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The Court Reporter Winter 2016
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For Professionals in Electronic / Digital Court Technology
The Court Reporter           

Editor: Gail Malm Armstrong, CER, CET                                       Volume 21, Number 1 - Winter Edition     

In This Issue


President's Message

Executive Corner

AAERT Conference -
The Heat is On

Monitoring Legislation

Men of Honor

Leading The Charge

New Year Thoughts on Health and Wellness

The BUZZ - Tech Devices

Punctuation is POWERFUL!

The Nature of Words

Mystery Words

Newly Certified Members

Welcome New Members

Member Benefit Discounts

Congratulations to our Newly Certified Members:

Please note: AAERT has completed the process of trademarking our Certification Designations CER® & CET®

Dawn Augustine, CER, CET

Marian R. Bednar, CET

Juliana L. Edwards, CER
North Dakota

Angela M. Eisenhardt, CET
North Carolina

Jennifer MacGregor, CER, CET

Michelle Morales, CER, CET
New York

Carrie Provenzale, CET

Lynda Scott, CET
New York

Eva Walsh, CER

A Warm Welcome to our New Individual Members:


Andrea Beilke

Margaret Blumenthal
Washington, DC

Josh Borden
Washington, DC

Lauren Bower
Washington, DC

Brandee Cain

Megean Cromer

Desha DeVor
Washington, DC

Tammy Ervin

Raissa Anais Espinoza

Nicole Fleming
North Carolina

Shanalee Gallagher

Meghan Elysse Hale

Renee L. Hermanson
North Dakota

Maya Hester
Washington, DC

Janet Johnsrud
North Dakota

Connie Mianecki

Dipti Patel

Shan Renee Pecka
North Dakota

Vanessa R. Pelham

Fay Riley-Mickley

Kiara Schmidt

Dawn Schumaker

Allison Shelley

Devin Shiple
Washington, DC

Cassandra Sines

Pamela Noel Steele

Dylan Stroman
Washington, DC

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:
Steve Townsend

Tonie Wallace

Government Relations:
Rick Russell

LIsa Dees

AAERT Online Certification 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 fairly 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 who tested prior to January 1, 2013, will be required to be recertified with 2.0 CEU credits prior to their 2015 membership renewal date, or if a little extra time is needed, we will extend the deadline to December 31, 2015.

Anyone holding a CER, CET or a combination of both, and who 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 at 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

RING -- The Video Doorbell

The Ring™ Video Doorbell lets you answer the door from anywhere using your smartphone. It features an HD camera with night vision, providing a clear view from your front door, day and night.

Skullcandy Crushers

Through extensive testing of carefully selected materials and finishes we created a headphone that is lightweight and durable. The headphone’s design features a slider to control the bass and customize your music. Dual ear cup articulation and premium materials deliver long-lasting comfort.


New iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

Completely familiar. Entirely revolutionary. When using iPad Pro, there may be moments when you want even greater precision. So we painstakingly designed Apple Pencil to expand on the versatility of Multi-Touch. And while the technology inside is unlike anything we’ve ever engineered, picking up Apple Pencil for the first time feels instantly familiar. It lets you make any number of effects, right down to a single pixel, giving you more creative freedom than ever before.

Misfit Shine
Tracks multiple activities and displays your progress with a halo of lights while your data syncs on a compatible smart device.


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 Malm Armstrong, Editor-in-Chief at


President's Message

by Buck Ewing

Dear AAERT Colleagues,

AAERT’s motto is “The Record That Speaks for Itself.” It is more relevant today than ever.

I just reread the report released in December 2014 by Phil Knox and Peter Kiefer, entitled:
Future of The Courts: The Next Ten Years Combined Survey Results Arranged by Theme Questions. 960 respondents representing court positions all across the United States ranked the probability (from “Highly Likely” to “Improbable “) of 116 different court-related scenarios occurring. Here’s a summary of the Highly Likely technology scenarios that pertain to us:

• Trial courts will use digital electronic recording systems.
Remote interpreters will interpret by means of video conferencing.
• Virtually every court will become ...

Read the Full Article

Executive Corner
by Michael Tannen, CSEP 

What a busy year we have had at AAERT. So much has happened to improve our members' experience this past year, with even more developments for the coming year in sight. One of these improvements is the enhancement to our website to a cleaner and member-friendly feel, allowing room for further expansion as we grow.

During our completed 2.0 CEU program, one thing stood out to me that needs to be said. We have so many smart, well-educated, talented members that really LOVE what they do in Digital Reporting and Transcription, and they are proud to hold the CER® and CET® designations. We continue to work on adding ways for our members to earn Continuing Education Credits, so look for more opportunities to be added to our current list of approved courses that are on our website. And remember, besides participating in online courses, other ways to earn CEUs are working on an AAERT Committee or writing an article for The Court Reporter.

