During my 35-year career as a court reporter, reporting firm manager, and sales executive, my dedication to delivering exceptional service to clients (attorneys and their staff) resulted in my being entrusted to oversee four of the largest high-profile cases in the world:
International Paper vs. Affiliated FM Insurance Co., et al. (555 national depositions)
Bowoto vs. Chevron Corporation (280 global depositions)
With the court reporting field facing a shortage since the introduction of third-party contracting in the 1990s, followed by budget cuts resulting in electronic recording (ER) replacing official reporters in some state courts nationwide, my passion for educating the legal community and general public about court reporters’ crucial role as irreplaceable, impartial guardians of the record has grown. In 2004, I began speaking at legal associations and educational programs throughout the greater Bay Area about court reporting products, technology, services and ethics:
- San Francisco Legal Professionals Association
- Mt. Diablo Legal Professionals Association
- Contra Costa County Legal Professionals Association
- San Francisco State University Paralegal Studies
- Cal State East Bay Paralegal Studies
- BerkeleyLaw (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley
- California Court Reporters Association
I also began speaking at Argonaut, Golden State (now closed), West Valley, College of Marin and Humphreys court reporting schools to share my expertise and encourage students to continue their studies and not give up.
In late 2016, I organized and moderated a panel of experts to present the first-ever court-reporting-related Ethics MCLE* workshop at the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) in January 2017: Can You Say That? Legal Ethics of Working with Court Reporters.
- The Court Reporter’s Dilemma: Interrupt or Drop
- Guidelines for Respectful Attorney-Reporter Relationships
- Educating the Legal Community Through Social Media
- How to Interrupt Proceedings: Feel the Fear and Speak Up Anyway
- Mock Trials: Developing Crucial Professional Skills Before It Counts
- WANTED: Court and Deposition Reporters
As Marketing Coordinator of BASF’s Paralegal Section, the first and only non-attorney section of the Bar, I am a regular contributor to BASF’s Bulletin print newsletter and Legal by the Bay blog page and have published several articles in the following periodicals:
- The Legal Secretary magazine (a publication of Legal Secretaries, Inc.);
- CCRA Online (an e-newsletter published by the California Court Reporters Association);
- The Trial Lawyer (a publication of San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association); and others.
After relinquishing my CSR license in 2008, I began offering reporter-of-record apprenticeships for advanced court reporting students(See my Reporting Internships page) in mock depositions and mock trials at law firms, BerkeleyLaw, private organizations, high schools, and San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association’s annual mock trial competition.
Reporting students from Bay Area cities as well as throughout the state and from as far away as the East Coast register to experience being THE REPORTER. These mock depositions and mock trials are win-win experiences for all participants: law students, attorneys, judges, court reporting students and court reporters. Unlike shadowing, they are the Reporter of Record.
My interns gain confidence and achieve a deep understanding of the legal, ethical and professional responsibilities of working reporters. These practical skills events, combined with my steno mastery coaching and 5 Golden Rules to Steno Mastery course,** assist students and new reporters in overcoming obstacles to achieving mastery in their chosen field. See Reporting Internships and Consulting pages for more details.
* Mandatory Continuing Legal Education
** The course is based on my ebook, 0-225: Your Guide to Writing Mastery.
Second photo by Lisa Mann Photography. Bulletin article by BASF. Internship/BASF workshop photos and graphics by Ana Fatima Costa. All rights reserved.