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Attorneys

As we approach our fifth anniversary, Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC is proud to welcome the talented litigation support professionals of Traver & Bishilany Court Reporting Services, LLC to the CRP family as of January 1, 2021!

Co-Founded by Michelle Bishilany, RDR, CRR in 2007, Traver & Bishilany enjoyed an impeccable reputation in the Cleveland legal community and are proud to bring their talent, knowledge, and experience over to CRP in a combined commitment to excellence and innovation in our field.

Cleveland is a big law town. Litigation is one of our largest industries. Consequently, there is a very competitive litigation support market, with some court reporting and litigation support firms having been in operation for decades, and some others being completely absorbed by national giants. The merger of T&B and CRP operating under the umbrella of Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC results in the most talented team of court reporters in Northeast Ohio with a fresh and modern, progressive business philosophy.

Existing T&B clients will continue to receive the quality services they have come to expect, but now under the CRP umbrella can also expect exciting new and innovative products and services:

Traver & Bishilany shares in our love for litigation support and will no doubt help us in our commitment to ensure that our clients’ needs are met securely, with considerable care and thoughtfulness. At CRP, we don’t just provide a list of finite services to choose from; instead, our philosophy is to determine what challenges our clients are facing in any aspect of their cases and create efficient, innovative solutions.

From all of us at CRP, we warmly welcome T&B to our team and are so excited to see you all out in the field!

CRP Co-Founders:

Todd L. Persson

Grace Hilpert-Roach

Christine Zarife Green

 

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Court Reporters v. Digital Recording and Voice Recognition: A Comprehensive Breakdown

 

 

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American society is on hold. Indefinitely. Three weeks ago, what seemed like a short-term inconvenience is now a long-term reality as much of the country is on lockdown for another 30 days at least. However, fortunately for all of us who work in the legal industry, our main commodities are ideas, communication, and information, which can easily be shared using technology and creativity while still practicing necessary social distancing.

Litigation support firms across the country have been screaming from the rooftops about remote deposition capabilities for over a month, but it seems the message is not being heard by many. But as the timeline for this lockdown continues to extend into the foreseeable future, it is time for discovery in civil litigation to push forward.

If you are a litigator with clients who desperately want to get their civil cases moving again, here is some critical information you may need regarding remote Zoom depositions before you start sending out those notices again.

REMOTE OATH ADMINISTRATION

Last month, we at Cleveland Reporting Partners published an article as a call to action for states to loosen their notary laws to allow for the swearing of witnesses remotely through video or teleconference. The National Court Reporters Association, many state reporting associations, and litigation support firms have all worked directly with Secretaries of State to get these restrictions temporarily lifted with varying degrees of success.

Before you send out your notices for remote depositions, check your state notary laws for any emergency action that has been taken. The National Court Reporters Association has published a state by state listing of notary laws regarding oath administration.

OHIO NOTARY LAW

While many states have very clear language regarding remote oath administration, Ohio is not one of them. The Ohio Court Reporters Association has issued an opinion/legal guidance through their legal counsel that oaths can be administered remotely in the State of Ohio, but parties should stipulate on the record that there are no objections to this before the deposition begins. Again, this is the OCRA’s counsel’s opinion and interpretation, and it is up to parties in any case to either agree or disagree with this interpretation for the remote deposition to move forward without objection.

NOTICING A REMOTE DEPOSITION

After you have checked your state notary laws and have decided to notice a remote deposition in your case, it is a good idea to change the language to reflect the platform on which the videoconferencing will occur. Check with your preferred litigation support provider. Most use Zoom, but there are other platforms out there in use.

We at CRP recommend that you do not include any meeting URLs or Meeting IDs on any notice of deposition. Instead, ask that your litigation support provider send this sensitive information through one-to-one emails to all intended participants.

THE ZOOM ADVANTAGES

As stated earlier, there are many intuitive web-based videoconferencing tools out there, but the most common by far is Zoom. Most litigation support firms around the world have been hosting remote depositions using Zoom for years, long before “social distancing” and “flatten the curve” became phrases of our everyday lexicon. However, as the use of Zoom has erupted over the last month, some of its security issues have been brought to light. But by working with an informed host, most or all of these security issues can be easily mitigated.

THE PLATFORM AND INTERFACE

One of the main reasons Zoom is so popular is because it is so simple. The interface is intuitive and functions are virtually all self-explanatory on the screen itself. All a participant needs is a device with a screen and a webcam, and you’re ready to join a deposition from your home.

THE MEETING LINK

Before the start of a deposition, your litigation support firm host will send out one-to-one emails to all participants who will be attending the deposition. This will include a meeting link, a meeting ID, and a meeting password. Some of the recent issues with Zoom have been due to hosts sending out meeting invites without a password. Be sure to work with hosts who always require a password for any Zoom proceeding. CRP recommends you never click a link to join a Zoom meeting that is not password protected.

Once you click the link provided to you by the host, you will be prompted to download the Zoom app. This takes little time and will automatically run once installed. If you have used Zoom in the past and have not updated your app, please be sure to install the latest version that has taken care of many of the security issues that have recently come up.

CONNECTION AND AUDIO

CRP recommends you use an ethernet connection for the videoconference, but it is not necessary. If you are using wifi, be sure you have enough bandwidth to support live video streaming. It may be a good idea to have others in your household refrain from large amounts of streaming while you are in the deposition.

We also recommend you use a phone for the audio rather than your device speakers. The meeting invitation will give you a dial-in number to use to connect to the audio portion of the meeting. It is also a good idea to use a Bluetooth conference phone. This is highly recommended to the court reporter so he or she can obtain the highest quality audio possible for obvious reasons. CRP recommends the Jabra Speak 510 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker to pair with your cellphone.

THE MODERATOR

When scheduling a remote deposition with a litigation support firm, be sure there will be a monitor other than the court reporter that will handle all technical issues or questions that may arise. The court reporter has enough responsibilities during a remote deposition. Worrying about the tech should not be one of them.

You can live chat through IM to the monitor if you are having audio issues, or you can simply speak up and ask the moderator for help if your audio is still connected. The moderator will quickly resolve any issues, and the deposition can proceed.

BREAKOUT ROOMS

Breakout rooms for parties are very important in a traditional deposition setting, and Zoom offers this ability by splitting up parties into private “rooms” during breaks. The moderator can create these rooms beforehand and then split parties up for breaks if they want to continue to conference privately. When all parties are ready to proceed with the deposition, the moderator will bring everybody back to the main meeting.

FILE SHARING

Most depositions will have some exhibits involved. Now, sometimes the information contained on such documents is highly confidential or even protected PPI. Therefore, CRP does not recommend file sharing on the Zoom platform itself. One of the security issues that have come up with Zoom is its lack of end-to-end encryption. Sensitive files should not be shared on this platform.

Instead, be sure to work with litigation support that will provide all parties access to deposition documents through the use of a password protected, encrypted portal. It is a good idea to provide all exhibits to the litigation support firm you are working with ahead of time, and then the moderator will facilitate access to each document as they are introduced.

VIDEO RECORDING

Traditional depositions are oftentimes recorded by a trained videographer. This obviously cannot be done with a virtual deposition, but Zoom does give the host the option of recording the proceedings if requested by the parties, and that video could then be synced to the transcript. However, we highly recommend that all parties agree to the recording of the proceedings before the moderator does so. If you do decide to record the proceeding, all participants will see an icon on their screens that the proceeding is, in fact, being recorded.

GENERAL CONCERNS

While the majority of Zoom depositions run extremely smoothly, there have been reports recently of Zoom being overwhelmed with increased usage and questions about its security. More and more reports of “Zoom bombing” have been surfacing, where a malicious entity will gain entry into your meeting. However, simply by adding a password for all attendees to join your meeting significantly decreases the possibility of this ever happening.

