviewing the transcript. The editor/proofer had access to the audio for proofing. Before Professor Lederer finished his presentation, he was given a certified transcript of the first 25 pages. A complete certified transcript was delivered within two hours.

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

This was an inaugural run for AAERT and FTR to perform "near real-time" using cutting-edge technology. FTR was responsible for the technical aspects; AAERT was responsible for the reporter/transcription aspects. During the planning phase, the AAERT Executive Committee reviewed the project and identified potential issues. Every AAERT board member transcription firm eagerly volunteered one or more transcribers. Coordinating three time zones was a challenge in the test periods, but with a few early mornings, a few late nights, and a few weekends, it came together.

With the collaboration of AAERT certified transcribers, an AAERT certified reporter, and FTR we successfully demonstrated that digital reporting and transcription is a leader in this industry delivering timely, accurate transcripts.

Thank you, to everyone involved in this project. Collaborators include: Professor Fredric Lederer, Cambridge Transcriptions, eScribers, Neal R. Gross & Company, FTR, and the AAERT Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Executive Director. It was a privilege to be part of this project.

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


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