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The Court Reporter Summer 2015
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For Professionals in Electronic / Digital Court Technology
The Court Reporter           

Editor: Gail Malm Armstrong, CER, CET                                       Volume 20, Number 3 - Summer Edition     

New Logo. New Website. New The Court Reporter all coming soon!

In This Issue


President's Message

Executive Corner

Professional of the Year

Conference: The Sessions

Conference: Networking

Conference: A Transcriber's First Time

Conference: Technology - Friend or Foe?

Maryland Courts Begin Electronic Filing

Me and My Dragon

Tips for Working at Home

Being a Perfectionist

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®

Evelyn Espinoza, CER

A Warm Welcome to our New Individual Members:

Greig D. Aitken, PhD

Desiree Allen
South Carolina

Mason Booker

Jorden Elizabeth Bringle

Deborah L. Burk

Kathy DiLorenzo

Angela M. Eisenhardt
North Carolina

Shelly Francis

Rebecca S. Gibson

Gina Marleen Hall

Kate Harmsen

Irma A. Hernandez

Joseph King

Robert R. Pizzuti
Rhode Island

Stacy Lynn Stewart

Julie Wiktorek

New Corporate Members:

Downtown Legal Services LLC
Michael Frost

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

Tonie Wallace

Government Relations:
Rick Russell

Steve Townsend

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

Relax The Back

At our 2015 Conference, Relax The Back was a new and welcome vendor for our attendees. Check out their information and special offer for AAERT Members.

Boris Cellmate


A trusty companion for your mobile phone or handheld music player.

Boris will carry your mobile phone while it charges, keeping the charger cable neat and tidy on your table top.


Silver USB Cufflinks
For the James Bond types among us.
Whether he's carrying a spreadsheet for a business meeting or a slideshow for a family reunion, he'll always keep his go-to tool on his sleeve when he dons these sleek, functional cufflinks. Hidden inside one cufflink is an 8GB USB flash drive.

Space Bar Monitor Stand
Great way to conquer clutter.
Quirky provides 6 extra USB ports for syncing and charging multiple devices. It’s a handy shelf for glasses, digital camera, smartphone and more.


Higher Plane
By elevating your computer to a standing height, this workstation platform offers a simple solution to the aches, pains, and maladies that come from sitting hunched over a desk for extended periods.

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

Our 22nd Annual Conference, “Taking Charge of Change,” was our best ever. It was held June 27–29, 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You will read more about it in this newsletter. I want to thank again the Conference Education Committee for this outstanding achievement: Margaret Morgan, CER, CET, chair, and members Tammy Halonen, SueLynn Morgan, Nathan Peck, and Cheryl Wallat.

While our method increasingly becomes the standard, two burning questions have remained, “How can I become a professional E-Reporter?” and “How can I become a professional Transcriber?” Where do I go? For many successful reporters and transcribers, the knowledge and skill of how to become a professional is hard-won, often the result of working for one or more companies or for a state or federal court. While companies and courts have their own requirements and training, in my experience to become a professional E-reporter or Transcriber has been the result of interest ...

Read the Full Article

AAERT Professional of the Year Award - 2015

Presented to Kristen Erickson, CER, CET
East Central Judicial District, Fargo, North Dakota

At the concluding social of the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers’ 2015 annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Buck Ewing, President of AAERT, presented Electronic Court Reporter Kristen Erickson the "2015 Professional of the Year" award.  This award is given in recognition of exceptional achievement in the digital reporting industry and is the result of a peer-reviewed competitive process.  Kristen Erickson was nominated by her peers, court administrators, and judges for her leadership and contributions as the court system upgraded the case management and digital reporting systems.

Kristen's peers said:  “Kristen served on the Digital Recorder's Workgroup for the past eight years and has helped other employees become certified through AAERT.  She has extensive knowledge in the digital reporting software.”

Court Administrator Rod Olson said:  “Kristen has been a member of the North Dakota Judicial Electronic Recorders group for many years and recently was an instructor at the training held for Electronic Recorders from all parts of the state.”

East Central Judicial District Court Judge Douglas R. Herman said:  “She makes life around here easier for everyone, not just for herself or for her assigned Judge.”