As stated before, Zoom is not end-to-end encrypted (although the company does state that it is). Therefore, you should not be sharing any files over this platform. When working with deposition exhibits, it is mandatory for the protection of sensitive case material that you provide exhibits beforehand to your litigation support host so that the moderator may distribute them securely to all participants on an encrypted platform.

Although there are these two main security issues known on the Zoom platform, mitigating them is easy with a knowledgeable moderator who knows how to set up a secure environment and pay attention during the entirety of the deposition.

GETTING CIVIL LITIGATION BACK ON TRACK

I think it is so important for any industry to keep working by taking advantage of technology that can allow a sense of normalcy while still practicing social distancing. Civil litigation is an industry that can keep moving forward if we are all willing to do things a little differently and not be afraid to work outside the norms we have lived in for so long.

If you have never conducted a remote deposition, maybe start with a non-critical witness to test the waters. I certainly wouldn’t recommend jumping right in with a seven-hour 30(b)(6), but you can start somewhere. Ask your colleagues if they have any experience with videoconferencing to gain some further insight about what to expect and any issues you may encounter. It is a new and uncertain world, and we can all make it a little more normal by using our collective creativity and having a willingness to try new things.

If you would like a demonstration of a Zoom videoconference, contact Cleveland Reporting Partners at 216-459-7880, or email us at scheduling@clereporting.com. We would be happy to answer any and all questions through a Zoom meeting with you and your team and hopefully give you the confidence to start taking remote depositions!

About the Author:

Todd L. Persson has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 2002 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland-based litigation support firm Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. He has spoken on the future of court reporting and technology on the Stenographers World Radio national podcast, has had blogs featured nationally by the National Court Reporters Association and the American Translators Association, and has had articles published in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal. To read Todd’s full bio, visit our Partners page. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

CRP Blog Editors in Chief:

Grace Hilpert-Roach has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 1992 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. To read Grace’s full bio, visit our Partners Page. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Christine Zarife Green has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 2008 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. To read Christine’s full bio, visit our Partners Page. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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As normalcy in American Society is being redefined daily in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the possibility of discovery in civil litigation coming to a complete halt seems like an inevitable reality. Do we in the industry simply accept this disruption for an indefinite period, or is there something that can be done to create a safe and effective pathway for discovery moving forward?

REMOTE DEPOSITIONS

Over the past several weeks, litigation support firms across the country have been diligently reminding litigators about alternative methods of taking depositions remotely via video and teleconference platforms. However, while videoconferencing has been effective in the industry for over a decade and does eliminate the need for travel to conduct depositions for most, there is still one roadblock that needs to be lifted for remote depositions to continue as our cities move closer to complete shutdown.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE OATH

As stated above, depositions conducted on videoconference platforms do eliminate the need for travel for most, but not all involved. While attorneys and parties can attend from the comforts and safety of their homes or offices, court reporters and deponents must still travel to outside locations where they can be physically present together due to notary laws regarding the administration of the oath.

Notary laws are changing all across the country, and here in Ohio, the Ohio Notary Public Modernization Act has recently been adopted to allow for certain duties of a notary to be conducted via two-way videoconference, such as notarization of legal documents, titles, and contracts. However, when it comes to the certification of depositions and administration of the oath, the court reporter notary and the deponent must still be physically present together for a deposition transcript to be admissible in court.

IMMEDIATE CALL TO ACTION

As major American cities move closer and closer to a complete shutdown in the wake of COVID-19, all the videoconferencing in the world will not stop discovery in civil litigation from also completely shutting down without an emergency change to our notary laws. Now, this would be fine if we were talking a few weeks, or if we actually knew for certain the timeline of this pandemic. But the reality is that we don’t know how long this necessary disruption in our society will last, and each day the projected timeline is being extended further and further into the future.

The time for emergency action is now. I am urging all litigators, litigation support firms, and court reporters to reach out to their State and Federal Courts and push to temporarily lift remote oath restrictions in states where these restrictions exist so that discovery can move forward remotely, and court reporters and deponents can also attend depositions from the safety of their homes without the need for travel.

Discovery in litigation can move forward in these uncertain times by utilizing secure videoconference and electronic exhibit sharing platforms, but only if the oath can be administered remotely as well. Otherwise, we can realistically expect a backup in our civil courts like nothing we have ever seen before.

About the Author:

Todd L. Persson has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 2002 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland-based litigation support firm Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. He has spoken on the future of court reporting and technology on the Stenographers World Radio national podcast, has had blogs featured nationally by the National Court Reporters Association and the American Translators Association, and has had articles published in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal. To read Todd’s full bio, visit our Partners page. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

CRP Blog Editors in Chief:

Grace Hilpert-Roach has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 1992 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. To read Grace’s full bio, visit our Partners Page. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Christine Zarife Green has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 2008 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. To read Christine’s full bio, visit our Partners Page. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

 

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Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC is proud to now offer completely electronic and 100% HIPAA compliant records retrieval services to all our existing and potential clients around the world.

After working with a few attorneys and paralegals in beta phase for over a year, CRP Records was developed using the same core philosophies that drive our court reporting, legal video, videoconferencing, and subpoena services: responsiveness, efficiency and follow-through.

THE DEVELOPMENT PHASE

In discussions with some of our busiest client litigators, the topic of records retrieval would often come up, and we began to research what goes into running a successful records retrieval business. Before long, we were looking for ways to improve upon what we were already seeing in the marketplace, and CRP Records was born.

We knew from the outset we wanted to develop a completely paperless system that would significantly expedite the whole process from request to delivery, but at the same time recognizing and complying with all HIPAA and PHI laws to ensure patient confidentiality and data security. We had to look no further than our existing CRP Direct platform to fully integrate and execute a modern, user-friendly, paperless records retrieval experience.

THE BUSINESS ASSOCIATE AGREEMENTS

HIPAA and PHI are no joke. Who bears the responsibility of a potential breach of sensitive data is something every third-party vendor needs to think about when running a business where data is shared electronically.

Cleveland Reporting Partners has entered into Business Associate Agreements with global leaders in cloud storage and online facsimile providers to ensure that we operate on only the most secure HIPAA servers. CRP Records is housed and operated on ultra-modern, reliable servers, giving our clients the peace of mind that all data they share with us (and that we deliver to them) will be completely secure and reliable. Bottom line is every piece of data exchanged through CRP Records is run on modern cipher suite TLS 1.2 HIPPA servers using AES_256_GCM encryption, backed by appropriate Business Associate Agreements.

THE BETA PHASE

With initial CRP Records systems in place, it was time to test all aspects with actual cases from actual clients. CRP enjoys great relationships with our clients, and we were able to convince a few of them to entrust us with retrieving the records in their cases in an initial beta phase to find out what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly, what can be significantly improved upon to get to the efficiency we know our clients wanted and deliver a product we could be confident enough in to be able to offer it to any existing or potential client.

After a little over a year in beta trials and extensive feedback from our clients, processes were tweaked, some were eliminated, and others were streamlined to the point that our clients were receiving their records two or three times quicker than what they were used to. We knew it was time to launch CRP Records to the general litigation population.

WHY OUTSOURCE RECORDS RETRIEVAL AT ALL? 

The advantages of completely paperless records retrieval services are obvious. But why would litigators want to outsource records retrieval in the first place for their cases? The answer is pretty simple, and we learned it very quickly in the CRP Records beta phase.

While the process of records retrieval by no means requires advanced degrees of any sort, what it does require is time and patience. And a lot of both. Besides the time involved in locating providers, preparing request faxes, and dealing with custodian fee invoices, the time required for follow up after requests have been sent is a full-time job alone.

