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Social Media and Free Speech

Social Media and Free Speech

The current political climate has lent itself to conversations about free speech, including what people are saying on social media in Phoenix and across the nation. How can we censor ourselves from conversations in which we don’t want to be involved? Can we police who is using social media? How far is too far when it comes to first amendment privilege? The answers are still unfolding in part because social media is relatively new media and with anything new comes a testing of the legal system. 

President Trump and Twitter 

We’ve never had to ask ourselves if the President can use social media on their own private account or if they can, does it count as an official statement, but we are now! President Trump is, at least at the time of the publication of this blog post, using Twitter to directly communicate with the American people.

There are two dynamics at play here.

The first is that his views are arguably not widely accepted, at least not on the left, so many people simply don’t agree with what he is saying. Those that do agree with him are getting in discussions, some heated arguments with the other side, and it’s making some of the media question the President. The other issue at play is the President’s right to interact on social media in a private account and it has the potential to redefine free speech.

The media will likely be arguing whether the President has the right to have a private account until he is out of office which makes for lively debate no matter which side you’re on. The question for the rest of us is how we protect ourselves and what “protect ourselves” really means when it comes to social media. At this point, it’s personal choice and action.

Self-Policing Social Media 

We can’t control what anyone says on social media, no matter what their job title is, but we can protect ourselves. Social sites like Facebook and Twitter allow users to block and unfollow other users. That gives everyone a choice. You choose to listen to the banter or shut it off. 

Personally, I block and unfollow on a regular basis. From political and religious commentary to inappropriate images, I have a standard that I follow. It is my own standard and I don’t make an announcement or message people that I am unfollowing to tell them why. I keep my stress and interaction to a minimum and you can too.

Social Media and Free Speech 

People have the right to say what they choose on social media. They DO have free speech just as much as I have the right and ability to block them. For those that choose to talk about subjects that some of us, including prospective clients and employers, find controversial, they will have to face consequences. For ten Harvard students, they have to face that even though they shared images in a private group, they still got found out and identified, and are no longer able to attend Harvard.

The social media lesson? We don’t know how this will all shake out in court but we do know that what you say, no matter who you are, impacts your future in positive or negative ways and the choice is all yours. Choose wisely.

Using Technology to Serve our Clients

using technology

My father-in-law recently got (another) new cell phone. The reason? He said his smartphone was too smart for him and went with one that was easier for him to use. While that may work for him, using outdated technology, or none at all, in business may not be the best option. Instead, consider how you’re using or could be using technology to serve your clients.

Busy Court System

With 45 jury trials and 254 non-jury trials in Arizona every week, there are a lot of depositions that need to be captured and we’re here to facilitate the process using videoconferencing. Our Phoenix court reporting firm Herder & Associates is streamlining the process by using technology to help our clients.

Why Videoconferencing Makes Sense 

Our clients and court reporters tell us one of the most challenging parts of their jobs is coordinating schedules and getting everyone in the same room for depositions.

Videoconferencing takes the guess work out of who-is-available-when and allows teams to work collaboratively via the internet. Using our videoconferencing suites in downtown Phoenix, legal teams are able to complete depositions faster and more efficiently than their competitors. Not only that but there are less travel costs for all parties involved so it just makes sense to embrace technology.

Benefits of Using Technology

In addition to saving money and time on travel, using technology means teams are more efficient. They’re more likely to stay alert and focused and because they can all see each other like they would if they were in the same room, they’re better able to communicate. Our court reporters can ask questions to make sure we’re delivering the transcript in the format and timeframe needed by our clients.

It is our hope that our tech-equipped conference rooms are a benefit to our court reporters, attorneys and their clients, and the community. It is our belief that if we each do our part, we can keep the court system moving forward as efficiently as possible.

Are you in need of a court reporter or videoconferencing space for an upcoming deposition? Contact us today and let’s get your team on our schedule!

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Reasons to Become a Court Reporter

Reasons to Become a Court Reporter

I often utilize social media to connect with other professionals, including being part of a Facebook group for court reporters. I recently asked, “What was your reason to become a court reporter?” and was amazed at the different answers. Here’s a sampling for you. Leave your reason in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!

Reasons to Become a Court Reporter

Family member. Reporters keep it in the family! Some said their father or mother was a reporter while another woman said her sisters were reporters. Still another said her mom didn’t want her to be a teacher like her sister so she became a reporter! Seems it’s a family business. 

Words matter. A love of words and language was popular among the reporters who answered the unofficial survey. It makes sense since reporters need a vast knowledge of industry-specific, legal, and/or medical terms to be able to do their work. 

