Industry News


Monday, October 17th, 2016

As Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Certified Court Reporters Association, Rick Paone petitioned the NJ Civil Practice Committee to create a rule governing the Court Reporter’s audio file. It was felt the creation of such a rule was necessary, as the digital age of reporting has advanced and our current court rules were written long before and without anticipation of such technologies. The new rule, published September 1, 2016, states that the Court Reporter’s audio file is their own work product and is not subject to entitlement of litigants without a court order. This language protects the Reporter’s file from being used for any other purpose other than to prepare the most accurate transcript possible.  The rule makes clear that the audio file is “not a judicial record” and that attorneys and litigants are not entitled to it unless a court order is issued requiring the Reporter to turn it over. It is contained in NJ Court Rule 4-14:6c.  Please see link.  https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/rules/rule_4_14.pdf

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

In a recent “Business Insider” article of careers that are flourishing and in need of more workforce for the coming years, Court Reporting made the Top Ten list.  As we in NJ know, there are no unemployed Certified Court Reporters, and the article indicates a 78% increase in the need for reporters since 2010. 

To read the full article, please click here:  http://www.businessinsider.com/what-types-of-jobs-will-be-most-abundant-in-2012-2011-12

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Firm Registration Bill Passed in Assembly Committee

On January 20, 2011, Assembly Bill A-1436, concerning the regulation of court reporting firms owned or operated by non-Certified Court Reporters, was heard by the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee, Chaired by Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D). 

Rick Paone, CCR, appeared in support of the bill on behalf of the Certified Court Reporters Association.  Heywood Waga, CCR, appeared in opposition to the bill on behalf of Veritext Corporation.  After hearing testimony, the Committee voted unanimously in support of the bill.

The bill would require owner/operator firms who are not licensed court reporters to register with the State Board of Court Reporting and be held to the same rules and regulations as the individual licensees and owners of reporting firms who are certificate-holders.  You may listen to the hearing by clicking the following link and selecting the January 20, 2011 meeting (Fast Forward to the 4:42 time stamp) http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/archive_audio2.asp?KEY=ARP&SESSION=2010

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

RICK PAONE AWARDED DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD BY CCRA-NJ

On Friday, November 12, 2010, Rick Paone, CCR, was awarded the first annual “Stanley B. Rizman” Distinguised Service Award for outstanding Contributions to the Court Reporting Profession.  This is the first year that the Certified Court Reporters Association named its DSA award after Stanley B. Rizman. 

Rick has served in a number of capacities, beginning with Chairman of the Freelance Committee, as well as Education Chairman where he was charged with advertising through radio ads, billboards, magazines and other media outlets to promote our court reporting schools.  He was elected President of the Certified Court Reporters Association and served in that role from 2006 to 2008.  Since that time, Rick has served on the Legislative Committee in support of twin bills in both the Assembly and Senate that require agencies that are not owned by Certified Court Reporters to be held to the same Rules and Regulations as those who are — specifically as to mandatory margin formatting, gift-giving and requirements of utilizing only Certified reporters as opposed to unlicensed shorthand reporters.  

He testified in March of 2009 at the Senate Commerce Committee and has met with numerous legislators in support of the “Firm Registration” bill.

Though winning the Distinguished Service Award is always an honor, Rick is particularly proud of the fact that he is the recipient of the first-ever award dedicated with Stanley Rizman’s name.  Stan was a giant in the industry and passed away earlier this year (see below.).   His achievments in the field are legendary, and being the first recipient of this award is an extremely touching and prestigious honor.

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Lisa Michaels, President of the Deposition Reporters Association of California, has recorded an excellent response to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s trashing of court reporters and points out how misguided his comments were.  See the 5-minute video here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqSUxuoXOOo

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Stanley Rizman, CCR, one of NJ’s most notable Certified Court Reporters, passed away suddenly Sunday night.  Stanley was one of the most important and influential individuals in the legal community, and his passing leaves a void that simply cannot be filled.

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Recently, Senator Anthony Bucco (R) signed on as a Co-Sponsor of S-397, while Assemblyman Scott T. Rumana (R) has joined A-1436 as Co-Sponsor.  The identical bills propose to require all firms/agencies operating as court reporting entities to register with the State Board of Court Reporting, and be

Senator Anthony Bucco

held to the same rules and regulations as license-holders, even if said firm/agency is not owned by a licensed Court Reporter. 