Furthermore, when choosing to outsource to a paperless records retrieval service provider, paralegals or attorneys will spend zero time or resources scanning and Bates labeling mountains of paper records once they are delivered.

These are billable hours to your client, not to mention time that could be used actually reviewing records already received and preparing your trial or settlement strategies. The monetary costs of outsourcing records retrieval will be far, far less than the billable hours of a paralegal or an attorney performing these laborious tasks themselves, ultimately saving your clients significant amounts of money in any type of litigation.

The mission of CRP Records is simple: Let us handle the retrieval so that your time and resources can be focused solely on litigation. Visit our CRP Records page to learn more about our ultra-modern, paperless records retrieval process.

CRP’s OVERALL LITIGATION SUPPORT PHILOSOPHY

Cleveland Reporting Partners was born out of the idea that we can provide litigation support services more efficiently, with superior responsiveness, and cutting out as much redundancy as we possibly could compared to others in our marketplace. The overwhelming feedback over our three and a half years in existence has confirmed to us that we are successfully doing what we set out to do.

With the confidence we have in all the litigation support services we have offered since inception, we are so proud to offer this new records retrieval service and are excited to provide this new service to our clients and potential clients going forward with that same confidence that basically says: If you have to follow up with us for anything without us reaching out to you first, we are not doing our job.

If you are interested in becoming a CRP Records client, or to learn more about any of our other litigation support services, reach out to us at (216) 459-7880, or email us at scheduling@CLEreporting.com or Records@CLEreporting.com and start experiencing a different kind of litigation support.

As always, we look forward to seeing you out in the field!

CRP Co-Founders:

Todd L. Persson

Grace Hilpert-Roach

Christine Zarife Green

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Since our inception in 2016 as a progressive, full-service litigation support firm, Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC has proudly called Cleveland’s historic Ohio City neighborhood home. Located just a mile west of the downtown business district, Ohio City has been expanding and redefining itself for decades as countless restaurants, bars, breweries, coffee shops, delis, and retail stores have opened and thrived. Even more recently, many professional offices have made the move from the traditional downtown neighborhoods to office buildings all throughout Market Square, making Ohio City the bustling Cleveland neighborhood it is today.

OUR NEIGHBORHOOD (IN PICTURES)

CRP’S GROWTH

As founders of CRP (Todd L. Persson, Grace Hilpert-Roach and Christine Zarife Green), we started with a vision for a new court reporting and litigation support firm with an operations philosophy like nothing else that existed in Cleveland, and the choice to office in Ohio City rather than Downtown was the first step to bring that philosophy to life. Basically, our mantra was: “Let’s look at what all the other guys are doing and do it different, more efficiently and secure, and in some cases the complete opposite.”

The success of our business model was apparent, as we saw exponential growth in our first year-and-a-half in not only our court reporting department, but also our subpoena and video divisions. And just as our proprietary paperless records retrieval system and department was starting in its beta phase (available to limited clients, full launch Fall 2018), and we were approaching our two-year anniversary in March 2018, we knew we had forever outgrown our first office and a completely new build-out was necessary.

THE UNITED BANK BUILDING

The historic United Bank Building sits on the southwest corner of Lorain Avenue and West 25th Street across from the Westside Market and the park at Market Square. It is anchored on street level by Crop Bistro & Bar and Penzeys Spices, and 9th floor penthouse and rooftop tenant Skylight Financial. Convenient $5 parking is accessible from West 26th Street behind the building.

When CRP outgrew its original office on the 4th floor, we sat down with the building architects and came up with a design of the complete gut and build-out for our new office that would reflect our minimalist philosophy, but still meet the company’s spatial and functional needs.

OUR OFFICE

CRP’s new headquarters consists of a spacious reception area, a large production room/kitchenette, and two Zoom videoconference-equipped conference rooms.

The large, main conference room seats 10 to 12 comfortably, and our smaller conference room seats 6, which can also function as a break-out room. All depositions or arbitrations held in our office will enjoy complimentary coffee bar, tea, water, soft drinks and snacks, as well as secure wifi and printer/copier support.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Cleveland is a big law town. Litigation is one of our largest industries. Consequently, there is a very competitive litigation support market, with some court reporting and litigation support firms having been in operation for over 50 years. So to break into such a huge market, with the history and loyalties that have been in place for decades, we knew we had to offer something new, something recognizably different with a fresh and modern, progressive business philosophy.

We first researched existing platforms in the court reporting industry for scheduling, production, and delivery and found that nothing out there could provide the level of service or security we knew could separate us from the existing, somewhat tired pack that all use the same third-party vendors and offer the same services.

Knowing that we couldn’t just copy old business models and operations to be successful, we partnered with global leaders in cloud storage and data security to help us create simpler, more functional and secure processes that in turn makes the overall experience of working with Cleveland Reporting Partners something like nothing else seen before in the litigation support industry.

We have Business Associate Agreements in place with some tech giants of the world that allowed us to create industry-specific interfaces and lines of communications using their ultra-modern, user-friendly platforms, giving our clients the peace of mind that none of their clients’ confidential information or case data will ever be compromised or intercepted in delivery or at rest, or in the continuum of our own work product prior to delivery.

All that said, and aside from our industry-leading 7 calendar-day regular delivery, the most recognizable difference our clients rave about is CRP’s customer service. Litigation is a 24/7 industry. Work on our clients’ cases doesn’t stop at 5:00 pm on weekdays, and it certainly doesn’t stop on weekends. Contact with CRP and the specific reporter on your case is also 24/7 by phone or email. And that can make all the difference in the deadline-driven and unpredictable world of complex civil litigation.

As we have settled in to our new offices, we take pride every day knowing that our clients’ needs are met securely, with considerable care and thoughtfulness. At CRP, we don’t just provide our clients a list of finite services to choose from. Instead, our philosophy is to determine what challenges our clients are facing in any aspect of their cases and create efficient, innovative solutions.

We look forward to seeing you out in the field, Cleveland; or if you want a break from downtown for an all-day dep, we’d be happy to host in Ohio City!

CRP Co-Founders:

Todd L. Persson

Grace Hilpert-Roach

Christine Zarife Green

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Ohio City, Cleveland – Planning an outdoor event off the Northeast Ohio shores of Lake Erie in late spring can be a huge gamble, but one that certainly pays off when the weather miraculously cooperates.

Most of May 22, 2018 from morning to mid-afternoon was a soggy, chilly day in Greater Cleveland. But just as most attendees of Legal Aid’s Donor Recognition Reception started making their way from downtown across the Cuyahoga River to the rooftop of the United Bank Building in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, the clouds broke, and the entire city was quickly baking in bright, late afternoon Midwestern sunshine.

THE EVENT

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland kicked off their summer 2018 fund-raising and events schedule with a rooftop reception celebrating the generosity of its 5-, 10-, and 15-year Giving Societies, as well as renewing their overall mission while reporting some very impressive successes achieved in 2017.

According to Legal Aid, the steady support of their Giving Societies extended their reach to more than 18,000 Northeast Ohioans in 2017, helping families living in poverty stop their civil legal problems from escalating into emergencies.

Further examples of Legal Aid’s success in 2017 include:

• Increased client safety in 96% of relevant cases
• Prevented 99% of client evictions
• Secured access to health insurance for 94% of clients
• Removed barriers to education for 91% of clients
• Reduced client debt and increased income and assets by a combined $14.2 million

Legal Aid’s Director of Development & Communications, Melanie Shakarian, opened the reception by recognizing some of their most generous and long-time donors that help the Society’s mission of moving families from poverty to greater engagement in the Cleveland community become a reality that, in turn, “fosters a stronger, thriving democracy.”