Money. Quite a few respondents said simply that money was the motivating factor to become a court reporter. I thought that was an honest answer. One said her sister’s standard of living changed when she became a reporter and she wanted the same for herself.

 Second career. After 20+ years in one career, I might consider retiring but for those motivated, they’ve chosen reporting as a second career. They’re back to school and are ready for a new adventure! 

Love of the steno machine. There were some folks who said they love the keys and secret language of the steno. 

Flexible schedule. For those that have a hobby like playing golf or are needing to care for family, court reporting offers a flexible schedule and above-average earning potential with salaries starting at $40,000 or more. 

Variety. Many reported being tired of being tied to an office doing the same work over and over. They love that they cover different types of cases in different places; no two days are the same and they love it.  

Introvert tendencies. If you love being the quiet person in the room soaking up the conversation, consider a career in court reporting! 

Military assignment. Two men said they were assigned by the military to be court reporters. You don’t find many male reporters! While there are approximately 32,000 reporters in the U.S., only about 10% are male. 

Sounded intriguing. 14 years ago I heard a commercial for a fundraising walk that was 60 miles in three days. Sounds crazy but I signed up and completed it that year and again the next because the commercials were intriguing to me. It was the same for the reporters we asked; they heard a commercial and thought it sounded like an interesting career.

If there’s one takeaway in asking the reason someone became a Phoenix court reporter, it’s that they are passionate about their work. I love when people love what they do. It inspires me and I hope it inspires you too!

Herder & Associates Founder Recognized at Final Meeting of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission

Arizona-based Marty Herder, founder of the court reporting firm Herder & Associates, was recently recognized at the final meeting of the AIRC.

The AIRC was created when voters approved Proposition 106 which amended the Arizona Constitution to create a bipartisan commission independent of the state legislature that would be tasked with redrawing congressional and legislative lines following the decennial census, and was mandated to be in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act.

Along with the Commission, its counsel, and the AIRC administrative staff, covering each twist and turn of this historic process was Marty Herder, a certified professional court reporter and owner of Herder & Associates.   Herder is a past president of the Arizona Court Reporters Association and long-time member of the award-winning Chandler Horizon Rotary Club.

The AIRC for the 2011-2020 cycle started administrative meetings in March 2011. It has held 58 business meetings and 43 public hearings in locations in every corner of the state, for a total of over 359 hours.

The media and thousands were in attendance at these public meetings, and 2,350 speaking requests from the public were granted. Mr. Herder, President of Herder & Associates Court Reporters, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, diligently reported over 10,000 pages of verbatim transcripts of each meeting, which often times included contentious issues and public protest matters. The commission streamed almost every meeting to the Internet, with the eyes of the country watching.

At the final meeting on April 28, 2017, everyone shared a personal thank-you and goodbye. AIRC Commission Chairwoman Colleen Mathis kindly presented Mr. Herder a Commission Medal of Freedom, sharing “I also want to recognize Marty Herder, who also is going to be receiving one of these Commission Medal of Freedom medals. He’s a really great guy. On the back of his medal, I put, “Always ready.””

Herder was recognized for being dedicated to the Commission and the process 24/7 and remaining at the ready for each meeting of the Commission.

After being presented with his award, Herder responded, “If we are lucky in life, once or twice in our career we are blessed with a moment, a moment feeling a part of something far, far bigger than anything we ever imagined, while surrounded by passionate, bright and engaging new characters and new friends. AIRC has been that moment for me.”

To schedule or inquire about the Always-Ready professional court reporting services offered by the elite team at Herder & Associates, call 480-481-0649 or E-mail: [email protected]

Tips for Heating Up Your Court Reporting Business for the Phoenix Summer

Court Reporting Business for the Phoenix Summer

Have you lost the spark and passion you once had for court reporting? It might be time to take a look at what you’ve accomplished, where you want to take your business, and then step away for time off. Not sure if time off is in the budget? It should be and here’s why. 

Review Year-to-Date

 You can’t know where you’re going until you see how far you’ve come. Sounds like something from an inspirational poster but it also holds truth. Now is a good time of year to review your Phoenix court reporting business since the beginning of the year.

  • What goals did you have in January and what the status of those goals today?
  • How are you holding yourself accountable for professional development goals?
  • What was your earnings estimate? Have you met or beat it? If not, why not?

As you look at what you’ve accomplished year-to-date, give yourself credit where you’ve met goals or made improvements. Adjust the rest so it is attainable or take it off the list. You aren’t going to heat up your business by stressing over things out of your control so control what you can. 

