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Humanity Above Self

The Rotary Foundation was awarded “World’s Outstanding Foundation 2016”
Rotary has donated more than $3 billion on projects that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children, and grow local economies. The Rotary Foundation was given a 100% score for Accountability and Transparency by CharityNavigator.org

Sound like something that you want to be a part of? Join me for breakfast some Wednesday morning to meet our dynamic membership. I welcome the opportunity to introduce you. – Marty Herder


Office and Techie Tips for Court Reporters

tips for court reporters

Is your office chair giving you a back ache? Are you tired of trying to keep track of your passwords? Are you using space on your computer for client documents? It’s time to embrace our office and techie tips for court reporters.

If you’re like us, you’re too busy running your business and taking care of clients to worry about finding the best technology. With the right tools in place, you can grow your business and become more efficient in the process.

Ergonomic Workspace

After a day of reporting your office chair can feel so uncomfortable that you might not want to return the next day but clients need you so what can you do? Set up an office space that suits how you work best and find the right chair and desk combination for you!

  • Do you work best in a room lit with sunlight? If you’re an early riser, make sure your office is lit by morning sun.
  • Do you have aches and pains in your back? Consider an ergonomic chair or even a standing workstation so you’re comfortable when you work.
  • Can you have a home office with a door? Trick your mind into thinking the work commute is the walk down the hall to open your office. Business closes when you shut down the computer and close the door when you leave. You may find that you’re sleeping better when work is staring you down 24/7 from the dining room table.

Most importantly, make sure your computer is placed where you’re most comfortable to avoid those aches and pains. If that means placing it on a riser, then that’s what you need to do!

Efficient Process

Are you constantly forgetting Phoenix area appointments or wondering where you put your planner? It’s time to think about using an online calendar like Google to track meetings, work, and family time. The best part is that your Google calendar can be shared with others so you can plan events with clients or family and you’ve both got it on your computer and smartphone.

Tired of keeping track of passwords?

Protect your identity and private documents when you have different passwords for every account — emails, medical insurance, car and life insurance, banking, investment, and social media. It can be tempting to use the same password but you’re risking identity theft! Try LastPass password manager to protect your online presence.

Running out of space on your computer?

Don’t waste computer space when you use clouds like Google drive or Dropbox to save and share documents. You can also have access through Android or iOS.

Working remotely?

Check your flight status with Flightaware or sign up to receive updates from the airline so you never miss your flight. If you’re driving, forget printing directions and use Google Maps, Waze, or other GPS apps on your phone to get live traffic reports.

The more comfortable and efficient you can be in your business, the more you can work with clients to deliver quality transcripts. We’re here to support you!


Let’s “Hear It” for Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)

ACRA Walk4Hearing 2016

Let’s “Hear It” for HLAA, and for members, friends and family of “Team ACRA” who came out strong at Saturday’s fun Walk4Hearing event! Walk4Hearing was held at Sloan Park – Riverview, Mesa, Arizona, (Spring Training Home of the World Champion Chicago Cubs). http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/mesa/ The weather and spirits were bright and sunny, contributing to the perfect day.
We are fortunate that we live in a time where there was a Sea of Cochlear Implant success stories. We’ll be keeping our ear to the ground on exciting developments in this field. Thank you for helping us raise awareness and funding for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The Arizona Court Reporters Association and Herder & Associates: Committed to “Service Above Self.”

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Our deepest Appreciation to Each and Every One of Those Who Served


My big brother Bob enlisted at 17 and served our country in Vietnam.  Eagerly walking in his shadow, I remember him being tall, broad shouldered and, like all the other kids, admired his athleticism, leadership, and how he was always there for the little guy.  Bob left home like most of our heroes:  eager, patriotic and humorous. He spent two honorable tours in combat as a teenager, then a young man, before becoming morbidly sick with malaria and typhoid, and other unknown illnesses. He was not supposed to survive. But through prayer, luck, and dedicated medical staff, he came out of a coma, removed his yet undated toe tag, and was shipped home weighing only 130 pounds, his yellow skin hanging off his skeleton. It was hideous.