Another recent change is the addition of another staff member to AAERT. Please welcome Maria Tannen, who will be taking over as Membership Liaison. Sherry Simmons, CER will now handle our Certification process as Certification Liaison. You may reach Maria directly at or 302-475-2417.

Lastly, we have added a few features for our members in hopes that they may be of interest to you. We now have space on our AAERT Homepage for company logos for those interested in promoting your company to our members, as well as non-members visiting our website. There are many times the AAERT Office receives telephone calls from people seeking transcribers and digital reporters. This area will be a great way to have your company and information available to those seeking information on products and services. Pricing is available in our Resource area of our website.

Another new feature is for those of you who can't get enough of AAERT, or who are looking for an industry-related gift. AAERT now has a site through CafePress where you can order your AAERT swag and products. Happy shopping!

AAERT 23rd Annual Conference
Phoenix, Arizona

by Steve Townsend, Conference Committee Chair

There are some big events in 2016: Super Bowl 50, the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, and the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. But the hottest tickets in town are for the 23rd annual AAERT conference in Phoenix, Arizona. And by hot, I mean HOT. But don’t worry, it’s a dry heat.

Conference planning is well underway, and I can assure you that this is not an event you want to miss. From June 22nd through the 25th, we will be gathering at the Phoenix Downtown Renaissance Hotel for a fantastic four days of top-notch presentations, CEU opportunities, and professional networking with all of your friends and colleagues. The Renaissance Hotel is a Marriott property in downtown Phoenix, Arizona two blocks from the Diamondbacks’ Chase field, the Suns’ arena, hundreds of restaurants, bars, and nighttime entertainment. And yes, there is a great pool at the hotel.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is the tenth busiest airport in the country and is well served by plenty of airlines including Southwest, American, United, Delta, and Frontier. It is a quick 15-minute ride to the hotel by taxi, Uber, or light rail. Phoenix is a hub for American and Southwest. Discounted prices are always available, but book early to get the best deals.

This year we are combining the Executive Forum with the Annual Conference. For business owners who were planning to participate in our March Executive Forum, now you can get all of the same great content, earn CEUs from some terrific educational sessions, and network with our larger membership all in one event. Combining the two events makes it far more cost and time efficient and gives you access to a larger selection of quality presentations. The Executive Forum will begin Wednesday evening the 22nd with an off-site reception. This will be your chance to catch up with other business owners and managers in a relaxed and fun setting. Executive Forum sessions begin Thursday morning with presentations on industry trends, network/Internet security, and updates on legal and tax issues specific to our industry.

Registration for the annual conference begins Thursday morning and our exhibit hall opens that afternoon with a great group of industry suppliers, software vendors, and service providers. Thursday evening will be our Welcome Reception. This is always the best networking opportunity and great fun catching up with friends. Be sure to arrive early enough to participate in these valuable events.

Friday and Saturday are packed with educational sessions and lots of CEU opportunities. We have commitments from some great speakers this year, and you will not want to miss any of these sessions. Topics include grammar and punctuation for reporters and transcribers, technology updates, expert advice on audio and video, speech recognition, and how to live pain-free even if you transcribe or report all day and every day! Other sessions will be offered for the Executive Forum track on Friday and Saturday, so Executive Forum attendees will have the option to attend either the business sessions or the general sessions. As we have in the past, there will be an option to purchase a one-day pass for those of you that are on a tight schedule and/or budget. For a great price, you can still get a full day’s worth of CEUs.

There will be plenty of free time to go out with colleagues and have some fun. June evenings in Phoenix are comfortable and fun. Restaurants and bars have plenty of outdoor seating with misters to keep you nice and cool. Keep an eye on the website and on the AAERT Facebook page for more information. 2016 is going to be a great year for digital reporting and transcription, and you will want to be in Phoenix, Arizona to make sure you are on top of what’s going on. Looking forward to seeing you in June!

SAVE THE DATE - Registration will open in March

Steve Townsend is CEO of TheRecordXchange. He has extensive experience in courtroom and hearing room reporting and transcription. He was CEO of FTR from 1997 through 2007 and owner and CEO of AVTranz from 2008 until April of 2015. Townsend is a co‐founder of the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers and is currently on the AAERT Board of Directors and serves as the Association’s Vice President.


Monitoring Legislation
by Rick Russell, Government Relations Chair

There are many regulations and laws on the federal, state, and local levels that have a great impact on the type of business you can do and how you do it. Therefore, it is critical that you stay up-to-date with proposed changes to these laws by monitoring what’s going on in your state and federal legislatures. Not only will this allow you to plan for any changes, but more importantly, it will allow you to participate in the legislatative process to ensure that your voice is heard.