Take Time Off 

When was the last time you took a day or a week off from work? It might sound counterintuitive but one of the best ways to recharge your mind is to take time away from the office. Studies show that when we take vacation time we’re actually more productive when we are at work. It’s akin to needing sleep for our bodies to function properly; our minds need time to relax and refresh. [Source]

Come Back Renewed and Focused

Even when you’re on vacation your mind is solving problems and improving creativity with what you’ve already been thinking about. Need a new office design? Stop thinking about it and the ideas will flow. Not sure how to land your ideal client? Step away from your desk for the afternoon; your mind will connect you with what you need to know to find that client. The truth is that our minds need time off to just blow off steam just like we do. When we return we’re refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the month and year.

Heat up your court reporting business for the Phoenix summer by taking inventory of what you’ve accomplished so far this year, what you want to get done, then relax and return focused on what’s most important in your business and your life. We can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

Scheduling a Deposition in Arizona?

Herder & Associates provides court reporting services statewide throughout Arizona and enjoys an excellent reputation in both the legal and reporting field throughout the Southwest.

At Herder & Associates, we specialize our services to fit your every need.   Let us streamline your scheduling challenges of your next deposition by calling us now at (480) 481-0649, and you will know the peace of mind that comes with relying on the most professional and respected court reporting and litigation support services available.

Unexpected Mentorship Opportunities

Some of the best things in life are unexpected. Whether that’s mentorship opportunities, career changes, or even love, you’ve got be aware of what’s around you so you can fully embrace what life has to offer.

Define Your Passion

What are you good at and what do you like doing? For a long time I was in jobs that involved numbers and after being laid off discovered that what I really loved about my jobs wasn’t in the job descriptions. I realized my passion was people and words and not numbers and analysis. I identified people in my life who could guide me; they became my mentor team. Now I pay it forward to others who are seeking a new career.

Thinking about making a change? If you’re in a career that isn’t fulfilling but know you’re focused, detail oriented, professional, punctual, and driven, consider a career in court reporting.

Make a List of Experiences

When I say make a list of experiences, I challenge you to list not only professional experience but personal as well. Are you a speaker at business networking events? Do you admin a group on social media? Are you the person your peers call for advice? Think about what you share with everyone in your life because not every skill on your resume is developed through professional experience; sometimes it’s what you learn outside the office that’s meaningful to others, especially when mentorship opportunities come your way.

Unexpected is Often the Best

When I met the man who is now my husband neither of us was looking for love. We were spending time with a friend we had in common when we discovered we really liked being with each other. That can happen with mentorship opportunities as well.

  • You meet someone at a social event and they’re looking for a new career.
  • A member of a LinkedIn group for freelancers asks a question about how to manage their time and you offer your best practices.
  • A friend calls and asks how you’re able to work from home and you tell them how you schedule your days, weeks, and months so you can work while also taking care of home and family.

These are all unexpected opportunities to mentor others. Mentoring another court reporter doesn’t have to be a formal program. It can be answering questions in a Facebook group or sharing your experience via blog post. Whether you know it or not, you’re probably a mentor. To that I say, keep up the good work!

In Arizona, let our stellar team of leaders serve your court reporting needs. Contact us via phone at 480-481-0649.

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Court Reporter Survival Guide

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Court Reporter Facts and Myths

Court Reporter Facts and Myths

When we say, “court reporter,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it someone sitting at a steno machine in a courtroom? Do you think it’s a dying profession? We’re here to share court reporter facts and myths so you can learn and share more about this exciting and growing profession.

Myth: The only place you will find court reporters is in a courtroom.

The digitization of the courtroom has meant a decline in the demand for reporters in courtrooms and higher demand outside in business, sporting events, politics, and civic meetings.

You can find our reporters working from home as real-time reporters and closed captioners.

You might find them working as travelling freelance reporters in rural Arizona counties where there is a court reporter shortage.

Others can be found transcribing recordings from town hall, HOA, or Board meetings or live seminars and webinars.

Wherever there is a need to translate the spoken word is where you might find a court reporter.

Myth: There are more than enough court reporters.

The truth is that there is a court reporter shortage happening right now. Outside Maricopa County there are court cases that require an in-person court reporter by law. That often means sending one of our Phoenix reporters to cover the case. While it is a cost-saving measure for courts in our state and across the country, it’s often challenging to find a reporter willing to take the case.

Not only is there an increased demand in the legal field, but in non-legal fields. Couple that with a decrease in court reporting school enrollment and it’s a potential for a major court reporter shortage in the not so distant future.

Myth: No one wants to be a court reporter. 