Bob returned, but the brother we knew was gone, replaced by a shell of a man.  He now was the shadow.

It took my brother many years to recover, and he has had to endure an entire lifetime of life-threatening physical maladies and multiple system failures from his exposure to Agent Orange, disease, and combat. We as a family cannot remember a time that Bob hasn’t been sick or suffering physically or emotionally since his service to our country four decades ago. His duty assignment today is battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as he still endures the psychological scars of kills and destruction.

Bob has never given up, but he has struggled to integrate into a society that four decades ago spit on him, and that scoffs at the challenges he and other veterans face.  He like many of our heroes struggles with a government that laboriously rations out benefits, medical treatments and procedures, as if he was begging for something unearned.

Sometimes we lose our heroes in one tragic moment. Other times we lose them slowly and tortuously over time. Let us never forget their sacrifice.

Speak Now – Habits that Can Ruin a Deposition

habits that can ruin a deposition

Have you been in a conversation when one person talks over the other? It’s difficult to understand what each person is saying and you might miss points they’re each trying to make.

What does it feel like to be the observer of an argument? Or worse, to be in the middle of one? It’s uncomfortable. It may even come to the point where no one knows how it got started and the best choice is to stop arguing.

Whether it’s missing parts of conversation or being uncomfortable, your court reporter has likely experienced these and more habits that can ruin a deposition.

One at a Time

No matter your role at the deposition, our court reporters request that you each speak one at a time. It’s the only proven way we can record an accurate account of what’s happening. When you speak over each other, even if we can put the bits and pieces of conversation together, we’re left with a transcript that may not make sense to anyone, including you.

Volume Control

When I was growing up I had a brother whose volume would get louder if he felt his point in a family discussion wasn’t being heard. Don’t let that happen to you or your witness! As long as the reporter can hear you at a reasonable volume, there’s no need to yell.

Use your words

We live in a society of texting and short cuts but when you’re in a courtroom setting, remember you’ve got to speak using real words. Umms, uh-huhs, ahhs, and nodding can’t be transcribed.

It’s likely someone will ask you to verbalize and that only serves to waste time. If you’re an attorney, we urge you to coach witnesses on these finer points of being a witness.

If you’re an expert witness, please speak clearly. Remember that while reporter may be familiar with technical terms, don’t assume they know everything you’re saying. Be patient as they may need to ask for clarification.

The court reporter may be the quietest person in the room but we’re also observing and recording everything that’s being said to preserve it for the record. Remember that the next time you want to speak over or argue with a witness or opposing counsel. Habits that can ruin a deposition can also ruin your relationship with a valued Phoenix court reporter!

Election Day!

election day

Election day! Whether you are conservative or liberal, young or old, whether your candidate comes in 2nd, 3rd, or never made it out of the gate, please remember that we have the privilege of living in the greatest nation in the history of mankind.   Whatever the outcome of this election of these two flawed candidates, please be committed.

Please be committed to be an upbeat, positive force in your community, in your career, in life.

Please be committed to shun the negativity and demonizing of any opinion or person that differs from yours.

Please be committed to step up to bring about the change that you want to see, whether volunteering for a food bank, assisting with elder care, or being a Big Brother/Sister.

There are literally thousands of wonderful ways to contribute that you are not doing …yet.

Join a new charity and totally immerse yourself in “Service Above Self.”

Be committed to do more than spending the next few years on FB posting negative, non-productive posts that lack fact-checking or that depend on media propaganda, (CNN, Fox, MSNBC, et al.)