Ms. Shakarian then handed off to Legal Aid President Karen Giffen, who spoke briefly about the importance of Legal Aid to the struggling and impoverished in the Cleveland community before introducing a young man who told his story, expressing heartfelt gratitude to the selfless legal support and empathy offered by Legal Aid attorneys who helped stave off an eviction that could have caused his life to unravel.

After closing remarks by Shakarian, guests enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres catered by Crop Bistro & Bar, engaged in smiling conversation, and took in the shimmering panoramic views of the City of Cleveland and beyond from the rooftop of this iconic Ohio City landmark building, staying well after the scheduled closing time of 7:00 p.m.

CLEVELAND REPORTING PARTNERS’ CONTINUED SUPPORT OF LEGAL AID’S MISSION

As court reporters and owners of a litigation support firm, it is mandatory that we conduct ourselves professionally as neutral, unbiased officers of the court regarding any case that we are currently or have reported on in the past. However, that doesn’t mean we cannot support causes in our field that we feel drastically improve our community.

Since we opened our doors as a firm, myself and my partners and co-founders of Cleveland Reporting Partners, Grace Hilpert Roach and Christine Zarife Green, have attended as many Legal Aid events as we possibly can, and are continually moved by the stories told directly by those whose lives were forever changed by Legal Aid, those who had everything to lose had Legal Aid not stepped in to help with their defense in serious civil litigation.

Left to right: CRP Co-Founder Christine Zarife Green, Legal Aid President Karen Giffen, CRP Co-Founder Grace Hilpert Roach

After talking with Ms. Shakarian over the years at these events, we had expressed an interest in doing some kind of event with Legal Aid on the roof of the building where CRP headquarters, so we were beyond excited when we got the call that this event was going to happen and were happy to be a sponsor.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

As I looked out over our beautiful city from that rooftop that day in late May, the setting sun to the west painting its orange and golden hues onto the skyline and out to the valleys and hills in the suburban distance, the city looked so serene and untroubled. But tranquility is easily perceived from that elevation. It’s down on street level where struggles, heartache, hopelessness and despair exist. By supporting nonprofit organizations like Legal Aid, we can all give a little bit back to a community and its population that needs so much help.

If you are a civil trial attorney, a court reporting firm, videographer, or trial technician, you can reach out to the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland to donate your time and professional services, or check out their upcoming fund-raising events and make a donation to attend. You can even go to their Google Business page and click on the “Donate” button to make a contribution.

Legal Aid’s next major fundraiser is the 2018 Jam For Justice on July 19th at the Aloft Hotel and Ernst & Young Building Courtyard in The Flats. On behalf of all of us at Cleveland Reporting Partners, we hope to see you there!

About the Author:

Todd L. Persson has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 2002 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland-based litigation support firm Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. He has spoken on the future of court reporting and technology on the Stenographers World Radio national podcast, has had blogs featured nationally by the National Court Reporters Association and the American Translators Association, and has had articles published in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal. To read Todd’s full bio, visit our Partners page. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

CRP Blog Editors in Chief:

Grace Hilpert-Roach has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 1992 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. To read Grace’s full bio, visit our Partners Page. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Christine Zarife Green has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 2008 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. To read Christine’s full bio, visit our Partners Page. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

 

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following article covers the sometimes challenging process of finding parking in downtown Cleveland, Ohio from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Nightlife and weekend parking is a totally different story…

When using Google Maps to get you somewhere you’ve never been before, it will normally tell you that you are on the fastest route, and you should reach your destination by a very precise time. This is all well and good when traveling to a destination in the suburbs or rural areas, where parking will most likely be free and you essentially park at the front doors. However, when your destination is in the heart of a major metropolitan area, you can sometimes add 15 minutes or more to your ETA if you’re driving around in circles near the address of your destination frantically looking for a lot or garage to park in that isn’t full, or if you’ve parked too far away to save a few bucks and forgot to add the extra walking time.

So why would a court reporter know anything about efficient parking in Cleveland, Ohio? It’s pretty simple. The profession of a court reporter who works mainly in the discovery phase of civil litigation is not a traditional 9 to 5 job and rarely involves going to the same place two or more days in a row. Instead, we usually find out the time and location of our assignments the evening before and then plan for the next day accordingly. In some cases, we are called upon to be somewhere “as soon as you can” (meaning 10 minutes ago) when there has been a mix-up in scheduling and there is a room full of attorneys and a nervous witness all awaiting our arrival so the deposition can begin.

As a court reporter working in Cleveland for the past 16 years, I have become an expert of sorts in finding the perfect place to park all over the city, taking into account accessibility, convenience, walk time from car to office (extremely important), weather conditions, and some other factors that need to be considered when you are expected to be the first one to arrive at a deposition and to be set up and ready to go on the record without making anyone else wait for even one minute past the scheduled start time. I have probably been in every building downtown at least once and know some great shortcuts through buildings and underground to reduce the amount of time walking outdoors in the frigid winters off the shores of Lake Erie.

THE DISTRICTS

The Downtown Cleveland Alliance identifies eight distinct neighborhoods (or districts) that make up what most in Northeast Ohio consider “Downtown Cleveland.” In this article, I will briefly describe the boundaries of six of these districts and reveal what I consider to be the best places to park in each. My apologies to those looking for recommendations in the Campus District and Northcoast Harbor, but the lack of office buildings in these neighborhoods means I am not there very often and have none.

Before we begin, I must note that price is not taken into consideration for any of my recommendations. This article is about efficient parking, not parking on the cheap. I quickly learned in my first year of being a court reporter that saving a few bucks for parking is not worth the anxiety you feel when the deposition is starting in 15 minutes and you decided to pay $5 less to have a 10-minute walk (into the wind in all directions) on an eight-degree February morning.

CIVIC CENTER DISTRICT

The Civic Center District is home to the absolute center of the City of Cleveland as a whole, with all east side and west side numeric city streets ascending outward in opposite directions from Ontario Street and Public Square. On its southern border is Public Square itself, which is surrounded by the three tallest buildings of Cleveland’s skyline; the iconic and historic Terminal Tower, The Huntington Building (formerly BP Building), and Key Tower. The western border would be Ontario Street, including the Justice Center and the new Hilton Cleveland Downtown. The northern border is Lakeside Avenue, including the Old Courthouse, Cleveland City Hall, the Cleveland Convention Center, and Cleveland Public Auditorium. The eastern border would probably be East 6th Street, including the Drury Plaza Hotel Downtown Cleveland, the Westin Cleveland Downtown, as well as the beautifully refurbished Calfee Building at 1405 East 6th Street.

WHERE TO PARK

The Civic Center District is relatively large, and the southernmost portion is somewhat cut off to vehicular traffic with confusing one-ways and the newly designed Public Square. Subsequently, I have three favorite parking structures depending on the location of the job.

Key Tower Underground Garage

Parking in the underground Key Tower/Marriott garage can get you quickly not only to any office in Key Tower, but also to the Justice Center with minimal time outside. The entrance is off St. Clair between East 6th Street and Ontario. Once inside the garage, there are only a few left turns to get you to the public parking spaces, and a quick walk to the elevators will get you up to the lobby of the Marriott. Walk through the large glass double doors to get to the lobby of Key Tower, or walk west through the length of the Marriott lobby to get to the street doors that take you out onto the corner of St. Clair and Ontario if the Justice Center or Standard Building is your destination. You can expect to pay $20 for parking if you are there for more than 15 minutes, but that is the daily max.

200 Public Square Parking Garage

I use this garage only if I am going to the Huntington Building, and unless you are there by 8:00 or 8:30, be prepared to see a “Garage Full” sign at the entrance. Fear not: this sign means nothing. I recently learned from Grace Hilpert-Roach, one of my co-founders of Cleveland Reporting Partners, to simply drive up, get your ticket, the gate will open, and there will be plenty of spots on the 5th or 6th level.