Assemblyman Scott Rumana

The Certified Court Reporters Association thanks both Senator Bucco and Assemblyman Rumana for their support of this important legislation designed to protect the consumer and even the industry playing field so that all agencies and reporters are held to the same rules.

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

VERDICT IN CHINESE DRYWALL CASE:

In addition to handling all forms of civil litigation, Paone & Associates specializes in Construction Defect work, webhosting not only deposition transcripts that we take but maintaining an Expert Witness Database from around the country to assist the legal profession.  As such, we are members of a number of groups and organizations dedicated to Construction Defect claims.   The following information was reported on the “Linked-In” Group “Construction Defect Claims & Coverage” section. 

The following is from the verdict form from last Friday’s jury trial against Banner Supply. It was the first jury trial in the country for Chinese Drywall and the first trial against a domestic defendant.

The Sieferts (Plaintiffs) own a $1.6M home (5,700 sq ft) in Coral Gables. The remediation award of $494,000 is consistent with the $86.00 per square foot previously awarded by Judge Fallon in the MDL proceedings.

Please note the “loss of enjoyment” damages at 1.7M. At trial, Plaintiff counsel (Ervin Gonzalez) asked the jury for 100K per month in loss of enjoyment. We can expect that future cases will have similar demands for loss of enjoyment.

Although there is some apportionment on liability, the case also made a claim for strict negligence, so post trial motions will likely resolve this conflict.

Banner may appeal this verdict as well as the earlier adverse ruling on the Economic Loss Rule as well. If the prior ruling on the ELR is reversed, it would dramatically reduce the amount of damages that could be claimed by the Plaintiffs against suppliers of Chinese Drywall.

Last, as prevailing party on the FDUTPA claim, Plaintiffs will be entitled to attorney’s fees and costs, which some may approach $1,000,000 in addition to the verdict amount. The link to the verdict form is here… https://www.box.net/shared/xgrta8vrzl

Monday, July 19th, 2010

The following Appeal, filed in the United States Court of Appeals, underscores the need for Certified Court Stenographers to handle trials in all levels of courtroom matters.  It is a story that we in the court reporting community hear over and over, “electronically taped” or “digitally tape” trials being replete with errors and ommissions.   Please read the Appeal below for more information.

Case: 09-2356 Document: 003110066385 Page: 1 Date Filed: 03/19/2010

IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT

APPEAL NO.: 09-2356

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

v.

ATLANTIC STATES CAST IRON PIPE COMPANY,

a division of MeWane, Inc.,

Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company, Appellant in No. 09-2356

John Prisque, Appellant No. 09-2345

Scott Faubert, Appellant No. 09-2346

Jeffrey Maury, Appellant No. 09-2305

Craig Davidson, Appellant No. 09-2306

On Appeal from a Judgment of Conviction

In the United States District Court for

the District of New Jersey

District Court Criminal Action No. 03-852 (MLC)

SAT BELOW: HONORABLE MARY L. COOPER, U.S.D.J.

MOTION TO CORRECT THE RECORD PURSUANT TO

FEDERAL RULE OF APPELLANT PROCEDURE lO(e).

Case: 09-2356 Document: 003110066385 Page: 2 Date Filed: 03/19/2010

Appellants Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company,

John Prisque, Scott Faubert, Jeffrey Maury and Craig Davidson

(“Appellants”) hereby move pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 10 (e) to

correct the trial record. Appellants rely on the Certification

of John J. O’Reilly (“O’Reilly Cert.”), attached hereto, in

support of the within motion.

The trial record in this matter is incomplete due to

an inordinate number of indiscernible and/or inaccurate portions

of the trial and sidebar transcripts. (O’Reilly Cert. ~~ 2, 3).

Counsel for Appellants have reviewed all the available audio

recordings from the trial as well as notes from Appellants’

attorneys and notes provided by the District Court in an effort

to correct the transcripts. (0′ Reilly Cert. ~ 2). In three

letters to the District Court, Appellants have identified

approximately ten-thousand (10,000) indiscernible and/or

inaccurate portions of trial and sidebar transcripts. (O’Reilly

Cert. ~ 3). In two letters, Appellants proposed thousands of

corrections to the trial and sidebar transcripts, all of which

concerned substantive corrections. (O’Reilly Cert. ~ 3).

