Some Reasons Why You Should Consider Training As A Court Reporter

There are several names by which those in this occupation are sometimes called. They can be known as voice writers, stenotype reporters or transcribers. The court reporter creates an accurate transcription of official proceedings. These transcriptions are used for future reference and for research purposes. This job requires a very high level of accuracy and attention to detail. People in this occupation are often highly intelligent and multilingual.

Stenographic reporting is the most common method. The operator use a stenotype machine and is able to press multiple keys at a time to represent sounds, phrases and words. Modern technology allows for the machine to be linked to a computer system that translates the shorthand from the stenotype machine into text that appears instantly on the computer screen.

Another popular method is electronic reporting. The transcriber uses audio equipment to record the proceedings. Apart from overseeing the proper operation of the equipment, he also takes notes aimed at clarification and identification of the speakers. The recording is then later transcribed. The main disadvantage of this method is that the records of the proceedings are not available immediately.

One of the most technologically advanced methods is voice writing. The reporter speaks into a voice silencer that ensures that the proceedings are not disrupted. All testimony is repeated into a hand held mask that houses a microphone. Gestures and emotional reactions are also recorded, requiring a high degree of skill. Speech recognition systems are sometimes used to provide an instant real time transcript.

This occupation is not limited to courtroom work. While these services are of immense value to the judiciary, transcribers are also in high demand for the recording of depositions, arbitration hearings and many other meetings where an exact record of the proceedings is required. Some earn a extra income from the sale of their transcriptions for study and research purposes. Many also earn an income from recording speeches and lectures.

There is more to this occupation than just he actual recording of proceedings. Voice writers and stenotype reporters have to create and maintain the computer dictionaries that are used to translate the keystrokes or voice into text. It is sometimes even necessary to customize the dictionaries for proceedings where specialized terminology will be used. Other tasks include the editing of transcriptions for grammar and spelling errors.

In order to qualify for this type of work intensive training in English and business law is necessary. There is also a high emphasis on legal and medical language. Training is offered by most business schools, and some colleges and universities. Examinations involve both theoretical tests and practical assessments. Qualified reporters are required to perform transcriptions at approximately two hundred and fifty words per minute.

To become a court reporter it is necessary to be highly organized, precise and disciplined. Most members of this profession earn a good income, they are highly regarded and their services are sought after. Many disputes and potential misunderstandings have been avoided or solved because of the existence of accurate records of proceedings.

Health Care Reform: The Employer Mandate and Reporting Requirements

Many employers remain confused about health care reform, and how their business will be impacted. One of the most important parts of the law is the employer’s “shared responsibility” role, in which employers are required to provide affordable health insurance coverage to their staff. However, “this pay-or-play” mandate has been postponed, providing employers more time to understand and comply with the law.

Reporting Requirements

Employers and other reporting entities will be provided additional time to provide input and feedback on ways to simplify information reporting, while remaining consistent with the law. Known as “transition relief”, it is intended to provide employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage time to adapt their health coverage and reporting systems.

In anticipation of the application of the provisions in 2015, however, the IRS encourages employers to voluntarily comply for 2014 with these information-reporting provisions (once the information reporting rules have been issued) and to maintain or expand health coverage to all full-time employees in 2014.

Employer Mandate (employers defined as “large” by the ACA)

No “Employer Shared Responsibility” penalties will be assessed for 2014 (the piece of the law requiring employers to provide all employees with affordable coverage). Large employers who do not offer coverage or who offer coverage that does not meet the ACA’s definition of affordable will not be penalized in 2014. However, these employers need to be ready to comply for 2015.

Individual Mandate

The individual requirement, which is effective January, 1, 2014, has not been delayed. Under the individual requirement, U.S. citizens and legal residents are required to carry health insurance or pay a penalty tax. It is expected that the set-up and operation of the new insurance marketplace, called “The Exchange,” will continue in each state.

Premium Credits through the Exchange

The delay does not affect the availability of premium credits for individuals eligible for federal subsidies. Individuals will continue to be eligible for the premium tax credit by enrolling in a qualified health plan through the Affordable Insurance Exchanges (also called Health Insurance Marketplaces), if:

a) Their household income is within a specified range; and,

b) They are not eligible for other minimum essential coverage, including an eligible employer-sponsored plan that is affordable and provides minimum value.

Benefits eligibility for full-time employees/Hours Tracking

The ACA defines a full-time employee, for the purpose of benefits eligibility, to be one working an average of 30+ hours per week. Due to the delay of the employer mandate, employers will not be required to comply with this definition in 2014. There is no need for employers to track hours in 2013 to determine eligibility for 2014, or to decide on a measurement, administrative, and stability period.

Maximum waiting period

The delay does not affect the maximum waiting period rules effective January 1, 2014. The ACA requires that an employer must not have a waiting period that is longer than 90 days. Note that some states, such as California, may have more stringent laws.

Although the two items being delayed are significant, we recommend that employers continue their diligence with understanding and preparing for the implementation of Health Care Reform provisions in 2014, through 2020.

Legal Placement Services: The Difference Between Court Reporters and Paralegals

Many important professions are involved with legal placement services. Most people know the important ones, such as lawyers, defense attorneys, judges, juries, and others. However, some positions often get confused, those being court reporters and paralegals. Though they both assist law firms in some way, this is where the similarities end. This article will go on to describe the difference, and any additional amount of similarities there might be between court reporters and paralegals.

CourtReporters

The Court Reporting career path is a great choice for people who tend to be more on the shy, introverted side but are great writers. If the person gets uncomfortable around large amounts of people, they should not have to worry about doing so with this position. Besides transcribing the happenings of trials, the other tasks court reporters have that involve interacting with people is limited: swearing in witnesses, reading back parts of the trial, or asking certain people to repeat something if it is unclear. “Swearing in” is the process of reading the witness his or her rights before providing testimony.

Court reporters are sometimes called “law reporters,” “shorthand reporters,” or “stenotype operators.” With today’s technology, reporters sometimes require the skills of digital court reporting or voice writing reporting. These are self-explanatory because the reporters record and transcribe the trial at the same time. This may sound easier than it is. The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) set requirements for reporters to pass typing tests with speeds of 225 words a minute for the United States. This varies by country. This NVRA requirement is often the reason why the dropout rate for this position is very high-nearly 95% for some schools. Training is difficult because it is a very difficult skill to obtain.

Paralegals

While court reporting is a great profession for introverted individuals, paralegals should definitely be more extraverted because it is a people-oriented position. Paralegals have the option of working for a law firm or independently. While most reporters tend to serve some sort of law or government firms (though some do choose to work freelance) most paralegals work independently. While paralegals are involved with some cases-conducting research, drafting documents, working with clients, and managing cases-they are not permitted to provide legal advice to clients directly unless it is permitted by law. One characteristic reporters and paralegals have in common is every state has different laws and certifications that must be completed by both professions, but every state is different.

There are some other characteristics paralegals and court reporters have in common, though they are few. These professionals must have excellent written and oral communication skills, though for court reporters it is mostly written skills that are most important. They must be detail-oriented and portray a high sense of professionalism since they are both working with legal placement services and the government. Though the similarities are few, it is still easy to see how these two positions could get confused. Hopefully, this article has cleared up any misunderstandings for those people who are looking into working with legal placement services.