It has been a common practice for the court reporting community to change legislation in their favor. An example of this ...

Read the Full Article


Men of Honor
by Valori Weber, CET

I love my job. In the ten years since becoming a Digital Reporter, I have been lucky to have traveled to many different states and reported in numerous courtrooms. I have come across some unique courtrooms in my travels, but one of the most beautiful and interesting courtrooms I have reported in is in my own backyard here in Portland, Oregon, Courtroom 71 at the Gus J. Solomon United States Courthouse. This is where the courtroom scene in "Men of Honor" was filmed, starring Robert DeNiro and Cuba Gooding, Jr. The picture shown is of me on the judge's bench in that courtroom. I was photographed by the security officer after everyone left at the end of the day. This courtroom represents a fantastic piece of architecture, and I could not help but feel a bit important just by being in that room.

I also researched other courthouses

Read the Full Article

Leading The Charge

An Interview with Bill Parsons, AAERT Member
by: Gail Mail Armstrong, CER, CET; Editor

The steed was still a marvel of muscle and beauty in motion. Albeit, there was gray in the mane, and he stepped a bit more cautiously these days. He was stiff in the mornings and the cold went straight to his bones more these days. The blanket became an oft-needed accessory to keep his shivering at bay. One could imagine back to his younger days when he fiercely went forth to the call of battle, wind rustling in his mane, every muscle exploding with speed and purpose. A war horse is a horse used for fighting, including light and heavy cavalry, reconnaissance, logistical support, or in individual combat. Many veteran court reporters and transcribers have led the charge to champion the use of digital recording despite mountainous odds and obstacles. Let me introduce you to William Parsons, Court Reporter and Transcriber.

Read the Full Article

New Year Thoughts on Health and Wellness
by Anne Pelini, CER, CET
Health & Wellness Coach

Happy New Year! Typically, January is the month when people think of New Year’s resolutions, and one main goal is to lose weight and become more physically fit.
Your health and future, in large measure, is determined by your own lifestyle choices.

Taking control of your health and wellness starts with becoming ‘aware’ and being ‘proactive’.

Ask yourself:
- Are you living the best version of yourself – in body, mind and spirit?
- What are your mental obstacles that are getting in the way of losing weight and becoming physically fit?
- What is your ‘perception vs. your reality’?

- Are you living in intentional ignorance?

Consider the negative impact of being overweight and physically unhealthy:
- Reduced quality of life: less energy, acquiring preventable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, musculoskeletal issues, even increased risk of certain cancers.
- Risk of becoming disabled or wheel-chair bound.
- Increased health-care costs.
- As a result, you put your financial stability at risk with increased health-care costs that could be avoided or prevented.
- Reduced life expectancy.

So, take some time during this new year and consider your body, mind and spirit.


Anne Pelini was formerly a stenographer and obtained her education in court reporting from MacCormac College in Chicago. She transitioned to electronic reporting in 1981 and started AIM Reporting Service in 1985. Anne is a charter member of AAERT from 1994 and became certified with AAERT in 1996. After 25 years in the court reporting business, Anne is semi-retired from AIM Reporting; and financial planning has become her focus as she researches, invests, and takes a hands-on approach in managing her own investments.

Sic 'em!!!
by Antoinette Franks, CET

In our world of legal transcription, you spend a great deal of time listening to court proceedings and transcribing the nuances of speech for each individual and making sure you accurately type what they said and in the appropriate context it was said. But have you ever come across that part in a sentence where you hit your foot pedal a couple of times, because there's no way they said that and you must be hearing it wrong? If you're actually listening to your audio and the content, although your reaction may not always be quite that strong, you have definitely run into this issue in a courtroom. So when ...

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The Nature of Words
by Laurel H. Stoddard, CET

Reading a mystery recently, I came across a reference to tsouris. From the context it was clear that it meant woes or troubles. Of course I looked it up, and indeed that is the meaning. It also may be spelled tzuris or tsuris.

Random House indicates that this word came into usage in English only around 1970, and it's from the Yiddish

Read the Full Article

Mystery Words - Take the Challenge
Words Collected While Reading:

 ___1. veridical

 a. urban shantytown

 ___2. concatenation
   b. drained of color
 ___3. favela
   c. former
 ___4. etiolated
   d. a heal-all
 ___5. simulacrum
   e. trite
 ___6. saunter
   f. leisurely gait
 ___7. banal
   g. speaking truth
 ___8. erstwhile
   h. monument to a deceased
     person buried elsewhere

 ___9. panacea
   i. superficial likeness
 ___10. cenotaph
   j. series of interconnected things




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