Now, you’ll have to drive around and around a few times to get to the available parking, but unlike a lot of the older garages in Cleveland, it doesn’t take an eternity. The elevators are quickly accessible, and you will be to the security check-in before you know it. Expect to pay $16 if you are there for more than 15 minutes, but this is the daily max.

JACK Parking Garage

Although technically outside the Civic Center District of Downtown Cleveland, this gem of a parking garage will get you to many locations on Public Square without ever walking outside. All you need to do is take a short walk through a casino (which can be very surreal at 8:30 in the morning).

The main entrance to the garage is off Ontario Street, just north of Huron, directly across the street from the iconic LeBron James Nike banner. The best part of this garage is you most likely will have to drive up only one level to find available parking very close to the elevator and the 2nd level pedestrian bridge to the JACK Casino. Casino security will want to check your bags, but if you tell them you’re just cutting through and you look like a professional, they generally just let you go about your business with little hassle.

Once in the casino, follow signs for Terminal Tower, Tower City, or Landmark Office Tower, whichever you are going to, and you will be there in minutes; dry, warm, and with the bizarre feeling one gets being in a casino in the early hours of a weekday when you’re on your way to a deposition.

Be prepared to spend $12 if you’re there for more than 15 minutes, but I can also tell you that their credit card swiper is not the most reliable. Countless times I have parked here, and after several swipes of my card coming back “unreadable,” the attendants are sometimes quick to give up, exit their booth and manually open the gate for me to exit without charge, saying “this has been happening all day.”

Take note that a Cleveland Indians day game may drastically affect these prices, and it’s probably a wise decision to find another option for parking during these times.

NINE TWELVE DISTRICT

Named after its east and west borders of East 9th Street and East 12th respectively, the NineTwelve District is essentially the financial district of Downtown Cleveland. With the exception of Cleveland’s tallest buildings in the Civic Center District, the office and residential buildings in the NineTwelve make up the majority of Cleveland’s skyline.

The southernmost border is Euclid Avenue, home to PNC Tower and the Old Huntington Building. The western boundary is six-lane East 9th Street, which is the major north-south street in all of Downtown Cleveland. This mile-stretch of East 9th from Euclid to the shoreline is home to thousands of professional offices housed in many recognizable office buildings, including Ohio Savings Plaza, the Amtrust Financial Building, the IMG Building, AECOM Building (formerly Penton Media, formerly Bond Court), One Cleveland Center, and Cleveland’s newly renovated glass Federal Building, just to name a few, as well as the residential towers of The Metropolitan at the 9 and The Residences at 1717. The northern border is Lakeside Avenue, including Willard Park (the Free Stamp), Jones Day, North Point Tower, and the DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland Downtown. The westernmost border is East 12th Street, including Erieview Tower, Oswald Centre, Perk Plaza, and the western boundary of Reserve Square.

WHERE TO PARK

Again, the NineTwelve is a relatively large district, but I have two favorite parking garages that will get you to any building within minutes after parking.

The Galleria Garage

The Galleria Garage is my absolute favorite place to park in all of Downtown Cleveland for many reasons. First, it is heated. If you’re like me and park outdoors at your home, when you park in this garage for an extended period and then return to your car, all snow and ice will have melted away. Second, after entering the garage, there is no driving around in circles to get to the available public parking. This garage is only one level, and you’ll be out of your car and walking to your destination in as little as 20 seconds.

The entrance to the Galleria Garage is off Lakeside Avenue, just east of East 9th Street, and parking here will get you quickly to many office buildings in the northern part of the NineTwelve, including Erieview Tower, One Cleveland Center, IMG, AECOM, Jones Day, North Point, and the Federal Building.

To get to Erieview Tower, simply take the escalator up to the Galleria and head east to the revolving door entrance to the lobby of the building. There is no time spent outside if this is your destination.

If you’re going to One Cleveland Center, simply use the pedestrian walkway that takes you under St. Clair Avenue and up a flight of stairs into the lobby of the building. Again, no time is spent walking outside if this is your destination. Now, One Cleveland Center has its own parking garage attached to the building, but unless you work in the building and have an assigned spot, this garage fills up very quickly to the public and is a seemingly endless round and round to get to the few public spots available on the upper floors (which adds about five minutes to your total travel time). Therefore, I would highly recommend the Galleria Garage instead to park for One Cleveland Center.

If you’re headed to IMG or AECOM, take the escalators up to the Galleria and head west through the mall to the revolving doors at the corner of East 9th and St. Clair. A quick walk across East 9th will get you to either building with very minimal time spent outside.

If you’re headed to Cleveland’s Federal Building, Jones Day or North Point, simply walk through the exit at the north end of the garage (the same way you drove in), and you will be on Lakeside Avenue. Cross East 9th to get to the Federal Building, or cross Lakeside to get to Jones Day and North Point. Very minimal time will be spent outside if these buildings are your destination.

Expect to pay $16 for Galleria parking if you’re there for more than 15 minutes, and this is the daily max.

Huntington Garage

Located at 999 Chester Avenue, the Huntington Garage is my go-to for parking if I’m working in the southern or middle part of the NineTwelve District. Parking here will get you quickly to many office buildings, including the Old Huntington Building, PNC Tower, Ohio Savings Plaza, Fifth Third Center, the Amtrust Financial Building, and Oswald Centre. One of the best things about this garage is that it is rarely ever full, and you will have to drive up only a level or two to find a decent parking space. The elevators are easily accessible once you park, and you will be out onto Chester Avenue in no time (although the elevators are very old, clunky, and sometimes very slow).

If you’re going to PNC, Fifth Third or Amtrust Financial buildings, simply exit out to Chester and cross East 9th at Vincent Avenue and you’re there. This is actually a shortcut to Fifth Third Center and Amtrust Financial, as the main entrances to these buildings are on Superior Avenue. But from Vincent Avenue, you can cut through the parking garages for both buildings to get to the back entrances and quickly into the building lobbies. This will shave off about five minutes of walk time, and very minimal time will be spent outside.

Now, these three buildings all have their own parking garages attached to them off of Vincent, but unless you arrive by, like, 7:30 a.m., don’t even bother trying to find a spot in any of them. They will most likely be full, and you will waste five to 10 minutes of travel time having to turn around and finding another garage to park in.

If you’re headed to Oswald Centre, exit out onto Chester Avenue, very briefly head east and then head north through the beautiful greenspace of Perk Plaza and enter Oswald through the building’s entrance on Walnut Avenue.

If you’re going to Ohio Savings Plaza, the Huntington Garage is connected to this building, and you used to be able to enter the building through the back entrance without going outside. However, recently they have made this entrance only accessible to residents and office workers in the building and this is no longer an option for a visitor. So now you can simply exit out onto Chester, head west to East 9th, turn right and enter the building through its main entrance.

If you’re going to the Old Huntington Building, look for the staircase in the lobby of the Huntington Garage that says “To 928 Building.” This will take you down underneath Chester Avenue and up to the old bank lobby to the elevator banks. No time will be spent outside if this is your destination.

Expect to pay between $12 and $15 if you’re there for more than an hour, and this is the daily max. Take note that a Cleveland Indians day game may affect these prices, and it may be wise to park elsewhere during these times.

GATEWAY DISTRICT

Known mostly as a residential and entertainment district of Downtown Cleveland, home to the Cleveland Indians, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Cleveland JACK Casino, and the nightlife on and around East 4th Street, there are also many office buildings throughout the neighborhood, including the smaller buildings along East Prospect and Huron Avenue, and the larger skyscrapers along West Prospect Avenue.

