Most people entering a profession can expect new experiences and on-the-job learning for maybe the first five or so years of their career. If your career is court reporting, that learning period is never-ending, and that can make things at times very interesting and very challenging. Those not in or related to the world of court reporting probably think it can’t be that weird; you sit at a little machine in a courtroom day after day. Those of us in that world know better! My career in reporting began in October of 1989. A lot of new experiences did occur in the first several years; however, there are several new things I’ve experienced in the past five years alone, and I anticipate more to come.
My most long-term CART assignment was during the last five years. I worked for the Department of Defense and provided services for a six-week training course about contracts and statistics. It met daily from 9 until 4 every day. In case you’re not familiar with CART, it stands for Communication Access Realtime Translation and is when we transcribe in machine shorthand what is spoken and it instantaneously translates into text that is displayed so that people can read it. The text can be displayed on many different devices, such as large projector screens, computers, tablets, and mobile devices. It’s similar to the closed captioning seen on television. CART is something that can be done for anyone, in any industry and institution, and is different than court reporting work where we work with depositions, trials, hearing, and legal proceedings.
Along the same lines, I have provided CART for an engineer at Hill-Rom. He is one of their medical devices inventors. That has entailed classroom sessions for an in-house class he took, but I’ve also provided CART for him to be able to present his ideas to potential partnering companies and users of equipment. Such presentations took place in Hill-Rom’s testing area as well as at another company. These are very big and open areas, so it was necessary to follow the client from place to place, sometimes while he was crawling around under hospital beds! The iPad is a huge help in those situations.
A case I worked from February of 2014 through June of 2015 has to come close to being the most depositions I’ve taken in one case. I took 54 depositions in that case, most of which lasted all day, and I provided realtime for between two and five attorneys each day. I learned all I never wanted to know about geothermal HVAC systems!
In December of 2013, I began Streamtexting the play-by-plays for Bengals home games. I’ve already written an article explaining that assignment, and I continue to cover those games. I’ve learned a lot more about football, considering I was not a fan of the sport in the beginning and knew very little!
During the beginnings of the Presidential race in September of 2016, I covered a forum titled: US Global Leadership Coalition, Why America’s Role in the World Matters? The speakers present included Ohio Governor John Kasich, Frank Sesno from CNN, Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Former Ohio Governor Robert Taft, II. That was my first time working in the political arena.
In May of 2017, I had the honor of writing a graduation ceremony for the first time, and it was for my alma mater, Clark State, in Springfield, Ohio. I was in the auditorium and my text was sent via Streamtext to anyone who cared to watch it on their phone or computer. It was fun being back on campus.
One last story, and this one took me into the courtroom this past fall. Another reporter in our office and I were reporters for a county criminal jury trial. We rotated in and out so that the transcripts could be prepared quickly. I was the lucky reporter on the rainy and cold morning that the jury was to go to the scene of the crime to view the area. From what my colleagues have told me, that is not an unusual thing for a jury. What was very unusual was that I also went to the viewing and walked with the bailiff, attorneys, jurors, and sheriff deputies and took down any instructions the bailiff gave the jurors. This meant that a deputy was tasked to walk alongside me with a folding chair to provide me a place to sit as well as carrying an umbrella over my machine. Even the judge said it was the first time he had had that exact scenario take place.
So even after 27 years of reporting and just when I think I’ve seen, heard, and done all there is to do within the weird and wonderful world of court reporting, something new pops up, and I become nearly a newbie again!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa Conley Yungblut is a Mike Mobley Reporting court reporter based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has been a reporter since 1989. Lisa is active in the Ohio Court Reporters’ Association (is a Past President), on the Advisory Board for the judicial reporting program at a local college, actively engaged in improving her skills and has mentored many court reporting students and interns.