I’ve been voting since 1976. I’ve come to embrace what Mr. Ross Price shared with me on my wedding day in 1994. Ross was tough as nails, an ex-Marine buddy of my father-in-law, a 65-year old witty, successful liberal Dem from Sacramento. I recall it like it was this morning, sitting at a popular sports bar in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at halftime of a Hawkeye game. When we both got “animated” drilling down on politics, me pontificating about fiscal responsibility, Big Ross suddenly leaned in, began to stare right through me . . . and then started grinning from ear-to-ear to say, “You know what, Marty? What I know for sure is that no matter who has been in office, we all live a pretty good life, a life that is better than 95% of the entire world.   Never forget that.”

That was true throughout his lifetime, and it has proven true throughout my 40 years of voting.   I miss Ross and Dad, but they were spot-on.   Both were committed to community service, had a lifetime of giving back to their communities, and both were committed to bringing about the changes they wanted to see.   Two bigger than life, tough-as-nails, ex-Marines, best friends with wildly different political views, passionate about this great country of ours.

Be led by faith, not fear, and be COMMITTED to make a difference.

Leadership & Law

Steve Hirsch

A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them. – M.D. Arnold

Congratulations to our good friend Steve Hirsch of Quarles & Brady LLP, who was recently honored at the 20th anniversary celebration of the William E. Morris Institute as one of the founding members and contributors.

Steve has been part of the Maricopa County legal community for more than 40 years and was instrumental in establishing the William E. Morris Institute. The organization is a non-profit program dedicated to protecting the rights of low income Arizonans through:

  • Major impact and class action litigation.
  • Advocating with federal and state agencies, including the Arizona legislature.
  • Technical assistance, training, and support of three legal service programs in the state.

They like to say they do big things to help low income Arizonans.

Why does this matter?

It matters because leadership and law go hand in hand when helping the community. Social status doesn’t determine your rights or your ability to be a leader. Steve Hirsch uses his legal knowledge to help others and advocate for those that need it most. We need people like him (and you) giving back to the Phoenix community.

Leadership isn’t just about a position or status. It’s about being an example to others.

It’s about inspiring your peers to action. It’s about how a few people can change the world in amazing ways. Without community leaders, there would be no progress to change. In an election year, it can be argued that change is needed now more than ever. What can you do to be a leader in the community?

In this season of giving, we encourage you to find an organization that needs someone with your skills and experience and give of yourself.

And Congratulations to Steve Hirsch for recognition of your work in the community!

Real-time Court Reporting and the Political Debates

real-time court reporting

“Are you getting all this?” That’s the question we’re asking the real-time captioners covering the political debates.

With candidates interrupting and talking over each other, it was challenging to watch the debates, much less report in real-time!

What is real-time reporting?

The world is a fast moving place filled with information. The sooner it can reach the largest audience, the better. Whether it’s real-time court reporting or using your skills for live events in politics, sports, and business, becoming a Certified Real-time Reporter (CRR) opens a host of opportunities. But it’s not for everyone.

Many of us have either speed or accuracy but not both. CRRs type at a rate of 200 wpm at 96% accuracy. It’s quite a marketable skill not only for political debates but also for seminars, webinars, professional sports like baseball and football. Being able to caption in real-time means the information can be seen by a wider audience sooner.

What can we do to make real-time reporting easier for the reporters?

If there is a lesson to be learned from the debates, it’s not to talk over one another. It makes it challenging, if not impossible, for us to get an accurate account of what is being said. Even if we can record, it’s likely the transcript won’t make sense. This is especially troubling if we’re in real-time where an audience is reading our work seconds later.

Similarly, it’s important to speak clearly and audibly. If we can’t hear you, we will need to ask for you to repeat but if we’re in real-time, we can’t ask for repetition and may not transcribe accurately.

Whether it’s a presidency at stake or a sporting event, we want to give the audience the complete story of what’s happening in real-time. That takes skill and a bit of help from the folks we’re captioning.

If you’re looking for a real-time court reporter in the Phoenix area, contact us today!