The southernmost border of Cleveland’s Gateway District is Carnegie Avenue. The western border is Ontario Street at the south end, where Progressive Field sits at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. Farther north, the Western boundary would be West 2nd Street and Prospect, where you will find Skylight Office Tower at Tower City Center, and Landmark Office Towers, the corporate home to Sherwin Williams. The northern border is Prospect Avenue, and the eastern border is East 9th Street.

WHERE TO PARK

Because there are relatively few offices in this mostly residential and entertainment Downtown Cleveland district, I have just one go-to garage when my job takes me here, and it’s a garage we’ve already covered in the Civic Center District at the beginning of this article.

JACK Parking Garage

As stated before, this garage is easily accessible off of Ontario Street just north of Huron and is rarely ever full. A quick drive up to the second level, and you’re parked and headed to the elevators.

If you’re going to the skyscrapers on West Prospect, including the Midland Building, Republic Building and Skylight Office Tower, take the elevators at the west side of the garage down to street level, briefly walk up Ontario to Prospect, cross Prospect, and you’re there.

If you’re headed to the smaller office buildings along East Prospect and Huron, take the east elevators that will dump you out onto East 4th Street between Prospect and Huron and you will quickly arrive at your destination.

Once again, be prepared to spend $12 if you’re there for more than 15 minutes, and it might be a good idea to stay away from this garage when the Cleveland Indians are playing a day game.

PLAYHOUSE SQUARE DISTRICT

On the southeast side of Downtown Cleveland lies historic Playhouse Square, home to the second largest theater district in the country outside Manhattan. However, it is also home to several older and newer office skyscrapers, such as the very modern, glassy US Bank Centre, the Halle and Hanna Buildings, and the Bulkley Building, to name a few.

The main drag of Playhouse Square is Euclid Avenue between East 13th and East 17th Streets. The western border then extends down East 14th Street to Prospect Avenue at the southernmost boundary.

WHERE TO PARK

While Playhouse Square may be one of the smaller Downtown Cleveland districts, I have two garages that I use regularly, depending on where I’m going.

Playhouse Square Parking Garage

Although this garage is technically located outside the boundaries of Playhouse Square, covered and heated pedestrian walkways will take you right into the heart of it. The entrance to this garage is at Chester Avenue, just east of East 13th Street. Rarely full, you will only have to drive around in a few circles to get to the available parking. Once you are parked, take the elevator to the second level to get to the glass walkway into several theaters and the Bulkley Building, which will then take you out onto Euclid Avenue and the Halle Building.

This is a fantastic garage that lets you avoid driving on frustrating Euclid Avenue altogether, and you can expect to pay $15 if you’re there for more than an hour. And if your destination is either the Bulkley Building or the Halle Building, there will be zero or very minimal time spent walking outside.

US Bank Garage

The entrance to the US Bank Garage is at the corner of East 14th Street and Prospect Avenue. This is one of the very few garages I use in all of Cleveland that are attached to the building. It rarely is full, you don’t have to drive around in circles all day to find a spot, and if your destination is US Bank Centre, you’re into the lobby of the building in less than a minute after parking.

Across the street on East 14th is one of the entrances to the Hanna Building, and I will also use the US Bank Garage when I have a deposition to get to in this historic building that takes up an entire city block from Euclid to Prospect (if you include the Residences at Hanna). Simply take the elevators or stairs down to street level on East 14th, cross the street and you’re there.

You can expect to pay $15 if you’re there for more than an hour.

THE WAREHOUSE DISTRICT

The mid to late ‘90s saw one of the first resurgences of Cleveland’s downtown neighborhoods when countless buildings in the Warehouse District were repurposed and refurbished from abandoned warehouses into higher end apartments, restaurants, clubs, and fashionable, boutique office spaces. Starting with West 6th Street, the progress continued, and now most all of the buildings in the entire district are occupied and thriving.

The southernmost boundary is West Superior Avenue, which includes the larger office buildings in the neighborhood, including the Rockefeller Building, State Office Tower, and the new Federal Courthouse. The western boundary is West 9th Street, which is lined with historic buildings housing street-level storefronts and restaurants, but also renovated office space and residential units on the upper floors. The northern boundary is Lakeside Avenue, and the Eastern boundary is at West 3rd Street.

WHERE TO PARK

Cleveland’s Warehouse District is probably one of the most frustrating neighborhoods to find convenient parking, and it is also home to the largest collection of wasted prime real estate in any major city I have ever been to in the form of entire city blocks of unsightly surface parking lots.

LAZ Parking Surface Lot

Although there are many lots in the district, my go-to is LAZ Parking surface lot at West 9th and St. Clair. The main entrance is off West 9th, just south of St. Clair, and there is usually a space or two available no matter what time of day. Also, this lot is now automated with a credit card swiper, unlike a lot of the other choices in the neighborhood which still require cash by a human being, or one of those slot boxes that can cause you serious delay as you try to stuff a five and three singles into a slot the size of a large coin.

Now, you can try your luck with other surface lots that might be closer to your final destination, but in my experience, it’s probably best to just get the easy parking over with at LAZ at West 9th and walk the rest of the way to wherever you are going. This lot is centralized to the district, so you can get to wherever you’re going with a 5-minute walk or less.

You can expect to pay $8.50 whether you’re there for one minute or all day, and this is the daily max.

FLATS DISTRICT

Cleveland’s Flats District is in the middle of an enormous resurgence (particularly the East Bank), the most notable addition being the ultra-modern Ernst & Young Tower. Located down the hill west from the Warehouse District, The Flats is also home to an abundance of new construction residential units, hip restaurants and bars, and the Aloft Cleveland Downtown hotel.

WHERE TO PARK

There is only one major office building in the Flats, and that is the Ernst & Young Tower at 950 Main Avenue, and I have one garage I always park in when I’m down here, which will also get you quickly to the northwest corner of the Warehouse District.

Front Street Garage

Attached to both the Ernst & Young Tower and the Aloft Hotel, the entrance to this garage is at Front Street, just west of West 9th Street and the Port of Cleveland. Being that this is a relatively new structure, its design is efficient, and you will find available parking with just a couple right turns up to the 3rd level. The elevator bank is centrally located, and you will be in the lobby of the Ernst & Young Tower in minutes, if not sooner, after parking.

The Front Street Garage is also a convenient place to park if your destination is any of the office buildings at the north end of West 9th Street, as it is just a short walk up Main Avenue to the Warehouse District. You can expect to pay $16 if you’re there all day, and this is the daily max.

PARKING SMARTER

Just like a cab driver or a bike messenger, veteran freelance court reporters in Cleveland, Ohio have been to and inside just about every building downtown and know all the best places to park where the ultimate goal is being on time, not saving a few dollars. After doing this job for 16 years now, I never stray from the parking recommendations given in this article. If you park in the garages I have listed, you will always be on time and will have to add very few minutes of walk time to the drive time  your GPS has given you to arrive at your downtown destination. Oh, you’ll probably arrive dry and warm, too … and that’s parking smarter.

You may also like:

Court Reporters v. Digital Recording and Voice Recognition: A Comprehensive Breakdown

About the Author:

Todd L. Persson has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 2002 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland-based litigation support firm Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. He has spoken on the future of court reporting and technology on the Stenographers World Radio national podcast, has had blogs featured nationally by the National Court Reporters Association and the American Translators Association, and has had articles published in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal. To read Todd’s full bio, visit our Partners page. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

CRP Blog Editors in Chief:

Grace Hilpert-Roach has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 1992 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. To read Grace’s full bio, visit our Partners Page. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Christine Zarife Green has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 2008 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. To read Christine’s full bio, visit our Partners Page. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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Possibly one of the most important commitments of a small business is to never look back, but to always move forward with only the smallest of rearview mirrors as a reminder of where you’ve been and what has gotten you to where you are. However, if there is ever a time to slow down, the last weekend of every year is certainly an acceptable time for positive reflection on another year gone by.

