Taking Control – My Job as a Court Reporter

We can only control what we can control.

Today, it seems, we have been faced with more than our share of tragedies that are beyond our comprehension and control. Hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, terrorist attacks. We are helpless while in the throes of such events, doing whatever it takes to regain control of our lives again.

With the many things in life I have no control over, I know I have control over many aspects of my job as a real-time court reporter and firm owner.

I can control the environment and mood in the room during a real-time proceeding or deposition just by my demeanor alone. If I am rude and unprofessional, I can expect an unfavorable reaction from people I work with, such as my reporters, counsel, the witness and the office staff.  When I am unprofessional, I risk of losing control by losing respect of others and losing business.

During proceedings, I can speak up and advise counsel and/or witnesses that they need to speak up, slow down or stop talking over one another.  The integrity of the record is my responsibility.  If I can’t control the proceedings, then I can’t produce a clean and accurate record.

I can showcase my skills by offering real-time or providing real-time to multiple attorneys. I can showcase my skills by reading back, without error or pause. And when I mark exhibits, I announce the number and marking of said exhibit; thereby, confirming the accuracy of identification and further displaying for the attorneys how it should be done.

When counsel raises their voices and get into heated debates, I remain cool, calm and collected. I can continue to write and showcase my ability to report every word at a rate of speed exceeding 250 words per minute and higher, or I can raise my hands away from my machine and advise them to stop. I take control of the situation so as not to allow things to further escalate and spiral out of control.

When an attorney calls to argue about an invoice, I remain calm and explain our billing.  After I have gone over the invoice and explained our rates and how the billing process works, I can make adjustments or I can stand firm.

When an attorney questions our methods of operation pertaining to the Codes of Civil Procedure, I am more than happy to educate on the laws of my trade.

When I control situations with ease and confidence, it elicits the confidence of the people I am working for, thereby proving to them that I have the ability to conduct myself in a professional and capable manner, ensuring that the integrity of the written word is intact and in good hands.

I have proven again and again that I have the ability to maintain control and to do a good job as a court reporter and firm owner, even while under pressure.  Every day is a new opportunity for me to be a better court reporter, a better firm owner, a better person.

I know what to do; I know how to do it… I am in control.