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The Court Reporter Summer 2013
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For Professionals in Electronic / Digital Court Technology   
The Court Reporter

Editor: Beverly Guenette, CET                                                           Volume 18, Number 2 - Summer Edition


In This Issue

President's Message

Executive Corner

20th Annual Conference:
Reviewing a Milestone Event
Interested in 2014?
New Executive Forum for Corporate Members

Independent Contracting

Shortcuts Corner

The Gift to Bahrain

The Nature of Words

Punctuation is POWERFUL!

What Makes an Outstanding Transcriber?

The Perils and Pitfalls of a Proofreader

Mystery Words-Take the Challenge

Newly Certified Members

Welcome New Members


Shortcuts Corner
by SpeedTypeTM

How would you like to be able to save some keystrokes at your keyboard? 
How about lots and lots of keystrokes?
Check out some keystroke-saving techniques

Certification News:

We are in the process of dropping the "D" and the "*" in our certification acronym/names. Since mostly all tests for certification are testing for digital certification, we will stop designating the "D" for digital testing. With our new data system, we will no longer be required to add a symbol, like the asterisk in our certification titles.

AAERT is also completing a process to register our certification titles and acronyms. Soon, our certification will be "registered" ® and protected, adding another value to your certification.

Lastly, AAERT Certification will soon be online where you will be able to take any of our tests close to your area. Look for more information coming in the next few months.

Congratulations to our Newly Certified Members:

Karen Brooks, CET

Jacqueline Denlinger, CERT

Angela S. Duray, CET

MaryEllen Feinberg, CET
Washington, DC

Gabriel Gheorghiu, CER
Washington, DC

Elaine M. Gideon, CET
New Mexico

Micah Gillett, CER
Washington, DC

Diane Humke, CER

Eve Jemison, CET

Karen S. Levandowski, CET
Washington, DC

Natalie Light, CER

Beth Luty, CERT

Katheryn Malone, CER

Rebecca McCrary, CET
Washington, DC

Sofia Misenheimer, CER
Washington, DC

Karen M. Nevins, CET

Carol O'Brocki, CET

LaShonne Robinson, CER
Washington, DC

Rick Sanborn, CER

Lori Sherman, CET
Washington, DC

Peter K. Shonerd, CER
Washington, DC

Aimee L. Silva, CET

Kelly Taylor, CET

Rachel Tucker, CER
Washington, DC

Lucy T. Turnbull, CET

Raymond M. Vetter, CER
Washington, DC

Karen Widlock, CET
Washington, DC


A Warm Welcome to our New AAERT Members:

Tim Atkinson, Jr.

Joyce Beall

Jack Becker

Debra L. Bonogofsky

Laurie Brown

Hunter Douglas Buckworth

Melinda Colchico

Connie Dupuis

Angela S. Duray

Elaine M. Gideon
New Mexico

Judy Grill

Natalie Hartsfield

Lisa Hulm
North Dakota

Sandra Lawrence
Ontario, Canada

Stacy Kimball

Cathi Lazarczyk

Paul P. Meronyck, III

Marsha Naegeli

Karen M. Nevins

Chelse Sander

David Scalcione

Patricia L. Tuffield

Lucy T. Turnbull

Cynthia D. Vachon

Teri Ward


Corporate Members:

Ameritext Court Reporting
Chancelor Merritt

Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
Ben Walker

Victoria's Transcription Services, Inc.
Victoria E. Rock

Word4Word Transcription Services
Regena M. Hammock

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. Please remember that we have a "Member's Corner" where you can submit an article for publication. We can't promise all submissions will be published, but we will certainly do our best.  Please send your articles, comments regarding this publication or format suggestions to the AAERT Office.

President's Message

by James Bowen, CER

Just a week has passed since my return from our 20th annual conference in Las Vegas, and I still feel the buzz.  I was truly energized by our record number of attendees and the information-packed sessions.  Our conference committee, led by Michele Lilley, CET, did a tremendous job of organizing a potent schedule of educational sessions, offering something for every attendee.  I am sure all participants found that our presenters this year were second to none in their fields of expertise, and we were fortunate to have them with us.  I’m already excited about next year’s conference in...
Read the Full Article

Executive Corner

by Michael F. Tannen, CSEP

Plan B. As many of you throughout the United States may have noticed, and without getting your political or personal views aroused, we seem to be going through some climate changes.  I can tell you that here in the Northeast we have seen unusually high amounts of rainfall.  Some of the rainfall is due to the horrific tornados that occurred in the Midwest, especially our friends in Oklahoma.  As I was getting into bed one night, listening to the heavy rainfall and wailing winds, I asked myself, "What if we lose power? What if the basement floods?  What if my office is demolished?  What is my Plan B?”

So, I ask you,... Read the Full Article

20th Annual AAERT Conference - Reviewing a Milestone Event

by Steve Townsend

For those of you who did not make it to Vegas for the 20th annual AAERT Conference, here’s a recap of what you missed.

We kicked off the conference Thursday night with a terrific reception.  I am not sure if that was the largest crowd ever at an AAERT conference, but it was certainly the biggest I have seen, and it was fun to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and enjoy the Hotel Monte Carlo’s great food and drink.

Friday morning began with our opening speaker, Judge Susan Johnson from the 8th Judicial District, Clark County, Nevada. Judge Johnson... Read the Full Article 

Photo: Susan Leong (left) and Sherry Simmons, CER, (right) were having a blast.

Check out our AAERT Video of the past 20 Years

Interested in Working on Conference 2014?

Looking for volunteers to join our AAERT’s 2014 Conference Education Committee.