Cleveland Reporting Partners enjoyed substantial growth in 2017, and the creativity, innovation, experience and expertise we offer in the realms of court reporting and litigation support was on display throughout the year in the blogs we wrote and published.

So before that frigid ball drops on Times Square in a few days and we look forward to what’s to come in 2018, let’s take a look back at the informative, comprehensive CRP blog articles of 2017 with brief descriptions and accolades.

COURT REPORTERS V. DIGITAL RECORDING AND VOICE RECOGNITION: A COMPREHENSIVE BREAKDOWN

The threats of technology and AI on the American workforce were all over headlines in 2017, and the legal industry was no exception. Court reporters have been threatened by emerging technologies since the advent of the tape recorder; but are any of these threats really credible?

In this article, the incredibly sophisticated technology used by court reporters to capture spoken language is explained in great detail, and then compared and contrasted to the technologies of digital recording and voice recognition.

CRP received many emails from court reporters and litigation support firm owners around the world in support of this article, and it was shared over 3,000 times on social media. It was featured nationally by the National Court Reporters Association, and got CRP co-founder and author Todd L. Persson an invite to speak about court reporting technology and the future of court reporting on the Stenographer’s World Radio national podcast. An abridged version of this article was also published in the October 2017 issue of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal.

READ THIS ARTICLE HERE

 

THE INS AND OUTS OF HIRING A CERTIFIED JUDICIAL INTERPRETER FOR DEPOSITION OR TRIAL

As court reporters, we often work side-by-side with interpreters to capture and preserve the record in depositions and trials that involve non-English speaking parties or witnesses. However, ensuring due process and justice takes so much more than just fluency in a source and target language.

In this article, CRP sits down with Supreme Court Certified Judicial Interpreter, Roxane King, to learn all about the training, education and experience that is needed to stop a deposition or trial involving an interpreter from turning into a nightmare.

This article was featured nationally by the National Court Reporters Association and the American Translators Association. An abridged version will be published in the January 2018 issue of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal.

READ THIS ARTICLE HERE

 

VIDEO DEPOSITIONS: LINGUISTICS, SEINFELD, AND JUROR ENGAGEMENT

There is a tremendous difference between written and spoken language. In this article, CRP delves deeply into the bizarre world of linguistics and pop culture, using examples from Seinfeld, My Cousin Vinny, as well as the principles of The YouTube Effect, to explain the importance of capturing discovery testimony with video to combat juror disengagement.

This article was featured nationally by the National Court Reporters Association.

READ THIS ARTICLE HERE

 

HTTPS AND LITIGATION SUPPORT: PROTECTING SENSITIVE DATA IN TRANSIT

2017 saw the introduction of Senate Joint Resolution 34 (H.Res.230) in which the House voted to repeal the broadband privacy regulations introduced in 2016 that prohibited Internet Service Providers from selling private browser activity to the highest bidder, or to anyone whatsoever. Politics aside, this certainly made the Internet a less private place to spend your time, and the security of HTTPS encryption on websites became even more important.

In this article, CRP discusses how data is transferred from a user to a website, some basics of encryption and site security, and what you need to look for in the litigation support you work with to ensure any sensitive data you may be sharing with them over the Internet is protected while in transit.

READ THIS ARTICLE HERE

 

DIGITAL SIGNATURES: PROTECTING THE DATA INTEGRITY OF ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPTS

When we talk about digitally signed transcripts, we are talking about much more than just an electronic, cosmetic image of a signature. Data security is so important in today’s society, and electronic documents in litigation are no exception.

In this article, CRP discusses the very big difference between an electronic signature and a digital signature, and how to tell if the transcripts you are receiving from your court reporter are encrypted with a digital signature footprint to protect against corruption and/or wrongdoing from a malicious user.

READ THIS ARTICLE HERE

 

THE BENEFITS OF 7 CALENDAR DAY STANDARD DELIVERY AND EXHIBIT BUNDLED TRANSCRIPTS

In today’s fast-paced world of civil litigation, two-week standard delivery times and non-functional PDFs from your court reporters may be slowing you down. The good news is there are more efficient litigation support firms out there with a more modern philosophy.

In this article, CRP discusses the advantages of working with court reporters and litigation support who put a greater emphasis on efficiency and who offer highly functional transcripts as standard.

READ THIS ARTICLE HERE

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT FROM YOUR COURT REPORTER

Although originally published by CRP in late 2016, every aspect of this article applied in 2017, and will continue to apply into the future regarding what you should expect from a modern-day, progressive court reporter.

In this article, CRP discusses 9 attributes of exceptional court reporters who demonstrate a complete understanding and respect not only for the preservation of the record, but for the entire discovery process itself.

CRP received many emails of praise for this article from court reporting instructors around the country, and it was featured in the 2017 Summer Edition of the Florida Court Reporters Association Newsletter.

READ THIS ARTICLE HERE

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2018

It is CRP’s mission to create value for our clients not only in the products and services we provide, but also in sharing our knowledge and experience in the industry we work in and care so deeply about. We will continue to operate with a modern litigation support philosophy in 2018 with a focus on efficiency, responsiveness, and endurance.

We would like to thank all our clients who made 2017 such an amazing year, and we look forward to seeing you out in the field in 2018!

Happy New Year from all of us at Cleveland Reporting Partners!!

CRP Co-Founders:

Grace Hilpert-Roach

Christine Zarife Green

Todd L. Persson

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UPDATE – 1/15/17

Since this article was first published, I have been informed by Thomson Reuters RealLegal technical support that their developers are aware of this issue, and they will have the issue resolved by first or second quarter of 2018. In the meantime, lawyers and law firms with a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, which includes Adobe Acrobat DC Pro, can use the fixes described in this article to regain full PDF deposition transcript functionality.

It’s probably safe to say all of us who spend most of our days working on a PC have a love/hate relationship with automatic updates. Just last weekend, Windows 10 hijacked my laptop with updates for about a half hour, and one of the apps I use almost every day, Adobe Acrobat DC Pro, was updated to Version 2018.009.20044.

Normally, after getting over the annoying loss of use of my laptop during extended updates, I am confident that my machine is in tip-top shape and even more secure. However, after this last round, I noticed something very different in my Adobe viewer after producing deposition transcripts.

TRANSCRIPT PRODUCTION SOFTWARE

Court reporters use court reporting specific software on their individual laptops to create transcripts of the depositions or trials they report. However, the end-users (attorneys) rarely ever see this stripped-down version of the transcript. Instead, court reporters will send a simple .txt file to their court reporting/litigation support firm who then create the final, highly-functional transcripts end-users actually see using a separate transcript production software.

Professional transcript production software, such as Thomson Reuters RealLegal, will create the incredibly click-searchable and hyperlinked e-transcripts (.ptx, .ptz), as well as the bookmarked and hyperlinked PDFs most attorneys rely on for their trial preparation and organization. But there’s a catch: While these transcript production software providers have complete control of their own proprietary transcript viewers, they have no control over the changes Adobe may be making to the way in which PDFs are viewed when Adobe updates or rolls out the latest version of its own software.

PDF PRINTERS

Most software that produces text documents will have a PDF printer written into its code, and sometimes when Adobe updates its own software, all aspects of the PDFs created in the native software may not be completely readable by the newest version of the Adobe viewer. It may take a little time for the developers of the native software to update their own PDF printers to once again become completely compatible with the Adobe updates.

