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

Editor: Laurel Stoddard                                                                         Volume 18, Number 3 - Fall Edition


In This Issue

President's Message

Executive Corner

"E-Justice Advances in Slovenia --
Digital Recording Leads the Way"

What to Expect When Working as an Independent Contractor

Shortcuts Corner

The Nature of Words

Punctuation is POWERFUL!

AAERT Rolls Out Online Certification and Recertification Process

AAERT Executive Forum Planned for March 7th & 8th, 2014

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.


Congratulations to our Newly Certified Members:

Toni M. Gehm, CET

Natalie Hartsfield, CERT

Merritt Hill, CER

Stacy Kimball, CET

Melissa M. Sotillo, CER


A Warm Welcome to our New AAERT Members:

LaVinya Amis

Sandra Day

Ann Connell

Jennifer Earls

Juliana Leslie Edwards
North Dakota

Nancy A. Fulston

Gina Marie Gattone

Janet Gill

Stephanie Nicole Landes

Laurie Mayers

Marcie McClure
North Dakota

Terri L. McNulty

Sharon L. Menck

Susan Fifield Mentley
Washington, DC

Shannah Renaud
North Dakota

Jodi Sherman
North Dakota

JoAnn Simpson

Margaret Teichman
New Hampshire

Cate Wilcox

Tammy Wild


AAERT Committees and Chairs

Buck Ewing

Geoff Hunt

  • Website:
    Geoff Hunt
  • Social Media:
    Gail Malm Armstrong, CERT
  • Newsletter:
    Laurel Stoddard, CET
    Beverly Guenette, CET

Conference Education:
Michele Lilley, CET

Government Relations:
Rick Russell

Margaret Morgan, CERT



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

AAERT recently had the opportunity to exhibit at two industry conferences.  First was the Court Technology Conference (CTC) held in Baltimore, Maryland for three days in early September.  CTC is held every two years, and AAERT has been a regular exhibitor over the last decade. The second, a regional conference and a first for AAERT, was the Mid-Atlantic Association for Court Management (MAACM) in Atlantic City, New Jersey at the end of September.  I always enjoy manning the AAERT booth during these industry conferences, because it gives me an opportunity to have great conversations with individuals who are directly involved in the day-to-day operations of the court systems.  These conversations .... 

Read the Full Article

Executive Corner

by Michael F. Tannen, CSEP

The Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared," a percept that should also be adapted to service businesses.  Be Prepared; two small words that can sometimes represent a very enormous task to many.  So, as I continue my series on "Plan B for your Business”, I wish to offer you some statistics that may allow you to build your assessment for your business in the transcription, deposition and court reporting fields.

The Insurance Information Institute states that up to 40% of businesses affected by a national or human-caused disaster never reopens.  I have heard a different percentage of about 25% or more ...

Read the Full Article

"E-Justice Advances in Slovenia --
Digital Recording Leads the Way"

by Gail Malm Armstrong, CERT 

Recently I was privileged and honored to interview Sabina Klaneček, Senior Advisor for the Ministry of Justice & Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia. Please enjoy this unprecedented interview between Ms. Klaneček and AAERT.

(Pictured L / R: AAERT President, Jim Bowen, CER; Sabina Klaneček; AAERT Vice President, Buck Ewing at CTC 2013.)

Gail:  Welcome, Ms. Klaneček.  May I call you Sabina?

Sabina:  Yes

Gail:  Please give our readers a few details about Slovenia.

Sabina:  Slovenia is a small yet strikingly scenic country in Central Europe with a population of about two million.  It contains Alpine mountains, thick forests, vineyard, seaside caves, historic cities, and a short Adriatic coastline.  The history and culture of Slovenia are rich and interesting. You can literally drive from the eastern to western part of the country in about three hours.  Famous Slovenes include skier Tina Maze and hockey player Anže Kopitar, who plays for the Los Angeles Kings.  Akrapovič exhaust systems for motorcycles and Pipistrel solar aircraft also originated in Slovenia.  People in Slovenia are open, happy, kind-hearted, modest and look forward to new situations.  They would accept you with open arms. 

Gail:  Please tell us about yourself and your current position. 

Sabina:  I am working as senior adviser at the Directorate for Informatics and e-Services at the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Slovenia. I have been ...