As a trial court judge, Supreme Court Justice Lisa McEvers worked with Kristen.  Justice McEvers states:  Kristen has proven herself to be an outstanding reporter/transcriber; timely, efficient, accurate, confidential, and professional.  Her attitude and work ethic and predictability reflect the highest standards of her profession.  Kristen distinguished herself as a valuable resource in her troubleshooting ability.  But most impressive is her steadfast commitment to improvements in her profession.”

Judge Frank L. Racek wrote:  “Her leadership has not only benefited the people she directly works with, but our entire court, as well.”

Congratulations Kristen Erickson, CER, CET!

Executive Corner

by Michael Tannen, CSEP

Annual Conference means new board members and officers. This year was no different. Yes, we do say good-bye and thank you to a few board members that volunteered their time and energy to the association, and on the flip side, we welcome new board members to continue their volunteer efforts and new energy they add to AAERT. We said thank you to a long-time board member, Margaret Morgan, CER, CET who has held many positions on the AAERT board (including president.) AAERT has benefited from her vast knowledge of the court system and electronic reporting in particular. Olmsted County District Court in Minnesota should be very proud to have Margaret a part of their court system, and AAERT thanks them for allowing her to offer her time to our organization.

Another member we say thank you to is Tonie Wallace. Even though she was only on the board for just under one year, she helped accomplish many things for AAERT, including our new Standards for Coursework. Having Tonie on for this short time allowed AAERT to jump-start this project within a time frame that could have taken years to complete. Tonie has a lot to offer this industry, and I think we will see her continued involvement within AAERT.

We welcome K.C. Corbin, CER, CET and Lisa Dees to the board and look forward to what they will bring to the organization in the coming years.

(l/r: Geoffrey Hunt, Secretary; Rick Russell, Treasurer;
Steve Townsend, Vice President; Lisa Dees, Director;
Buck Ewing, President; K.C. Corbin, CER, CET, Director;
Ray Vetter, CER, Director; Dena Page, CET, Director and
Jim Bowen, CER, Immediate Past-President)

"Taking Charge of Change" AAERT 2015 Annual Conference Recap

The Sessions

by Dena Page, CET

AAERT's 2015 Annual Conference was a tremendous success! So many diverse presentations, both informative and practical, were offered by people from around the world.

This year's conference truly began Thursday afternoon with our exhibitors presenting on their products individually in an Exhibitor Showcase, as well as en masse in the exhibition hall.

Friday morning was the start of our lectures and workshops. Following AAERT President Buck Ewing's opening remarks, Minnesota State Court Administrator Jeff Shorba provided a Minnesota welcome to conference attendees.

Then Judge Jamie Anderson of Hennepin County District Court ....
Read the Full Article


by Tina Schaeffer, CER, CET

So why did you attend the 2015 AAERT Conference? Was it to get together with old friends, network with new ones, or to learn about the industry? Whatever your reason, you'll always find the AAERT conferences inspiring and full of exciting news. This year it was exhilarating to see so many new faces. There were several new members who never attended an AAERT conference as well as long-time members returning after a long hiatus.

The ability to network is one of the most crucial skills anyone in this industry can have. How else will you find out what's new and improved, what others are doing, meet up with old friends or meet new ones?

As we learned
Read the Full Article

A Transcriber's First Time

by Marie Moran, CET

I wanted to share my thoughts on the things I learned and the experiences I had while attending the AAERT annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota this year. This was my first time attending, and I am glad that I did. Not only did I meet a lot of very nice, informative, and professional people, but I was able to network with some of the top professionals in our business. 

What I learned:

When we visited the Hennepin County Central Monitoring Room at the Hennepin County Government Center where the courthouse is located, I was ....

Read the Full Article

Technology - Friend or Foe?

by Lisa Dees

The debate over the constant transformation in technology as it applies to our day-to-day lives and our profession will never cease. On one hand, it can mean change and that could mean having to learn a new way of doing the same old thing, taking us out of our comfort zone. On the other hand, it could mean new tools making our tasks easier, more organized and less time-consuming. This year’s annual conference didn’t declare a winner to the debate, but it did give us more to think about.

Differing from our annual conferences of previous years, this year we had vendor showcases as well as a vendor hall where we could interact one-on-one with each of them. Each vendor was eager to share what was new and exciting, and how what they had could help make our work easier.

Technology isn’t just for computers anymore.