THE EFFECTS YOU MAY SEE USING ACROBAT DC PRO

If you use a paid version of Adobe, including Acrobat DC Pro, the update to version 2018.009.20044 may affect the viewing of bookmarks included in the PDF transcripts you receive from your court reporters, including the word index and hyperlinks to exhibits. When you open the bookmarks to the left of the body of the transcript, it will appear that the click-searchable word index is incomplete, and you may see links to only a few exhibits. However, this is not a corruption in the PDF file itself; rather, the new viewer in Acrobat 2018 is simply not recognizing the complete bookmarks or all the hyperlinks.

2 SIMPLE WAYS TO REGAIN FULL TRANSCRIPT FUNCTIONALITY

After speaking extensively to tech support at Thomson Reuters RealLegal, I learned there are two very easy fixes to this issue until their own developers can catch up with the changes Adobe has made to its Version 2018 PDF viewer.

1. DOWNLOAD ADOBE READER 11.0.10

Adobe has made it increasingly difficult to download earlier versions of Acrobat, but it is still possible. If you are an Acrobat DC Pro user, to regain full PDF transcript functionality, you can download Adobe Reader 11.0.10.

After visiting the link above, select Windows Server 2008 from the drop down box in Step 1 above. Then select English as your language in Step 2. Finally, select Reader 11.0.10 English for Windows in Step 3. Make sure the boxes in the Optional Offers are unchecked, and select Download Now.

Once Acrobat Reader 11.0.10 is installed on your PC, do not make this your default for viewing PDFs. Rather, if you use a paid version of Adobe, you will probably want to keep that version as your default PDF viewer and use this older version for the sole purpose of viewing PDF transcripts from your court reporter to enjoy the benefits of click-searchable bookmarks and hyperlinks in those files.

After Adobe Reader 11.0.10 is installed on your PC, right-click on any PDF transcript file on your PC you wish to view, select open with, and then select Adobe Reader 11.0.10. All bookmarks and hyperlinks will now be viewable and functioning as they did prior to the DC Pro update.

2. WORK SOLELY IN E-TRANSCRIPTS

A second way to combat the effects of the Adobe update to Version 2018 and still enjoy all the transcript functionality you depend on is to ditch PDFs altogether and work solely in e-transcripts (.ptx, .ptz).

As a working court reporter and firm owner, I often have to research prior transcripts in a case for an upcoming realtime deposition, or when I am reporting a case other reporters have been on prior to familiarize myself with the content, vocabulary, and proper names for that particular case. In every instance where I need to review prior transcripts, I always go straight to the e-transcripts.

E-transcripts were designed and created specifically for the litigation support industry, and they are simply cleaner and less clumsy than PDFs. An issue I have always had with PDFs of any sort is a lot of their functionality is based on a double-click. As we all know, if you don’t double-click fast enough, what ends up happening is the words you were trying to click on become highlighted and lose their functionality, and you end up having to click out of it and try again. With e-transcripts, every function is performed with a single click.

Now, there was a time not too long ago when you would have to pay extra for an e-tran, but in today’s litigation support world there are many court reporting firms that will offer them as standard with your transcript order. Even if you do not use a case management software like Westlaw’s Case Notebook, you can still get all the functionality that you were getting out of your PDFs by downloading the free E-Transcript Bundle Viewer and start working solely with e-transcripts. If you are unfamiliar with e-transcripts, ask your preferred court reporting firm to walk you through all their functions and benefits, and you may never go back to PDFs again!

PDFs ARE EMBEDDED IN E-TRANSCRIPT FILES

Yet another great thing about e-transcripts is if you do need to work with a PDF, or if you need to print a condensed or full size PDF for filing, the PDFs are already embedded in the e-transcript (.ptx) files. So not only do you have superior and cleaner file functionality with the click-searchable index and hyperlinked exhibits with an e-transcript, but you also have the full size and condensed PDFs of the transcript all in one compact file.

To extract PDFs out of an e-transcript, simply go to file and then print, then select transcript, then select full size or condensed. Next, a printer pop-up box will appear, and simply select Adobe PDF as your printer and save the PDF to your PC.

E-TRANSCRIPTS ARE DIGITALLY SIGNED AND ENCRYPTED

Data security is so important in today’s society, and electronic documents in litigation are no exception. Simply put, e-transcripts are the most secure transcript files. The e-transcripts you receive from your court reporter will be encrypted with a digital signature footprint to protect against corruption and/or wrongdoing by a malicious user. Learn more about digitally signed transcripts here.

THE GOOD NEWS

As I said earlier, it is just my personal preference to use e-transcripts over PDFs for all the reasons stated above. However, if you prefer PDFs and you are not using a paid version of Adobe, the good news is the update to Version 2018 will probably not affect you at all, and you can simply carry on with your life as you were.

However, if you are affected by Adobe’s latest update to Version 2018 with regard to transcript functionality, the solutions above can get you back to enjoying all the time-saving functions professionally-produced transcripts offer. And as always, if you have any questions regarding transcript files of any type, contact your local court reporting firm, and they should be happy to assist you in any way they can.

Viewer downloads:

E-Transcript Bundle Viewer

Adobe Reader 11.0.10

Related articles:

Getting the Most out of E-Transcripts Without a Westlaw Subscription

Digital Signatures: Protecting the Data Integrity of Electronic Transcripts

You may also like:

Court Reporters v. Digital Recording and Voice Recognition: A Comprehensive Breakdown

About the Author:

Todd L. Persson has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 2002 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland-based litigation support firm Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. He has spoken on the future of court reporting and technology on the Stenographers World Radio national podcast, has had blogs featured nationally by the National Court Reporters Association and the American Translators Association, and has contributed content to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal. To read Todd’s full bio, visit our Partners page. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.

CRP Blog Editors in Chief:

Grace Hilpert-Roach has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 1992 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. To read Grace’s full bio, visit our Partners Page. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Christine Zarife Green has been serving the Cleveland legal community as a court reporter since 2008 and is a Co-Founder of Cleveland Reporting Partners, LLC. To read Christine’s full bio, visit our Partners Page. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

 

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We are extremely proud to have as our first guest blogger Melanie Shakarian, Director of Development & Communications for The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. CRP is a strong supporter of the mission of Legal Aid and its efforts of fostering fairness and eliminating barriers to justice in Northeast Ohio and all across the country.

 

LEGAL AID’S 112th ANNUAL MEETING AND REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY

We’re honored to have Cleveland Reporting Partners as a sponsor of Legal Aid’s 112th Annual Meeting and Report to the Community on November 20, 2017 at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown. This luncheon celebrates and recognizes the diverse organizations and individuals who have played a role in advancing our mission throughout Northeast Ohio.

Since 1905, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland has helped families living in poverty stop their civil legal issues from escalating. Legal Aid provides critically needed counsel at the moment civil legal matters threaten health, shelter, safety, education or economic security. Our 40+ full-time attorneys and more than 500 volunteer lawyers use their deep knowledge of civil justice to provide such support to families. Last year, Legal Aid helped resolve civil legal problems for nearly 18,000 people.

There is an overwhelming need for civil legal services in Cuyahoga and surrounding counties, but because of limited resources, we are forced to turn away one of every two eligible clients that come to us. Our volunteer lawyers are a crucial component in the work we do, and we love getting the word out to the legal community about our diverse pro bono opportunities. You can be a part of Legal Aid’s critical work to reach members of our community where and when they need civil legal counsel.

You can also learn more about Legal Aid at our annual meeting. There’s still time to purchase tickets. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get event updates, hear client success stories and connect with volunteer opportunities.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Melanie Shakarian is Director of Development & Communications for The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. She can be reached at melanie.shakarian@lasclev.org or (216) 861-5217.

 

 

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