Read the Full Article


What to Expect When Working as an Independent Contractor

by Ben Walker

For court reporters, working as an independent contractor is a great way to supplement your income, allow you to work from home or to increase your job flexibility. But how does one become an independent contractor, and what can you expect once you are one?

The Law and Taxes

By law, independent contractors direct the way they work. This generally means working from home, providing your own equipment, and setting your own hours. Independent contractors are also responsible for managing their own tax withholdings and providing their own benefits (health insurance, retirement, etc.) So before you become an independent contractor, you will want to do some research on how much it will actually cost to essentially be your own boss, factoring in taxes, insurance and home office expenses.

For tax purposes, independent contractors file...

Read the Full Article

AAERT Rolls Out Online Certification and Recertification Process 

AAERT is pleased to announce we will be rolling out our Online Certification in November with our contracted testing partner, Kryterion.  This process has been in the works for over a year now.  Due to the high demand of our certification and listening to our members who asked for easier access to testing locations, AAERT has created an Online Exam with locations throughout the US and Canada.
Here is how it works:

> Testing will take place at approximately 140 locations throughout the US and Canada. See our Current PDF List

> The first testing dates will take place between January 20th, 2014 and February 1st, 2014.  You pick the testing date and confirm with the available location.  Testing will be offered 4 times per year, once each quarter.

> All of our exams (Digital Reporter and Digital Transcriber) will consist of multiple choice questions, with some questions having audio input.  In the past, you were tested on 2 separate segments, the practical test and the multiple choice written test.  Now, this will be one complete test.

> Registration opening will begin on November 18th.  The deadline to register for either or both the Reporter and Transcriber exam will be December 13th. Again, the testing date will be what you select and is available between the dates of January 20th and February 1st, 2014.

> Fees for the Online Certification will be $275 per exam (CER or CET).  Our inaugural exam fee for January will be reduced to only $175 per exam.

> Starting in 2014, AAERT will be requiring all current members who are CERs, CETs or CERTs to complete an AAERT Recertification process every 3 years.  This will require a minimum of 3.0 CEU credits and a $100 fee to continue holding any AAERT certification.

An explanation of all our fees for Online Certification and how AAERT will implement our Recertification process will be posted on our website mid-November.


AAERT Executive Forum Planned for March 7th & 8th, 2014

AAERT Executive Forum is open to all AAERT Corporate Members, so mark your calendar and make your plans to attend our 1st Executive Forum which will be held in Alexandria, VA, just outside of Washington, DC.

After our initial group discussion at our 2013 Annual Conference, we are preparing a day and a half business owners session and networking opportunities during this Forum.

More information will be available in the coming months through our Business Owners Group section of our website.  So be sure to sign in to your Member Profile, click on "Find a Group" and make sure you are a part of the "Business Owners" Group in AAERT.


The Nature of Words
by Laurel Stoddard, CET

I have a collection of niggling questions that run through my head from time to time, usually when I'm sitting at a stoplight or dropping off to sleep, never at a time convenient for investigation. One of those was: Why are two different homophones used in windbreak and canebrake? Clearly a windbreak is a structure, often of trees or bushes, deliberately placed to diminish the force of the wind. While a canebrake may be less intentional, wouldn't it do the same thing? I decided it might have been nothing more than some stubborn and archaic Southern spelling.   Read the Full Article

Punctuation is Powerful!

by Beverly Guenette, CET

Affect / Effect

Effect is a noun meaning outcome, consequence, or appearance.

To affect is a verb meaning to transform or to change

The words effect and affect are very often confused and misused.
      Figuring out which one to use is often as easy as determining whether a verb or a noun is required.  If a verb is needed, most of the time affect is correct. 
      It means "to change" or "to influence." 

Effect - To determine if you are using effect correctly, substitute the noun effect with the noun consequence to confirm it's a noun. 

Read the Full Article

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


___ 1. spinney a. trinket
____ 2. foolscap b. commotion
____ 3. rataplan c. spirit of the time
____ 4. gravitas d. formidable
____ 5. bibelot e. standing stone
____ 6. kerfuffle f. seriousness
____ 7. lich g. thicket
____ 8. menhir h. drum beat
____ 9. redoubtable i. corpse
____ 10. Zeitgeist j. writing paper 



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