Maryland Courts Begin Electronic Filing

by Kimberly A. Wold, CET

Electronic filing (E-filing) was mandated in Anne Arundel County, Maryland in October 2014, officially marking the transition to transform Maryland’s state court system into a paperless system. The Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) project will create a single judiciary-wide integrated case management system that will be used by all the courts in the state court system. The project is being overseen by Chief Judge Barbera and the Judiciary's Technology Oversight Board and being managed by the Administrative Office of the Courts. As the first county in Maryland to test the new e-filing system, attorneys filing in District and/or Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County must now do so electronically (non-criminal cases excluded). Pro se parties may still file paper filings.

What a tremendous task this has been, not only for attorneys and their assistants but for court clerks and judges as well. Many lessons were learned ....

Read the Full Article

Is Voice Recognition for Me? Me and My Dragon

by Cherri Brown, CET

I’ll be honest; AAERT certification was not a career move. Part-to full-time medical transcriptionist (MT) work during college breaks led to full-time MT work. That led to legal transcription part time and AAERT. About the same time, a globally sustaining and growing cash cow emerged. That describes the source of income from voice recognition (VR) technology that keeps profit margins meeting or succeeding expectations. In early May, Google Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, announced that VR was the top priority project on their emergent to-do list (Geier, 2015). Kirk Teska, author and law professor, suggested obsolescence for the keyboard. VR is now a standard feature for digital phones, an essential security resource for financial, government, and security industries, and even a United States government certified tool under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Some elementary schools ....

Read the Full Article

Tips for Working at Home

by Penina Wolicki, CET

During the process of researching a workshop I was giving on efficiency and productivity, I went online and searched for tips for people working at home. Two of those tips showed up on many of the sites that I hit; and while they don't surprise me overly much, I just don't understand them. The two most common tips are: 1) even if you work from home, get dressed as if you're going to the office; and 2) totally separate your paid work time and your other daily activities.

I've been working from home for a very long time, and I can tell you, if I got dressed as if I was going to the office every day, I may as well leave and go to the office. And if I totally separated my paid work and my other daily activities, what would be the benefit of working from home?

I am my most productive as a transcriber ....

Read the Full Article


Being a Perfectionist
..... having to put up with myself

by Danielle (Dani) Gordon, CET

It's not easy having a type A personality, "anal" I call it. My OCD kicks in at the most inopportune moments. Relaxing on the couch in the evenings watching television is bound to get me in trouble with the family. We like a lot of the reality shows like Swamp People and Duck Dynasty, Survivor, or maybe it's just me that likes them. Anyway, invariably there are going to be times during the show when they put captions at the bottom of the screen to make sure the viewer knows what's being said, whether because of an accent, or mumbling, or whatever.

It's at this time that my perfectionist attitude is at its worst. Why do they ....

Read the Full Article

Punctuation is Powerful
Ready, Set... Oh, Wait ...Not Yet - The False Start
by Antoinette Franks, CET


One of the most common things we as transcribers run into is the infamous "false start" or stutter. And at times, we can get caught up in exactly what to do with these little monsters, as they can get really out of hand when it comes to testimony. First, it helps to know the characteristics of a false start or stutter. The major identifying characteristic is repetition of the same word or words. A false start would occur at the beginning of your sentence, whereas a stutter holds the same characteristics but can occur anywhere in a sentence.

Read the Full Article

The Nature of Words
by Laurel H. Stoddard, CET

Of late I’ve been pondering words I thought I knew well. The word truculent surprised me with its vehemence. Common usage seems to be as a synonym for obstreperous, which is unruly or clamorous. Obstreperous children come to mind.

The Latin root trux, however, means savage or pitiless. The word came into usage in the early 16th century, and is currently defined as savagely brutal, vitriolic, or belligerent, in light of which obstreperous behavior is much preferred.

As I was hiding generic antihistamine in dog treats the other day, I contemplated

Read the Full Article

Mystery Words - Take the Challenge
(Words from the Bryant & May Mysteries by Christopher Fowler)
Don't Read Mysteries? Look What You're Missing:

 ___1. apotropaic

 a. unmitigated

 ___2. arrant
   b. audacity
 ___3. truculent
   c. printing process
 ___4. paronychia
   d. checkered
 ___5. temerity
   e. structure
 ___6. shebang    f. berate
 ___7. rotogravure
   g. eulogy
 ___8. excoriate
   h. averting evil
 ___9. panegyric
   i. nail infection
 ___10. tessellated
   j. belligerent




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