Appellants did not propose any corrections regarding spelling,

grammar or punctuation. (O’Reilly Cert. ~ 3) .

There was no court reporter present during trial;

rather, the record was recorded onto audio discs and later

transcribed by a transcription service. (0′ Reilly Cert. ~ 4).

Case: 09-2356 Document: 003110066385 Page: 3 Date Filed: 03/19/2010

Unfortunately, the transcription service was unable to

completely and accurately transcribe the proceedings. (O’Reilly

Cert. ~ 4) .

Upon request by Appellants, the District Court agreed

to review the indiscernible portions of the trial transcripts to

complete the record for appeal. (0′ Reilly Cert. ~ 5). The

District Court reviewed Appellants’ proposals and made

corrections to the record based on its own review of the audio

recordings. (O’Reilly Cert. ~ 5). This was an enormous

undertaking by the District Court, which required the District

Court to review trial and sidebar transcripts from virtually

every day of the eight-month trial.

After months of careful review by both the District

Court and Appellants, the District Court has advised the parties

that it has completed its review and correction of the trial

transcripts for all but six (6) days of trial. (0′ Reilly Cert.

~ 6). The District Court advised all counsel that four original

audio discs containing the trial testimony of key government

witnesses, including George Shepard, have not been able to be

reviewed by the District Court on its equipment and must be

examined by an expert computer service. (0′ Reilly Cert. ~ 7).

The copies of those audio discs provided to the Parties were

similarly defective and could not be reviewed. (0′ Reilly Cert.

~ 7). The District Court has been unable to locate two other

Case: 09-2356 Document: 003110066385 Page: 4 Date Filed: 03/19/2010

original audio discs containing testimony from two days of

trial. (O’Reilly Cert. ~ 7). As a resul t, the Parties have

never been provided with copies of these discs to review.

(O’Reilly Cert. ~ 7). The inability of the Parties and the

Court to review the audio recordings from those days of trial

has further complicated the efforts to produce a complete and

accurate record for appeal. (O’Reilly Cert. ~ 7) .

The District Court also requires addi tional time to

complete its review and correction of the sidebar transcripts.

(O’Reilly Cert. ~ 6) .

Upon the District Court’s completion of its review and

correction of the trial and sidebar transcripts, the Parties

must review the District Court’s corrections before the

transcripts can be sent to the transcription service. O’Reilly

Cert. ~ 8) .

Currently pending before the District Court is

Appellants’ motion seeking access to the data stored on the four

corrupted audio discs. (O’Reilly Cert. ~ 9). Appellants

requested that the District Court permit Appellants to submi t

the data contained on the corrupted discs to an independent

expert to attempt to produce working audio recordings, thereby

enabling the Parties to provide the Third Circuit with a

complete and accurate record of the Trial.

9) .

(O’Reilly Cert. ~

Case: 09-2356 Document: 003110066385 Page: 5 Date Filed: 03/19/2010

Despite the District Court’s best efforts, the record

is not certifiable at this point. (0′ Reilly Cert. ~ 10) The

Appellants expect that the review process can be completed

wi thin sixty (60) days. (0′ Reilly Cert. ~ 10). Appellants

submit that it is more efficient to correct the trial record

now, rather than during the appeal. Accordingly, Appellants

request a sixty (60) day extension from the Third Circuit for

the District Court to certify the record so that these tasks may

be completed in advance of the deadlines to file appellate

briefs.

Friday, June 18th, 2010

The Tennessee Court Reporters Association (TCRA) recently announced that SB-3059, legislation reintroducing anti-contracting language, has passed both  TN Chambers and was sent to the governor on June 3 for his signature. 

As a Legislative Committee Member of the NJ CCRA, and former President, I am well aware of the time and effort it takes to get any legislation introduced, supported, passed and signed.   It takes a great effort from not only the members of TCRA, but faithful reporters who stay involved and support their Association’s efforts to protect and promote the industry.