If we’re going to get through the shortage, we’ve got to be working together as an industry to spread the word about the benefits of court reporting. We find that the more we’re sharing our experience on blogs and social media, more people are interested in this career.

While being a court reporter takes a special set of skills – focus, attention to detail, punctual, organized, accurate and fast transcription – many people don’t know the benefits of being a court reporter. Because there is such a high demand and low supply of reporters, the earning potential right out of school is higher ($40,000 average) than for many four-year degrees. With a bit of experience, reporters can earn in the six-figures all while making their own schedule.

For those seeking an exciting career working with a variety of clients, we think court reporting is a great choice! Do you have more court reporter facts and myths that need busting? Contact us today; we’d love to talk to you!

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Pay Attention! Do you have what it takes to be a court reporter?

court reporter

If you’re as alert as the Phoenix driver who lived to tell the story of his car being impaled by corrugated sheet metal while he was driving, you’ve got what it takes to pay attention through a legal proceeding!

Court reporting is a seriously rewarding business.

As reporters, we may be the quietest people in the room but we play an important role on the legal team. If we’re absent and there’s isn’t digital recording equipment available, a proceeding will likely not happen; most are required to be recorded and preserved for the record. That puts our work in high demand. Even when there is a recording, it’s court reporters who transcribe and deliver a written record.

Not only are we important to the legal process, a career in court reporting has its own rewards especially for those seeking a career where they can work from home as a freelancer. While some cases and business assignments may be weeks or months long, when it’s over you can take time with family, travel, or relax before the next job.

We’re no longer hiding in courtrooms.

Across the nation court reporters are peeking out from court and deposition conference rooms and entering the worlds of business, television, sports, politics, and community events.

Closed captioning is in high demand and for the fastest and most accurate reporters that means more opportunities to caption television shows, live events, and college classes for the deaf and hearing impaired. The increased demand for services means higher pay for some but it isn’t without its challenges.

With high demand for services comes a court reporter shortage.

Because the skills required to be a court reporter as specialized, we have a problem with student retention in court reporting schools. This has resulted in schools across the nation closing, leaving some without a place to finish their certification. Often they abandon their dream of being a reporter in favor of another program, leaving the industry set for a court reporter shortage of more than 5,000 by the end of 2018.

If you’re seeking a new career and have what it takes to be a court reporter – fast acting, attention to detail, organized, and punctual, to name a few – then we’d love to talk to you!

Need a court reporter for an upcoming Phoenix or Scottsdale case? Contact us today!

Source Metal Cargo Smashes Through SUV Windshield

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Current Events Impact Court Reporter Demand

Court Reporter Demand

The recent Executive Order travel ban left many immigrants and refugees stranded at airports or worried that when they arrived, they wouldn’t be allowed to enter the United States through Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix and airports across the country. Immigration lawyers and activists made themselves available to those with questions and even as the ban is sorted out in court, we wonder how current events impact the court reporter demand.

If the instance of immigration and refugee cases increases, court reporters will be in higher demand.

For a city like Phoenix that has the 10th highest population of undocumented immigrants, the travel ban and possible subsequent orders, makes us wonder how many more court reporters we may need to cover immigration or refugee cases. With 250,000 people undocumented, that’s a lot of folks to process through an already busy court system. And that’s just in our city. Let’s not forget border towns and suburbs.

It’s not only a potential challenge for the court system which utilizes digital recording rather than live court reporters, but it’s a problem for the court reporting industry.

Even when proceedings are recorded, someone has to create the transcript.

Let’s say the courts could process 250,000 cases, which is unlikely unless legal teams and judges work around the clock for months, there is still a court reporter shortage happening across the nation, not just in Arizona. Even if we were able to send work to remote reporters or bring in freelance reporters from other states, the cost could be astronomical. That’s assuming they’re available and not covering immigration cases in their home state.

While it seems, at least for now, the travel ban issue has resolved itself in higher courts, there are other events that impact court reporter demand.

The court reporting industry is driven in part by the insurance industry. According to Ducker Worldwide, the better the economy, the more legal activity and therefore the higher the court reporter demand. If the economy continues on an upward trajectory, we will likely see a growing need for reporters. Couple that with the rain storms in California and an extended winter in the eastern United States, and you’ve got the perfect storm of increased insurance claims, court cases related to property damage, and higher demand for reporters.

For those that think court reporting is a dying profession, we’re here to tell you it’s a growing field in need of trained professionals before there’s a crisis in the courts. Interested in learning more? We’d love to talk to you.

Source

Iranian immigrants welcomed to Arizona as federal court weighs travel ban

Court Reporting Industry Outlook Report by Ducker Worldwide