I invite you to help plan the educational sessions for 2014’s conference in Orlando next June.  We will begin our conference committee meetings in September.

Submit Ideas for the next AAERT Conference.

Please email me with your session topic ideas.  OR if you would like to present at the conference, do not hesitate to submit your topic and outline.

I look forward to hearing from you at:

Michele Lilley, CET
AAERT 2013 Conference Education Chair

AAERT Launches Executive Forum at 2013 Annual Conference

As business owners in a rapidly changing industry, we face constant challenges. To help meet these challenges, AAERT launched the Executive Forum at last month’s Las Vegas Conference.                                 

Created as a way to broaden AAERT’s member services, the Executive Forum brought together 22 business owners and vendors for its kick-off meeting.  In a spirited 90-minute brainstorming session, we suggested topics for future exploration, which included marketing, government contracting, operations and workflow, and education and training.  While AAERT’s central focus is the training and certification of digital reporters and transcribers, the most valuable resource for business owners is our collective experience.  By frank and open discussion of issues that impact us, owners can solve problems, avoid time sinks, reduce costs, and increase efficiency, revenue, and profitability.

The first major initiative of the Executive Forum is an employers’ weekend conference, slated for spring 2014.  If you want to contribute ideas to the Executive Forum, contact Buck Ewing at   

Thanks to Michael Tannen, Executive Director, for his deft co-facilitating of the Forum’s initial meeting. 

Buck Ewing
AAERT Vice-President 

Independent Contracting - What? Why? How?

by Jason Scronic, Esq., and Larry Schwartz, CPA

Because a significant number of AAERT members either engage independent contractors or actually work as independent contractors, we presented "How to do Business as an Independent Contractor” at this year’s AAERT conference in Las Vegas.  Our goals were twofold.   The first was to assist AAERT members to conform their status as independent contractors and reap the benefits which can flow from contracting independently.  The second goal was to provide tips on how independent contractors can protect themselves from liability through corporate formation and by entering into proper contracts with their client companies.

Am I an Independent Contractor?

There are different definitions and tests that courts and agencies use to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor.  Despite these differing definitions ...Read the Full Article

The Gift to Bahrain   

by Lynn Johnson

Several years ago the newly installed Minister of Justice in Bahrain called me into his office to discuss a project he wanted me to manage.  The American Bar Association, whose representative we had invited to work with us previously, had arranged "a gift” for the minister and the court system of Bahrain.  The gift was a system for the production of transcripts.  As I was the only American employed by the Ministry and my title was IT Advisor to the Minister, I could hardly refuse.                         

Details about "the gift" were sparse.  I was assured it was a simple matter.  A box of equipment and software would arrive from California.  All I had to do was take the equipment out of the box, set it up in appropriate locations, connect it according to included instructions, and turn it on.  

The box arrived...Read the Full Article

The Nature of Words
by Laurel Stoddard, CET

For those who transcribe, the occasional solecism, especially if humorous, can be a break in tedium.  The first definition of solecism, according to the Random House Dictionary, is "a substandard or ungrammatical usage."  Its derivation is from the city named Soloi in Asia Minor, whose denizens spoke Greek incorrectly.  The word's usage has been broadened to include other errors, particularly a breach of etiquette or propriety.

In another time and place, the inability of one people to speak like another group was used by the Gileadites to detect fleeing Ephraimites.  The Hebrew word shibbóleth  was used as a password by the Gileadites, because the Ephraimites could not pronounce the "sh" sound.  Read the Full Article

Punctuation is Powerful!

by Beverly Guenette, CET

In the last issue of The Court Reporter, I discussed Aristophanes of Byzantium, who was born c. 257 B.C.E.  He was a Greek scholar, critic, and grammarian.  Aristophanes is known as the father of punctuation because he devised a system of dots to point out when he was launching into new topics.  We call his little dots PERIODS.  In the Middle Ages, monks added curls to some of Aristophanes' dots, and invented the QUESTION MARK.

In this corner, I will address more complex punctuation scenarios which require question marks.  The following discussion, like all punctuation discussions, is based on the premise that we punctuate to create clarity for our readers.  True, people sometimes differ...Read the Full Article

What Makes an Outstanding Transcriber?

by Dena Page, CET

Many people assume that the number one quality of a good transcriber is excellent typing skills.  I disagree.  While that's important, it's a bit further down my list.  I think the best transcribers share these three key traits:

  1. A "good ear
  2. A can-do attitude
  3. A good grasp of punctuation rules

    And only then comes:.... Read the Full Article

The Perils and Pitfalls of a Proofreader 

by Harold Ferguson, CET

In my going into 20 years now as a proofreader on the "bench” at AVTranz (I remember The Way It Was When It Was AVTronics), I won’t say I’ve seen it all, but I’ve seen more of it than I care to admit.  The perils and pitfalls of a proofreader in our profession range from the mundane to the esoteric, and it is both my task and my delight to remind readers of what that means.           

First off, our beautiful native tongue, the envy of the world, the English language, is blessed with a number of pitfalls by its very nature.  What other tongue in the world could ever boast: ...Read the Full Article

Mystery Words - Take the Challenge
(words discovered reading mysteries)


____ 1. laconic
a. colossal, immense
____ 2. augean
b. uncommonly loud
____ 3. gehenna
c. producing conformity arbitrarily
____ 4. stygian
d. harsh, cruel
____ 5. solon
e. hell
____ 6. procrustean
f. bully, harass
____ 7. stentorian
g. concise, abrupt
____ 8. hector
h. statesman
____ 9. gargantuan
i. difficult and unpleasant
____ 10. draconian
j. dark, infernal



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