Tips for a Better Deposition

What Your Court Reporter Wants You to Know

When you hire a Phoenix court reporter, it can be easy to just schedule them for a deposition and forget they need preparation just like you and your witness. The result? A frustrated reporter who may not be able to deliver what you need on the date you need it.

It takes time.

If you’re in need of a rush on a transcript, please let our reporter know when you schedule with them. It takes time to review punctuation and grammar, proofread, and make changes to deliver an accurate transcript to you. They can schedule their work accordingly and your Phoenix court reporting agency will be able to match you with someone who can meet your deadline.

Location matters.

When you schedule a conference room, think about where you, the witness, their attorney, and the reporter will be seated. It’s important everyone feel comfortable, especially the reporter who needs to hear everything that’s being said. It will save time asking for clarification later.

Speaking of clarity…

While a reporter can record sounds like uh-huh or ah-ha, it’s better that they record actual words like yes or no. The more clearly a witness can articulate, the more accurate the deposition. Also ask them to speak loud enough so the reporter can hear and not have to ask for clarification. This is especially true if it’s an expert witness using industry-specific terminology like a doctor or forensics expert.

Witness preparation

It’s not just the reporter who needs preparation, it’s important to work with the witness so they understand what will happen at the deposition and what is expected of them. If it’s an expert witness, allow them to review evidence including their own reports so they can recall details and events clearly.

No more multi-tasking

Your reporter is likely handling the marking of exhibits in addition to recording testimony. Allow them time to do this before asking the witness another question. This will save the time of repeating what’s already been stated just to get it in the record.

Most importantly, communicate with your reporter. They’re part of your team as much as your legal assistants. If the deposition time or location changes, they need to know. Otherwise you might be left waiting.

The best court reporters are the ones who are most informed prior to setting foot in a deposition conference room. Working with us, we can find the right reporter for your next case!

Arizona Court Reporter Shortage – What You Can Do to Help

court reporter shortage

Are you looking for a career that’s challenging, rewarding, and interesting? Court reporting could the right place for you. And don’t worry that you’ll be in courtrooms all day. There are opportunities outside the legal field that make this an attractive profession. And it’s a great time to consider a move to court reporting!

The Arizona court reporter shortage is making it challenging for attorneys and businesses to find people with our training and skills to help with depositions, court proceedings, closed captioning, and more. If there’s a shortage now, then it’s only going to get worse unless we work together.

By the Numbers

By 2018 there will be a need for more than 5,000 court reporters and that number will continue to increase until we figure out what we can do an industry to help [Source: Ducker Worldwide].

In Arizona alone there is already a need for court reporters outside Maricopa County including Pima, Coconino, Yavapai, and Mohave counties. In Greenlee and Apache counties, there hasn’t been a court reporter on staff in years forcing court administrators to use electronic recordings of proceedings in lieu of reporters. [Source: KJZZ]

According to the Arizona Supreme Court, human court reporters are only required in cases involving a Grand or felony jury trial, death penalty murder cases, some sex crimes, and parental consent for abortion. That leaves a lot of cases without a human court reporter.

What You Can Do to Help

Often the biggest challenge is that in counties experiencing a court reporter shortage, no one from a larger area like Phoenix or Tucson wants to move there. They can stay in a more populated area and work as a freelance reporter where they likely make more money than in a rural county job.

In Cochise County, they’ve experimented with bringing in freelance reporters for certain cases with mixed results. Freelancers work their own schedule, not when the county needs them so they can say no to work in favor of being able to work closer to home. Even if this approach works, it’s not a long-term solution.

Looking to the Future

The reality is that if we don’t fill court reporter schools, we will, in the not so distant future, run out of court reporters in rural and urban areas. What can we do today?

  • Work with high school and college counselors to bring a face to our profession.
  • Use social media, blogs, and press releases to share industry news.
  • Share the benefits of being a court reporter with job seekers.

There’s not one solution to the Arizona court reporter shortage but working together we can bring attention to our industry.

If you’re interested in learning more or are in need of a Phoenix court reporter, contact us today!